Updated: Nov 28, 2018
Bringing the best content to your followers is one thing, but if you don’t present or communicate it with a commendable voice, people will likely just keep scrolling.
There are various techniques for defining your personal brand image or voice, and that’s probably why fewer than more personal brands are remembered. Your expression of you is a key ingredient of your personal brand’s success in social media.
The amount of generic content is endless, and on social media people seek out content that speaks to them and that is genuine — this builds a connection with your social media audience and is an essential objective in your personal branding marketing strategy. The way in which you communicate should do exactly that. The objective here is higher engagement rates, to increase the number of followers and your overall personal brand name recognition that also leads to credibility and capability and then — desirability. This is especially when people are looking for individuals to hire you or for interviews and opinions from media outlets and publications.
Bottom line, your voice is the personality of you and your name “is your brand”, which better be a captivating one.
So permit me to delve into the method of crafting a your personal brand voice that will help propel your career and notoriety by understanding the key components that make up an strong personal brand (voice) and how having one will boost your business and your career.
What is your personal brand name voice?
The objective here is to consistently communicate your values, personality, interests and areas of expertise. The manner in which you communicate changes, based on the circumstances such as your audience, the communication channel, and the type of content being shared. Your primary objective is to communicate consistently so that your audience knows who you are just like you know that a McDonald’s® hamburger will be the same everywhere in the world.
Connect with your personal brand name
Behind every personal brand name, there is a real person. Your target audience and perhaps clients are curious about the real person behind your digitally printed voice on social media. To launch a successful personal brand name, one has to have a strong vision and values in combination with a specific subject or field of expertise to share with the world. So speak about what’s important to you and do speak with confidence and with a solid background of knowledge behind the subject matter so that you are seen as expert. This applies for both when creating content as well as when you repost someone else’s content.
Essentials of personal brand communication style
I believe that there are 4 key elements that include your personal character, the tone in which you communicate your voice, language you communicate in (it can be more than one which would be your language style), and the purpose in which you speak. Understanding these 4 elements will assist you to formulate the type of vibe your audience will associate from your personal brand’s voice.
Your personal character is how you would describe a discussion, for example, that the way you’re communicating is inspiring, fun, or melancholy.
Your tone is communicated by how you come across to the audience such as being direct, honest, scientific, or modest etc.
Your language is how you would write such as being serious, multifaceted, nomenclature-filled, using metaphors etc.
Your purpose is expressed by verbs you use to describe why someone does something and as a personal brand you can entertain, promote, criticize, educate, or engage your audience.
The essence of your personal character
Every individual or company has its own unique way of doing things, how they see things or in essence, their own unique philosophy. Your personal character should be a reflection of your companies’ philosophy and/or your own personal brand. This means that your followers should be able to have an idea of what you and/or your company stand for or what makes you unique rom the crowd (akin to a USP). Your beliefs and values should shine through on social media as it will help fortify your followers understanding of you and how they experience the brand from within.
The goal here is to create groups or communities on your social media touch points surrounding your personal brand and is an attestation that you speak are communicating from the same hymn book. Connecting with your target audience’s interests, what they like or dislike is part of your role to regularly analyze your social media page analytics. Pay attention to what type of content and style they are responding to by likes, thumbs, claps etc., and forwards, Retweets and shares as well as engaging with your profile or going to your web or LinkedIn page.
The online world is flooded with content and social media is a prime example of information overload. Take a fresh angle to the conversation and determine what you want to offer, and then frame it so that it does not sound or look like all the other voices out there. I would suggest that you also analyze how your audience interacts with other personal brand personalities in how they speak, what they say, from what perspective they are coming from etc., which will help you better fine tune your message as to be more congruent with their style without compromising your own voice or tone.
Consistency is key!
Some social media channels require a different approach in how you communicate; however, this doesn’t mean that it changes how you communicate. The content you post may differ slightly from platform to platform, but your personal brand personality remains consistent across all channels — even your photo should be the same on every channel as a quasi logo. Keep this in mind, as you are likely to have the same followers on more than one social media channel. By not being consistent you will only confuse your audience and confuse your personal brand name.
What’s the right tone for me?
