Before social media hit extreme popularity, your personal brand was simply referred to as your 'Reputation'.
We all know how important your reputation is within any service industry especially for BDMs endeavouring to expand their market share or brokers looking at building their referrals via their existing clients.
Given the reach social media now allows you to achieve, your reputation has morphed into a personal brand simply because it provides people the opportunity to get a sense of who you are before even meeting you or talking to others about you.
"Personal branding gives you the power to create the unknown.”
I passionately believe that there are four key elements to creating a powerful personal brand and without utilising all of them; it becomes an uphill battle to get it right.
AUTHENTICITY - Be yourself! You need to ensure that what you want your brand to be, is what you are in real life. Don't get me wrong people who follow you only in the digital world, who have never met you, will have different perceptions of exactly who you are and what you stand for. However you can control the content that you put out there for all to see, in which there needs to be a direct correlation to your expertise, beliefs, values and passions. This will allow people the respect that when they meet you face to face that you are indeed who you say you are and not a fake digital version of yourself.
CONSISTENCY - I find this word means different things to different people. Let me clarify that when I refer to consistency in helping create your personal brand, I'm talking about ensuring that you are across your social platforms (whichever ones that you use) daily, not every second day or once a week but daily. I strongly feel that people use social media because they are either are seeking information, want to be kept up to date with the latest news/trends or want that entertainment factor. Are you providing any of these?
COMMUNICATION - Engage and talk to your community. I use the word community not followers, people make up communities not numbers. You wouldn't ignore someone if they came up to you at a networking function, so why do it online? Your community wants to be informed, they want that value add piece that they can take away from seeing you. I mentioned above in authenticity that you need to be real, engagement is a great way of doing this. Your community wants to know that you are listening and if you're not going to engage with them you might as well just be advertising your product or service, as you have then taken the 'social' aspect out of 'social media'.
INVEST TIME - Without investing time you cannot have consistency. Ensure you have dedicated daily time slots to work on your brand, the more that goes in the more that comes out. The time that you can invest should make up part of your decision on how many different platforms you should be across. If you can manage four platforms successfully and invest the right amount of time into all of them, then do it. If you have limited time then maybe only one or two platforms might suit you. Whichever platforms you choose, you also need to determine where your audience spends most of their time to allow for maximum engagement.
“Never forget that your brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room"