Personal branding is important for establishing yourself as an industry expert, creating an online reputation that you manage, and a great way to begin to grow your online networking. Treat it with as much care and effort as you would if you were marketing your own small business. After all, you are the CEO of your own career.
Here are eight great tips for updating (or establishing) your personal branding!
- Separate personal from professional. If you use social media to stay in touch with family and friends, you may want to create a new account for your professional profile. Another approach is keeping your platforms separate: Twitter and LinkedIn for business, Facebook and Instagram for personal. Your personal accounts or platforms can be further separated from the professional by using a nickname or alternate name. That helps them stay separate when you are searched.
- LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the primary professional-use social media platform, so refresh this one first. Update your Linked profile to include recent experience, skills, and job titles. Update your head shot if it’s more than 2 years old. Ensure that your LinkedIn and resume information matches; it’s much easier to do this when you are relaxed and not in the midst of a job search! Finally, make sure your key accomplishments are listed and consider asking for recommendations from your contacts.
- Secondary platforms. Take the bio and headshot you used for LinkedIn and update your other professional-use social media profiles to match LinkedIn. This provides a consistent visual brand as well as a consistent message.
- Delete unused accounts. This allows hiring influencers, network contacts, and others who search your name to get the results you want them to see: Live, active, and curated social media accounts with current contact and career information.
- Facebook. If you are using Facebook in a professional capacity, update your profile as you did in tips 2 and 3. Update your header image to a visual relevant to your industry. Your headshot should match your LinkedIn photo, but the header can be a photo or a graphic. My own is often an inspirational quote, someone in real estate might have landscape photography, someone in logistics might choose a photo of truck or a ship in motion, a hospitality exec might choose a photo of a busy kitchen, a wine cellar, or stacked linens. Use photos from public domain or ones you have the rights to publish, when possible.
- Website. Update your website with the same visuals and information as you did your social media. Consistency across platforms is smart branding and shows your attention to detail. Again, make sure your most recent accomplishments, skills, and experience are highlighted.
- Analytics. Connect Google analytics to your website and see what content is sparking the most interest. You can also check the analytics for your social media platforms to see what posts have generated the most visits, comments, and reactions.
- Calendar. Create planned content. You don’t have to use virgin content for every platform. Work smarter, not harder, and write an article for your blog, take that information you just researched and turn it into a Facebook post, a tweet, and then write an introduction and post the link to the article on LinkedIn! Once a week, or even every other week is a great start.