Social Media Can "Help" Build & Promote Your Personal Brand - Part 3

06/20/2011

Red carpet My greatest strength is common sense. I'm really a standard brand - like Campbell's tomato soup or Baker's chocolate. ~ Katharine Hepburn

You many not be an actor or a celebrity, however, how your peers, colleagues and employers perceive you is as critical to your career path as the carefully craft "brand" of Kate Hepburn or Lady Gaga. 

The Brand Called You, can and should be managed as diligently as if you were a rock star. Within your world are you not? 

As digital continues to integrate into how business is conducted, your personal online "bread crumb trail" takes on a more important role of  how people perceive you. Is your online presence positive or is it a liability? Do you come across as a thought leader or some one who parrots other people's ideas? Do your tweets selflessly bring value or are they thinly veiled sales pitches?

I asked 5 savvy women, who work in diverse corporate environments, if they would share how they use social media to help build and promote their personal brands. 

They talked about how to use your personal brand to stand out from the crowd by highlighting your strenghts; as well as, the importance of boundaries when it comes to letting people into your social world. Then wrapped it up with a few tips:

Be a resource for life

Remember your personal brand will evolve over time

Make your discussions real .. forget about industry buzz worlds

Find the tool/s that work best for you .. you don't have to use them all

Be active and consistent

This is 3rd and final post in the series Social Media Can "Help" Build & Promote Your Personal Brand. Part 1 Part 2  Please meet our guests: 

AmandaheadshotAmanda Coogle - Sales Consultant for PulteGroup, a nationwide homebuilder. Responsible for the marketing and sales efforts at a Centex branded community in the Coastal Carolinas Division. Facebook Linkedin Twitter Foursquare

Em HallEm Hall - Communicator who specializes in digital strategy, social media, and online marketing.  Currently works in the transportation industry and has led social media strategy for nonprofits.  FacebookBlog Linkedin Twitter Portfolio

Laura bennett 2008 80 redo (2)Laura Bennett - CEO and Co-Founder of Embrace Pet Insurance.  Facebook Blog Linkedin Twitter 

NancySchubertNancy Schubert - Global Brand Professional has worked for IBM full-time for 13 years on a contract basis.  Blog Linkedin Twitter

NazNazanin Weck - Develops concepts, designs creative marketing and communications material for the parks and recreation industry. Linkedin Twitter

Diva Marketing/Toby: How are you leveraging your “digital personal brand” to help support your career path?

Amanda Coogle:  I am leveraging my “digital personal brand” by being a reliable source in more than one subject.  I am licensed in real estate in both Georgia and South Carolina so obviously I am a reliable source for real estate; but I am also a reliable source of knowledge on marketing strategy, project management, and even nail polish colors to one of my Twitter followers. 

By being a reliable source in multiple topics, I am a multi-tasker who can handle a variety of projects in a fast paced environment.

Em Hall: It’s a crowded field in digital strategy and social media these days.  Sometimes it feels like I’m on a hamster wheel just trying to keep up! 

I try to use my digital personal brand to leverage fun and creative opportunities, and also to get the word out about side projects like I’m doing, for example, when I directed a play earlier this year, or my involvement in my local civic association. 

Those types of activities (hopefully) help make me a thought leader and influencer in my field, but also show that I’m a person who does a lot more than just sit in an office.  I think that’s what employers and clients are looking for these days.

Laura Bennett: Since I’m the CEO of Embrace Pet Insurance, my next logical step is to work myself out of a job at Embrace and keep myself busy somewhere else.

In that situation, I think that everything about me online is pretty representative of what I’m all about, my 3D-resume if you like. Of course, it’s not just a 2-D façade but years of interactions with many people so in the end, it’s the people I’m connected to that will help me with my career path down the road.

Nazanin Weck: Using my “digital personal brand” to communicate to my peers and others within the same industry, I am able to further highlight what my strengths are and what sets me apart from other marketers out there. I am able to be exposed to and learn a great deal by having a “digital identity”.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Do you set boundaries for the people who you will “friend, follow or connect with” on the social web?

Amanda Coogle: I do, but primarily on Facebook.  I think that Facebook is more personal than the other three platforms.  My rule of thumb with Facebook is that if I don’t share any friends with a person, I am highly unlikely to accept their request.  Facebook allows someone to look into the window of a person’s life so I am a little more cautious with this platform.

Em Hall:  I’ll connect with anyone who shares a passion in the topics that I discuss online.  The more opportunities for discussion and debate, the better! 

The only time I choose not to connect is if I get a request on LinkedIn and the person is a complete stranger.  Even then, I’ll message them and ask, “How do we know each other?”  Because I’m in the business of marketing and communications, having a depth and breadth to my online network is almost always an advantage. 

