How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Personal Brand

Personal branding on social media is an intimidating topic for some professionals and consultants. Maybe you’ve struggled with it, too. You want to be warm and approachable, but you don’t want to cross the line into oversharing. You want to be professional and polished, but you don’t want to be thought of as the boring guest at the cocktail party.

Choose Your Networks

The first thing to do when using social media to uplevel your personal brand is to decide how you want to be known. Pick one to three subjects you’d like to focus on, so you become THE Expert in those subject areas. And they should be things you’re excited about, because you’ll be sharing and writing about these topics for some time in order to become known as Subject Matter Expert.

You can have a profile on every social network if you want. But most professionals and consultants find their clients and cohorts stick to one or two social networks, depending on their industry or profession. If you’re in the training and development field, you’ll find Twitter and LinkedIn are traction builders. For someone in leadership at a design firm, you might find Facebook and Instagram are where your best clients hang out.

If you’re in a tech related field, you might find that your community prefers Twitter or Reddit instead. Don’t stress about this. Simply pick the two social networks where you get the most traction. These two social networks are ones to update daily.

Keep Your Social Media Profiles Consistent

Review your profiles on all your social media channels. Would someone who’s not familiar with your brand be able to tell you’re the same person? If not, it’s time to align your social media accounts. You’ll want to use the same profile picture, bio, and header image across all your social platforms. This makes it easy for visitors to recognize your brand, regardless of the social network they’re using.

Post Frequently

Maintain an active profile on the most popular social networks in your industry – and your target audience, those people who need to know about you. Some networks are better for posting multiple times a day (like Twitter), while for others posting only 2-3 times a day (or week) works better. This is another reason you want to choose only one to three platforms; activity helps you gain traction with your target audience. And you want to be able to effectively manage the social media channels you choose.

A dormant account can negatively impact your online brand.

To determine the best posting frequency, run a few short experiments. This will help you discover how frequently you should post and what times work best for your followers.

If you’re not sure what to post, follow the 4 out of 5 rule. This rule means posting 4 pieces of content that are useful to your audience to every 1 piece of promotional content. Don’t be afraid to promote great content to your followers, even if you didn’t write it. When you’re the one that shares the latest news in your industry, followers will view you as the go-to source on trends and news in your industry. Curating great content counts.

Join Communities

Once you gain some traction on social media with your personal brand, look for communities of like-minded professionals or your ideal client tribe. Facebook and LinkedIn have groups. Twitter has lists and chats, like #lrnchat for learning pros and #TwitterSmarter and #SocialROI for social media fans. But they all mean pretty much the same thing – they’re an online gathering of people around one central subject, whether that subject is learning and development, social media, HR, healthcare, etc.

The great thing about groups is that they give you a chance to form connections with other members and give them value. It’s also an easy way to do customer research and create your own professional learning network. You can discover what questions your audience frequently asks, what they struggle with, and what they would love to know more about.

Using social media to brand yourself and enhance your online reputation is a smart idea. Just remember to post and share valuable content that benefits your target audience.

CTA: Struggling with your personal brand? Join me July 11th, for “Leveraging Your Personal Brand to Propel Your Career” , an online program in partnership with the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Hope to “see” you there!

© Wendy Terwelp / www.knocks.com / All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with high-performing leaders and organizations who want to advance careers, rock networks, and up-level their brands online and off. Follow her @wendyterwelp.

Five Moves to Rock Your Network® Online

Editor’s note: updated May 2019

How do you leverage social media to network effectively and stay top of mind? Check out these five rock star moves to get connected, get known, and make your network thrive:

1. Pick Three: With so many social media networks to choose from, I recommend picking three so you can manage them well. For career and business development, I recommend: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. As of 2019, LinkedIn has more than 610 million members, Twitter has more than 326 million users, and Facebook topped 2.38 billion.

2. Create a branded bio: Tell a story in your social networking bios. Let your personality pop. Don’t regurgitate your resume information or company bio. Know that chemistry helps you land and KEEP new clients and jobs. Likability counts, be interesting.

3. Know what you want: When you start networking online, it’s important to know what you want from the activity. If you want new clients, be sure your profile is on brand, up to date, professional, personal, and communicates your value and scope of practice. Have a professional, current headshot. For #LinkedIn, add a custom background image or color as well.

4. Join a group: Know that in order to make the most of an online group, you’ve got to take an active role. If you’ve got a business, join groups where your ideal clients will be, including niche and specialty groups. For job seekers, find out where your ideal employers hang out and join those groups. People like to do business with those having similar values, backgrounds, and experiences.

