by Lynn S. Schwebach
Developing a personal brand takes you closer to a meaningful, fulfilling career, but communicating your brand requires a next-level process to establish your brand in the minds of others.
(For more information on personal branding, see the article “What is Your Personal Brand?“)
Thanks to social networking sites such as Twitter, you have a powerful, free way to communicate your brand.
Twitter has evolved in numerous ways, and most importantly it has become a vehicle for thought experts to spread their knowledge. Based on your personal brand, which should identify your passion, business, or skills, you too can use Twitter to become a thought expert in your sphere of influence.
Megan Dalla-Camina, a strategist and author on women and well-being, says on her blog that part of building a personal brand means making yourself known for something specific. Dalla-Camina said in her online article, “5 Keys to Building a Personal Brand” that you must not only build your skills and knowledge but become known for them. “It’s not just enough that you know what you know — others have to know that you know it.”
Twitter allows you to share links to articles, blogs, and other information that provide value to your audience.
I base my personal brand, for example, on creativity. I research, write and advocate for all things creative. I share articles and information about any topic that involves creativity, but especially focus on creativity in writing, graphic design, illustration, and the fine arts. My blog and Twitter name is bravelycreative.
If you are a career coach, on the other hand, your Tweets (the 140 character messages you post on Twitter) should contain quality links to information contained on the Web about career advancement, changing careers, moving up the corporate ladder, starting your own business, and numerous other topics—but all related to careers.
Personal branding on Twitter does NOT mean self-promotion.
Instead, 80 to 90 percent of your Tweets should provide helpful information through links to other valuable articles and websites.
Common sense principles also go a long way toward extending your personal brand on Twitter, such as:
- Tweet three or four times a day – at different times of the day.
- Tweet on topics relevant to your industry.
- Be discerning about who you follow.
- Thank Tweeters for retweets and personal mentions (e.g., @fubiznews Thanks for the retweet!)
- “Listen” on Twitter before you start tweeting (read what other experts Tweet).
- Don’t write superficial Tweets.
- Don’t be rude on Twitter or give advice when no one asks for it.
- Stay away from “selling” on Twitter – “self-promotion.”
- Get creative and provide unique links to fresh ideas
The most important thing about tweeting and putting yourself “out there” on social media platforms is to stay professional in your language and the links you share with your audience. And have fun. Personal branding should never be something you hate doing— it will show in your tweets and convey a negative brand!