Expanding your professional network is something that everyone needs to think about. In this day and age, technology allows us to create descriptive pages telling people everything they need to know about our personal and professional lives. This idea can be daunting to some, with many people changing their names on social media as to not be located by a potential employer. But can one use social media platforms to their own benefit, and actually create meaningful, fruitful connections? In this article, I will discuss the importance of a personal brand, and simple ways in which someone can promote and build it. This Entrepreneur.com article outlines some unconventional ways to get your name out there.
While it is important to spread your marketing efforts over multiple marketing channels, it could be better to focus more on a single channel. Become obsessive over which channel you decide to pursue. Look up best marketing practices specific to whatever channel you are using, and become a master of content. For example, Instagram has become a go-to tool for marketers because of its outreach and content. Companies such as Lowes, Starbucks, and Ben & Jerry’s use Instagram for their marketing campaigns.
Choose a role model and try to make a connection
College grades are a good indicator of post-college success, but is there a better metric? One of the leading factors promoting success post-college is whether or not one has a mentor. Use resources like LinkedIn, Quora, and Twitter to reach out to people, and establish a genuine connection. Show interest in the other person, and ask engaging questions to demonstrate your interest. Do not over-exert yourself and exhaust this effort, but make sure the recipient is able to feel your curiosity. The “liking” principle is an important principle in Robert Cialdini’s “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, and is a huge factor to be considered when networking with people.
Be confident in yourself
Confidence is key! How can a person expect other people to be confident in them when they are not confident in themselves? A subtle confidence shows people that you are comfortable in your skin, knowledgeable, and collected. People are often drawn to confidence, and it is a tool that every networker should have in their arsenal.
Start a community and build content around it
Instead of joining a community, start one around a particular interest or niche. Engage people who you think would be interested in your community, and begin creating content around it. This is probably the easiest way to raise awareness about yourself, your niche business, or your brand.
Be a storyteller
Since we were children, stories have spoken to us due to their fundamental place in human nature. Stories bring people together, and an effective storyteller is able to elicit emotional responses in other people. These powerful TedTalks demonstrate how effective storytellers can consume their audience.
In conclusion, here are a few ways to increase your personal marketing efforts and extend the reach of your personal brand. Once you get a hang of this, you can begin using your personal brand to leverage opportunities that you may not have stumbled onto before.