It’s more important than ever in business to focus on brand building as a person than as a company. Business brands, as a whole, are pushed through advertising. This is the traditional way of building a business brand.
Social media has changed the rules. If given a chance, customers would rather connect with a person than an impersonal business brand. Where ever you can bring that personalization, you bring more influence and power. People trust a person more naturally.
Google is in the forefront of social media rule changes with emphasizing personal identity using Google Authorship. In 2012, Google’s social overlay, Google Plus (G+), connects a personal profile to content across the web to drive influence. This personalization is why building a personal brand is vital to a business person’s online identity.
Connecting your G+ profile to your blog articles allows searchers on Google to see your image next to your blog article in the search results. These searchers are 78% more likely to click on the blog article with a photo than one without. Wouldn’t you rather have your blog read over your competitor’s?
Think about how often you change companies that you represent or work for? It’s almost like a hairdresser who builds a following, then changes salons. Their customers usually follow them, not stay with the salon and change hair dressers. It’s a personal thing.
Personal branding online has never been easier with the multiple platforms available to house your personal information. Choosing the right platform depends on your style, your target audience, and your efforts. Just having a profile on a social media channel isn’t enough. You need to use it and engage with the other members to be effective.
Keywords can affect your personal branding. The single most important factor in ranking on Google is keywords. Think about who you are and what do you want to be known for. Make a list of those words because they are YOUR keywords. You want your name to be associated with these words and when these words are searched, your name needs to come up.
Each social media platform has an About Me section. Some give you a small description area and some channels allow for lengthy copy, think Linked In Profile. This is where you weave your keywords in on how you describe yourself. Let potential clients both find you and understand who you are from your profiles.
Secure your name. For many people, their name is common and might be shared by several people. It’s ok when you are 10 years old in elementary school until you get into the workforce and someone has a hard time finding you to connect. Even if you are not planning on being active on a certain social media platform, go ahead and set up a profile. Along with securing your name, you are also creating a backlink to YOUR website.
“Your” website is really a domain name that is your personal name. Link this to a blog or even your company’s website. The great thing, you can always redirect where web traffic goes. You control this domain name.
Blogging for personal branding.
“Content is king” is hyped across the internet. Create content that uses your keywords and is something you want to be known for. It can be engaging, viral, entertaining, interesting, informative, and shareable.
By blogging, you are becoming a “thought leader” in your industry and building your personal brand. Having your own blog gives you an opportunity to tell Google that the content you write is owned by you through Google Authorship. Let the public have a “go to” person when they need help – that would be you.
You might be saying you are too busy to blog or participate on social media. It doesn’t take much time. A few tricks, write when you think the best – mornings or just before bed. Write several blogs and schedule them to post. Get a ghost writer to write for you.
Social media helps to magnify your message.
Blogging gives you content to post on social media. Blogging itself doesn’t allow for a two-way conversation. Social media is what allows you to communicate in a whole different way with your audience. Your audience wants to talk to you. They need your help to solve a problem. They are building a relationship with you, not your company’s brand. You have now become more important to your company through your personal brand.