Today’s guest blog is from the lovely Claire Cardwell…

We’ve all seen the articles about how a good a Personal Brand is vitally important these days – whether you have your own business or work for someone else, ‘people buy people,’ and you need to develop your own great personal brand.

So how do you go and do this?  How do you stand above the crowd?

#1.  Be consistent

Be consistent across all your media platforms.  Make sure your profiles are as complete and accurate as possible.  Have a recent photo of yourself as your profile picture.  Avoid using photos of your pets/children or a company logo as your profile image. 

Think before you post.  Yes, some jokes you might post on Facebook or Twitter to a select audience, but they are probably not fit for LinkedIn.  However, in developing a personal brand it is very important to walk the walk as well as talk the talk across all your interactions, both virtual and personal.

So, when in doubt – keep it professional.

#2.  Have a Plan

Are you trying to get a job, promote a business or maybe even turn a hobby into a business?  If so you need to make a plan.  Subscribe to blogs and websites in the field/s you are passionate about and share the cream of the crop.  Promote your own business and personal brand by writing blogs. Also, consider sharing examples of your work (where feasible). Join industry groups and forums online and post the odd discussion point and comment and share other people’s posts.  In general, I find that a mix of about 1/3 posting my work/art etc. and 2/3 other people’s blogs/websites works really well.

Most social media experts concur that this is a perfect ratio.

#3.  Don’t make it all me, me, me…

Don’t bombard your audience with self-promoting / congratulatory material.  It’s all very well to update your online CV – but don’t start bragging.  Rather think about what your audience wants/needs to know and give them that information.  Start a blog and think about how to give your audience the best advice.

Don’t forget to include plenty of visuals/photographs to break up the text.  Humans are visual creatures and a long line of closely typed text is often too much to take in.

If necessary break a long post down into 2 or 3 more manageable chunks.

And – this is important, at the end of your article include an author photo, a brief bio, a call to action and your contact details/website etc.

Consider asking if you can guest blog, this will give you a wider audience and help you establish credibility as an expert in your field.

#4. Start a vlog (video blog)

Yes, it’s still on my list of things to do!  But if you buy a headset and mic you can do a radio pod cast or even do a voice over on a power point presentation.

#5. Diversify!

Today’s social media environment is more diverse than ever.  I tend to focus on LinkedIn, beBee, Facebook and Twitter, but also have personal and company pages on Pinterest, Instagram, Medium etc.  Although I must confess that I haven’t done much with Instagram and I also haven’t been near Snapchat as I don’t have a smart phone……

#6. Be Disciplined

This is important.  I schedule about 2 hours a morning to do my social media marketing and interactions.  Then I follow up to check on notifications at lunch time and once more in the early evening.  The second two sessions can not last longer than about half an hour at a time.

It’s very easy to get distracted by social media and I find that blogging sites like beBee and Medium to be completely addictive…..  So I need to block off time for social media and then be totally committed to what I have set out to achieve work wise that day.

#7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.

Often mentors can turn into your greatest assets – not only are they a gold mine of useful information, they will, on occasion introduce you to potential new clients or other influential people in your industry.

#8.  And Finally – Don’t forget to promote all your posts across all Social Media

Don’t tag a bunch of people though (unless they asked you to) – rather send them a message with your article/post URL.

I’ve been blogging consistently for nearly two years now and have seen great results, not just in my architectural practice but also in the other opportunities that are opening up for me every day.  These tricks are the best I have discovered in terms of how to promote yourself and your work and stand out head and shoulders above the crowd.

Claire Cardwell – I am originally from the UK and moved to South Africa in 1999. I started Blue Designs in 2004 after working as a Driver for Avalon Construction on a luxury home in the Featherbrook Estate. In my spare time I am a keen artist and photographer.

http://www.bluedesigns.org/

If you’re interested in submitting a guest blog to be featured on Social Marketing Solutions, please send your blog to sandra@socialmarketingsolutionsllc.net for consideration. Topics can be anything related to social media, digital marketing, or personal branding. 

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