Why A Personal Brand is Important

I am starting my journey into finding my next opportunity. As they say. It has made me take a hard look at my own social personal brand. What I have been doing and where I want to go. Over the last few years I have used most of my time to run clients social media. While mine has suffered, just like the old saying “The cobblers kids have no shoes.” He’s too busy working for everyone else he doesn’t have time to do his own.

In my search for something in the world of social. I have had people tell me I need at least 1,000 followers on Twitter. I currently have around 750 followers. Have I spent a good amount of time on Twitter? Not in the last few years. I have focused mainly on Instagram. Which I have even less followers but a majority of that time I had it private for friends. It’s now open for everyone to see.

There are a ton of posts on the net telling you how to create your personal brand. They all seem to have the following in common:

Define your brand – what do you want to be known for

Have a personal web site – where you can drive people and build an online presence

Write thought leadership articles – Show off your skills

Use social media to enforce your brand – Be involved on social, use professional pictures

 Keep updated on your industry – Don’t rest on your laurels, keep improving

Speak at Speaking Engagements – some say use this to show your expertise but have an online presence before you do.

For the most part, I have done most of the steps. Here are my personal brand experience

Define your Brand – I want to be known as a social media expert, or as my linked in says, Social media rocket scientist. One that can break down how things work and explain them to people who may not be socially savvy. This is in business and in personal. I want to be able to share my knowledge with a CMO to someone just beginning social media. Specifically focusing on Strategy, Execution and Analytics.

Have a Personal site – I do have a personal site I love. It took me a long time to find the right site. I first used iWeb, Apple’s website builder, it was ok but not great. Then I tried to use a WordPress site, it didn’t turn out great. Then I found an HTML theme that worked out great.

Write thought Leadership articles – Over the last year I have started to write about my interest in social media on this blog. When I first launched it I wrote intermittently. Monthly or bi monthly at times. Then in mid 2015 I decided I needed to write to increase my SEO and brand. With the exception of the holidays in 2015. I try to write 4-5 times a week. I try to put my spin on why things are important and how they will affect you or your business. I have seen traffic rise over that time.

Use social media to enforce your brand – I sort of do this already. But not well enough I don’t think. I keep my Facebook account personal and just for friends. Therefore, I created a Facebook page about me. It sounds narcissistic, but it’s a way for me to share what I want too publicly and share things with just friends. In other social media I need to start reaching out and talking to people. On Twitter, especially, I need to do more conversation rather than pushing out information.

Keep updated on your Industry – In Social Media keeping up to date isn’t easy. In the words of Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This goes for social media. If you work and focus on what is in front of you, you can miss changes coming your way. Its important to read blogs and official social networks business sites.

Speaking Engagements – I was thinking about this driving to an interview. I want to prove myself and do speaking engagements. Like many of you out there, public speaking isn’t my strong suit. I can do it but like most things it takes practice. If I am very passionate about a subject, like social, I tend to talk very fast. I want to get everything out right then. In presentations I start to purposefully put in areas where I need to pause in a presentation.

Lastly, one thing that I have an issue with is how do you promote yourself without appearing to be narcissistic? I can promote clients and brands great and come up great ideas. When it comes to my own content and brand, I start drawing a blank. It goes back to growing up, when it’s not good to brag but rather be modest. I’m working on how to solve this dichotomy.

How do you define your personal brand?

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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