Welcome to 2019, where everyone and anyone is on social media. Some have been on since the days of MySpace and Friendster, whilst some have started in the era of Instagram and Tumblr. For those that have been on social media for a shorter period of time, the shift it has made may not seem substantial. For those who have been on since those MySpace days, however, the shift is evident.
What’s changed in the last decade exactly? Social media has shifted from platforms to simply update your friends and families to platforms where one can create a viable career off of. Although it was possible to create a career off of older platforms such as MySpace, it wasn’t as prevalent as making a career off of social media today.
There is one thing, however, that has remained the same since the rise of social media – creating a personal brand. This has always been a key component on social media. Having a personal brand is imperative for many reasons. If you want to become an influencer, creating a personal brand should be your main focal point. If you are a business owner, having a separate personal brand allows you to show your current and future clientele that there is a genuine person behind the business. There’s no need to explain WHY a personal brand is so important, but rather, how to execute and optimize your personal brand!
Complete your profile
This step is simple, but you would be surprised how many people skip it! Completing your profiles online is essential when it comes to building a personal brand. Why? Your bios, images, taglines, links, etc, give your audience a quick sense of who you are and what you do. These items set the tone for your brand. Leaving them blank can leave people confused about what you do and who you are and may send them on a wild goose chase to figure out exactly that – or they just don’t bother trying to figure out.
So many platforms provide tips on how to fill out your profile, it’s such an easy, yet effective way to start creating your personal brand!
- Header image + profile picture
- Bio (should sum up who you are, what you do, and your interests)
- Link (this could be to your website or another social platform of yours)
- Birthday (don’t worry, you can hide the year if you want!)
Facebook (business page)
- Header image + profile picture
- About me/us section
- Our Story
- Contact info (email, phone number, etc), You don’t have to include your personal number if you do not want to!
- Products/ services (if applicable)
- Profile image
- Bio (points for a cool format and emojis!)
- Link (this is the only place you can link on your profile, however, you can change it whenever you want)
- Type of page (if you are utilizing Instagram as a business page)
- Profile image
- Headline (this is typically your current position)
Figure out where you want to be
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, but at the same time, don’t try and divide a dozen eggs into two dozen baskets. What do I mean by this? If you want to create a personal brand and reach a plethora of people, spread your presence. Don’t just create one page on one social platform and hope that you will garner the numbers you want. Be versatile. This will also allow you to figure out what platforms you want to focus more on, where your target audience is, and where you thrive.
On the flip side, don’t put yourself where you don’t want to be. You don’t have to be on EVERY. SINGLE. PLATFORM. Spreading yourself too thin can impact the quality of content you put out or can cause you to “ghost” a platform completely, which isn’t a good look. Be where you feel you can deliver the best content for your target audience!
Imagine putting in effort to create your social platforms and fill out the information to a tee only to neglect them. Yeah, let’s NOT do that! Be active and be consistent. You don’t have to post a million times a day (in fact, DON’T do that), but be sure you don’t abandon any social platforms or go long periods of time without posting. If you cannot post daily, create a schedule and post on a consistent basis that works for you. Hootsuite (#NotSponsButThatWouldBeDope) is a great platform for scheduling content ahead of time in case you are away or cannot post for long periods of time!
The whole point of a personal brand is to be, well, personable. Your personal brand is your chance to show the online world who you really are and as cliche as it is, just be yourself! People tend to flock towards those who are genuine. Think about it – online influencers, such as Youtubers, have become extremely popular in recent years, some as much as main stream celebrities. Why? They are relatable and real.
Think about who you are and the qualities you want to show online, but remember, be genuine. It’s easy to spot when someone is disingenuous online!
strategize your content
Do you want to be a blogger? Perhaps, a vlogger? Or maybe you want to to do makeup tutorials on Youtube or Instagram comedy – whatever you want to do, make sure you are always providing your audience with quality content. When someone just slaps together content for the sake of having something put out there, it’s obvious and is a slap in the face to your audience.
Have a strategy in place. Do you want to stick to one niche? Do you you want to put out different content on different platforms? Regardless of what you want to put out there, ensure that it provides value to your audience and remains relevant to who you are and what you do.
Don’t cheat to get ahead
Yup, I am talking vanity metrics and of course, I am referring to paying for these metrics. A lot of people think that in order to be successful online, you have to have a lot of followers, but that is not the case. Whilst it does help, the quality of your followers outweighs the quantity. When you purchase followers, they are either bots or abandoned accounts that contribute absolutely nothing. They will never engage with your content nor reach out to you in any way shape or form.
It’s also very easy to spot when a person has purchased followers. If someone has 30k followers on Instagram but racks up an average of 10-20 likes on each post, you know something is up! If you want to collaborate with brands or other individuals for brand deals or sponsored posts, for example, don’t think they will be swayed by a high following. Brands pair up with influencers to help generate profit. If they see that your audience is strictly bots, they will immediately disregard a partnership with you because there is no way for them to generate profit off of paid for followers. That’s just the tea, sis.