A personal brand is positioning oneself. How do we want to be perceived? What is the first impression we want to make? Does our online presence help achieve goals in real life? What can people learn about us online? The Greek philosopher Aristotle in his “Rhetoric” identified three methods of persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos. Roughly speaking, in order to convince, we need strong supporting arguments (logos), we need to evoke the necessary emotions in order to induce people to accept our point of view (pathos), and we must be reliable and trustworthy on our own (ethos).
Sometimes people mistakenly believe that the first impression arises independently of us and it is almost impossible to influence it. Before making a decision, we obtain information from several sources: from the Internet and social networks, talking with other people, asking for professional recommendations, etc. Just as we judge a movie by other users’ ratings or the quality of a restaurant or hotel by TripAdvisor reviews, we are all judged by our “virtual footprint” —the presence and actions on the Internet — left by us over the years. Here are three tips to help your personal brand work for you, and not vice versa.
1. Perform a self-test of the “virtual footprint”
Who at least once did not google his own name? Try it and look at the results. Perhaps your presence is insufficient (people will be wondering if you really exist) or it is too much (you posted your half-naked photos with a lot of tequila on the Facebook page and forgot to change the privacy settings)? What did you write before – in comments, blogs, articles – and does the writing correspond to your views and values today? Such self-testing should not be limited to online space. Use the 360 degree response method: ask others for feedback based on their experience with you. This can be a very important source of information about how people perceive you, how they evaluate your professional skills and abilities to understand the best social media branding.
2. Know your target audience
Who is your target audience? What are their main sources of information? What is the best way to interact with them? The answers to these questions are very important in order to choose the right paths for building a personal brand. For professionals in Europe and the USA, the LinkedIn social network is an important tool for demonstrating professional skills and communicating with other professionals. It is considered strange if you are not there. To attract people and show your activity, it is important to use Twitter. Facebook – more and more turns into a gray zone, which is used as a personal means of communication, and a channel for promotion and sales. Many successful creative companies skillfully use other tools, for example, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Russia and China have their own large channels; it all depends on where you want to be and with whom you want to communicate. This does not mean that you should start creating profiles in every conceivable and inconceivable social network, but you should be present where your potential clients, partners, investors or employers are present.
3. Be sincere, be yourself
To create a personal brand may seem feigned and insincere, and many people use it to present itself not such as they really are. This is a no-win strategy. Sooner or later, people will understand what is true and what is false. Your audience will want to see a real person with his strengths and weaknesses so better hire social media branding companies. Share not only successes, but also your bitter lessons. If you are already launching a third startup, do not lie that all the previous ones were a huge success but explain what you have learned from the experience gained and how this experience will help you build an even stronger company now.