5. Be relevant and add value: Social networking gives you a chance to demonstrate your thought leadership and set yourself apart from your competition. As an executive and leader in your profession, it is even more critical to demonstrate your expertise online.

Take Action: Review your current social networks and identify at least three action items from the above list you can implement immediately. Schedule time to effectively manage your online network and communicate with your contacts regularly. It only takes minutes a day to fuel your network and fire it up!™ That way, your network is there for you when you need it.

Grab your free social media action plan here!

© 2006 – 2019 | Wendy J. Terwelp | All rights reserved.

How to RSVP to LinkedIn Invitations from People You Don’t Know

“Hi Wendy, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.” Sound familiar?

This is the standard LinkedIn invitation sent when people hit “connect.” And there’s a good chance you’ve received many of these since you joined LinkedIn.

As a career expert who advocates LinkedIn as a tool for career management and personal branding, my clients frequently ask me what they should  do about LinkedIn invitations from people they don’t know.

When you receive the standard LinkedIn invitation from people you don’t know, typically one of two things happen, 1) it’s deleted or 2) you hang on to it because you don’t want to offend the invitee by not accepting. Translation: “invitation limbo.” And a full inbox. After a certain time, invitations are deleted automatically by LinkedIn.

Here are solutions you can use to take action on LinkedIn invitations from people you don’t know:

Step One: Review their profile.

  • Do they have a professional headshot?
  • Do they have a professional summary that communicates who they are and what they do? Is it interesting? Does this seem like a person who’d add value to your network?
  • Have they provided value added content? This could include media links, status updates that resonate with you, etc. Check out their activity.
  • Look at their groups. Do you share any in common?
  • Check out shared connections. How many do you have in common? Have any of the common connections written a recommendation for this person?
  • Is this person an alumni of your school? Or employer?

If all of these are a “go” and the person seems like they’d be a wonderful connection to your LinkedIn network, hit “accept” and write a personal message welcoming him or her to your network.

Step 2: But, I’m still not sure…

  • If their background seems intriguing, and you’d like to learn more prior to accepting, pick up the phone and make a personal connection or
  • Hit “message” and here’s what I say, “Hi! Thanks so much for your LinkedIn invitation. Refresh my memory, how do we know each other?” Or, “Hi, Thanks so much for your invitation, how might I be of service?” See if they reply and determine your next move based on their response. 
  • If they’ve written you a message, you can reply to the individual without immediately accepting the invitation.

Step 3: Notice Red Flags

If the profile is missing key ingredients, seems sketchy or that profile looks too familiar (hello, stock photo!), decline.

Step 4: You Get to Choose

It’s YOUR LinkedIn party and you get to decide who gets to join. You got this!

Let me know your favorite tips for LinkedIn invitations in the comments.

And if you or your company needs help with LinkedIn, let’s talk!

Wendy Terwelp is president of Opportunity Knocks™ of Wisconsin, LLC and author of the Rock Your Network® series. Dubbed a “LinkedIn Guru,” by the Washington Post, Terwelp works with organizations ready to take their employees to the next level with the right personal brand, networking strategies and online activities… to not only close more deals and attract more clients, but prepare emerging leaders for the roles you have to fill. Her consulting services, speaking engagements, and workshops serve audiences worldwide through conferences, associations, and corporate engagements.

Terwelp’s private coaching clients regularly win raises, promotions, and jobs. Are you a rock star at work who wants career success on your terms? Schedule a session to discuss your career, goals, and next steps.

 

 

What’s that thing you do? ONE thing.

You’re at a networking event… meeting… conference… cocktail party… and it happens.

“So, what do you do?” the networker asks you.

“Um, well I’m a consultant / L&D pro / social media expert…” you say.

Slash happens. And I get it. You have a lot to offer and a lot of interests. When you’re at an event, all those slash titles can be hard for one person to take in. A more effective approach, decide how you wish to be known and communicate that one thing – not everything. It’s confusing to the listener.

What’s the one thing you wish to be known for and and your best, most relevant story, that demonstrates your expertise to the audience who needs to know about you?

When I coach my clients on effective networking, we work hard on creating a dynamic brand-driven sound bite that gets attention, without overwhelming the listener.

Picking one thing can be tough, but it’s important. As one of my client’s said, working through the exercise, “It’s like my whole career – skills, experience, knowledge is summed up in this one project. It just doesn’t feel right.”

That may be true, however, in networking, and asking your friends, etc. “who do they know, who…” it is important to be clear and focused. Sharing ONE story helps people get an idea of what you can do for someone. It also helps them easily share your story with their connections. And your network becomes your personal sales force.

