If you’re a business owner, solopreneur, even if you’re fresh out of college and trying to find a job, you’re probably aware your personal brand is sort of a currency that you need to have in what has become a digital-first world.
Most of us know to create a LinkedIn profile with a good headshot and completed profile (there are some of you out there that I need to talk to). I would bet that most of you reading this have a Facebook and Twitter account, maybe even Google+, Instagram, and Snapchat.
There’s always more you can do. Before we jump into what else you can do I want to offer a caveat. You will want to be comfortable with the platforms you are currently using before jumping into another one. I have talked to many business owners who try to dive into what I call the big 3 (Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter) head first only to be overwhelmed and give up after a short while. Managing these platforms for success is a lot of work and takes a lot of time. Just keeping up with the constant changes on the social media platforms is time-consuming and energy sucking. Become an expert on what you’re already using before moving on to the next one.
I want you to also keep something else to keep in mind. Don’t waste your precious time on a platform if your ideal client is not there. You may as well put an ad in the Yellow Pages.
6 Ways to Grow Your Personal Brand You Haven’t Thought Of.
- Industry Specific Social Sites. Pretty much every industry has a social media site relevant to the industry. Lawyers have Avvo (and a few others), Doctors have SERMO and others, and so on. Spend enough time searching the internet and you will probably find a few for your industry. You may even find a local or regional platform for your industry.Now that you have found an industry specific site add your information. As with any other online profile make sure your information is complete and accurate. Once you have added your information it’s time to participate. It’s not enough to sit back and let the profile do the work. You have to actively participate in conversations, share information and generally be social.Something to note here. On industry specific sites there tends to be a lot of educational opportunities. Use them. If you’re not continually educating yourself on your craft then you are failing your clients.
- Quora is a question and answer site. There are questions on the site that you probably would never consider, but there are questions on the site related to what you do. Start an account on Quora and answer questions. This will build your reputation as an expert in your field and in doing so will build your personal brand.I have set a goal for myself to either answer a question or ask a question every day on Quora. This means I stay active, I am helping others and I am growing my brand. I have gained a new audience as a result. I even reconnected with an old client who wants to work with me again.
- Live Video. This one you may have thought of but if you’re like most you have hesitated to pull the plug. I get it, you’re camera shy. So am I but I co-host a weekly live video podcast series called Growth Success Radio, and I have been known to hop on a live video platform here and there. It’s time to face your fear.Not sure what to say? Talk shop, host a live Q&A session, interview another business owner related to your business or interview a client. It doesn’t have to be an hour long epic video..in fact I would suggest you keep it short and sweet if you can.There’s a reason Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google & soon Pinterest have live streaming capabilities. People are hooked and interested. There’s something about live video that excites people. It’s easy to do and once you get going you will be hooked on streaming.
- Blogging. Wait, I know to blog. I have tons of blog posts on my site. Yes, you probably do but where else have you blogged? Where have you shared your content besides Facebook and Twitter? Many of the industry specific sites allow you to blog as well. Share your blog post to those sites. After it’s been live for a few weeks share it to LinkedIn Pulse.I have shared blog posts to Business2Community and received hundreds of shares and many new connections as a result. If you don’t spread your wings you can’t soar. A quick Google search will reveal numerous places to blog or share your blog. Try to stay within your niche for business purposes.I usually suggest staying away from controversial topics but I just blogged about one, partially because I was asked and partially because it sort of relates to what I do.
- Volunteer. This one is so easy to do its surprising more business owners don’t do it. Find a way to volunteer your services or donate your products. Don’t do this just to grow your brand. Do this because it’s the right thing to do, it’s a responsibility.Lawyers volunteer their time to answer questions. Doctors volunteer to help people who can’t afford medical care. Restaurant owners donate food to shelters and soup kitchens. You should be doing your part, and in doing so you will grow your brand.I help 2 non-profits with their web, advertising, and marketing needs. I am also a Rotarian. As a Rotarian, I am the Social Media Chair for my chapter. I am also a baseball coach (although part of the reason I coach is because I wanted to coach my son). Trust me when I tell you there are a million ways to volunteer.
- Genuinely Care. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best. The Best Marketing Strategy Ever: Care.
There you have it. 6 steps you can implement today to grow your personal brand. I hope you find this useful. I would love to hear if you have another way to grow your personal brand that I didn’t include. Let me know and I will add it to the post.