Social media has created an amazing opportunity to connect with our friends, our family – and, above all, our professional networks.
While we all know that LinkedIn is a vital tool for fostering and maintaining business connections, each and every social network you use is creating an extension of, and an outlet for, your unique brand. Why not get as much value out of those social platforms as possible?
How do you do it? Think like a content marketer. Here are three ways that content marketing can help you build and promote your personal brand online:
1.) Tell a Story
First, it’s important to think about who you are. After all, you can’t cultivate or promote a brand without knowing what your brand is. Take some time to think about what sets you apart – what makes you unique or interesting? What skills do you possess that give you an edge over the competition? What’s your “origin story,” or what makes you who you are?
Be aware of who your audience is, perhaps through a trick content marketers call “social listening.” Are you trying to make yourself look like an appealing candidate for a new hire? Trying to position yourself as a thought leader in your field in order to score more freelance gigs?
In this brainstorming process, be honest with yourself, and don’t be afraid to be human – it’s your little idiosyncrasies and tics that make you who you are, and your audience will always want to know the real you. In an age of air-brushing and Photoshop, authenticity matters, and connecting emotionally will always trump coming off like a freshly-polished robot.
And once you’ve got a handle on who you are and what you have to offer, start promoting it! Most social networks offer a “bio” or “about me” section perfect for you to introduce your brand narrative and single out just who you’re trying to reach.
2.) Think Visually
But don’t just stop with a bio! Your audience won’t just be coming to your page for text. Think like a designer and create a cohesive visual identity for yourself that reflects your story.
Want to stress your professional bona fides? Consider using a new business headshot as your profile picture. Want to reflect your well-rounded side? Grab a picture of yourself playing baseball, reading a book, or playing with your kids.
And think about the imagery around your headshot. Try limiting your use of color to a distinct palette that reflects your tone: Cool-headed data cruncher? Blues, grays, and blacks. World-famous Latin chef? Spicy reds, greens, and browns. Play around with your imagery, but make it cohesive. If an audience member who didn’t know you personally stumbled onto your page, would they be able to accurately describe you without reading a word? With the right visual branding, it’s possible!
3.) Create Content
Generating high quality content is the backbone for social, SEO, and email marketing strategies, which is to say that it’s the single biggest way that content marketing creates value for brands of all shapes and sizes. Routinely creating and sharing your own distinct content is an easy way to turn your own personal online brand into an asset that’s creating value for you in the real world.
And the best news of all is that it’s easier than ever to produce and share content across your social channels. Interested in blogging? Not only are there are all sorts of free platforms available, from Tumblr to Wordpress, but it’s also easier than ever to hire a developer to craft a unique site of your very own that you can update when you see fit.
Looking for something even simpler? Many social networks, including Facebook and LinkedIn, are now encouraging users to write and create using in-app publishing and notes tools – meaning that you can start a blog without ever even having to leave your favorite social platforms.
Interested in audio content? Why not start a podcast? Looking to expand your brand visually? Get started with Snapchat, take a fresh look at Instagram, and remember that it’s now easier than ever to produce video, thanks to Periscope, Facebook Live, Vine, and other easy-to-master social video apps.
Thinking outside of the box? Start playing around with new apps and social sharing opportunities, like the List App. Connect your brand with your hobbies and passions. Into reading? Look into creating content and networking with other literatis on Goodreads. More into film? Letterboxd lets you cultivate a film diary, post reviews, and share lists.
The bottom line is that there are endless opportunities to create and share content in our current digital landscape. If this content is closely tied to your unique visual sensibilities and brand narrative, then putting out into the world is sure to attract you plenty of high-value attention, the sort that pays off down the line when it comes time to network, land that next gig, or even close with a new client.
Of course, we realize that all of these opportunities – and the pressure of actually taking the time to schedule, create, and share content of your own – can be daunting. That’s where we come in! Looking for a trustworthy hand to hold as you dip your feet into the content marketing pool? Want a developer to help get you started with a personal site? Whatever your online marketing and content creation needs, Geek is here for you. Drop us a line today to get the conversation started!