Building your personal brand is a cinch today thanks to Social media. Not only is having a profile (more than one is ideal) the norm, it’s essential for you and growing your business. Your social media profile is a place for your fans, clients, customers, and potential future acquaintances to get to know you, what you’re about, and how to get involved. That being said, the following should be used a guideline as you build your personal brand.
Your Profile Image
If you’re a business of one this is key – your picture is your logo. My profiles can attest to this – I have the same picture on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, to name but a few. If you do use the same picture for all of your profiles, (and I hope you do) everybody will instantly recognize your brand when they see it. Be sure to choose something that’s current, appropriate, and natural. Ideally limit changing your profile image to once every few years, unless of course there’s been a significant change in your appearance. If your picture doesn’t match the current you, once viewed on video or in person, your credibility plummets.
What about logos? Remember, we’re looking to build your personal brand, not your business or company. If it’s a company page on LinkedIn or Facebook, then logos are of course welcomed and encouraged.
Consistency is Key
Take advantage of all that’s before you! Customize, upload images, and build consistency. Your themes, fonts, colors, pictures, content (though varied and tailored) should be the same across multiple platforms. You want to make a lasting impression. The best way is to be memorable is through repetition and consistency.
As you remain consistent in your design and tone of writing across multiple profiles, you build credibility, appearing reliable and trustworthy. Some sites do have character limits, so consider creating versions that differ in length for various sites. This will play an important role in crafting your elevator pitch.
Don’t waste free real estate – take advantage of that white space! Never leave a profile incomplete. Fill out everything. If you were paying for it, you’d fill it out, now wouldn’t you? It something is left blank, you may unintentionally come off as lazy, or worse, that you have something to hide.
One thing people often forget – link your sites! Not only does it confirm you’re the person they’re looking for, it builds consistency and credibility. Bonus: more touch points for you and your target audience.
What to Write
Generally speaking*, your social media profiles should be consistent, but there’s one area where you should mix it up, and that’s content (meaning your posts and updates). Each social media site has particular types of content. Twitter and Facebook lean more towards off-the-cuff comments and personal updates, while LinkedIn and Google+ are more professionally oriented. Share relevant news stories and practical, useful tips with us. It’s not the worst thing in the world to cross-post your posts, but make an effort to mix it up. It’s also nice to offer something different on each social media site because many of your connections, fans, followers, and friends will be the same.
*Note: if you’re in a suit by day and an aspiring musician by night, that warrants separate pages and profiles.
When using social media, be true to your brand. Be mindful of what you say, do, and post because you never know who will see it. Maintain a high level of professionalism. Mind your manners, be authentic, and promote positivity. Never post something you wouldn’t be comfortable seeing on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, or having your grandmother read.