Social media… oh boy. It’s a lot to tackle all at once. If you’re looking for ways to utilize your presence on social media to boost your career, you’ve come to the right place.
As a personal branding strategist, social media is a huge part of what I teach my clients. These platforms give you the opportunity to take center stage in a huge arena. In just the U.S., 72% of people use social media on a daily basis. That’s about 250 million people who use social media daily in just the U.S. (assuming my math is correct).
Utilizing social media is like being offered the chance to host your very own TED Talk— for free. Where else are you going to be given the opportunity to reach that many people? Obviously, not everyone is going to come to your TED Talk, let alone buy tickets. Why would they, if they don’t know who you are?
This is why you need to leverage your personal brand. It all reverts back to that like, know, and trust mantra that I’ve been drilling into you since day one. The only way people will come to know you is if you are posting consistently on social media. The only way people will begin to like you is if you’re willing to be vulnerable and share your experiences as an industry expert. Once people like you, you’ll have earned your audiences’ trust enough so that they’ll be willing to buy or promote anything you endorse. That type of loyal community is exactly what you can use to boost your career.
And it all starts with being active on social media.
But where do you even start? And how does your personal brand tie into it all? Don’t worry, I’m about to explain everything.
RELATED: What Is Social Media Branding?
9. Know Your Story
Your personal brand is simply your story. Before you even begin posting on social media with the mindset of establishing your personal brand, you have to recognize what that is exactly.
There’s a great book by Donald Miller called Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. In it, he talks about getting your story straight before you can effectively market yourself and your business. Without taking a good hard look at who you are, what you represent, and why you do what you do, it’s going to be hard to convince complete strangers on social media to trust you.
So here are a few things to think about in regards to your story. You want to know the ins and outs of your main character— that’s you. Ask yourself why you’re doing what you do.
Then, move on to the plot of your story. What was the inciting incident? Did you get fired from your job? Did you just drop everything and decide to go after your dreams? From there, write down the scenes that your ideal client will resonate with. Know which dramatic sequences will entice people to listen.
Your personal brand is simply you telling and retelling the main plot points of your story. You just need to do so in a way that speaks to your ideal client and provides value.
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Personal branding tip of the week ⬇️ SAVE 💾 this if you're trying to learn more about building your personal brand People who excel at personal branding stand for their brand while at work and at home. A brand is a lifestyle that you are selling. If you want to be known for traveling the world but you have never left the country that you were born in, no one is going to take you seriously. You have to be authentic. When people see that you really believe in your brand, they will have more confidence in you. When that happens, you will have more people looking to you more frequently for advice in your industry. Are you being authentic with your personal brand? Read my blog on the 📲Importance of Creative a Compelling Personal Brand is you need more tips!
8. Have a Killer Bio
Once you’ve crafted your origin story, you’re ready to sign up on social media. Pick your poison— there’s plenty to choose from: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, YouTube. As always, I suggest mapping out your social media marketing strategy before diving headfirst into the waters.
You can start by curating a killer bio. Your social media bio should answer the who, what, why, and sometimes the where of your business. A simple solution to hit all of those key points is to put in your personal branding statement in your bio.
A killer bio will also end with a call-to-action. Every social media platform allows you a space to include links to your outside domains. On Instagram, for example, you can input a link to your website. I recommend utilizing a landing page for this (you can check out mine to see an example). That way, people will have a starting point to refer to and you won’t have to keep changing out your link.
However, you should be switching up your bio’s call-to-action from time to time. If you’re launching a new product, service, or freebie, make sure to point it out in your bio!
7. Post Consistently
The number one issue my clients have when it comes to their social media is consistency.
I get it. It can be so. time. consuming.
The best way I can advise you to relieve some of the stress of posting consistently is to have a schedule with “themed” days. If you’re posting 5 days a week, know exactly what you want to post on those days. Maybe Monday is your day to spread motivation, Thursday you’ll throw it back with a personal anecdote,. Maybe Fridays are your “Industry Tip of the Week” day. I promise you that having a simple themed lineup for each day that you post is going to make writing captions and scheduling content immensely easier.
Consistency on social media might not seem like a big deal to you, but imagine if you only showed up for work at your brick and mortar sometimes? Or simply whenever you felt like you had something to say to your customers. You would never do that, right? If you did, people wouldn’t come in because they couldn’t rely on you because you don’t have regular hours.
So be reliable. Be consistent by setting your operating hours (i.e. your posting schedule). If you’re looking to use social media to boost your career, the importance of consistency cannot be understated.
6. Post With Purpose
Remember when I said your personal brand is all about sharing your story? Your story highlights your purpose. And that should shine through in all of your social media posts.
You don’t have to end each post with a call to action like, “Buy my thing! Read my blog! Do something for me!” Believe it or not, you can just write a caption about the crazy thing that happened at the grocery store the other day. Or you can write a single sentence talking about your frustrations and asking your audience if they feel the same.
However, each of those posts still needs to have an underlying purpose. Is the goal to evoke empathy? Do you want your audience to relate to you or learn from your mistakes? Use your anecdotes to teach a lesson or use them as a way to let your audience see the real you. Because the real you is who they’re going to buy and learn from.
5. Use Social Media to Boost Your Career and Expertise
I’m not going to lie— finding the happy medium of sharing your personal life and your entrepreneurial ambitions is going to take some time. You’ll need to understand the fine line between being relatable and sharing too much (which can sometimes destroy your brand).
But when you do it right, you can leverage your social media to boost your expertise and, eventually, your career.
