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Social by Design: How to Make Your Personal Brand Stand Out. Always.

In the final of 10 installments of our Personal Branding Strategy Series I want to encourage you to be “social by design”.

I first heard the phrase from Carolyn Everson, my former big boss at Microsoft Advertising and now Head of Global Advertising Solutions at Facebook. Adapted from the industry cry for brands to be “digital by design”, Carolyn’s morphing of the expression is the perfect discipline for the busy professional of today.

Social-by-design

Here are a few ideas of what it means to be “social by design”:

Getting your social infrastructure right

I talk about it in detail in the post on How to Reengineer Your Digital Presence, but this is about making sure your social profiles – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. – are set up properly so you’re half way to success. Your profiles need to be discoverable, they need to have the right security settings activated and it needs to be easy for someone to interact with you, understand immediately what you are about, and share whatever you are trying to get out there.

Embrace and Expound Your Experience

I have a story.

You have a story.

We ALL have a story.

If our personal brand is all about what kind of experience people have with us online and in-person, that experience has a past and we need to embrace it.

Embrace and Expond Experience

During a personal branding workshop I delivered last week, we talked about our professional past: what was our educational experience? How did we get into our niche? What were our professional passions? What did we find hard? Where did we want to be in 3 years time from a career perspective?

In just 5 minutes talking about themselves (not any easy or comfortable thing for many to do) the participants had started to cultivate a story about their career that had structure – a beginning, a middle and a desired end.

How to Use Pinterest for Personal Branding

When we think about using social media for personal branding, most of us would immediately think of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook right?

Well, what about Pinterest?

Pinterest-for-Personal-Branding

At first glance, you may think of Pinterest as an extremely visual-oriented digital bookmarketing tool that doesn’t fit in your personal branding strategy unless you are in areas such as retail, fashion, arts, design, etc. But Pinterest can be a terrifically complementary to your digital presence and personal brand no matter what niche you are in.

Gemma Craven, Executive Director of Strategic Markets at Spredfast explained in a webinar with Adweek recently that Pinterest has reached significant scale and maturity with more than 70 million users and 1 billion boards.

Moreover, according to a study from Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined. We recently uploaded all of our personal branding articles and blog posts on Pinterest and it has already became the 3rd biggest social referral source to Delightful’s website!

So, are you ready to know how to use Pinterest for personal branding? Let’s get started.

Treat Pinterest differently

Pinterest is a unique social platform in many ways:

Pinterest Difference

How to Craft a Personal Branding Statement

When we deliver our personal branding workshops and training, one of the exercises is to have people work on a Personal Branding Statement.

Personal Branding Statement

The 3 step process starts with what we call “5 in 5″ where we all sit down with a partner and talk for five minutes about:

  • Their educational experience
  • Their work experience
  • What they love about what they do
  • What they find hard
  • Where they want to be in 3 years time

We use that information and our internal compass to define and establish a Professional Purpose – the reason why we do what we do and (beyond money) why we get out of bed in the morning.

Why & How You Should Start an Influencer Marketing Program – New e-book from Linkdex & Momentology

In the information age, we are all influenced by the inexhaustible flow of digital media, content, and messages.

All of the time.

The Internet makes it more difficult for brands to manage their online reputation and consumer sentiment because they themselves are not the main source of their own message anymore.

Brands are simply not as authoritative as they used to be:

  • Fewer than 10% of shoppers actually visit manufacturer websites when researching a purchase.
  • 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations while just 33% trust ads.
  • 43% of people say they turn to blogs when they are looking for inspiration.
  • 48% of consumers discovered new brands and products, mostly while browsing content online.

(From Influence Now)

So who are sending out the messages that actually influence your consumers? How can you find them in order to build healthy relationships? Should you start an influencer program or campaign in the first place?

A recent e-book >> Influence Now by Linkdex and Momentology answers all these questions for you.

Influence Now

Mel Carson, Delightful’s Founder, has shared his thoughts in the book on what makes a successful influencer.

How to Analyze Your Competitors as You Build Your Personal Brand

When it comes to digital marketing per se, one of the biggest gaps I see companies unable to fill is the real-time understanding of what their competition is up to. During my fifteen years in digital, I’ll be the first to admit being so down in the weeds executing on the tactical plan that I’ve not had the wherewithal to notice what the competitive set have been working on.

