A very large portion of the entire world’s population is using the internet regularly and a huge percentage of those same internet users around the world are members of at least one social networking website. Facebook alone has well over 500 million users all across the globe and is increasing rapidly every day. Twitter isn’t exactly doing so bad either with over 200 million users sending out over 50 million tweets every day. Plus when you add in YouTube, LinkedIn, MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, and many others the number of users skyrockets into the BILLIONS.
There’s no denying that social media is a huge part of the world we live in today and it continues to grow all the time. Whether you are an internet marketer, offline small business owner, or another type of entrepreneur you can use that popularity to your advantage. There are many ways you can use these sites for the purposes of building your personal brand up.
So what is a personal brand? Basically your personal brand is a lot like the corporate branding for any large company such as Nike or whatever. It includes your business, websites and blogs, the products and services you offer, your personality, your image, your online profiles, and just about everything else directly associated with you and your business. Anyone trying to get into a competitive niche market, or just stay competitive in the industry they are already a part of should be actively trying to build up a strong personal brand. Utilizing social media can help tremendously with that.
Before you read any further, sit back and think about your personal brand for a few minutes. Figure out what specials skills and/or knowledge you have that you want people to associate with you, and what industry you want to target with them. Decide on the type of image you want to portray and associate yourself with. And so on. Every social networking site that I know of lets you set a profile picture and add all sorts of information about yourself, so think about what you want to put in there in order to help shape your personal brand.
Once you have a clear idea in your mind of what your personal brand is or what you want it to be, and where you want it to go, it’s time to start building and shaping it. If you don’t already have them it’s time to get accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and maybe a few of the other popular social networking type of sites that you like or think you would enjoy using on a regular basis. Be as consistent as possible with your user name, display name, profile picture, and all the profile information that needs to be filled out. Make sure you use your real name or at least the name you do business under. The objective here is for people to get to know who you are across all of the sites you use and easily be able to make connections with you. By staying fairly consistent with your profiles, you are making it much easier for people on each site to identify who you are.
Now you simply need to start using those sites regularly and consistently. Build friends, followers, fans, and other types of connections with likeminded individuals. Talk with people interested in your niche and with other people in your industry. Speak your mind, give great advice, be helpful, and do whatever else you can to make yourself well-known and respected. Remember it’s almost always best to be friendly and personable with other members even if you might disagree on certain things.
For the most part, people use social media sites to make connections and friendships with other people. They also use them to learn from leaders in their field or get more information about topics they are interested in directly from experts. And that’s the type of things you have to give them in order to build a strong brand that is recognized all over the internet. If someone asks you a question, you should answer it as soon as you get a chance. If someone makes a comment directed at you or about you, be sure you reply to it. Give out free advice or other information that your followers might be interested in, and so on. Over time, you will grow a very well recognized personal brand and that will help your business in many ways, no matter what niche you are in or type of business you own.