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9 Social Media Tools to Help Make Personal Branding Easier For You

We all know that social media plays a huge part in building and boosting your personal brand in the digital world, but do you feel lost sometimes with all the different social media channels and are not sure where to start? There are tools that can help!

Here are 9 cost-efficient social media tools that we recommend to help make your personal branding efforts easier..

Social-Media-Personal-Branding-1

Tools for Monitoring Your Personal Brand

  1. Mention

Mention is a real time media monitoring platform. It allows you to listen to what’s been said about you on websites and social media. Enter your name in the search box and you will see what people are saying about you across different platforms, all in one place. You can react to the mentions within the tool if you’ve connected your social media accounts with it. Create an alert and you will get email notifications when people mention your name or whatever keywords you choose to monitor.

Price: subscriptions start from $29/month

Get a New Headshot – Your New Image Starts with an Image

In the first in a series of ten blog posts entitled Personal Branding: 10 Steps to Your Perfect Strategy, we turn our attention to one of the most obvious tactics that will help build you a compelling personal branding strategy.

Obvious……but so often overlooked. Literally.

Personal Branding Headshot

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so what thousand words (or handful) is your current LinkedIn profile picture or Twitter avatar saying about you?

According to research from Microsoft, we can assimilate the information from an image 28% quicker than the written word. That’s why cat pictures and food photos get so much traction on Facebook. And let’s not get started on the glories to be found on Pinterest!

We love photos because they’re easier to understand and quicker to fuel an emotion. Sometimes that emotion will be good, sometimes it will be bad. Your job as guardian of your personal brand is to make sure your photo/headshot/avatar solicits a positive reaction as it’s often going to be the first thing people look at when perusing your social media profiles or reading your bio in, say, a conference brochure.

Let’s Look at the Facts

We know images are crucial to how we literally view the world. That’s why we have eyes! But when we drill further, we find that a social platform like LinkedIn claims that social profiles on the site that have a headshot photo get 14 times more views. That’s because when people are searching for you, or someone like you with your skillset, they are unlikely to click on a profile if it doesn’t have a photo associated with it.

Having no photo obviously says something about you – maybe you’re a bit lazy, you haven’t put much thought into your profile, you’re not really interested creating the right impression, or you’re technically inept and can’t work out how to upload it.

That’s fine! (Well it’s not really…)

But. For those of you with a photo on your social profiles, what does having the WRONG kind of photo say about you?

Here are some of the kinds of photos I’ve seen on LinkedIn – using these as examples as LinkedIn is more for professional use – I’m not calling out individuals as I’m not that mean, but this is what I’ve seen photos of people doing recently:

  • Playing golf – this guy wasn’t a golfer. He was trying to sell me something.
  • Watching sparklers burning on a cheesecake in a restaurant. He thought we had some “synergies” and might want to work together.
  • Hanging off the side of a mountain. Wow. Look at you! Is it you? Can’t quite tell. You’re upside down.
  • Cuddling a doggy. This was a so-called “nationally recognized” publishing guru with lots of news media logos next to his head.
  • Cycling in full helmet and sunglasses beaming by the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Eating a donut. No I’m not kidding.
  • Drinking beer or cocktails.
  • Smoking.
  • Showing off a tattoo!

Tips from Compelling Research

In a fantastic study carried out by PhotoFeeler, they rated 800 profile photos based on 60,000 ratings of “perceived competence, likability and influence” and these were the recommendations:

  • Don’t wear sunglasses or block your eyes. Wearing a pair of shade makes you less likely, where as having hair in your face will bring down your competence and influence levels.
  • Squinting (or squinching as they call it in their study results) apparently makes us seem more confident and comfortable. Wide eyes make us look terrified.
  • For goodness sake SMILE!!! Looking happy and approachable was “by far the most impactful” characteristic. And showing some pearly white gnashers even more so.
  • What you are wearing is a major factor too. Formal (suit and tie or business casual but not jeans and t-shirt) makes us look more competent and more influential.
  • Don’t get too arty. Just head and shoulder (not zoomed in) and simply edited (not to Instagram-filtered) were the best approaches.

Here’s What to Do

It’s obvious that many professionals need a new headshot. Something clean, professional and shows you care about the impression you make about you, and the company you work for, on others.

