Welcome Back Personal Branders
Beautiful people! For those of you who have been keeping up with my Personal Branding 101 series over the past several Fridays, welcome back! For those of you who are new this week, I cannot wait to let you in on lots of helpful knowledge that can be applied to growing your own brand. If you want further insight and context as to what has already been covered, take a look at step one’s blog: You Do Not Build a Brand, You are Your Brand and step two’s as well: Document. Do not Create.
As I’ve mentioned before, I want to remind everyone that the final blog in this series is going to be completely made up of your questions, and my feedback. I will be answering anything you want to know about building a successful personal brand, so let the note taking begin. To submit your questions, leave a comment below, or feel free to DM me on Instagram @laurenewalsh in this format: “Blog Series Q: xxxx”. I am so looking forward to hearing what you want to know more about. Now to add step three to our growing list of personal branding know how.
Step 3: Leverage Your Mediums
What the heck are mediums? Well, another way that this can be phrased is to leverage each of your social platforms that are available to you: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tik Tok, YouTube, and who knows, by the time this post goes live, there very well could be another to break the scene. Depending on the nature of your brand, holding a presence on all of these platforms might not make sense, and that is totally fine. It is better to go all in on the few that do, rather than being spread thin across everything. For those mediums that do align with and enhance the way your brand is shared, I strongly encourage you to capitalize on them. Each of these platforms are absolutely free to have a presence on, so the real question is why would you not be taking advantage of the brand opportunity here? Take some time to really think about if you are achieving this for your personal brand right now.
Have you seen those photos on social media where people have four different images of themselves based on what they would post on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok?
Well the idea of showing up is similar to this. You’re not going to always share the same content on the various platforms, but, you will always show up as the same person. With the various social platforms that exist, it’s very important to understand your audience on each, and then lean into this with how your content and voice are presented.
“You’re not going to always share the same content on the various platforms, but, you will always show up as the same person.”
For example, because LinkedIn is a platform with a business professional focus–both in content and in community–you want your brand’s reflection here to be very well buttoned up (this should hold true to every platform). Here are areas of focus to consider when leveraging LinkedIn: clear communication of brand mission, vision, values, goals, etc.; current and past projects that you might be involved with; Thought Leadership and how your brand is a source of this for your connections; business achievements that support your brand’s credibility; and taking time to network with other industry professionals.
Similar pieces of brand content that are shared on LinkedIn can be equally applicable and repurposed to Facebook, or Instagram. Because the nature of these platforms is less professional, the way that post copy is prepared will sound different. Images do not require strictly professional attire, posts can be more expressive, and the way you curate your page has a very different feel. An article you wrote on LinkedIn discussing your brand’s values is just as relevant and valuable a message to be shared on Facebook and Instagram. The message is consistent across every platform, the method of sharing becomes the difference.
If your brand can be supported by video content, YouTube should become a priority. But don’t stop there. Take your long video content and export 0:15 second clips to complement posts on Instagram and Twitter. You’re not only doubling content to be posted across your whole social presence, but you are positioning yourself to drive your audience from one brand medium to another. The combinations are endless and the list goes on and on when it comes to leverage and cross-promotion across social mediums, but keep in mind, no finite formula exists; each individual brand will have a unique approach that best makes sense for its goals and direction. Regardless of what this looks like, remember the key is to show up as the same person (the same brand) each time.
Although each platform has a unique vibe and purpose, I cannot stress enough the importance of mindfulness in everything that is posted. Before you upload anything, stop and ask yourself if what you are about to make public for the whole world to see is true, necessary, and something you want to serve as a reflection of your brand. These questions are not asked as often or consistently as they should be, and I will be the first to say that a lack of this step can ruin images and reputations in seconds.
As part of my work with professional athletes, I have had to deal with all sorts of reputation management issues that stem from social media. Some we were able to get in front of so well that the ripple effect was hardly seen by anyone. Other situations met the public eye, damage was done, and we tried to clean up the aftermath as best as we could. I bring this up to remind everyone that social media is literally the equivalent of playing with fire. When contained in the confines of a fireplace, fire in a home provides warmth and ambiance. When social is used in a strategically proactive way, and not a situationally reactive manner, it can bring so much value to a brand. As soon as fire leaves the fireplace and enters somewhere it should not be, a house can quickly go up in flames. A brand can quickly go up in flames as well, and hours, months, even years of hard work can be gone in an instant.
While we are on the topic of content cleanliness, please make sure that you go through and do some cleaning up of your accounts as they are right now. Go all the way back to the first post that you ever made on any account, and delete anything that no longer aligns with who you are today. Keep in mind that this goes for things you posted, as well as things that you shared, liked, or commented on. If you decide that there is just too much out there, and that what once reflected you is no longer an accurate depiction of who you are today, I would recommend deleting the account all together and starting over with a clean slate. If you do decide to go this route, make sure that you deactivate the entire account so it is completely wiped out; if all you do is delete content, it will still live as a digital footprint in the corners of the internet.
You may be wondering why nearly half of this week’s topic of leveraging platforms focused on double and triple checking your content bread trail. This was done intentionally, because no matter how great your content strategy, execution, engagement, or influence is, you don’t want mistakes from your social platform past to hinder future potential for your brand. You can’t leverage something that is weighed down by a previous lack of brand consciousness.
From here, I would encourage some reflection and inventory-taking to take place. First, consider your brand. What is the overall message and tone that you seek to convey? How does the nature of each social platform impact how your brand message is communicated to your audience? Next, I would take a look at all the social mediums that are currently being used for your brand. Do they all make sense? Are there any that maybe you should step away from, or maybe one that you don’t currently have that should be added? Finally, take time to think through the distinct ways that your brand can show up on each of its active platforms. The content that you post on one can easily be repurposed to be featured on another. By no means do you need to start from scratch every time you go to post.
Typically, whenever I discuss leveraging brand platforms–and with that, cleaning house of brand platforms–I get lots of questions that dig deeper into how you can go about doing this. For anyone who has had questions pop into your head while reading through this, don’t continue wondering, let me help answer these in my QA post coming up in two weeks! Again, leave a comment below, or feel free to DM me the question on Instagram @laurenewalsh in this format: “Blog Series Q: xxxx”. Until next week, happy branding, and have an amazing weekend!