“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
Five years ago, social media helped jump-start my career. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in History from East Carolina University in May 2011, I was struggling to find a full-time job. I had come to the realization that the industry that I was pursuing would not provide me with a full-time job unless I returned to school to complete my Master’s degree immediately. I was not interested in going through two more years of school and I did not want to continue down the path of dead-end sales jobs.
In between working part time jobs, I started managing social media for small businesses in Philadelphia. I absolutely loved consulting. I felt renewed. I believed that I had found my calling and real passion in life. Starting a new career has its challenges. However, my passion for social media outweighed the struggles that I thought I would have to go through in order to establish myself in this industry. Here are my 5 tips to help you ignite your personal brand on social media:
1. Establish Your Channels
First and foremost, I believe that it is very important to establish your social media channels. These channels will be the windows into your personal brand. Regardless of the channels that you select, make them professional. Add a headshot, update your bio, and share relevant content. I have established my personal brand on Twitter and LinkedIn. While most people struggle to be present on every social media channel, consider my rule of thumb: less is more. Find your audience and establish on one to two channels. You can always add more to your arsenal down the road.
2. Build Your Audience
Once your channels are established, it’s time to build your audience. Start by researching like-minded individuals in your niche. For example, I used relevant #’s on Twitter to build my network. I researched #socialmedia, #digitalmarketing, and #personalbranding to find people who shared my interest and passion in social media. Once you start to follow those like-minded people, engage and build that personal connection with them. 9 times out 10, you’ll get a follow back if you create that human engagement with them.
3. Participation Is Key
I cannot stress this enough. You have to participate in conversations if you want to build your personal brand on social media. Luckily, there is no shortage of ways to participate. For example, I participate in 5 Twitter chats per week. I also participate in at least 1 webinar per week. Participation is going to help you build your audience and establish your influence.
4. Share Your Passion
I consider myself very lucky to be where I am today in the social media industry. If you find your passion, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. My passion for social media has ignited my career. When I engage with like-minded people in conversations that I participate in, their passion fuels my passion. Find your passion and share it with your audience. Odds are they’ll share the same passion and your brand will become remarkable.
5. Establish Your Influence
Finally, it is very important to establish your influence. Credibility is everything when building your personal brand. Look for experiences that will help you expand your resume. Your passions will fuel your desire to establish your industry influence. This takes time. It does not happen overnight, so be patient.
Looking back, I am so proud of myself for working through those challenges and following my passion in life. I have discovered how to build my personal brand from scratch. All of my knowledge of social media can be attributed to my hard work diligence and research five years go. Along the way, I figured out how to use social media to build my personal brand. It has been an amazing journey so far, and I cannot wait to see where my passion for social media takes me.
First posted on May 22, 2016 by Sarah K. Walters