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We love helping people use social media to grow, especially those who wish to increase their online presence. Social Proof is our series on personal branding. This series focuses on how incredible individuals, with different goals, used social media to advance their careers and business prospects.
Interviewees have shared incredible insights about their personal branding process. You should check out the complete interviews. We will focus on the Golden Rules of Personal Branding – what each interviewee suggests you should do on social media to increase your online presence.
Katelyn: Dive deep into one channel before exploring multiple
You may feel compelled to share your brand across many platforms in the beginning stages of building it. However, this can prove more dangerous than helpful. Although it is common to be visible on multiple channels, this may not work for you.
Katelyn Bourgoin is the CEO and Lead Trainer at Customer Camp. She says that it’s important to dig deep into one channel in order to build an audience, learn how to create content for that platform and what works best with that audience.
Start small, build momentum and grow your personal brand.
Spreading yourself too thin is a real problem. If you aren’t a pro at publishing content and managing your calendars, you might not be able keep up the pace. As you move from message to comment, it will be difficult to establish deep relationships with people.
You can start small and increase your momentum as you go. Katelyn says, “Once your audience is established – but it doesn’t have to be large – it may be time to start getting people to sign-up for your newsletter.” You should publish the newsletter once a week and get your Twitter followers to let you into their inbox.
Fadeke – Have an online presence that is distinct from your employer
Fadeke Adegbuyi (Shopify’s Lead Writer) said, “I believe it is important to have an internet presence and have your brand distinct from your employer.” It’s something I have always valued – being able to share my work and connect with others who are interested in the same topics online. It also allows me to have a steady flow of collaboration and hiring opportunities.
Make a list of the things and methods you communicate online and ensure it is true to yourself and not your employer.
Personal brands are built around the person. What happens if you decide to leave the organization? What if you leave the organization?
Your personal brand should not only highlight the brand, company, or work of another person. It shouldn’t be about you. This will make it difficult for people to understand why you should be interesting in what you have. Make sure you are able to communicate what you want online and not just your employer.
Steph – Treat each project as a vehicle to promote your personal brand
Steph Smith, podcast host at a16z said something that resonated strongly with me: “Everything I do, regardless of whether it’s a good or bad thing, relates to and is a vehicle for my personal brand.” However, ultimately, the driving force behind that vehicle is my performance in all those situations, good and bad.
It is not always easy to find work that aligns well with your dreams and passions. You can’t do it all, but if you want to do something, do your best.
“Everything that I do, regardless of whether it is something I like or not, relates back to my personal brand and serves as a vehicle for it.” However, ultimately, the driving force behind that vehicle is my performance in all those situations.
In the same vein, although you may put all your effort into a project you cannot control its outcome or reception. The one thing that will always be remembered is the quality and effort put into the project. Steph says that if your work isn’t up to your audience’s standards and appears like a money grab you have damaged your personal brand, and it’s hard to rebuild trust.
Shaan – Sketch your future self, then work towards becoming that person.
Shaan Puri, an entrepreneur, investor and creator shared a wonderful framework to help you outline what you want others to see through the Pillar Branding Exercise. You will need to draw three or four pillars, and then put the words that best represent you at the top. Next, outline the stories that you have from your career and life that support these pillars. If you don’t have any stories, you know what you should do. If you are a creative person but don’t have any evidence to support it, you need to take more steps towards proving that creativity.
Shaan stated “… for some of the pillars that I had more stories that others. This helped me to realize that although I wanted to be perceived in a certain way, it wasn’t enough that I was taking sufficient action. This exercise was also an opportunity to make a list of things I would like to include in my brand. This exercise was more than a branding exercise. It was a guideline for how I would approach my life.
Jack: Do what you love or risk failure
Jack’s advice is that it’s difficult to stay passionate about something. Jack Appleby, creator of Morning Brew, said in our interview that personal branding is based on passion. Because I love social media, I have had great success building my personal brand around it. It doesn’t feel like work because I am genuinely interested in social media and community.
If you don’t love the brand you are building, it will fail.
What topics are most important to you? What topics could you talk about for hours? You can find the intersection of what you are most passionate about and what you know best, and then use that as a starting point for the content you create.
Tori: It takes patience and time to succeed
Tori Dunlap, founder and CEO of HerFirst100k, understands that success doesn’t come overnight. Tori wasn’t able to build a multimillion-dollar business overnight. It took a lot of hard work and perseverance that enabled her to grow her business as well as her community.
Even if you believe you can do something, it will not work out the way you expected if it isn’t the right time. She shared her experience in an interview. “You have to make mistakes and learn from them all to achieve the same success as the people who inspire you,” she said.
It is possible to build anything you want with patience and time. But if you try to reach the same level of people who have worked at it for five months, it will likely not work out as you expected.
You have to persevere until you reach the stage where you are able to build the business you desire. It takes patience, dedication, and time,” Tori says.
Choose what resonates with your
My final golden rule is to do what you enjoy. It’s not easy for everyone to create a newsletter or be on Twitter or TikTok. Not every topic you choose to cover will interest you. It is important to understand how you work and what it takes to be consistent so that you can create a lasting personal brand.
Buffer is a great tool to help you organize your thoughts, schedule content, and create simple microsites to engage your audience. Get started now!
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