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7 Tips for Personal Branding in a Socially Networked World

by Guest

The following is a guest post by James Adams.  Enjoy it, and share your thoughts on these tips in the comments section below.

Your personal brand separates you from the nameless masses. The label that you place on yourself identifies who you are and what you do. To promote that personal trademark, your strategy needs to include social networking venues like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn and Technorati. Establish long-term goals for your personal brand and work toward a definitive purpose. Here are several tips for developing your personal brand.

Planning is essential

Before embarking on your brand quest, set specific goals. What do you want others to think when you speak about yourself? Take a critical and objective look at where you are now. Set realistic goals based on those observations. These goals should not be hollow. It is easier to create a map when you know your destination.

Find your niche

Where do your opinions diverge from the conventional thinking? What aspects of your expertise have not gotten enough attention? What sets you apart from those who have already created their personal brand? Knowing this information will help you further define your own identity.

Treat it like a strategy game

In strategy games, you need to think several moves ahead. You need to have contingency plans for your opponent’s activities. The best time to come up with alternatives and branding ‘moves’ is before you go live with your ideas.

Engage social platforms

You have been told that you need to have a presence within every single social networking sphere. Each audience is different. Each sphere adds to your brand and your personal reputation. Start with two or three methods of engaging your audience. Use forums and LinkedIn. Use Twitter and your personal blog. Pick two of these platforms. Watch the activity within these arenas to determine whether they are appropriate for your needs.

Perform a trial run

Bloggers can lose interest in their subject long before they have established a personal reputation. Before advertising yourself and establishing authority, make sure that you can follow a writing schedule. This will prove that you can stay on subject as well as give you content.

Execution is the next step

After developing a framework for your personal branding strategy, you need to execute your plan. Each step for the first year should be planned. You should know how often you will post on your blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook. You should know what your profile will say on LinkedIn, and which blogs on which you want to guest post. Give yourself ample time to determine the effectiveness of the campaign.

Domain name

Choose your domain name based on the personal brand which you wish to create. If you are the X expert, make sure a correlation is made between you and X. The simplest option is to fashion a domain based on your name or a permutation of your name.

Interaction

You know who the movers and shakers are within your field. They are the ones with thousands of unique monthly readers. They are the ones with whom you need to associate. Interact with the bloggers of your favorite blogs by intelligently commenting. Do not say, ‘hey, nice post,’ but give those people an idea of why you enjoyed the post and why it was poignant. This gives you exposure and a reason for readers to come to your blog.

Scheduling

Create a schedule which is based on your personal habits. Do you write your words for the week in a single sitting? Do you wish to have a theme for the following week? Each move which is made should be absolutely deliberate. Focus on having more interactions which will positively promote your brand.

Planning is the foundation of your personal brand. Execution builds the structure of that brand. Your brand is your business and your reputation.

James Adams currently works at Cartridge Save where he reviews and compares printer ink.

Photo credit, susanne nybergh.

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  • http://citysylvester.com Karl “City” Sylvester

    James, I like this post.

    Scheduling used to be the hardest thing to commit to, as I had planned my day according to things needing to get done as opposed to the best time for me to complete those certain tasks.

    Example: I would schedule to write a blog post at 10pm, when I had most of my creative inspiration usually hit me in the late afternoon.

    Scheduling is definitely important, but make sure it fits into your natural performance tendencies.

  • http://twitter.com/dooid Per Schmitz

    Very nice guideline. One thing worth a mention is the integration of your social media profiles. As you say it’s important to have a personal domain. This landingpage should work as a hub for all your on- and offline details, containing links to your social media profiles and real-world contact data. Make sure, nobody misses a piece of your “personal branding puzzle” …

  • Jamie

    Thanks for the post James.

    I see you recommend Twitter. I started using twitter around 4 months ago and just find it dead set painful. I just don’t see how people can keep up with all the noise, especially once you start following more than 30 people. It seems like a numbers game to me. Wow, you have 20,000 followers now I need that many too just too look important :). But seriously. I am struggling to see how it is of any benefit and look forward to one day using it effectively.

  • http://twitter.com/jonnygibaud Jonny Gibaud

    A good overview of an effective branding strategy. First define, then project and finally extend.

    Your personal brand also helps you make continual forward momentum in your own life and drive your future success.

    It is not only others that buy into your Personal Brand, you also buy into it. You live your Personal Brand, from the purchases you make to the clothes you wear, to the way you network.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Todd-Skinner/100002364589189 Todd Skinner

    Great Article!!! You must become the expert on what will maximize the company’s value and how important your contribution is to them achieving this goal. Especially right now with as competitive the job market is you really need to stand out.

    Todd Skinner – Visizzle – Marketing – Branding – Design

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  • http://brandvizor.com/ Omar Uddin

    Great tips! How often do you recommend 360 reviews of your personal brand or professional image to better understand your own brand?

  • http://www.inkjet-uk.co.uk/ inkjet

    This article is perfect example of how to do successful personal branding.All 7 tips are amazing and 4 from them are quite new and important for me that i was missing from time. 

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