How Can Fix Your Personal Branding?

“Mirror mirror on the wall, do I have the scariest, or least most impressive, social media branding of all?” Does this self-inquisition sound like it fits your personal social branding? It’s the beginning of the year, so it’s time to look into YOUR virtual mirror and recognize your true brand colors on social media. So, Google yourself and see if you are living in a fairytale when it comes to the strength of your brand.

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With 89% of all people starting their buying process with search, you need to deliver content, graphics and messaging to help your brand instead of hurting it. You do not want to take one step forward with your career and two steps back with social media.

10 Steps To Fix Your Social Branding

1. Create Your 2014 Elevator Pitch. Quit stammering over what you do when asked by a stranger at a cocktail party. Spend 10 minutes to craft your personal value proposition with a 3-line inside-book-cover synopsis of the story of you! If you can articulate your value proposition in an elevator pitch, then you can easily create a compelling LinkedIn and Twitter profile.

For example, my elevator pitch is: People are changing the way they find, consider and buy software solutions. They’re using social media, like blogs, Twitter, and YouTube to help make their decisions. I have the privilege of working with our sales and marketing organization, to use social media to connect our products and services with our customers and their customers terms to improve their lives and help the world run better.

2. Update Your Picture On Your LinkedIn Profile. Yes, you do look better this year than last year, so it’s time to let your present and future network know! And, with an updated photo, no one will be surprised when they see you in a face-to-face meeting.

3. Remove Your Title And Replace It With A Headline On LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn headline is like the title of your ‘book’. Give people a reason to read on and engage with you. Your LinkedIn headline shows up on a Google search, so use keywords and compelling phrasing to make a great  social branding impression. Note: The worst headline in the world … “Sales Representative for (insert company here).”

4. Rewrite Your LinkedIn Summary. People don’t want to know about your accomplishments. Instead, they want to know how your accomplishments can help them, So, rewrite your LinkedIn summary to present your experience in a way to show how you can help your customer of others in your network.

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Don’t kid yourself! Your social branding likely needs a tune-up!

5. Find A Grammar-checking Tool. Make a resolution to stop using run-on sentences and overall bad grammar. Poor grammar is unclear and positions you as a poor communicator … which is not a good thing. Select a grammar-checking program, like Grammarly (my favorite), and check every memo, blog post and presentation. It’s OK to goof up now and then, but not all of the time.

6. Start To Tell A Story. People listen to and become engaged in stories. So, transform your fact-based pitch or presentation into a story. If you provide some relatable context to help your audience “get it” more easily, then you will increase your brand’s positioning since you will be making your point to a wider audience.

7. Start To Follow 10 New People A Day On Twitter. The adage says that birds of a feather flock together. Start to follow ten new Twitter users who look like you, or your target audience, every day to build your network. You will find you will increase your brand’s footprint.

8. Take Your Twitter Profile Seriously. Find a co-worker and ask what they really think of your Twitter profile. You need to avoid being mystical, mysterious, pompous or really out there and clueless! Remember … your Twitter profile shows up on Google when people search your name. If you have a really bad profile and a dormant-ish account, then you are heading toward a branding disaster.

9. Have More Social Conversations. Having a conversation on social media starts with you! Start to ask questions on Twitter. Start to answer questions in LinkedIn groups. Start to comment on blogs. Good things will follow if your brand engages with others and you avoid being social wallflower.

10. Figure Out How To Use HootSuite. HootSuite is the perfect social branding command center for individuals and businesses. Use HootSuite to spend 10 minutes every morning scheduling your daily social media content stream, following multiple Twitter lists while you are waiting in line and quickly responding to direct messages and mentions.

Do you have another tip to increase your brand’s currency on social media so others will spend time with you? If so, please comment below. Or, contact me directly on MarketingThink.com, on LinkedIn or on Twitter.

If you are looking to fix your social brand, you might be interested in some ideas to:

  1. Create the perfect LinkedIn profile
  2. Create the perfect Twitter profile
  3. Use HootSuite as your social media command center
  4. How to have a conversation on Twitter
  5. How to write the perfect tweet

Your virtual mirror is indestructible. Nothing on Google will ever go away, so it’s time to work on your social media reflection and reveal your true beautiful brand!

Picture source: Mirror from FabSugar.com, bathroom from ElephantJournal.com

Gerry Moran is a global social media and content marketer. He is a marketing strategist, entrepreneur, educator and mentor with close to 30 years experience with iconic brands like Purina HBO, IKEA, and SAP. He’s also worked for award-winning digital advertising agencies like imc2, Whitman-Hart and Digitas. Gerry also founded a boutique marketing agency and has been an adjunct professor for over 10 years for St. Joseph’s University.
Gerry Moran

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