Using Content to Portray Your Professional Brand
In our last blog, Mark discussed how to determine your professional brand. If you missed it, here are the four steps he suggests:
- Identify personality traits that you like about yourself.
- Interview the people who know you the best.
- Think about how your personality fits with your company’s brand.
- Brainstorm ways that you can showcase your personal brand online.
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Okay, so, you’ve done the soul searching, you’ve taken the quizzes, you’ve interviewed your inner circle, you’ve aligned your brand with your company’s brand. Now, you’re ready for step 4: how you’re going to show who you are online.
But, how do you do that? Here are four more steps to help you along the way.
Step 1: Pick a few topics that represent your brand
Jot down the topics that are important to you. Is it social media management? Is it personal style and attire? Is it typography? Is it leadership? Is it women in the workplace?
What do you want to be an expert in?
Take, for example, Henry Nothhaft, Jr. As the Chief Product Officer of Trapit, he is interested in content curation and how it can help marketers and salespeople. So, his LinkedIn newsfeed is full of information on content curation. That is part of his individual professional brand.
Step 2: Pick your social channels
By now, we all know that each platform has its own purpose and vibe: professional Linkedin, friendly Facebook, visual Instagram, and Twitter, which does it all. Some platforms accommodate certain topics better than others.
For instance, let’s imagine that you are a make-up artist. Posting selfies of your new favorite lipstick may not be appropriate for LinkedIn, which tends to favor brainier posts. It might be better suited for something like Instagram, which thrives on visual culture.
Step 3: Find content to share
Okay, so, you know the following:
- What you want to talk about
- Where you want to talk about it
The next step is to start talking about it. One of the easiest ways to start talking about your topics is by sharing links to great articles, videos, blog posts, and news stories.
There’s a catch, though. You have to find the links to share. For starters, you can share links from your company’s blog, or perhaps you have your own blog. You can share those posts, too.
A word of caution: If you share only your company’s blogs, your feed will look like corporate spam. If you share only your own blog posts, you will look self-centered.
There’s a general rule for social media sharing. It’s called the 4-1-1 rule, and it was popularized by Joe Pulizzi, the man behind the Content Marketing Institute. For every self-serving tweet, you should retweet one relevant tweet and, most importantly, share four pieces of relevant content written by others.” (If you’re not in the biz, sharing content written by others is commonly referred to as “content curation.”)
While this rule was written for Twitter, the same applies across social channels. For instance, the posting schedule for the CEO of a wearable tech company might look like this:
Monday Post: Promotional – Information on your company’s products or services.Tuesday Post AM: Relevant content from others– Topic: Leadership in tech companies.Tuesday Post PM: Relevant, educational content from the company’s blog.Wednesday: Educational content from a well-respected industry thought leader – Topic: The future of wearable devices.Thursday: Relevant content from others – Topic: Marketing through wearable devices.Friday: Relevant content from others– Topic: Creating harmony in the C-suite.
Next week, we will talk about how to find great content to build your professional brand. For now, let’s talk more about how to infuse your personality into your content sharing strategy.
Step 4: Optimize for your individuality
As you pick out pieces of content to share, return to the personality traits that you like about yourself. Sharing content is a simple way to let your personality shine through.
For example, I am a formally trained dancer, and consider myself pretty artsy. So, I like content that is visually appealing and focuses on how things work and move. The content I post tends to reflect this. I cannot write about my love for motion all day everyday, unfortunately, so, with Trapit, I will edit the title of a piece to reflect my interest or perhaps change the photo to something I find more intriguing, something I think will capture my audience’s attention, and that resonates more closely with my personal brand.
One final tip: Be mindful and be consistent
You must remember to be mindful and be consistent. This means be consistent with your brand and be consistent across platforms. Although it’s great to show different sides of yourself, you don’t want these sides to contradict each other.
We’ve all met someone and described them as “being all over the place.” One minute they like red, the next they like blue. They agree, they disagree, you never know what you’re going to get. When posting on social media, you don’t want to give off this impression. It’s not good for business. People will see what you post, and if you are “all over the place,” they will distrust you and your professional brand.
You need to be congruent when you’re posting, regardless of platform. Don’t just share anything you come across, or write a rant about something topical. Remember, Mark pointed out that we must be professional when portraying our personal brand. Stop and think. How will this reflect on me and on my company?
Once you know who you are, have defined your brand, and are ready to reveal yourself online, remember that content curation is going to be your best bet for standing out. You want to set yourself up for success, content curation will get you there.
Mark will follow up with more details on how to curate content, and how it all works.
Download our white paper called “Content Curation: What is it, and Why should I care?“
Image via:Stefano Principato