So let’s scrap the cropped photos of you on vacation, in a bar, at a wedding (my how smart you look), at a black tie do (bit over the top formal-wise), with your friend/wife/boyfriend’s hand on your shoulder and invest in some nice photos of you that do your personal brand justice.

Now I know this is just number 1 of 10 posts in the personal branding series, but I’m sowing the seed now so you can think about this as we go on.

It doesn’t cost the earth either. I got my shots done through a charity here in Seattle – Youth In Focus – and they cost $250.

What’s $250 if it means you close more sales, get a new job with a 20% pay raise, get picked up by a national news show as an expert in your field, or simply look more trustworthy to someone you’re about to meet in a professional capacity (or maybe even on a date).

Your profile picture is your storefront. Do you want people to come in and find out more about you? Or are you happy for people to simply walk on by and not get a real understanding of what you have to offer?

Remember to check back in a fortnight for the next installment in our series: Personal Branding: 10 Steps to Your Perfect Strategy

And don’t forget to:

Subscribe to The Delightful Times

Follow @Delightful on Twitter

Like the Delightful Facebook Page

Join us on LinkedIn

Cheers,

@MelCarson – Founder of Delightful

Personal Branding: 10 Steps to Your Perfect Strategy

As more and more people are coming to Delightful for insight and help with telling their professional stories, we’ve decided to embark on a series of blog posts that will give readers a sense of what they need to think about when putting together a strategy to help build their personal brands and make them more Discoverable, Sharable and Memorable.

Personal Brand Building Strategy

The series will be called:

Personal Branding: 10 Steps to Your Perfect Strategy

Each nugget will be published every two weeks to coincide with the next edition of our newsletter – The Delightful Times.

The first post tomorrow is called:

Get a New Headshot – Your New Image Starts with an Image

If you don’t want to miss a single edition of the series make sure you’re doing one or all of the below:

Subscribe to The Delightful Times

Follow @Delightful on Twitter

Like the Delightful Facebook Page

Join us on LinkedIn

We’d love to get your feedback and hear what’s working for you with your personal brand building efforts, so please don’t be shy in telling us what you think and sharing our content with friends and peers if you think it will resonate with them!

Here’s to you perfecting your personal brand strategy over the next few months.

Hold on to your seats……

Cheers,

@MelCarson – Founder of Delightful

Bringing the #JanesOfDigital Event Alive Through Video

Earlier this month, we helped the Bing Ads team create a video of the awesome #JanesOfDigital event that took place at SMX West in San Jose.

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The evening mini-seminar slash networking opportunity is the second in an on-going series of get-togethers designed to celebrate women in search and digital marketing.

We partnered with our fabulous editor, Andrew Goddard, at Cherry UK to produce a promo which really captures the atmosphere and buzz surrounding this most excellent occasion.

A particular call out to Sarah Wulf who did an exceptional job as anchor and for asking some great questions, which as you can see, garnered some great answers from the evening’s esteemed panel!

So here is the video. Hope you enjoy…

Like what you’re reading on the Delightful Blog?

Why not Subscribe to our Newsletter  >> The Delightful Times as well?

 

Regards,

Mel

How to Use Twitter Analytics for Content Marketing

Keith Reinhard, the chairman emeritus of DDB Worldwide, reminded us on Adweek a couple of weeks ago that marketing and advertising have always been about connecting brands with people, and we need to remember that human nature stays pretty constant.

Although the technology landscape is constantly changing, it’s useful to understand and utilize the constants in our lives (and marketing plans) as well.

Twitter Analytics is one tool that can provide valuable data for marketers to understand people, connect with them, and tell stories they love.

Although we’ve been using Twitter Analytics since it was open to the public, the webinar hosted by Twitter last month gave me some deeper insights, especially on how to use the tool for content marketing.

Twitter Analytics_Content MKT

Know Your Audience

Understanding who you are talking to is an essential step before you start talking. Twitter Analytics can help you with this by providing visualized and easy-understanding data about your followers.

Join Us for #MarketingChat with Experian US on Personal Branding

Experian Logo

This Thursday – at 1pm PST – I’ll be talking all about Personal Branding during a Twitter chat – #MarketingChat – organized by those fine people at Experian US.

