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.
This week, we’re talking about the importance of personal branding and how it can lead to all kinds of awesome career, freelance and personal opportunities. Did you miss the first post in this series? Check out tactical personal branding tips for Twitter and Facebook here.
Before we dive into today’s social media sites, let’s refresh our memories with a definition of personal branding:
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, I wanted to take a step back and share some down and dirty tactical tips to grow your personal brand TODAY.
Here are two quick things you can do (in less than five minutes) on LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+ to develop your personal brand.
1. Connect with two people you admire. When was the last time you actively sought out those you admire and connected with them on LinkedIn? I’m guilty myself of using LinkedIn in a very reactionary way. When you figure out which two people you’d like to connect with today, search for them on LinkedIn and write them a brief, personalized message. Introduce yourself, give the person a genuine compliment, and explain why you’d like to connect. I do not accept generic LinkedIn requests anymore and I’ve heard the same thing from many others- take the extra 15 seconds to make your message a little more personal.
2. Get recommendations/testimonials. The best part about LinkedIn is the ability to have others vouch for your work through recommendations. After you finish a big project at work, a freelance blog post or a leadership position in an organization, ask those you worked most closely with to write you a brief recommendation on LinkedIn. That third-party endorsement goes a long way when someone is looking at your profile and considering your skills and expertise. If they see that several others have endorsed your work, they may be more likely to consider you over someone similar with no recommendations.
1. Create a board to promote your online brand. Inspired by Rachael King’s “Living Resume” on Pinterest, I recently created my own visual portfolio to showcase my freelance writing. In just five minutes, you can create a board, name it, and write a brief summary describing the board. You may even have time to pin a post or two to get started. Don’t be afraid to take your time with Pinterest. Build your board over time rather than pinning everything at once to give your followers a chance to see the content in their feed as you pin.
2. Be a resource. Create a board where you pin articles/resources related to your professional interests or goals. For example, I have a Freelance/Entrepreneurship board where I pin articles related to blogging and business. This board not only keeps me organized, as it gives me a place to save important articles and content I want to refer to later, but also positions me as a resource for others who may be interested in similar topics. I notice that sometimes people will specifically follow just this board because they see that I post interesting content there on a regular basis.
1. Share your latest blog post. Oh, Google+. The much-talked about social network that hasn’t quite picked up steam the way Facebook and Twitter have, but is still extremely important for SEO and search. To stay active on Google+, take the time today to share your latest blog post (or an old one you haven’t promoted there yet). On Google+ you can share an image, video, or link and write as much or as little as you want in the textbox. You may even consider publishing part of your post on Google+ and then provide a link for readers to click to your blog to read the rest.
2. Join relevant communities. Similar to private or semi-private Facebook groups, Google+ also allows users to group together under different topics and points of interest. Joining relevant groups helps you to network, learn from others in the field and discover resources you otherwise may not have had the opportunity to see. When you log in to your Google+ account and click on to the communities section, Google actually recommends several groups you can join based on your interests to get started.
Have other tips for developing your personal brand on LinkedIn, Pinterest or Google+? Share them in the comments below!
Stay tuned Tuesday for tactical tips on using 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!