A personal brand on social media should allow people to recognize you and your content. Your brand is what you stand for and what people should expect when they click on your social media posts. After reading this article, you will fully understand what a personal brand is and what it will take to create a successful one.
It Isn’t About Putting Your Face EverywhereYou may have seen websites and blogs that are cram packed with images of the creator. Just because you have your face all over your social media profile and all over your guest posts doesn’t mean you have a brand, nor does it mean you have a personal brand. Google canceled the Google Authorship program because people were sick of seeing other people’s faces splattered all over their search engine results.
Tie Yourself to A Brand Idea or PrincipleHaving a brand means you stand for something. Brands have principles to help quickly explain what the brand is about. Volvo tied their brand to safety, Google tied their brand to “Do no evil,” and BMW went with, “The ultimate driving machine.”
Tie yourself to a brand principle so that people know what to expect when they see you or your content. Are you going to be right wing? Are you going to be funny? Is your content going to be brutally honest?
There are certain mechanics involved with social media dissemination, whether you are tying yourself to a principle or not, so have a skim read of this guide on social media when you get the chance.
Think About Stand Up ComediansIf you are struggling with the idea of tying yourself to a brand principle, think how standup comedians do it. What do you think and what do you expect when you see a standup comedians face? Here are a few examples:
• Chris Rock - Offensive takes on life issues
• Jeff Foxworthy - Redneck comedy
• Joan Rivers - Harsh analysis of modern life
• Lewis Black - Angry, loud and exasperated comedy
• Jeff Dunham - Tongue-in-cheek puppet comedy
• Bill Burr - Intimate and heartfelt stories about his life
Now, think of what you would expect if you didn’t know these standup comedians and their brands. Consider how off-putting it may be if these comedians betrayed their brand, if Chris Rock told child-friendly kiddy jokes, or if Jeff Dunham took up mime comedy.
Colors Are ImportantYou may wish to include colors within the spectrum of your personal brand. It is not a bad idea because people may think of you when they see those colors in the future. There are no hard and fast rules on color with regards to brand success, but it pays to understand how and why adding color works. Here is a brief and concise explanation of color that may help you pick one for your personal brand.
Identify Your Area of ExpertiseStop…do not interpret this header with the most commonly used meaning of “Expertise.” Everybody is an expert at something, even if your expertise is being able to guess how many jokes will be unfunny in an episode of the Big Bang Theory (side note: all of them).
Maybe it is time you experimented a little more. What type of content have you created that has received the most attention? What is it about you that people like the most? Can you create more of that content and can you highlight the things that people like about you?
Not to be crude, but if the biggest reason why people click on your social media profile is because you have massive boobs, then consider posting two or three different pictures of you in different outfits every week. It may not sound like an expertise, but if it gets you attention, then leverage it.
In an ideal world they should, but they really don’t have to. For example, George Carlin is funny, but his leftist ideas are silly to the point of being childish. Yet, he manages to mix his expertise (being funny) with his brand principle, which is being childishly leftist. If he stopped being funny, he wouldn’t gain attention, and since his brand is now well established, he has to continue being leftist to remain popular. Can you imagine how many fans he would lose if he walked out on stage and made jokes about jobless whiners, or jokes about how much money he made last year?
Should Your Area of Expertise and Your Brand Principles Match?
Even if you do not wish to have a personal brand that offers humor in any way, do not rule out comedy completely. For example, when you are marketing your social media profile and/or your social media brand, consider adding a little humor into your marketing. You can do this so long as it does not directly contradict your brand principle, and/or it is appropriate.
Keep Your Brand and Your Tone ConsistentAs you have probably figured out, keeping to your brand principles is important. Again, if Jeff Foxworthy did a standup routine about life as a super-rich celebrity, he would lose a lot of fans. Yet, what you should also remember is that your tone needs to remain consistent too.
A social media influencer that made bold and scary statements about politics may lose followers if that same person started giving wishy-washing on-the-fence statements about politics. If the comedian Lewis Black did a standup routine where he didn’t raise his voice and where he didn’t become aggravated, he may lose fans.
Do Not Keep Your Content the SameDon’t do a Ghostbusters 2, which means don’t try to learn from previous mistakes with a carbon copy of what worked last time. Stick to your brand principle, but be willing to explore it in different ways.
For example, if your personal brand principle is that you will always support animal rights, it doesn’t mean you always have to show horrid pictures of animals being mistreated. You may also show great images of people being kind to animals, you may show beautiful and happy people with animals, you may show what you did to help protect animal rights, and you may show what animals have done to contribute to society.
How to build a personal brand online
ConclusionCreating a personal brand on social media is not easy. It requires a lot of thought because you may be stuck with this brand for a very long time. It is not about you or images of your face, it is about what you stand for and what people should expect when they click on your social media posts. Think long term and remember to exploit what gets you the most attention (so long as it is healthy and morally sound).
Eva Wislow is a writer and career coach at Careers Booster resume writing service. When she's not helping people improve their careers Eva enjoys reading.