Tag Archives: persona brand online

Branding You: Seven Steps to Building Your Online Brand Using LinkedIn

What’s the first thing you do before you meet someone?

Most people pull out their mobile to “Google” the person’s name. Nowadays, it is a necessity to monitor your online brand. When it comes to managing your brand for “You, Inc.,” what do you stand for?

My question stems from a recent presentation I did at Georgetown on how to build an online brand using LinkedIn.  As an alumni, it’s important to me to share my work-related experiences with students as they navigate the often murky, unpredictable job market. Grad school is challenging enough, but coupled with figuring out how to get a job afterwards is both frightening and frustrating. Answering both practical and specific questions on “getting a job in marketing or communications,” my presentation focused on breaking down how to craft a killer LinkedIn profile. Because if you cannot cut through the noise and standout from other graduates, getting that elusive job becomes harder than your Capstone project.

So, what if you’re not a grad student, is it worth worrying about your brand? Is personal branding really that important? I think there are several reasons why to answer this with “yes,” but the most succinct answer can be found on Wikipedia,

“Branding has reached a new level of imperative because of the rise of the Internet. The growth of the virtual world created the necessity of managing online identities. Despite being expressly virtual, social media and online identity has the ability to affect the real world. Because Individuals want to portray themselves a certain way to their social circle, they may work to maintain a certain image on their social media sites. As a result, social media enables the creation of an online identity that may not be completely true to the real self.”

Branding is more than logos, sharp messages, and collateral. Ultimately, what you put online and what people experience about you is your brand. Period.

Still want more? I shared a few colleagues personal branding advice and tips a few years back.

Other throwbacks worth a read:

Five Social Media Tips for Millennials

Eight LinkedIn Profile Tips to Tie Storytelling to Your Personal Brand

Eight Tips on How to Present at Your Next Industry Conference

What Five Personal Brand Nuggets I Learned from Warren Buffet

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity along with several hundred other Georgetown students to hear from Warren Buffet about the economy, investing, and general observation from a man that has seen many changes in his eighty-three years. While other students asked questions about finance and economics, I was more impressed with Mr. Buffet’s effortless and simple wisdom that is applicable beyond the financial market.  What I learned from the conversation far exceeded my expectations. In his brief conversation, Warren Buffets casual conversation prompted me to not only apply his advice to economics, but also to how I manage my personal brand.

1)   In speaking about his philanthropy works, it is evident Warrant Buffet is very passionate about making an impact in the world. In short, he summarized his interests as, “every human life has equal value.”

How it impacts personal brand: Every person you interact has value. You may not know what it is, but always treat people with kindness and respect. Say thank you regardless how big or small the contribution. How can a thank you pay off? Mark Goulston wrote an article for Harvard Business Review back in February on how to give a meaningful ‘thank you’. My favorite part of the article was research by Adam Grant and Francesca Gino that showed saying thank you not only results in reciprocal generosity — where the thanked person is more likely to help the thanker — but also stimulates pro-social behavior in general. In other words, saying “thanks” increases the likelihood your employee will not only help you, but also help someone else.

2)   He also talked about his inability to control anything from the grave.

How it impacts personal brand: A given, you cannot control everything that comes your way. Don’t try too. What you can control is your reaction. As I written before, maintaining your personal brand online can be tricky when you let your emotions rule your social media content. It about managing what you can, and not worrying about what you cannot. As I wrote previously about managing your personal brand online, your digital footprint lives permanently online, therefore think before your type.

3)   When asked about what we can expect from the economy and society, he was succinct, “humans will continue to behave as they have some for every other economic cycle. When people are scared they want to leave at the same time” This reference is regarding people leaving the stock market.

How it impacts personal brand: Whether you work in B-to-C or B-to-B it is still about people. Behind that B2B business is people, so treat them like humans rather than just another target market. In everything we do, at the end of the day, it about connecting people to others, a product or a feeling. Jay Baer’s recent book, Youtility, is all about providing value to people in terms of helping them. One of the key themes that underline this concept of utility is would clients would actual pay for your content. Think about that. Would people be willing to pay for your content? People will only pay for something if it is of value. Nothing will change this human behavior.

4)   “Nobody does it alone. We sit in the shade that others have planted.”

