You the Brand: How to Build Your Personal Platform in Social Media
Imagine building something starting today that could help you no matter what you were doing for years and years to come. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what you are doing every time you step into social media to connect with your fans and followers.
Let’s start with a story that goes WAY back to the beginning of my life as an entrepreneur, before (gasp) social media even existed. Instead of going online and sharing tips, interesting links and engaging in conversation on everything from chocolate to child-rearing, I would wake up at 6 o’clock every Wednesday to attend the weekly networking meeting.
The purpose of those weekly meetings was to build a network of people who knew, liked and trusted you enough to recommend you to their contacts, making it a heck of a lot easier to get the meeting that often lead to getting the business. It’s like they say, “It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters.” That’s essentially how I built my first business, connecting with one person at a time.
Fast forward to the advent of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and suddenly you could be in conversations with many people all at once. Instead of working the room, it was more like you were standing on the stage talking to everyone in the room, a privilege normally reserved for professional speakers and guru types.
Social media gave everyone the ability to find their audience and build a personal platform. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, become the democratic stages that allowed individuals to attract the exact audience who was interested in hearing what they had to say.
So in essence, social media networking is exactly like building your own personal network, only with a lot more potential. The best part of the network that I built way back when is that it continues to be a source of referrals for me today even though my entrepreneurial interests have evolved.
That’s exactly why building your own personal platform is so important! No matter what you do, today or in the far off future, you will always have your social network, your personal platform, to use as a springboard for whatever new directions you may choose.
How to Build Your Own Personal Platform in Social Media
Focus on ONE Core Theme – Decide what you want to be known for and stick with it. It’s okay to stretch it a little here and there, but don’t try to be everything to everyone or start as one thing one day and switch to something different the next.
Imagine how confusing it was for our networking group when the IT professional added that he also ran a Bobcat business. It made him seem less credible at both and that’s exactly what happens in social media when you flip-flop all over the place!
Be Authentic – Don’t try to emulate someone else who you admire because what works for them won’t necessarily work for you because it’s not true to who you are. Decide who you are (truly) and be that authentic person.
The best thing about social media is there is room for all types – from quirky, fun-loving free spirits to uber geeky tech-types and everything in between. Maintaining a consistent voice is easy when it’s your actual voice and not some made-up persona.
Find Your Audience – Figure out who really connects with your message, who ‘gets’ you. That’s your true audience. Seek them out by engaging with other likeminded people and participating in events that attract a similar following.
Twitter chats and Tweet-ups are two ways to quickly find more likeminded people to connect with, but also pay attention to who your followers and fans are engaging with as those people will likely also fit your audience profile as well.
Be Consistent – Consider being consistent as fulfilling an implied promise you make to your audience. Don’t just show up one day full of amazing tips and awesome advice and go silent for weeks on end.
I learned the hard way that my social media audience is not prepared to go without my daily #MOMeo Tips when I decided to take a break from them. Quite frankly, I was tired of tweeting them out, but my audience wasn’t tired of hearing them so I listened to what my audience wanted.
Not sure what your message is yet? Lucky for you we have a post on that too! Learn out how to Find Your Message!