It doesn’t matter what business you are in – relationships are what make sales happen. People want to buy from their friends! It is more important than ever to establish trust and build relationships, especially if you are selling your professional services. Whether you are self- employed or working for someone else, selling a product or a service, what steps are you taking to build the “You” brand online? Social media tools have leveled the playing ground so that people who work in small business can leverage their personal brand just as much as a Fortune 500 CEO.
Linkedin is, of course, the first place to start if you want to build your personal brand. If your Linkedin profile is not at 100% or you don’t have your photo uploaded, do it now. Find connections, join groups, and answer some questions to build your network. Don’t forget to add your custom URL with your full name and add links to your other websites or profiles, such as Twitter. Use Steve’s 15 minutes a day Linkedin strategy to make it a daily habit.
Go ahead, Google yourself… everyone is doing it! Remember the world wide web doesn’t forget, and in a world that is more digital then ever, your Google identity is your entire identity. It also shows how visible and active you are online. I have heard some people joke, that they do not need to do reference checks for people anymore, because they can simply Google them. A good place to start is by updating your Google profile, since this is often if the first page of search results (if you have a unique name).
You may choose to keep you work and personal life separate when it comes to Facebook, which is OK. But, you must know that what you put on Facebook could be seen by possible employers, coworkers, or customers. How will they perceive you? Feature a professional Facebook photo of yourself, and include your work experience in your profile. You never know how one of your Facebook friends can help you with valuable networking down the road.
Twitter is a great place to build your personal brand and the service that you offer. Start by following others who are similar to where you want your personal brand aspire to. Listen first, and then engage with them to build relationships. Consider using the same profile photo as your Facebook page and a custom Twitter background, and of course, a link to your webpage or Linkedin profile.
Your Website and Blog
Whether you have a personal website or a company website, refine the message that you are sending to your target audience. Start blogging about topics that are important to you or the business you are in. Let your followers know where your passions are. Be sure to include links to your social media sites.
Your Personal Brand – The Big Picture
Think about how you can tie all of your online identities together. For instance, on one social media site, provide links to your other sites. Not only does this help your connections better understand your brand as a whole, it also helps with search engine optimization by driving Google PageRank to your other identities. I also like the simplicity of about.me pages, here is mine.
Another fun tool is Online ID Calculator, which gives you a sense of your personal brand on Google, taking into consideration your overall Google rating, in addition if you are included in images, videos, and real-time feeds like Twitter.
What other small steps can you take to improve your personal brand thru social media? Do you think your personal brand affects how people feel about your corporate brand?
Photo Credit: smi23le