Social media is a great tool to stay in the known.
For driven professionals and entrepreneurs this top of mind awareness can lead to new clients, referrals, and career opportunities.
At the bottom of this article I share three actionable items to get started.
About social media and top of mind awareness
Today people stay connected with each other's life like never before thanks to social media.If you're active on social, most likely you're already creating top of mind awareness for your brand.
For example, if "Peter" (for the sake of this article) posts a lot of pictures about surfing and videos of him playing guitar at open mics every Monday - his name may come up when people in his network are looking for someone to go surfing with, or perhaps when someone needs to book a performer for an event.
Again if you're active on social, whether you want to or not, you're are the one responsible for shaping your personal brand.
Using social media to help you achieve professional goals
The first thing you need to do to take advantage of social media for your career goals is to DEFINE yourself as a professional first.
You need to have clear answers for:
- Who do you help?
- How do you help them? and...
- How are you different than others who do the same? - your unique sales proposition (USP).
Think about the answers to these questions when you share updates and upload photos online.
I'm not suggesting that you stop posting about surfing and playing the guitar, but if you're a graphic designer on the side, make sure you post content that promotes your work and the professional side of you too.
In one sentence, use social to make it easy for people to think about you, when they need something that you're good at.(Tweet this)
Three actionable items to get started
- Claim your name in popular social sites: If you have uncommon name then it doesn't matter if you're late to join the social media game, but if is common, you better hurry and make sure you claim your name before another "John Smith" does.
- Here are 8 sites I recommend making sure you have a profile on to get started: (1) Facebook, (2) Twitter, (3) LinkedIn (4) Google+, (5) Slideshare, (6) Pinterest, (7) Youtube, (8) Instagram.
- Connect with potential prospects/recruiters: I'm not suggesting you approach people just because you need or want something from them, I'm recommending that you make an special effort to connect and stay in touch with them to give, give, give 80% of the time, so when you do actually need something, they will be more willing to help you.
- This is an important practice specially for entrepreneurs who are responsible for keeping their business running. Don't be afraid of growing your network and becoming "business famous", but embrace it and make the most of it.
- Stay active: OK now that you're really thinking about what you're doing with your personal brand online, make sure that you stay active and consistent.
- Continue with the random personal posting if you want, but allocate some time to share articles, pictures, and thoughts that align with the professional you on a regular basis.