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20 steps to building your social leadership brand in the digital world


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Here are 20 key focus areas you can do to build your personal brand. Some are specific actions, others ideas you can apply across your social media participation, but collectively, this will help establish you as a social leader in your field

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20 steps to building your social leadership brand in the digital world

  1. 1. What is being a social leader? It’s taking the story of YOU. What YOU stand for. What YOU believe in. How YOU think. How YOU act. YOUR eminence. You package up the essence of YOU and amplify it online. A Social Leader takes the magic of who they are in the physical world, and magnifies it digitally 20 Steps to Building Your Social Leadership Brand in the Digital World 1 2 3 4 Spend time reflecting on what you want to be known for – your eminence. It’s not your job, it’s your passion, your magic. What makes you great, unique, compelling? Answer this question and ask those closest to you for insights. Align to passion, because people can’t resist passion. Then own this topic digitally Think about your ”why” - why do you want to be a social leader? Do you want to elevate your profession or educate your peers? Be a role model for the next generation or a thought leader? Maybe you’re ready to launch your entrepreneurial dream? A powerful “why” gives your presence meaning. Identify up to 5 publications that inspire you and align to your theme. Subscribe to emails, favourite sites, follow social pages, etc. Make it a habit to share awesome information, but always offer an opinion on why you’re sharing. Our audience needs us to highlight content worth their time. Always add value, that’s how you build trust. If you want to build a powerhouse personal brand, create your own content. Start blogging on LinkedIn, but build your own site too (e.g. WordPress) once you commit to blogging. It’s important to own your content platform. Don’t know what to write? Answer the questions you are always asked or share a learning journey.
  2. 2. Be selective about what rules your follow e.g common advice is blogs shouldn’t be longer than 400 words and yet the average word count of top-ranking content (in Google) is between 1,140-1285 words (SearchMetrics). Focus on being awesome and learn what works for you as you go. Screw rules. With 74% of all internet traffic expected to be video (Syndacast) should video be part of your strategy? We are seeing an increase in video content across all social platforms, so keep it in mind as you grow your brand. Video is a great alternative for those who struggle to write. Or Podcasting? If you are employed, make a commitment to share one piece of company content a week – but only share content you are proud of. Many employees share boring content. Employee Advocacy is about you first, the company second. You benefit from alignment to a company, but always put you first. There are five reasons people share content : Curiosity; Amazement; Interest; Astonishment; Uncertainty – keep these in mind when you share, because this is what your audience wants – great quality content that makes a difference in their lives. Always think of your audience – will they value it? Will it help them? Be committed to wowing your audience. Don’t be there because you think you have to. Be present because you have the desire to help people and change lives. This will help you stand out above all the noise of social media. Link your presence to real meaning and you will succeed. This is the secret to success. Get into the habit of using #hashtags – it connects you to ideas and people. Hashtags are core to building a brand beyond your immediate network. And yes – use hashtags on LinkedIn. Research industry leaders in your field – what hashtags are they using? I always use three #PersonalBranding. 5 6 7 8 9 10 Personal branding is the health insurance of your career. We, the people, are the voice today, but we must step up and own it. Get help if you need it, but own your voice if you want to be a star
  3. 3. Businesses now understand the power of employees as influencers. The collective power of the employees is today’s edge. Employees are more trusted than brands, and that’s why you must own your voice On LinkedIn, write an amazing summary in the first person. Tell your story but don’t repeat your career – we can read that in the job descriptions. Who are you and what do you care about? Include personal information if you are comfortable. Vulnerability increases success. Write your story. Use it as your bio everywhere. Again on LinkedIn, under your name, you have 120 characters to write your professional headline. It automatically populates with your current job title but why not tell a story? Never miss an opportunity to tell stories and position it towards who you – Help? Inspire? Motivate? Enthuse? Encourage? This can be your Twitter bio too What social platforms should you use? The answer is always: where your audience is. LinkedIn is critical for any professional but Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Facebook, Snapchat, etc… are they relevant to you? What about local platforms like Wechat, KaoKao, etc… are your customers there? Persistence is key to success, so make a commitment and don’t stop. It can feel like you get nothing back sometimes, but keep going and consistently build your presence and credibility. Your value increases over time, so persistence is critical. This is where most people fail. Grit is required if you want to be a successful social leader. 13 14 15 16 Before updating LinkedIn, understand where you are today with your Social Selling Index (SSI): Get the measurement, know where are you in relation to your industry / connections, then set a goal to increase it. Get your SSI above 65 or if in sales, above 80. On Twitter, average followers is 200+. Do you need more? Update your social profiles and take advantage of the visual opportunity. Include a great profile photo and meaningful banner. On LinkedIn, insert photos, links and articles in your summary and for each role you’ve had. 63% of the world learns visually, so tell a visual story every chance you get. 11 12
  4. 4. Be brave. Be bold. Be awesome. Be you. Join the #GivingEconomy –build your brand by building others up, help them succeed. Comment on their posts, share their blogs, tell them they’re doing an awesome job. This will help you build a powerhouse brand faster than anything else you can do. Be engaged and engaging. Most important, don’t compare yourself to anyone else – run your own race. There will always be people with more followers, more interactions, a higher profile. It’s not a competition. Just focus on being awesome and valuable. You will find meaning and success with this mindset. 19 20 Success is about being consistently present – however regularly that is for you. Sit down every week to schedule your content. Automation (i.e. Hootsuite) helps you manage your presence and time. However, automated responses are a no no – because it’s annoying. Be personal. Engage genuinely. Be kind and THINK – there are many trolls online. Being respectful and not criticising people is the right thing to do. Move on if someone annoys you and never be unkind. T - is it True? H – is it Helpful? I - is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K - is it Kind? 17 Building a powerful personal brand is an act of service. It is always about your audience – helping them to be more and achieve more. Be engaged, serve your audience and you will be a true Social Leader. 18
  5. 5. Blog Twitter @AndreaTEdwards LinkedIn AndreaTEdwards Facebook AndreaTEdwards YouTube Andrea Edwards SlideShare AndreaTEdwards Google+ Andrea Edwards LinkedIn The Digital Conversationalist Google+ The Digital Conversationalist