By Joe Pulizzi, Published September 07, 2011
I started to seriously work on my personal brand back in 2007 when I left my “real job” and started what is now the Content Marketing Institute. I can honestly say that working on my online brand was the #1 thing that moved us from a company of “1” to a real organization.
Although I’ve refined my approach over the years, here are twelve tools and activities that are a must to make sure your personal brand is as powerful as possible.
1. Google Profile – Before Google+, your personal Google Profile was important merely from a search engine perspective. When people searched on your name, Google Profiles tended to rise to the top. Now that Google+ is becoming a force, your Google Profile is more important than ever.
2. Google+ – See above. It’s hard to say what Google+ will become. Right now, it’s a sandbox for social media play. That said, with Google’s integration of Google+ into both Profiles and Gmail, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Here’s my advice…get an account, get your profile in order, and start to experiment. If you need an invite, let me know. Here’s my account.
3. Twitter – My favorite tool for growing your personal brand. Great content and ideas get spread, get you followers, and magnifies your presence. Use the 4-1-1 method: Every day share four posts from other influencers that are important to your target audience, share one original content post about your business that helps tell your story, and share one “sales” post that overtly asks for something.
4. Blog – If you are in marketing, you need to be positioning yourself as an expert in your niche field. The blog should become your personal branding home base. I’ve blogged, on average, two times per week for five years. In addition, I also have a website for my speaking, but you can simply use your blog for this if you wish. Simply put, if you are not blogging, creating a powerful personal brand online is almost impossible.
5. Facebook – Like it or not, Facebook is a must. Some very influential people in your network like to connect via Facebook (as opposed to LinkedIn), so like it or not, you need a presence there. Share at least one to two times per day, more personal than business if you can.
6. LinkedIn – The best contact database I have. The first thing I do after meeting people (in person) is to connect via LinkedIn. Be sure it’s updated and that you note and link to all your current and former places of employment. The more you can integrate with other pages in LinkedIn, the better.
7. About.Me – I use this as my social media hub. Not sure how long this will last, but for right now it seems to be getting traction.
8. Foursquare – I’ve been able to set up multiple meetings with associates simply because when I checked in to a particular location I found that they were in the same city. Without Foursquare this would not have been possible.
9. Video – Have at least one presentation video of you doing your thing. If you don’t, get one made the next time you do a speech. If you don’t have a speech coming up, create on like this from Sally Hogshead.
10. Testimonials – If you get a testimonial, please ask your “fan” to submit it to LinkedIn so you can keep track of it. Very important to rounding out your LinkedIn presence as well.
11. Commenting – At least twice per day, comment on a blog post that is relevant to you or your business. It will pay you back 10 fold.
12. News Releases – Anything news worthy should accompany as news release. Any excuse is a good excuse for a news release…but make them count. In this release about our news release site with PR Newswire, we use smart keyword tagging throughout the release. When sites pick one of our releases up, they are pointing to our web pages with the right keywords. Priceless.
And finally, make sure you have a professional head-and-shoulders picture (pay to get one done) and be consistent across all your channels. The $250 I spent for my photography was well worth the ride.
Reproduced with permission from the author.