The old adage of “people do business with people they like, know and trust” still holds true, now that we can do a search of each other’s online profiles and learn all about each other before we ever make that first contact. A strong and positive personal online brand will enhance your company’s brand.
As an entrepreneur, your personal brand can be a critical factor in the decision-making process.
Just think, if you’re a regular here, is my personal brand and company reputation one in the same?
If this post is your first introduction to me, will you equate my personal brand with this company website? I’m pretty sure you will, as many of us tend to do so.
If you’ve never visited any of my social media profiles, there’s a good chance, if you like what you read, you’ll click one of those social media icons or that follow me button to see what I’m sharing via social media. From here you’ll get an idea of who I am and what I’m really like, aside from my website.
Taking a look at my social media profiles, and engaging with me on social media, will give you a sense of who I really am. Who you’ll be dealing with when you contact me. The style, philosophy, and energy you’ll get when you hire me.
This is why personal online branding matters. It’s part of your professional persona. People use your personal online brand as a basis to form an impression of you.
The Three C’s of Personal Online Branding
Now that you understand the vital role your personal brand can play in your company’s future, let’s look at three important factors to consider when building a personal brand online.
Remember, your brand is accessible 24 hours a day. You never know when, where, or how your next client will find you. They’re usually lurking in the background getting a feel for you first. We want to be sure they receive your intended message.
What’s the content you share across social media? If I look up your social media profiles, am I going to form the right impression of you and your business style?
An important key to remember is to share relevant content. Your prospects will appreciate learning new tips and tricks to better their business, and they will come to see you as the go-to person for answers.
This happens to be a primary goal for many businesses, including my own. We all want to become the go-to company, excuse me, go to brand for expertise.
The look and feel of your brand must be connected, based on both visuals and content. For example, if your profile pictures are similar, I don’t have to guess who you are. If your bios are similar, again, I’m not guessing if I’ve found the brand/person I’m looking for. Don’t leave this to chance.
Create a great bio for yourself as an individual, then create one for your company. Next, merge the two and create a captivating keyword-rich bio that will attract your target and use this bio for your profiles!
The same holds true for your social media backgrounds. The images and color schemes you use will also help people to identify you as the person and company they’re searching for. If your visual images look related and connected, your brand will have a cohesive visual presence.
There’s a fundamental lesson to keep in mind as you develop your brand on social media: you have to use it consistently!
You can’t put up a profile and walk away. The traditional thinking of “build it and they will come” no longer applies. The sea is crowded, and you have to stay engaged in order to stay in front of your customers.
A general rule of thumb for sharing content on social media on a consistent basis:
- Share and engage Monday-Saturday.
- Update your LinkedIn status daily.
- Post on Twitter and your Facebook page several times daily.
QUESTION: Why do I have to share content Monday through Saturday? I thought normal 9-5 business hours were ok for businesses to use social media.
ANSWER: Subtle differences can add up to bigger interactions and engagement across social media. So many people catch up on social media, especially Facebook and Pinterest, in the evenings and over the weekend.
If people are busy working during the day, they don’t have as much time to check you out Monday – Friday during normal business hours. So make time to be accessible and engaged when your customers are active. Those evening and Saturday hours are a sweet spot, and a perfect time for you to get in touch with your audience!
There’s another piece that factors into consistency: your content. Content should have an identifiable voice. When you’re online your posts and comments should all have a unifying theme, related to your brand. When people read your posts, they should be able to identify and/or recognize the voice behind the words.
Social media is a part of your marketing strategy, so why not learn how to use it strategically to build your brand? I mean really rock your social media activity! As you use social media to build your credibility as an authority in your industry, you will develop a powerful personal online brand. You can leverage this killer brand to grow your business!