If you have been following this Tuesday column over the last two weeks, you know we are considering the trinity of personal branding:
Get Attention: Raise your hand, say something insightful and move the gaze of the audience to you. I do this everyday on the LinkedIn discussion groups that I tend during my 20-minute per day regimen of social media maintenance for my personal brand. To keep it interesting, I belong to 26 groups and I let the emailed discussion updates drive my participation.
Most often, I seek out posts that I can take a contrary position to. I use a very polite tone. I approach the topic with salient facts and typically cite a recognized source so it appears I am just weighing in – not arguing. Every single time I do, another member of that group sends a request to be a connection of mine – and they almost always write a note that tells me what I said that made them want to reach out. About every fifth time, someone in the thread mentions me by name; often acknowledging that I am a pivot point in the direction the thread was going. Super ROI, because it’s always people that I want in my “tribe,” which is why I’m in those groups.
Test out different methods
I test different methods for social media success all the time. In the last two months, this approach to LinkedIn posting is how I am getting the most positive attention from my target markets. You might try it in your groups and see if it gets you the type of attention you require for your business goals.
Ignite Emotion: Be generous, share your resources and get the crowd rooting for you. My area of expertise is communication. I watch for discussions and posts where I can offer some of my intellectual property (IP).
Recently I offered to send anyone in the group a list of values that form the foundation of a personal brand. Whatever I’ve offered, I tell them what their subject line should say so I know what to send. Every single time at least one person has reached out to request what I’ve got. This open-hearted, open-handed sharing ignites a positive emotional connection, and we continue to dialogue. Often this results in a business relationship I otherwise would never have. So far, the only downside seems to be erectile dysfunction spam, which is easy to recognize and ignore.
Developing IP is part of my work because I teach, train and write. I continually research and develop new material that I use in my coaching and consulting practice. You might not have those demands (and benefits) for your work, but you may want to take stock of what you know. I use Evernote to collect and organize all the bits I glean from a variety of sources during the week. Every Sunday afternoon I take some time to gaze at it, kind of like looking at tea leaves. Inevitably I have a light bulb moment that I jot down, and that helps form a new piece of IP that I can share in many ways.
A link to another thought-leader’s material that’s on point would also work, although that says more about your interest in a topic than your expertise.
Be Memorable: Stick with one topic, stay in your authentic voice and be relentless. I persist in propounding there is no problem that cannot be solved by people having superior communication skills. I concede that an earthquake can level a city, but I insist we are all safer if we can say clearly, crisply and compellingly what we need to put society back together. When people think about me, they remember that I encourage them to use their words to tell their stories and get exactly what they want.
In social media forums, I don’t stray from that position: I talk about communication in all its forms. That includes learning what to say to successfully make career transitions, get media coverage, develop sales, attract business deals, produce best selling books, create successful teams, and more.
From my earliest recollection, I have been engaged in reading, writing, grammar, and later: the sociology of conversation, linguistics, media, speech writing and delivery, sales presentations, advertising and marketing, broadcasting, publishing, and just about anything that has to do with the power of language. I don’t have to remember what I’m representing – it is in my bones.
What is it that we remember about the authentic you? What is it that indelibly defines you in our minds? What word, job opening, consulting gig, or life opportunity would immediately pop your name into our brains?
Consider what your personal trinity is.
- Why are you getting our attention?
- How are you making emotional connections?
- What personal brand are you burning in our brains?