I’ll be answering a bunch of questions on Personal Branding from the Experian Community Manager – @MikeDelgado – and anyone can join in with their questions and thoughts as well.

These occasions have drawn some engaging and inspiring conversations – like this one on Facebook marketing featuring Brian Carter, Mari Smith, Raymond Ray and Andrea Vahl – so I’m thrilled to be asked to impart some of my experience of helping people with their personal brand!

Again, the Twitter chat starts at 1pm PST this Thursday 12th of February.

Follow me – @MelCarson, @Experian_US and #MarketingChat for all the action!

Hope to “see” you there on Thursday!

Cheers,

Mel

2014 LinkedIn Buzzword List Revealed – Please Stop Using Them!

A while back I wrote about my loathing of the word “excited” in press releases and the post still gets discovered by people searching for alternatives via the search engines.

Imagine how excited thrilled I was to learn that our friends at LinkedIn had published the latest overused buzzwords of 2014 in a post by their esteemed career expert Catherine Fisher.

LinkedIn Buzzwords

Here are the lists:

2014 Global List – Top 10 Most Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords

  1. Motivated
  2. Passionate
  3. Creative
  4. Driven
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Responsible
  7. Strategic
  8. Track record
  9. Organizational
  10. Expert

2014 US List – Top 10 Most Overused LinkedIn Buzzwords

  1. Motivated
  2. Creative
  3. Passionate
  4. Driven
  5. Extensive experience
  6. Organizational
  7. Strategic
  8. Track record
  9. Responsible
  10. Problem-solving

Funny how “expert” doesn’t make the US Top 10 right?

The one I see most often is where people say they’re an “experienced marketer” or an “experienced manager”. We’re all experienced in some way or another, it’s how much experience and what the results you garnered were that counts so make sure you tell me that too.

My advice is for you to go back through your LinkedIn profile and see if any of these words are omnipresent. If they are, change them up a little in an attempt to stand out from the crowd and prevent eye-rolls and “oh yeahs?” from people peeking at your summary and experience.

There’s a reason LinkedIn share these lists. It’s because they want you to be successful via their platform and success comes from being disciplined, taking your personal brand seriously and spending some quality time crafting a profile that does you justice and doesn’t smack of everyone else’s.

Don’t hesitate to contact us about our personal branding services and good luck!

Cheers,

Mel Carson – Founder of Delightful Communications

Leaving 2014 Alongside 30 Expert Presenters

How to Cook Up an Awesome Deck from SEMrush

As we wrap up an awesome 2014, I wanted to share this awesome presentation design deck with you.

A few weeks ago I was asked by those nice people at SEMrush to provide some thoughts on how business people should approach putting together presentations for conferences and events.

Well they’ve put together a mammoth deck split into smart sections that, if brushing up your presenting skills is a new year resolution, you really should take a few minutes to flick through.

Other than that, we’re taking a couple of weeks off to enjoy Christmas and the holidays so enjoy yours and here’s to a fabulous 2015!

Cheers,

Mel

P.S. One of OUR new year’s resolutions is to provide more content on the Delightful Blog for your delectation. I’ve been a bit too focused on getting my weekly column on Entrepreneur up and running but will get back into the swing of things on here next month!

The 3 Pillars for a Great Content Marketing Program – Lessons from ClickZ Live Chicago

2014 has pretty much been “the year of content marketing” for many. According to a study from Marketing Profs, organizations have spent 28% of their marketing budget on average doing content marketing this year.

During his session “Focus B2B: Leveraging Kick Ass Content to Drive Profits” at ClickZ Live Chicago, Rob Begg, VP of Enterprise Strategy at Hootsuite, reminded marketers that when it comes to content marketing, the competition is not only against other marketers in your niche, but everything that draws your audience’s attention.

How can you come up with a plan that can cut through all the noises and enable your content to stand out?

Adhere to the following three fundamental pillars Rob suggested to help you out:

content-marketing-program

Audience: Know who they are and engage with them

Thinking about who you are talking with is crucial before you start talking. Taking one step further on this, Rob recommended brands to think more specifically when segmenting their target audience. Firstly, make sure what actions you want the audience to take. The communication strategies should be different when you are talking to a customer or an industry influencer. Before moving on to the next step, make a decision about if you want to generate leads, encourage social shares, build thought leadership, or something else.

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