Your personal branding is very evident by your social media and online presence. Each time someone Googles your name, what shows up in the search results is a direct reflection of your personal brand.
Your personal branding either conveys professionalism, trust and credibility…or it doesn’t.
The boom in popularity of social media sites has made it possible for businesses to reach out to their potential customers in a way that never existed before. Now, physical distance is no longer a challenge for businesses aiming to reach a wider audience, as the digital world is literally boundless.
Indeed, the business landscape has changed vastly over just the past decade. Nowadays, with competition coming in droves, you must figure out a way to establish a genuine connection with your target audience. This is the only way you’ll be able to convert them into customers — and to make them see why you’re the best choice from all the other businesses out there competing for their attention.
Now more than ever, it is crucial for businesses to ensure that they are leaving the right impression on their target audience. It doesn’t matter if your business is established or a start-up, people do business with people, and they want to know who you are. What message does your current personal branding convey?
In order to build a positive and professional personal brand, you’ll need to put more effort into ensuring that everything you do on social media will only serve to make your brand stronger.
6 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand & Credibility Online
Don’t be intimidated, though. It may seem like an overwhelming task at first, but the secret to effectively using social media to build powerful personal brand is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is to take note of the following tips for online brand management:
1. Make sure your social profiles speak to your ideal clients.
A lot of business owners make the mistake of jumping into social media marketing all gung-ho, without taking the time to truly understand the industry they’re moving in. For starters, make sure you know who your competitors AND potential customers are.
You must also pay attention to what existing and successful businesses in your chosen industry are doing right — why is their marketing working? What are they doing that everyone else isn’t? And what would stop your potential customers from choosing you instead?
Make it a point to study, for instance, who’s following you on social media. What are their common traits? What are their pain points? What kind of solution can you provide best? Once you have gathered all the data you need you can move on to actually creating a powerful social media presence, once that speaks to your ideal prospects and clients.
The most important first step is to create professional and client-focused profiles. Of course, your LinkedIn profile is, without a doubt, the most important one. (For more on that, read this handy guide I prepared – “How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile.” What you may not realize is your LinkedIn profile is often your first online impression, as in most cases, it’s the first thing someone clicks on when they want to learn more about you.
Although your LinkedIn profile is the most important piece here, don’t neglect your Facebook and Twitter profiles, either! People may look there if they want to find out more about you.
2. Utilize social media to stay top of mind.
It’s not enough for you to just create an account on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and post an update from time to time. Social media can serve a multitude of purposes, from helping you stay top of mind with prospects to building your credibility and authority in your industry and/or topic. It’s also a great way for you to build an online following, a community of people who you can serve with your products or services.
Also, don’t forget that whatever you do on your social media profiles will absolutely serve as a reflection of your company as well as yourself. You’ll find that your greatest success on social media will be from engaging through your personal profiles versus any business pages you may have. Why? Because people want to deal with people, not logos.
Having said that, it’s important then for you to be cautious about the types of posts you make. Before you post, ask yourself, “would I be okay with potential prospects and clients seeing this post”, if the answer is yes, go ahead and post it.
Don’t be too shy to engage in a bit of self-promotion once in a while. Let your customers see the links to your social media profiles on your website, and add social media sharing buttons to all the different types of content you’re producing. Think of it as free marketing for you when your visitors start subscribing to you (or even convincing others to do the same).
3. Build an effective content marketing strategy.
To build your credibility online as well as being seen as an authority it’s time for you to start creating and perfecting your content strategy. When you share your well-composed, well-researched thoughts and insights on matters that are relevant to your target audience, you are essentially building up your brand credibility and showing your followers why they should trust you.
Your content marketing strategy can involve quite a number of types and formats.
Effective content marketing may include informative how-to videos, themed blog posts and infographics, news articles and opinion pieces, in-depth eBooks, and the like. You will certainly draw in more people with these than if you were to adopt a blatant, outright selling strategy for your brand.
Come up with creative and original ideas that speak to your audience and solve micro problems for them. Each day you get asked questions by leads, prospects and clients, turn the answers to each of those questions into a piece of content.
You can also curate content from all over the internet, finding and sharing articles and images that you think would be useful or relevant to your target audience. Make it a point to read key trade publications, industry blogs and content from thought leaders. You can then share what would be of interest to your target market.
4. Leverage third party credibility to enhance social proof.
The danger in crafting messages specifically designed for selling is that most people don’t respond well to them on social media. Thus, having someone with enough social clout say good things about your business (instead of relying solely on sales-ey messaging) is powerful social proof and third party credibility.
Try reaching out to influencers on your preferred social media platforms — after all, there isn’t much for you to lose, right? Establish a closer relationship between you and the influencer (or influencers) in question, so that they can get to know you. Before you ask them to do something for you, do something for them, build a relationship with them.
People are more likely to listen to your brand advocates than to hear you blatantly self promoting. So start making friends with these influencers, and figure out how you can both benefit from this arrangement.
5. Make sure your personality shines through all of your social media updates and interactions.
There’s a human being behind your business — let people get to know you via your social media updates. Until social media people didn’t really get to know who they were doing business with. Social media has humanized businesses, and rightly so. After all, at the end of the day, people buy from people.
Be engaging; let people get to know you. Share what you are passionate about. And pay attention to your prospects and clients social profiles. Watch what they share, and engage with them.
The key here, however, is to do it consistently. Develop a consistent and formidable brand identity, and you’ll seem more genuine and credible on social media.
6. Turn your employees into brand advocates.
Some businesses may not realize this, but the cornerstones of a successful business are its employees — and unhappy employees are unproductive employees. On the other hand, if you find ways to keep them happy, they can even turn into your most ardent promoters and supporters.
Any employees you have are also being seen by your prospects and clients online, so ensure they receive help and training to develop a positive and professional online presence. The social profiles of your employees (their personal brand) is a direct reflection of your business.
When your employees look good on social media, they too can be sharing information and content from your company, amplifying your message and massively expanding your reach.
If you want to take things to the next level and transform how your company, products and services are perceived, spend the time in making sure each principal and employee of a business has a great online presence.
Regardless of which stage you’re currently in when it comes to your social media journey, building up your professional and personal brand can sound like a rather daunting task at first. However, with the right mindset, a well-planned approach, and a little work you can turn your online presence into a client attraction magnet.
If you would like to learn the secret to effective personal branding that builds trust, credibility and magnetically attracts leads, prospects and clients to you, let’s talk — that’s my specialty! Book a time to speak with me 1-on-1 by clicking here.