Want even more personal branding tips? I’m teaching a session on personal branding for freelance writers in an online course called Launch A Freelance Writing Career. You’ll get access to five freelance writing experts + I’m giving away bonus materials to those who sign up through my blog. Click here for more details and to register.
Personal branding has become somewhat of a buzzword over the past five or so years as social media has changed the world we live in. The term may sound daunting and even a little vague, but it’s really quite simple:
Personal branding is your online AND offline reputation; it’s what immediately comes to mind when someone says your name. (Like this definition? Tweet it!)
In advance of the online freelancing and personal branding course I’m teaching next week and the two conferences I’m keynoting that weekend on the same topic, I wanted to take a step back and share some down and dirty tactical tips to grow your personal brand TODAY.
Here are three quick things you can do (in less than five minutes) on Facebook and Twitter to develop your personal brand.
1. Reach out to the people who have followed you recently. If you haven’t browsed through the list of those who follow you on Twitter in a while, take some time to do that now and follow back relevant people. Pick a number (I think five is a good place to start if you only have five minutes) and say hello to that many new followers. Read their Twitter bio and send them a personalized tweet.
2. Update your Twitter bio. When was the last time you dusted off your Twitter bio? Take a close look: You have 160 characters to share who you are with the world and get someone to click “follow” and join your community. I decide who to follow and who not to follow on Twitter based on the content of their bio, so think of this short blurb as your opportunity to make a first and lasting impression.
3. Share the love. Yes, building your personal brand is about sharing yourself (and your work) with the world, but let’s face it: no one wants to follow someone who only shouts about themselves and their projects. Of course, share your own work, but also spread the love and share relevant links and articles with your community. You’ll become known as a resource and that’s a great quality to have as part of your personal brand.
1. Join a relevant group. One of my favorite aspects of Facebook is the ability to connect with those who share your professional and personal interests in relevant private or semi-private groups. These groups are fantastic for gathering inspiration, sharing resources, asking questions and networking.
2. Following interesting brands, blogs and groups. It’s no secret that Facebook is becoming less relevant (especially for younger generations, especially those in high school and college now). The way I use Facebook has even changed over the past few years. My favorite part of scrolling through my newsfeed is discovering interesting posts and articles from the people, brands and groups I follow. Many of the articles I share on Twitter or feature in my Start Your Week Right Sunday posts come from my newsfeed. Take five minutes to find the people, bloggers or companies you’re most interested in on Facebook- the content they share there may inspire.
3. Get personal and share your work/goals. While Facebook may still be seen as a very personal place to interact with your friends and share photos, you never know who might be following you or watching you on the site. If you use Facebook professionally (keep in mind: you can still showcase your personality!) you never know what opportunities may arise. For example, I didn’t think that many of my Facebook friends would be interested in my blog posts, but whenever I share a new post, it gets a great reaction and introduces my work to a new audience. Don’t discount the people in your current network; even though you may view them as part of your personal life, you never know when it could blend into your professional goals, as well.
Have other tips for developing your personal brand on Facebook and Twitter? Share them in the comments below!
Stay tuned Friday for tactical tips on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. On Tuesday, we’ll dive into how you can use a blog or website to develop your personal brand. Oh, and if you’re interested in even more tips and tricks, here’s the link to register for that course!