Love it or hate it, social media is here and it has now become crucial to businesses as well as building your personal brand. Social Media is our billboard to the world.
Back when Bloguettes was still a traveling workshop, I traveled the country teaching entrepreneurs how they could brand themselves and create a brand that would stand out in a crowded space. Nowadays your personal brand is just as important as your business’s brand and one important step in building a personal brand is developing your social media.
Developing your personal brand can not only help you clearly tell the world who you are, what you care for, and why others might want to connect with you, but it can also help you advance your career, get the job of your dreams, or even make a business around your personal brand (that’s what most bloggers do!)
Today I want to share with you 5 reasons social media is essential when building your personal brand.
What is a personal brand and how do I build it?
Building your personal brand is no easy task. First, you have to understand what it is. Essentially, it’s how your online presence makes people feel and what it is that distinguishes yourself from others. It’s your elevator pitch to the world! I wrote a blog post outlining exactly how you can build your personal brand here. As a recap, building your personal brand has 4 steps:
- Get to know yourself! Ask questions like “Who do you want to be?” and “What do you want others to say about you?”
- Know your objective. AKA, what is your main goal? Like, for example, where do you want to work?
- Outline your strengths and weaknesses.
- Create your brand image.
For my personal brand, I like to provide valuable content that you guys will actually be able to use in your day to day life. For me, it’s all about how you can live your life better today than you did yesterday. I am a mom, a successful entrepreneur, and wellness enthusiast. Whether it’s sharing the best Plant-Based Milk Alternatives, How to Turn a Great Idea Into a Reality, or How to Grow Back Your Eyelashes, my hope is that you take away tangible advice to help you in life.
5 Reasons Personal Branding Needs Social Media
1) Everyone is On It
I know, I know, you’re probably wondering how this is a valid reason to be on social media, but hear me out. If you want Social Media to be your portfolio to the world and have it help you reach your personal and business objectives, don’t treat it as a hobby, use it with purpose and strategy.
If you’re creating your personal brand, you want to go where your audience is and where your desired people will notice you. The key to remember is that while you may like to be on one social platform, you must know what platform they like to be on.
Is that company you like very into their Pinterest game?
Make sure yours is up to par.
Is the audience for your new business targeting millennials?
Make sure you meet them on Instagram.
This article from Forbes describes each social media as a different ‘friend’ that has a different personality, from a professional friend (LinkedIn), an inspirational friend (Instagram), and more. It’s a really interesting analogy that helps keep the goal of the platforms in check.
Once you narrow down who you are trying to present yourself to, you can focus in on presenting yourself specifically in that platform. This article from the Pew Research Center lists which platforms different demographics are most present on. My focus is on Instagram and Pinterest because I know that fellow moms and entrepreneurs are there looking for knowledge in health, wellness, business, motherhood, and more.
2) It Develops Relationships
One of the craziest things about social media is the fact that it puts you in contact with SO MANY PEOPLE! At first, this may sound overwhelming. However, shift your focus to view this as an opportunity to meet so many people and to be in direct communication with your target audience.
I have been able to get in contact with so many amazing people through Instagram and direct messaging. Jasmine Star is a big advocate for direct messaging people on Instagram. Check out this video where she shares the power of sending Instagram DM’s.
3) Receive Insight into Your Audience
There’s a difference between a regular Instagram account and a business account. A business account gives insight into the analytics of who is following you. This is extremely beneficial to see if you are on track with who your target audience is. If not, you can change your strategy so you are more in line with your goals.
I also like to use tools like Iconosquare and Planoly to find insight into my audience. Scroll down to see some of my favorite social media tools.
4) It Helps Create Your Brand Image
Social media is a place where you can show people who you are. Not only is this done through pictures, but it’s also done through captions and what you write or post to your stories. If you want to focus on being the professional in your industry, share your knowledge in the caption. If your focus is to share your interior designing skills, share beautiful photos of your home.
Ashley Petrone of @arrowsandbow on Instagram is a great example of this. Not only does she share gorgeous photos of her home and Air BnB, but she also incorporates her own personality through the use of her Instagram Stories.
Another user I like is Marie Forleo. She’s always sharing business tips as well as life advice. This is a great example of how Instagram could be used as a place to share your expertise. In her caption below, she shares tangible points that entrepreneurs can take away.
I also like Melissa Wood on Instagram as well. She is health-focused and shares videos like this with workout routines that viewers can do in their home. However, she’s also very open about her personal life.
You have the ability to decide how personal you would like to be versus how much you want to focus on specific content.
The article from Forbes suggests creating a formula for what you post and how much. The example it gives is 30% for inspirational content, 30% for the latest news content and 10% for your own thoughts. However, you can make this any way you would like. Maybe you want 40% fashion inspiration and 25% sharing business tips. It’s your space to do what you want.
5) It’s Budget Friendly
Whether your building your personal brand to land your dream job or you’re looking to break off and do your own thing, decisions ultimately come down to what your budget allows. This budget is usually slim to nothing when just starting out. That said, having a free platform is very beneficial.
HOWEVER! Do not equate “free” with “easy”. Instagram requires time and energy. From taking pictures and creating images, to engaging consistently by posting and interacting with your audience. However, when the time and energy is put into it, the benefits – such as working with your dream clients as Jasmine Star mentioned in the above video – make it all worth it.
My Favorite Social Media Tools
Building your personal brand through social media requires a good amount of planning. Posting with a purpose should be at the forefront of your mind so that people want to engage with your content. However, if you’re anything like me, creativity comes and goes. Using these tools, I can mass create and plan for social media to ensure that I ALWAYS have content.
If you are looking for a great Instagram scheduler, Planoly is my go-to. Not only is it beautifully designed, but it’s also easy to use and has built-in analytics so you can see exactly how your posts perform. There is an option to auto-post, however, I like to manually post it so that nothing goes accidentally wrong in the auto post.
Iconosquare is another awesome program for Instagram. It too, has the option to schedule Instagram posts, however, I like it for it’s detailed analytics. It gives me the most information out of all the other programs I’ve tried. I especially like that it shows what time of day is the best to post.
Pinterest is SO important when it comes to driving people to your website. Jenna Kutcher has a great blog post where she shares all about how it can grow your business. Tailwind allows me to schedule pins WEEKS in advance so that I am always active on Pinterest. It works for both pins that I make as well as repins.
If you’re anything like me, design and Photoshop is not your strong suit. This is the main reason I love Canva. Canva makes it super easy to create graphics for Instagram, blog posts, Facebook, and more. There’s both a free version, which honestly provides amazing tools, as well as a more advanced version.
When creating a brand for social media, especially Instagram, maintaining a cohesive Instagram aesthetic plays a crucial role in establishing your tone and feel of the brand. This can be done by editing photos that all look the same. And because I’m all about time efficiency, having this app on my phone makes editing photos easy so that I don’t have to have my laptop everywhere with me (let’s be real, a laptop at Diego’s swim class would not be good, haha!) I like Lightroom because it has Adobe features, but the iPhone app is free.
Looking for even more information on branding, social media, and digital marketing? Here are some podcasts and articles:
- How Branding Can Make or Break Your Business
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Digital Marketing
- A Digital Strategist’s Blogging Tips & What Every Blogger Should Know
Do you use social media to develop your personal brand? Let me know in the comments or on my Instagram!
#CallMeLore | @CallMeLore