Begin by creating a big picture plan and ask yourself some essential and defining questions such as:
What type of content will I create?
What types of content will I share/repost?
For which platforms will I be active on?
If on multiple platforms, define how each one will be used
o Target audience
o Type of content
o Frequency of posting
o Days and times I will post
o Objectives for each platform
Who is your primary and secondary target audience and how they are supposed to react to your content? With the desired reactions, create the key words you wish to describe the appropriate tone for that specific situation.
Accentuate your style & voice
Your social media profiles such as LinkedIn, Quora and facebook are platforms that can help you can stand out. It is here that you may communicate your purpose, your area of expertise and what you are seeking or interested in. From a professional perspective, LinkedIn is probably one of the most important platforms when looking at a personal brand name — second to ones own website. So do think strategically about how you present yourself and keep it up to date. You should also fine tune your message as required and be sure that your header captures who you really are and how you wish to be seen.
As mentioned below, be thoughtful about what and where you post on any social media platform. Think about the replies, comments, reposts and discussions you start on social media. All deserve a unique and personalized statement or answer/response and the tone in which you are going to consistently reply to comments. I tend to refrain from jokes, videos when ever possible, generic news that holds little value to my audience, emojis etc., however, if this is what your audience expects — by all means do as you wish.
Be mindful of what you post
My general advice for most individuals and most situations is that you should refrain from posting content that includes your personal information, political and religious views and in many cases, sports team affiliations. All of these areas of discussion are possible alienating points and can do more harm than good. If you are intended on communicating these points for what ever purpose, then that is fine — just be exceptionally mindful that what you post can be potentially harmful, both in the short and long term. There are consequences to every action we do, social media is one of those situations where what you say in your past can bite you on your ass when you don’t expected it. So if you are not concerned about this, go for it, as it will set the tone and voice of who you are and what you stand for but…. yes there is always a but. If you change your position or beliefs in the future you will have a very difficult time to convince your audience that you are now a “new person” and that was the old you. A recent example of this in the Huffington Post today where the news about a MLB player from the Colorado Rockies’, Ryan Rolison, where he is being reminded of the tweet he made when he was 15 years old. It took place November 6, 2012 after the US elections saw president Obama elected as his tweet read “Well we have one hope left…if someone shoots him during his speech”. Now Ryan is quoted in the Huffington Post trying to defend his political position by the following statement “I had no idea what I was talking about, and it was immature of me to post something like that. People know that’s not who I am, and I think the Colorado Rockies know that’s not who I am.” If you were to do a search online today you will see a plethora of pages with this news — a problem I am certain Ryan would have preferred to not have to deal with. So think not twice, but many times before you wish to post anything, as it will permanently be for the entire world to see — even though, in Ryan’s case, he attempted to delete this post someone caught it and reposted as an image. This example has no bearing on my political views and stated for the sole purpose of being relevant to a real life and current example for this learning experience.
The importance of posting a good photo
Think of the old idiom, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, meaning (as per Wikipedia); “It refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single still image or that an image of a subject conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a description does.”
If one were to look at many people’s profiles on say LinkedIn as an example, many people would make a quick judgement about a person just based on their photo — such as if the person was lazy and took a photo that came from a party or if the person looks like they are not serious as they are wearing reflective sunglasses, a tank top and crazy hair. The point here is this, you must take your personal professional image very seriously — think of it as a quasi logo. The idea is that you are easily identifiable across the digital canvas and by doing this; people can even tell a friend or associate to see the profile of i.e. John Doe of Silicon Valley, he is the fellow who is wearing the red tie with the blue blazer and blue jeans and white tennis socks… very identifiable style and always the same image everywhere, is part of your personal brand strategy. I suggest that if you are serious about your career, do invest in having a professional photographer take your photo. If you are currently using a photo, I strongly suggest that you test your photo using a site called photofeeler.com as it will give you a very good insight as to how people view your image as it relates to the business role you are functioning in. I suggest that you aim for an 85% and above rating. Should your existing photo not fare well, definitely get a professionally photo(s) and then test again on photofeeler for best results.
As usual, please feel free to contact me should you have any comments or questions as I do appreciate them.
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