Analyze-Your-Competitors

Having learned that lesson, one of the first things we do at Delightful with any of our clients is conduct a competitive analysis to see who’s out there, what they are doing well and where the opportunities are to differentiate and stand out.

Competitive analysis is as important for you and your personal brand as it is for the company you work for. Understanding what other people in your niche are doing, saying and how successful they are is crucial to personal branding success and here are a few things you can do to figure out who they are, their impact and what you can do to wrestle attention away from them and onto you.

How to Demonstrate Social Marketing Value – Lessons from Simply Measured Webinar


Social marketing is increasingly raising companies’ attention as an integrated marketing channel to the business. According to the CMO survey in 2014, Social media spending of marketing budgets is expected to increase 128% to 21.4% in the next five years.

Social-Marketing-Value

However, many social marketers are still struggling to demonstrate the value of social marketing. Although tons of new social marketing analytics tools are emerging, measuring ROI is still the number one challenge for marketers, according to the 2015 Social Media Marketing Trends Survey by Simply Measured and TrustRadius.

A webinar with Kevin Shively, Sr. Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured, and Megan Headley, Research Director at TrustRadius, discussed the challenges social markers are facing and provided some insightful tips on what they can do about the challenges.

Here are our top learnings from the webinar on how to make the most out of social marketing and demonstrate its value:

Set Right Goals and Metrics

Why are you using social media? This should be the very first question you ask before setting up the social marketing strategy as it’s crucial for defining the value of any social programs.

How to Reengineer Your Digital Presence

Those of you who have been enjoying this series on creating the Perfect Personal Branding Strategy will know we’ve been talking a lot about being conscious of what content we share, how to listen and empathize and what our professional purpose is.

While not super-practical, the more theoretical steps are designed to get you thinking about being more thoughtful and disciplined about how you present yourself both on and offline.

Reengineering Digital Presence

Today I’m sharing a check list of more actionable tips you can use to get your digital presence optimized so you’re more discoverable, sharable and memorable:

Get a Professional Headshot

I’ve talked about this in a previous post, but no harm in giving you another nudge on this!

PR Week Webinar – Personal Branding with Mel Carson

Join Delightful’s Founder – Mel Carson – and the team from PR Week on Wednesday June 24th at 9.30am PST (12.30pm ET) for a webinar in PR Week’s Performance series entitled: Perfecting Your Personal Brand

PRWeek-Webinar
Here’s the blurb:

From amplifying efforts on behalf of your brand to making you a stronger representative of your current organization to paving a path to genuine thought leadership, establishing a personal brand is a crucial career-advancement element.

In today’s social media age, it is more important – and challenging – than ever to communicate who you truly are and what you stand for. The benefits of doing so effectively – and, conversely, the issues that could come from doing so ineffectively – can have far-reaching impact.

Presented by Mel Carson, founder and principal strategy consultant at Delightful Communications, former digital marketing evangelist at Microsoft, and frequent speaker on the topic, Perfecting Your Personal Brand will be a 90-minute session detailing the key dos and don’ts of establishing and reinforcing your personal brand.

Crafted specifically for communications pros, this is the latest offering in the PRWeek Performance Series, webinars designed to help you do your job better.

Subjects covered in Perfecting Your Personal Brand will include:

  • Analyzing and improving your current digital footprint
  • Strategies to amplify your best work and instill more trust in your company/clients
  • How your personal brand helps you stand out in a competitive workplace environment
  • Cutting-edge tips to make a better impression offline
  • How to become a thought leader and back up your personal brand claims

Register here for this 90 minute webinar: Perfecting Your Personal Brand Hosted By PR Week

Hope to see you online in a few weeks!

Take 5 and Practice Writing

One stumbling block people looking to improve their personal brand often come across is the fear of not having anything to say online. For whatever reason, they feel they are not interesting enough or they are afraid to put themselves and their thoughts “out there”.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who have no problem updating their social channels with a stream of consciousness devoid of actual thought or empathy for those people they are broadcasting to.

Take 5 and Practice Writing-

In short, in our opinion, the perfect personal brand is a balance between the two.

I’ve written articles about writing in the past like How to Write a Blog Post in 30 Minutes, 5 Twitter Tips That Will Enhance Your Personal Brand and 2014 LinkedIn Buzzword List Revealed – Please Stop Using Them!

The main premise behind them is to encourage people to think before they share their thoughts online and to hone their writing skills over time.

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