When it comes to personal branding, you have probably heard it said that consistency is critical. Since the objective of your branding efforts is to shape the way you are perceived by your audience, it’s essential that you broadcast a consistent message. If your message lacks consistency, your audience doesn’t know what to think—and you end up with a personal brand that is weak or nonexistent.
Consistency goes beyond your logo’s colors. You must be consistent in your thoughts and beliefs as well as your promotions and the way you “act” online. It’s all a part of your brand and what you do reflects highly on your brand. If you were a Church you probably wouldn’t be promoting drinking and smoking for example.
And while the specifics of your personal brand may vary, you know by now that the key to achieving the business success you desire is branding yourself as a celebrity within your industry. You’re not just another “typical” business owner—you’re a respected expert. This position gives you the ability to lock out your competition—to charge higher prices than your competitors and still win the business. And because most consumers prefer to work with an expert, your personal brand will make it easier to attract new clients and retain your current customers. Therefore, it’s important that every element of your personal brand reflect the celebrity status you are working towards. From TV appearances to your social media presence, positioning yourself as a celebrity expert in your industry must be a primary goal.
In this article I wanted to give you specific ideas that you can focus on TODAY to start elevating your social media efforts– and specifically, how you can utilize your social media presence to establish yourself (and your brand) as the go-to guru within your market. Below are eight suggestions:
1) Tweet analysis of breaking news. Twitter is known as a great source for breaking news—and with good reason. While keeping your audience updated with regard to breaking news in your industry is helpful, I recommend taking it a step further—go ahead and post a link to a developing story, but take a moment to add your analysis. As a tax attorney, for instance, don’t just report that a new law is making its way through congress… take the time to tell your audience what the new law could mean for them.
2) Post pictures on Facebook and Twitter of yourself “in action”. If you take a look at my Facebook profile, you’ll see photos of myself and my partners working with clients in a variety of locations… at the Grammys, filming on location in Washington D.C., etc. Not only is it a fun way to keep people in the loop, but posting these pictures reminds my audience that I’m always hard at work helping my clients strengthen their celebrity status. Look for opportunities to do the same!
3) Post video tips on YouTube. Video tips are a great way to connect with your audience—as it’s easier to bond with someone “face to face” than it is by reading their status updates and Twitter posts. Take the time to produce these well—you’ll be amazed at how much mileage you can get out of a handful of well-produced video tips. In addition to the branding benefits, search engines are giving video sites like YouTube more weight than ever—so get involved!
4) Share your blog entries and articles across Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Hopefully by now you have listened to me and are regularly publishing blog entries and articles! (If not, it’s time to get with the program!) In addition to sharing your content on your website, take the time to post them to your social media accounts. Doing so is a great way to drive traffic to your website, and it is a reminder to your audience that you’re an expert in your industry!
5) Answer questions your followers and connections may have. One of the best parts of modern day social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is the ability they provide to interact with your audience in real time. If you pay attention to the conversations that are taking place around you, you will often see individuals asking questions or looking for advice. When you see an opportunity to share your expertise, chime in! Not only will you be helping the person asking the question—you’ll also be subtly demonstrating your expertise to your audience. People will take note—and over time you’ll build a reputation as THE go-to person in your industry.
6) Get personal… but not TOO personal. Social media platforms represent a great opportunity to get to know your audience… and vice versa. It doesn’t have to be all business, all the time. Let your audience know what you’re up to—where you’re travelling, what restaurant you’re eating at… whatever you’re comfortable with. The best part of this is that you have the opportunity to have fun and be yourself… while at the same time building your brand. In my case, comments on a Gator game, a status update about a trip to Bloomys (Bloomingdales as you may call it J) a picture of my favorite bottle of wine, or my new favorite recipe I found on Pinterest… it’s all a way to strengthen my personal brand. It’s important not to frop your guard too much, as yes, we are mixing business with pleasure! But you do need a happy medium of both- I like to think of the social media world as a giant cocktail party. Have fun, relax, tell jokes… but keep it classy!
7) Share actionable tips for your customers and prospects. Sharing information with your audience is great… but providing them with actionable, easily digestible tips is even better. Whether you’re a real estate broker sharing tips for adding value to a home, or a landscaper sharing advice for dealing with garden pests, providing actionable tips demonstrates your industry knowledge convincingly.
Post valuable content from authoritative sources… and add your commentary. When it comes to sharing content, you don’t have to limit yourself to content you’ve created. Of course, you won’t want to promote your competitors, but posting content from other authoritative sources shows your audience that you are “in the loop” with regards to developments in your industry. Take it a step further and add your own analysis!
At the end of the day, your overarching social media goal should be to provide value to your audience. If you aren’t doing so, they are going to tune you out. What good does it do you to have 1,000 followers on Twitter if none of them are paying any attention?
Look for opportunities to make their lives easier—by sharing tips, by keeping them up to date in regards to developments in your industry, and by analyzing breaking news. This will keep your audience engaged… and when you incorporate these celebrity branding tips, you’ll be reinforcing your standing as an expert with each and every interaction.