Sometimes an entrepreneur isn’t necessarily looking to create an entirely new business. Or, in other cases, they’ve already created a business and are looking to better brand themselves as an individual for the purpose of thought leadership promotion or influencer status. In short, marketing isn’t always about pushing an agenda focused on a single business.
There’s also an added context to personal marketing — if you’re looking for a job or trying to network in order to establish yourself as an entrepreneur, both your superiors and market influencers will look for you on social media above all else. In fact, a 2010 survey found that 92% of companies polled used recruitment techniques specific to social media.
As a professional, you’re entitled to brand and market yourself as a standalone person outside of your business endeavors. Now that social media is one of the most important and useful tools used in business marketing, it’s easier than ever to create a brand image for yourself online and then market yourself to your peers and consumers in a valuable way.
How you market yourself vs. how you market your own created content can be very different. While it’s possible to market content without marketing yourself, it’s almost impossible to create a good brand image without including your own created content into the mix.
Why? People above you in the mysterious world of social media business caste systems will always ask one question about those they want to connect with: what value do they have? The content you create speaks volumes about you as a person, and gives others three different important pieces of information about you:
- Your areas of expertise.
- Your skill level at content creation.
- How well versed you are in your area of expertise.
All three of these bullets are important components to your personal brand image. For entrepreneurs and professionals who have a business attached to them, this task becomes easier. If you own a fly fishing business, for instance, your area of expertise is already displayed. The success of this business can speak to how well versed you are, and your skill level at content creation may not actually be a notable factor when it comes to peer networking — your business speaks for itself.
However, professionals without a business only have the content they create to showcase to others online as a means of marketing themselves. Note that content isn’t just about blog entries or infographics; it’s all writing and media you produce online. This includes resumes and tweets, copy data and site content that reflects you as a person.
Keep it Simple
When you’re introducing yourself to the Internet, it’s important that you keep things short and sweet. Why? Because those hunting around for new networking opportunities aren’t going to go through an eight-page resume about all of your trials and tribulations.
Many influencers on Twitter simply go through the people that follow them and judge those people based solely on their profile copy, header and profile image. This is a specific example, but it highlights the need for brevity. You have to perfect an online version of the elevator speech. Every tool you use to market yourself has to both get the job done quickly and you have to find ways to get yourself noticed in an instant. Draw people in with intrigue, then hit them with the heavy marketing.
Utilize Social Media Fully
When marketing yourself as a professional, there’s no room for standing around and waiting for networking potential to fall into your lap. Some businesses can get away with SEO and search engine techniques in order to be found, but a personal marketing strategy isn’t usually so cut and dry.
Thus, the onus is on you when it comes to getting yourself out there. Follow influencers, respond to comments, engage in discussions, create and push content. Join LinkedIn groups, promote yourself to others — anything that can potentially get you more exposure should be done ASAP.
Looking for more social media marketing ideas? Learn how, why, and where you should be using hashtags in your social media posts.