I had the opportunity to speak at a Women’s Leadership conference about personal branding. Myself and three other panelists fielded questions from the audience as well as provided tips for success in the social industry. There were so many key takeaways but I rounded out five questions and our answers to each to give you all a glimpse of our personal branding breakout session.
What is your definition of personal branding?
My definition is that you make your own rules. If there is one thing about social media, it is that there are not many boundaries. If you are a musician, a political leader or a religious figure you are going to have different target audiences, different dialogue and different content that you are trying to push out. So you make the rules. You figure out what and who you want to be and you stick with it.
I’m so overwhelmed with my busy schedule but still want to build a brand on social media. How do I handle both?
It is easy to get overwhelmed with your day-to-day life. After work, clients, kids and whatever else you have going on, your first thought is not to tweet every half hour of even just every day, so try to automate. If you see articles that you like and want to share, or have thoughts that you want to push out, use tools like buffer and tweetdeck to create posts to send out at a later date. But remember, you can automate to show frequency, but you can’t automate engagement. Make sure you still check your posts each day so that you can reply and talk to those who are trying to interact with you.
What is the BEST social media platform to help with personal branding?
This is subjective but I hands down say Twitter. On Twitter you can talk about things that interest you, things you dislike, things that are happening in the moment, show pictures, converse with others and so much more. So many other platforms like Facebook and Instagram are all about the visuals. With Twitter you can have more of a variety of content and at a much higher frequency.
I am a college advisor, how do I stress the importance of personal branding to my students heading out into the workforce?
Sometimes telling students that recruiters are looking at their social media profiles just isn’t enough. Students know that everything they put online can be tracked and they just don’t think twice about it. I told a story about my days at FSU when the compliance team would call in anyone and everyone that was in the athletic realm under the guise that it was a meeting to discuss conduct or an upcoming event. When in fact, it was a meeting of how they had looked into all of our social media sites and found pictures that should not be online. Sometimes the best way to teach them is to show them.
What is the one key take-away I should have from this session?
Be authentic. It is simple, but true. You can share your religious beliefs, you can share political views, and you can talk about things that interest you. Just make sure that you are okay with the fact that not everyone is going to agree with you and not everyone is going to like it. But, as long as you are tasteful and you are being yourself, you should be fine.
Creating a personal brand is exciting so have fun with it. If you have more questions about personal branding or would like further assistance, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.