For example, when you look at personal branding expert hashtags on Instagram or you Google search ‘personal branding strategist,’ there are only a handful of actual people to choose from. Ironically, these keywords bring up a lot of companies instead of a personal brand that you can trust.
I’ve been branding myself as a personal branding strategist for under a year, and I already show up on as one of the first personal branding strategists on Google and Instagram. I’ve already been featured in high-authority publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur because I have been actively positioning myself on social media as an expert.
These features happened because I have cultivated a social media presence and because I’ve positioned myself as an expert in my field. I’ve been able to use these highlights to cast myself as an expert in order to land speaking gigs like I did this year as a speaker at the Alt Summit. My ultimate career goal is to get more paid speaking gigs, and based off of the groundwork I’ve already laid out, I can guarantee this will be a possibility for me (once the pandemic gets under control).
How do I know? Because my personal brand speaks for itself.
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Who is your ideal client? Figuring this out should be one of the first steps in creating your personal brand. Knowing your "perfect" client person helps you target your business to the right people. It helps you narrow down the type of content you post and even on what platforms you post it on. Knowing your audience means knowing their age, their location, their likes and dislikes, their career, their income, and even their hobbies. 6w
4. Cultivate A Community
Let’s talk about vanity metrics on social media.
Followers, likes, and even impressions on your posts— these are vanity metrics. Which ultimately means that they don’t mean a damn thing/anything.
It sounds unreasonable because companies and brands would have us believe that these numbers are the reason they choose to work with certain experts or influencers. However, that’s simply not the case— at least not anymore.
It’s true that at one point you could use the size of your audience on social media to boost your career. But nowadays, these platforms have become so congested that people are willing to buy to get ahead. Thankfully, companies are seeing right through those fake numbers. Now the prerequisite to land speaking gigs, brand deals, or investors isn’t your online clout—but rather your brand’s professionalism, online work, and the response (aka engagement) from your audience.
A loyal fan base of 2,000 people speaks volumes over an influencer account with 100K followers that can’t make a single sale. This is why telling your story has such a large impact on your career.
Sharing your truths and your hardships is how you make friends in real life, but it’s also how you cultivate a loyal audience online.
Actually scratch that. You’re not cultivating just an audience. You’re creating a community.
3. Bring Your Audience to Your Own Platform
Social media is great for exposure and opportunity. But it should never be your end-all, be-all. Social media is someone else’s sandbox. You can play in it, but you’ll never own it. It will never be just your playground. And you can be kicked out, ignored, or forgotten at any time.
That’s why you need to bring your social media audience to your own platforms. Ideally, you’re own .com. Yes, there are plenty of influencers who have made a name for themselves off the back of social media platforms, but those opportunities are rare and they leave little to be desired anyway.
Your website gives you the opportunity to speak directly to your community without fighting your competition for attention. Your loyal audience will tune into your weekly blog or email newsletter because they’re excited to see what you have to say this week. Even if there are a few who sign up for your blog or newsletter and forget about it, you can send them reminders directly to their inbox– officially cutting out the middle man that is social media.
This, ultimately, leads to a more engaged community, higher sales, and more career opportunities.
2. Build Your Brand
One such opportunity that your social media community can help bring to life is selling your own products or services. If you’ve established your story—your brand— to an extent that a small community like, knows, and trusts you, you’re ready for this step.
Of course, you can be selling products or services before you’ve crafted that group of loyal followers. Honestly, that’s probably what led you to take your personal brand more seriously in the first place. The result of a branded, consistent, curated social media presence is higher sales from that dedicated audience.
Once you have the numbers to back up the fact that your brand can sell, you’ll realize the full extent of this thing you’ve built. This is when you can really use your social media to boost your career. Use it to show brands or investors how hard you work to make those sales. Show them how engaged your community is to get that book deal. Prove that your social media presence is more than just a number— it’s a community of real people who are willing to buy from a brand that they know they can trust.
1. Collaborate with Others in Your Industry
Say this with me: Community over Competition.
Listen, I get it. I’ve scrolled through my competition to see what they’re doing. I’ve stressed over the fact that others are (seemingly) doing it better than me. I’ve been burned in the past by people who have used my shared enthusiasm as a tool to pry into the inner workings of my business— just so that they can take my ideas and run with them as their own.
It can be hard to trust others in your industry when stuff like this happens to you. But one thing that has made all of this entrepreneurial stuff so much easier is letting go of the things I can’t control. And you know…. using my better judgment.
When you stop treating others in your industry as competition and start seeing them as a part of your community, you open up so many doors. Collaborating with others in your industry exposes you to new audiences and should be used as a way to build your brand. Sit down at the table with those who already have a loyal fanbase. If they see your potential and they praise you for it, their endorsement can go a long way in the eyes of your future audience, sponsors, and anyone else looking for a voice to speak to your industry.
Conclusion: How to use social media to boost your career
There’s too much going on on social media to do anything other than simply be yourself.
You are your personal brand. The only real difference is deciding which stories you choose to share with your community. But if you’re willing to showcase that level of vulnerability (those relatable setbacks, those triumphs of finally making your business) that’s when your social media will gain traction and that’s when you can use social media to boost your career.
Still a little clueless about how to put together your story? It’s fine! I know it’s a lot to take in. Lucky for you, I offer FREE personal brand consultations! This call can give you some guidance on how to find the right path to sharing your story. So why not give it a try? You might learn something about yourself that you never even knew!