Tag Archives: Personal brand tips

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

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.

20 Signs You’re a Public Relations Hipster

Last week, my friend asked for some advice with a personal brand project. Her assignment was to help her team build their personal brand within the company and crowded marketplace.

So, if you are going to tell others how to create a rockstar profile, you have to practice what you preach. Naturally, her folks checked out my profile and came up with my personal brand, PR Hipster.

Loving this concept, I did some more research. When I think of hipster, what comes to mind is someone inevitably wearing hip clothes, Ray Bans, drinks coffee often and a lot of it, and usually has a stellar vocab. Perhaps the team was right?  According to Urban dictionary,  hipster is more than fashion:

Public Relations HipsterAlthough hipsters are technically conformists within their own subculture, in comparison to the much larger mainstream mass, they are pioneers and leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals.

So what are the other signs of a Public Relations Hipster?

  1. You know the marriage between digital and public relations is coming.
  2. You’re planning on the convergence between paid and earn media.
  3. You love social media and use it often for work and personal.
  4. While you tinker with new social media tools, you know a plan and a strategy are needed.
  5. You are the first one in a meeting to think how to repurpose content.
  6. You consider yourself a storyteller.
  7. If there’s not a plan, you put one in place.
  8. You frown upon trite media campaigns in favor of thoughtful and thought provoking content.
  9. You ask “so what” and “why” often.
  10.  You understand how Content+Social+Public Relations is a winning equation.
  11. You question the norm often.
  12. You understand short and sweet is the best kind of media release.
  13. When pitching you understand personalization and relationships are key.
  14.  You get that selling new ideas is about change management.
  15. You love your haters. They are your motivators.
  16. You have learned the art of selective hearing and ignore noise.
  17. You are sometimes a contrarian.
  18. You wear plaid and other retro articles of clothing.Of Course!
  19. You likely to share your love of documentaries or indie rock.
  20. Your don’t worry about whatever everyone else is doing. You forge ahead and build awesome public relations programs.
  21. Bonus: You are disruptive by nature.

What would you add as a sign for public relations hipsters?

Added from my colleague, Allison O’Quinn:

  1. There’s an unnatural obsession to stay on top of all the latest celebrity gossip.
  2. You tend to be the event planner in your group of friends.
  3. constantly fine tuning your organizational style and discussing it with colleagues (or anyone that’ll listen).

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.