Your Personal Brand in Today’s Social Economy
We’ve evolved from the industrial revolution to the information age, and now the social economy where your personal brand has become an invaluable commodity.
Klout, Influence & Authority
Because business is conducted by humans, it makes perfect sense that the more influential you are in the landscape in which you operate, the more attractive you will be to customers, employers, investors, vendors and the media. As a result, your personal brand is more valuable than ever. Social influence isn’t about aggregating friends, followers and circles, but rather your ability to connect with, and influence others. Klout.com is just one resource using queues from your social interaction to measure your social influence. Google actively uses social influence to impact search engine results.
Names and Handles
There are two ways to promote your personal brand. The first, and absolute priority is your name. You should use your full, real name in creating accounts on Linkedin, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Yet, some have chosen to leverage what is known as a “handle” to promote themselves online. For example, I have over 10,000 followers on Twitter under the handle @VirtualMarketer, even though I also own a Twitter account under my name @RebeccaMurtagh. This practice is common and adopted by people like Scott Stratten known as @UnMarketing, Carrie Wilkerson known as @BarefootExec and Pete Cashmore known as @Mashable.
Be True to Your Brand
You are your brand. Your brand should reflect your personality and goals. Whether your goal is to attract clients, investors, media, employers, even employees. I highly recommend you always view your social media as an extension of your professional life, first and foremost. You can be confident that the first thing someone will do when they want to learn more about you is to Google you. When they do, you want them to find a consistent representation of who you are and what you stand for.
The more social authority and influence you have, the more credible you and your brand become. – Rebecca Murtagh
If you remain unsure how important your personal brand is, keep in mind that data has shown that people trust reviews and references of friends and strangers over paid advertising and promotion.
Promote Your Brand
You don’t have to spend your days pushing social media updates in order to build your brand. Here are some simple tips to help you establish your personal brand in cyberspace.
- Create social media profiles on key social platforms and optimize them, using your name first, create secondary accounts using your personal brand or handle.
- Keep personal and business social accounts separate, even if you decide to connect the dots between the two as you may not always be associated with that business, company or organization.
- Post at least one update so that if you can’t invest a great deal of time in maintaining the account, you’ve demonstrated ownership.
- If possible, leverage the platform to further your goals with optimized updates, balancing your professionals goals with information valuable to your audience and of course personal interaction with connections on each platform.
- Use social media tools as they will help you manage your time across social networks. (after all, even when it looks like I, or others are tweeting all day long, we are actually spreading out updates over time with scheduling tools).
- Promote your social brand in personal and professional correspondence. Your friends, family and colleagues could be the link to your next great career development!