How to Pump Up Your Personal Brand

7 Tips to Get Your Social Media Routine Going

The holiday season brimming with parties is a great time to jumpstart your personal brand’s workout regime. Think of it as a gift to yourself. While December’s a slow time for health clubs and gyms to make great offers when no one’s using their facilities, the season’s non-stop festivities and lighter workload make it prime for upping your own marketing routines.

What does this mean for your personal brand?

It’s time to take control of your social media footprint and work on your business network. What matters in today’s social media connected world is the number of friends on Facebook, connections on LinkedIn and followers on Twitter. What also matters is building real connections to these people. To that end, here are seven steps to help you build your social media presence and business network to effectively represent your marketing experience and prowess.

  1. Decide that you need to exercise. To develop a strong social media brand, requires an effective social media presence. Not participating means that you’re missing a large part of the conversation. For a brand this can translate to being blindsided by consumer discussions that you don’t know are happening as has been discovered by companies like United and Comcast. Similarly, this can happen to your personal brand and career.
  2. Join a gym. Just as you would survey different health clubs, spend time lurking on the various social media platforms to get a feel for how people communicate and share on these networks and the type of language they use. (For a starting point, here’s a list of social media marketing resources, and here’s a primer to help you translate Twitter-speak.)
  3. Stretch your body. One way to get in shape online is to determine what people are saying about you. Two easy, low cost ways to accomplish this are Google searches and alerts although this may not work well if you’ve got a common name. If you find negative comments about you when searching the listings, you may want to enlist the help of reputation management specialists.
  4. Get your heart pumping with cardio. Think about how you want to position yourself just as you would when marketing any other product. Unlike the old fashioned resume, career-oriented social media tends to be forward looking. It’s a good idea to get into a social media routine.  Among the factors to consider are your profile photograph or avatar, your business title (Note: This doesn’t have to be the same one that’s on your business card), and the keywords you want associated with your profile. While you have freedom in creating your social media self, don’t lie or exaggerate the truth because the collective public will find out and the negative word will spread, potentially tarnishing your social currency.
  5. Build your strength with weights. Regardless of the size of your roledex, in social media everyone starts at the same point. To become the life of the social media party, build your friends and followers. Start by inviting people you know well to join you online. Think about how you want to use each platform as this will help determine who you want to connect with and why.
  6. Do some cool down exercises. One way to build your presence is to help former colleagues and staff. Where appropriate, give them recommendations on LinkedIn, comment on Facebook walls and groups and retweet their tweets on Twitter without being asked. Pay it forward without worrying about whether they will reciprocate.
  7. Hydrate and eat healthy. Just as you need to keep your body nourished, you need to get out and meet people and socialize in real life. Go to events, Meetups and conferences as well as coffee with people that you’ve connected with online. Remember relationships tend to grow stronger when you meet someone in person.

While some of these recommendations may make you feel out of shape at first, just remember that pumping up your personal brand to its peak condition requires a regular routine. Take small steps at first until the social media basics become second nature. It’s important for your personal brand to be active on a regular basis, just like your personal work out.

If you have any suggestions and/or questions, please add them in the comments section below to help share the information broadly.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Photo credit: greg westfall via Flickr

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