By Bob Speyer and Alison Brown
Personal branding has become an important aspect to building your business online. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer ways for people to connect based on their interests and stay updated on the latest news and trends. These websites were initially designed for personal use, though businesses are now using social media to promote their brand as well. Online marketing is now the most popular form of advertising, as well as one of the most effective. By managing business connections through online networking sites, you can control your reputation both personally and professionally, as well as build your own personal trademark.
Who are you? We Want to Know
Who are you? What do you like? Where do you work? What do you do? We want to know! Personal branding is all about creating an engaging reputation for your business. By posting we get to know you, follow you and we learn to trust you — and the bigger your online presence will become over time. However, with so many websites and information readily available, it’s important to stay on top of managing your online profiles and what information you put out on the web. If what you are posting is being well received, the more positive feedback your company will acquire. By creating a “personality” for your brand, the more connected people will feel to you, as well as your company.
Getting Personal with Online Connections
If you are too personal with your professional connections online, it can affect your business in both positive and negative ways. Some argue that professional connections love to hear from you about your business and other news that relates to your industry, however, they may not be interested in personal updates that talk about how your weekend was or how you feel about politics. Others believe that the more personal your connections are with your clients, the more likely they are to recommend you and your company. When you meet a customer face-to-face you are yourself, so why not show it on your Facebook profile, or even Twitter? A balance of both views seems to be most effective. Your audience will determine the percentage of business vs. personal. If there are more comments about certain personal posts, the more people are interacting with you and your brand. Never a bad thing.
Personal Branding at Its Best
Getting up close and personal with your business friends via social media and building a personal brand to represent your company allows you to fortify relationships on a deeper level. For example, Justin Bieber has succeeded in creating a brand for himself and has cultivated a loyal fan base worth millions. With more than 11.6 million followers on Twitter, he has established a solid reputation among fans, and “Bieber Fever” is a phrase that is well known throughout the public.
Another example of personal branding success is Donald Trump. He has succeeded in creating a dynasty that includes buildings, a television show and casinos. Trump Towers or Trump Casinos are well known entities, even despite the negative press Donald Trump receives. Even though many people love to hate him, we all know who he is and what he represents. In 2011, Forbes magazine speculated that the Trump brand is worth $200 million.
While not everyone has the benefit of a certain cache or stardom behind their brand, showing a little edgy personality can help define your online presence and draw people to your posts. They may want to find out what “clever” tidbit you are posting now, and perhaps they will be more likely to share it with their network.
To Share or Not to Share
Most of us will never get to the same level as Justin Bieber or Donald Trump, but their successes show that personal branding does work and can be very profitable. By getting personal online, connecting with customers, and building your reputation, you can help your business succeed. Social media now goes hand-in-hand with online marketing and personal branding, so it is important that you take advantage of these tools when building your brand.
Have you had success with personal branding? If so, let us know!
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