This week I was interviewed for a Tele summit on “Online Authenticity.” The why’s and how’s of the subject. It made me realized how important it is to share it with you and the other entrepreneurs out there who want to understand HOW to become an influential Social brand. It really all starts with being authentic. As I stated on the program today, who you are Online is who you are expected to be Offline.
So what does it mean to be authentic online? How does that translate into becoming an engaging social brand? Authenticity is critical to the success of any personal brand online. To me it means your comments, posts, your image is real. There are 3 critically important upfront qualities you need to consider when it comes to authenticity and your Personal Brand Online, in my opinion:
1. Professional design and image – Not only is this important for a proper user experience, but in the world of websites and SEO, it is critical. On a personal brand level, then this affects IMAGE. An effective online presence for an individual brand ties into how they look, sound and communicate online. Do you come off as natural? Does your image feel right? You want to assess what you have out there now and ask your peers to start to get a sense of it and to determine whether you need a better assessment of finding your own digital voice, need a new headshot and so on.
2. Market Position alignment – Your online branding strategy and how you or your corporation communicates online must be in perfect alignment with the company brand promise, mission and goals. This is why it is critical that business owners is directly tied into the Digital marketing strategy of the business. You become your market position promise, your statement, when you build a Personal Brand Online.
3. Content strategy and authenticity – Original content done right helps to drive thought-leadership online. This must be delivered in an authentic, professional way. This is all about building trust and credibility with your target via online communications. Content in the form of posts, comments and personalized videos can help you to develop a relationship with people while online. This is why it is called Content Strategy. It is not enough just to push out others content and comment and blog for the sake of blogging. In the world of Personal Branding Online, your original content must come from a place of authenticity.
So what can you do immediately? One immediate thing you can do today to be more successful in marketing yourself online is to start with your LinkedIn Profile. Assess the headshot, headline, summary, experience, connections, groups and posts. Does it currently reflect who you want to be? The circles you want to be in? Are you supporting your network? Have you built an ecosystem? Is your image how you want it to be seen?
Being authentic on a social network on LinkedIn is a great way for you to start to build your Social Brand in such a way that you can engage in Social Selling. Social Selling is really about online relationship building. Any relationship where you are being dishonest or untrue to your true self usually ends up badly. And it doesn’t work in trying to build a support social network of customers, clients and influencers. Remember authenticity is the first step in building an entrepreneurial social brand. In my next Business Glory post, I will tackle more How-To’s of Successful Social Branding. Feel free to share your stories here.