You never know who will call, email, DM – or message you on LinkedIn, natch – with an interesting opportunity or just to chat about something new that’s on their mind.  I like to keep it open and easy, so I also keep few security limits on who can see what.  At the same time, I realize that everything I share could be searched and scrutinized, so I’m always mindful of what I will and will not divulge online.

Laura Bennett: I don’t have many boundaries although I am not likely to respond to you if:

1. You only post links (twitter) – likely just an auto feed from your blog. If you can’t take the time and interact on twitter, I don’t want to be the sponge for your feeds

2. You aren’t real – I can tell!

3. You are a bit of an ass - that’s not what I’m about (and I get to judge!)

4. Sorry you lonely guy from remote parts of the world with 2 friends - I’m not going to hook up with you today or any other day…

Nancy Schubert: Yes. I don’t confirm all individuals to follow me on Twitter. I check out a Twitter requestor to follow me to determine from their posts if this is someone I want to be associated with. If I find cursing,  brash or negative comments on posts I won’t approve the individual to follow me.

On LinkedIn, I connect with a variety of people – almost all of whom I know professionally, with some friends and a very few family members sprinkled in.  With few well-thought-out exceptions, these are people whom I know or at least have met. Even with these criteria, I’m still am LinkedIn with nearly 400 people.

Nazanin Weck: I absolutely do! To me, its important to have followers and follow “real” accounts.

Too often, spammers are added to accounts and start to follow you, which in turn causes you to loose credibility with your peers. I think it is important to branch out to others and while followers are great for getting your information out, the wrong followers can send out a bad message and tarnish your “online reputation.”

Diva Marketing/Toby: What tip would you give to women, working in organizations (not business owners) who are considering using social media to create a more visible personal brand?

Amanda Coogle: My company represents value, a quality product, and the ability to be the customer’s ‘Builder for Life’ with our three brands: Centex, Pulte, and Del Webb.  My personal brand reflects the same representations. 

I am a reliable source with valuable information to offer, and I consistently deliver quality work and knowledge.  Because of the value and quality I deliver, my brand sends the message that I have the ability to be a source for life.

Em Hall:  Have fun!  Let your personal brand reflect the passions, interests, and activities that are complementary to – but not necessarily the same as – your career. 

Create an online portfolio that shows off the range of work you do, and make some personal business cards to hand out along with your regular business cards, when appropriate.  And this is going to sound incredibly narcissistic, but make a point of regularly Googling your name to see what shows up as the top hits.  It’s good to know what others are seeing when they look for your name.

The opportunities you can create for yourself are limitless, and you never know what direction you might head in as your personal brand evolves.

Laura Bennett: Take the time to build your LinkedIn profile to reflect you as a person, not just a list of places you’ve worked.

Sound real, like you were telling your neighbors in your kitchen about your accomplishments and don’t be afraid to boast about what makes you stand out, what makes you interesting. I wouldn’t use corporate language or trendy “guru” language – that’s not real nor interesting, believe me!

Nancy Schubert:  When starting out, try all social media tools that feel right. Then determine the amount of time you went to invest in social media and target your audience and stick with the tools that work best to get and keep you in front of that audience.

Nazanin Weck: Be active, and consistent! Many people start off posting and following and building their networks only to fizzle out once the excitement has died off.

It is imperative to continue networking and staying on top of the game within your industry. I believe there is always room for improvement, whether it’s in skills or your “personal brand.”

~~~~

Step 1: Take a cue from Kate Hepburn .. begin by identifying your greatest strength. 

 How are you using social media as a part of your career management?


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Comments

Hmm...sounds interesting. Gotta check out this one for my twitter followers, great way to share and great way learn in-depth strategy for business marketing :). outsourcing company

Posted by: Arcanys on Jun 29, 2011 6:13:22 AM

I worked with a marketing guy for a couple of years who realy took me in hand with social media. I didn't 'get' it for ages but suddenly the scales fell from my eyes! It is just another way of making relationships, isn't it? I have made sales both through twitter and LinkedIn (I run courses for women) but actually I've made more friends. Jane
PS And I can't bear people who send out automated tweets telling me to read their web site! Guarantees an unfollow. I am @Janecwoods on Twitter so if you're a real person please do get in touch!

Posted by: Jane C Woods on Jun 29, 2011 12:20:20 PM

Jane - thanks for adding to the conversation w/ your thoughtful comment. Totally agree .. the real power & benefit behind social media is in its ability to collapse the time it takes to build relationship intimacy & then nurture it along. Toss of a pink boa to you and your marketing friend!

Posted by: Toby Bloomberg on Jun 29, 2011 1:32:13 PM

Impressive post. Brand is the image that diiferentiate one thing from others. Social media plays mandatory role in branding of a product, name etc. It is important nowadays to be social with more people. I liked the concept of your blog & thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Van Hire Leeds on Jul 6, 2011 4:02:35 AM

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