Saturday, November 27th, 2021

Using Social Media to Build Your Personal Brand Online

By Mhairi Petrovic on Apr 12 2010 • Filed under Outsmarting Social Media

The concept of personal branding has had a lot of coverage in these difficult economic times as people look to market themselves more effectively in order to stimulate their careers. Personal branding is, in essence, a means to package yourself in such a way as to present a particular image for career purposes. It is the way you market yourself to your peers and prospects. 

The idea of having a professional image is not a new one – uniforms have been standard for many occupations for centuries. The difference with personal branding is that the concept is not to make you look like one of the crowd, but rather to make you stand out from it. 

When considering your personal brand you should look at many factors: the way you speak, the way you look, the car your drive, your education, and your character, but the single most important aspect to consider when building your brand is that it has to be real. It has to reflect the real you. A personal brand that portrays a false image will be apparent to everyone you come into contact with and will do more harm than good. 

Identify the unique aspects of your personality, skills and experience and use those to make “you” stand out from the crowd. By building on a personal brand that it true to you, your efforts will be more rewarded and your image will be more realistic and authentic. 

Using social media is an ideal way to build your personal brand, to expand and reinforce your network, but there are risks that you should be aware of.  

Here are some tips that will help you take advantage of social media to build your brand safely: 

1. When networking on Facebook or other social forums always use the privacy controls to limit access to your information (usually you can find these by clicking on “account”). 

2. Use Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks to make people aware of what you do or want to do. Highlight your unique experiences in these forums 

3. Google yourself or use Pipl to see what’s being said about you and do the Granny test on the results – if Granny wouldn’t approve then perhaps the content isn’t appropriate to enhance your business profile. 

4. Use your profiles in these forums to present an appropriate professional image. Include a good headshot that is authentic and don’t post any photos, videos or images that compromise your image. 

5. Portray yourself professionally (as appropriate to your industry) in all forums. 

6. Be true to who you are: transparency leads to trust – if you have a good reputation people are more likely to do business with you. 

7. Remember that you have a valid and unique opinion. Don’t be afraid to voice it. 

8. Always be respectful of others. It is okay to disagree but be polite about it. 

9. If you are young and looking for a job be aware that a party boy or girl image may seem cool to your peers but it won’t help you get a job or grow your professional network. 

10. Online networking is a vital tool for anyone trying to build a career but don’t get sidetracked or sucked in. Avoid this by scheduling time for online networking and sticking to it. 

11. Don’t make friends with everyone and anyone. Be selective. It will help you manage the volume of information and will also expose you to less risk. 

Personal branding is being used more and more to help people highlight their professional attributes and experience, grow and enhance their networks, build business and to find new careers. In our next post we will look more closely at which social media tools to use and how to use them to do this effectively.

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