There is a common misconception that company branding is more important than employee branding. But in an age where consumers buy into the values and personality of a brand, the faces behind the name do matter. Richard Branson and Bill Gates are examples of this done to perfection, but how can you replicate this on a smaller scale?
Whether you’re a CEO, CMO, PR manager or sales exec, we’ve compiled a list of six top tips that are sure to get your personal branding project off to a flying start.
#1 Refine your persona
Decide what persona you want to create for yourself and stick to it. Make sure it reflects your company’s brand and is consistent with its message; whilst at the same time keep it in-line with your own expertise.
Always focus on topics that you have a passion for and find easy to talk about as this will shine through in your communication. Work and personality are becoming increasingly difficult to separate, so include your hobbies and interests outside of work to give your personal brand a truly individual feel.
#2 Choose your tools
Select what tools you want to use to promote your brand and use them to maximum effect. Particularly at first, you should focus on the medium you find most easy to use, whether it’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Vine or blogging. Update your page(s) regularly to create a consistent profile for yourself.
Social channels are adding new features all the time, so ensure you are watching out for these developments and utilising them to maximise your impact on the platform. If LinkedIn is your platform of choice – which it often is for B2B professionals – be sure to check out our blog on 10 smart ways to stand out on LinkedIn.
#3 Curate content
The good news is that you don’t need to create all your content from scratch. Find, follow and watch the people producing interesting material and then use your voice to comment on it. Using your own voice is the most important point here – it will differentiate you from others who will be talking about the same thing. Remember, you are an expert in your field – your opinion will add value, or at least interest others.
#4 Remember the top rules of communication
Create consistency in your messaging, by sticking to the same broad themes and topics. However, don’t be afraid to stand out and say something different to rise above the noise of what everyone else in the industry is talking about.
#5 Maximise your traditional communications
Social media is a great way to sweat your assets and maximise the results from your traditional methods of communication. For example, if you are speaking at a conference share it with even more people by tweeting before, during and after it. Then post your slides on SlideShare, stream the presentation live, record your presentation and upload it on YouTube, poll your audience and post the results on your blog.
#6 Don’t sell
Your connections don’t want to be bombarded with the latest releases from your company. You will gain much more traction on social if you create and curate content that is useful to your prospects, business partners, potential employees etc. By all means do share updates from your company, but don’t make it all you share.
Apply ‘The 80/20 Rule.’ This guideline for social media will help you strike the right balance – post just 20% of your content directly about promoting about your brand, and dedicate 80% to content that you think will appeal to your audience and engage them in conversations.
Of course, it takes time to research the current hot topics, but don’t let it slip down your list of priorities when you’re busy. Block out time in your diary to read material, or do a search on your morning commute.