We are often asked to help build social media profiles for senior leaders as they have connected with how powerful a digital personal brand can be for building engagement and trust. In this second blog we'll give 5 simple kickstarter steps to build your online brand.
Step 1: Develop your personal ‘why’ statement.
In the words of Simon Sinek it starts with why - ‘why you get up in the morning, what is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.’ And this is the first part of the story that your brand -online or offline - should tell. There’s a great video on his site to help you get your personal 'why' statement together. This will be at the core of building your summary information.
Step 2: Update information regularly.
Your online brand should reflect more than just your current role. It represents the whole you – past, present, future, at work, at home and at play. If you are new to a company make sure you list your new role quickly on your LinkedIn profile as new colleagues will be looking to learn about you and connect. Smart companies will use social media to onboard you too. Include your previous roles, interests, hobbies, education, achievements and causes you support.
Step 3: List your skills.
Don’t underplay this part of your profile on LinkedIn. Did you know you can list up to 50 on your profile? The skills list can help recruiters or contacts find you more easily. They also help push your Google ranking – your personal SEO – higher.
Step 4: Share your point of view or stories.
Align your digital brand with what you think and know – as a thought leader. You might already be contributing to articles or white papers and you can share them with your networks on LinkedIn and Twitter. How about taking the next step and writing a 400 word article on a topic and sharing your personal views and expertise? This will improve your score on the Social Selling Index. Automation in social media is well established and we’ve all seen the corporate posts where several executives from the same company share the same ‘personal’ tweet. Cut through the clutter with authenticity. If you have time, advocate for your company in a way that's true to you. And remember, it’s not just your professional expertise you can share views on, contribute to dialogue on the things that matter to you - your interests, hobbies and your purpose.
Step 5: Refine your verbal and visual identity.
For some, the profile picture is the first thing they put online and it’s often the first thing the profile builders want you to insert. Don’t quickly upload a cropped shot taken from a recent event, social engagement or holiday – unless that fits with your role and purpose. For most professionals on LinkedIn a quality headshot straight to camera is best. Your verbal identity is important too, write as you speak, use the language and colloquialisms that are authentic to you.
Lastly – and it’s not a step but a necessity – check your settings. Can your profile summary be seen by everyone?
If you follow these steps then new contacts or people researching you before you meet are getting a pretty good picture of who you are.
They’re starting to form a first impression long before they shake your hand, and now they know enough about you to have a conversation at a level beyond business. You’re starting to build the ultimate social currency – trust.
We'd love to hear some more great social media profile tips, so do please comment below.
If you've just joined the conversation and are wondering why all this matters, read our previous blog Is your digital brand fit for purpose?
The views represented in this article are our own.
Keywords: Digital, Branding, Marketing, Personal Brand, Personal Development, Communications, Social Media, SEO, Leadership