How it impacts personal brand: By far, one of my favorite sound bites from Mr. Buffet. This is so important to personal brand because you do not get where youWhat Five Personal Brand Nuggets I Learned from Warren Buffet Rachel Metscher are today in business or in life without help. Period. Remember to find your allies and learn from your haters. Those interactions will pave the way to creating the trees that you will enjoy and share. Harvard Business Review covered the topic of finding career sponsors and I think Mr. Buffet was right. Those who help you along the way pave the path for future success.

5)   His philosophy on investing. Simply, “find opportunity.”

How it impacts personal brand: There is opportunity in everything you do. Don’t forget that. Even the most mundane activity could lead to something great down the road. Entrepreneur.com writer wrote a great post how to look for new business ideas in everyday life that I think could be applied to the concept of opportunity.

Bonus: “You don’t need to be the smartest. Just learn how to ignore.”

How it impacts personal brand: This is all about focus and learning to drown out the noise. There will always be distractions or shiny objects, but truly successful individuals learn to have laser focus. Don’t listen to the noise. It is meant to be distracting.

At the end of the day, Mr. Buffet advice while it is intended for more financial outcomes provided more application to everyday life. Who can argue with someone who has this successful? What would you add?

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

Five Steps to Position Your Personal Brand Online

I am currently reading a book for an upcoming class that is a marketing and communications fundamental, Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout. It is a tremendous book for any communicator looking to learn how to cut through the noise of their respective marketplace. Reading this book, reminds me how professionals need to tap into the same principles to positioning their own personal brand online. But, how can you position your personal brand online?

Step One: Plan

Failure to plan is planning to fail.  Hillary Clinton

The first tip into positioning your personal brand is to know what you want it to stand for. My former colleague Sarah Hums, is working with her team of Oracle marketing advisors to better position themselves as leaders in their industry.

So, how do you plan?

Rachel Metscher Making Your Online Personal Brand

Image from info.brandprotect.com

They outlined what they wanted to achieve in terms of personal goals. Next up for the team was to construct their individual personal brand statement. The team also evaluated fellow marketing experts in their industry to deconstruct what were the components to their personal brand. Loved this concept because it is important for all of us to step back and ask ourselves simple, but poignant questions on what we want to achieve.

Step Two: Build Your Personal Brand Statement

Kimberly Peters, marketing advisor at Oracle, shared some of her experiences with developing her own personal brand statement that steers her online activities:

  1. Don’t get overwhelmed. Engage with like-minded folks and see how they share their personal brand online.
  2. Be conscious. Kimberly shared that sharing information online shouldn’t be on autopilot. Be conscious of the information you share and make sure to add your insight. That’s the whole point of social media. Don’t forget the social.
  3. Take baby steps. Kimberly took small steps towards building her statement. She wanted to make sure she conveyed her modern marketing expertise, but also her personality. I think her Twitter bio is a true reflection of both personality and her work style: Mom. Runner. Photographer. Crazy Optimist. 10+YRS Marketing Geek. Work @EIoqua. Inspiring marketers on choppy waters to stay calm, sail forward, and be AWESOME!

Step Three: Build the Ship

Now that you have your plan and your statement, how do you build your brand from the ground up? Start building up your personal brand within your current network. If you are the go-to person for social media, use your knowledge to perhaps write a blog on your experience. Or perhaps submit a proposal to speak at your next professional organization conference.

Part of positioning is to get into your audience mind. Their perception is reality, so you need to get their attention. Perhaps your industry is niched and you can share best practices on how to be successful? Who wouldn’t want to learn best practices to avoid pitfalls?


Step Four: Spread the Word

Social media is excellent for building your personal brand. You can share 140 characters of nuggets or write a blog post on helpful tips. Maybe you create a Tumblr page of what not to do in your next #PR pitch?

Whatever your content poison is, make sure you share it socially. The key to building expertise is to share your stories. Everyone has something to share.

Step Five: Monitor Your Progress

You can’t measure your success if you don’t monitor your progress. The only way to monitor your progress is to revisit your goals (see step one) on where you started and where you are today. Maybe you do this every six months. Whatever your frequency is, measure your progress to make sure you are on target. Maybe you measure this by followers on Twitter or how many conference proposals were accepted.

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.