Challenge: Create your sound bite. Be focused. Share a benefit-driven story that demonstrates your expertise. Tell how your network can help you best.

Want step-by-step help to network like a rock star? Check out my book, Rock Your Network® and rebuild your network in 5 minutes a day online or off.

© 2018 Wendy Terwelp | Wendy Terwelp speaks about social networking, F2F networking, personal branding, and career development. Want raving fans, referrals, and even happier, more engaged employees? Book her here: https://www.knocks.com/speaking/

 

10 Secrets of a Results-Getting Resume

1. Clearly define your career focus. “Candidates have to be focused,” say Executive Recruiters. “The biggest complaint from employers over the years has been ‘We didn’t hire so-and-so because she or he didn’t know what they wanted.’”

2. Be specific when stating your achievements. Qualify, quantify or “dollarize” them to demonstrate that what you offer a prospective employer can easily recoup their investment in your salary. Use the CAR method to help you recall your achievements: Challenge, Action, Result.

3. Use action words and statements. “Responsible for”… is out, “Developed; Directed; Achieved; Coordinated, etc.” is in.

4. For people with 20 or more years of experience: “Do NOT write that into your resume,” said one staffing CEO. “Put a BENEFIT STATEMENT into your resume – something that speaks of how you 1) made the company money, 2) saved the company money or 3) streamlined procedures. Years of experience is immaterial and may indicate that you are just ‘old.’ Companies want to know what kind of a contribution you can make to their success – not how many years you’ve been working.

5. Differentiate yourself. When you review your current resume, can you simply put someone else’s name on it? Or does it clearly differentiate you from your competition and brand you as “the one” for the job?

6. Communicate your value and put key points “above the fold.” One recruiter on LinkedIn told me he reads 200 to 300 resumes a DAY, seven days a week. You have GOT to stand out! Address the unspoken question early on: “Why should I hire you?”

7. When responding to a job posting, be sure you clearly read the ad and assess your qualifications. Companies don’t have time to meet with unqualified applicants. According to one finance recruiter, “Candidates must be an exact match before a company looks at them.”

8. Create a Twitter-worthy value statement about yourself. That’s in 140 – 280 characters or less. This can become your brand statement used on social networking sites, when networking, and during interviews. Here’s mine: “I work with rock stars at work who want to win gigs, promotions, and salary bumps.” This gets people to say, “Tell me more!” That’s your goal.

9. If you know someone at a company, give them a call. Networking is the No. 1 method used by candidates to get jobs. In SilkRoad’s 2017 Source of Hire Study, employee referrals were the No. 1 source for external hires at companies.

10. Think creatively in how you distribute your resume. In a 2016 survey by Lou Adler, CEO of Performance-Based Hiring, 85% of job seekers land jobs through networking. Want more networking tips? Get “Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers.”

© 2003 – 2018 • Wendy J. Terwelp • Opportunity Knocks™ • All Rights Reserved.

Wendy Terwelp works with high potentials through the c-suite. Her clients regularly win promotions, salary bumps, and gigs that are a right fit for their brands and goals. Schedule your strategy call today and learn how Wendy can help YOU be a rock star at work!

Effective Networking: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Tina Turner’s asked a great question, one to think about when choosing a new networking group or eliminating one from your current dance card.

Prior to joining a group, think about the reasons you want to join. Is the purpose for business development? Professional development? Social?

And review the organizations you’re already involved in. Are you involved with a group because it’s fun or because its members generate business for you? Maybe a little of both.

If you’re focused on business development, have you looked at your personal referrals-versus-sales results from each of your networking memberships? You’ve only got so much time. Review your networking plan often. What’s working? What’s not? Who is sending you the most and/or best business? Show them some love and reward them.

Which business networking groups are producing revenue for you and which are not? How much time does membership in each group take? How often do they meet? How big is your personal commitment? If a group is not working for you, it’s OK to cancel your membership. However, it’s not OK to break ties with those members you enjoy most. Keep the love alive by regularly staying in touch. Personally, I find LinkedIn notifications a handy tool to keep up to date on what’s happening with those in my network. You can send a quick note, pick up the phone or schedule an in-person get together to hear the latest.

Does the group you’ve joined offer some great dance partners? People with whom you can create strategic alliances and refer business? Then it’s a keeper.

Having a hard time deciding which group to dump? Could be love. If you’re in a group just to have fun or brainstorm ideas, that’s OK. Know that “fun” is the purpose of this group. Don’t expect new business from it or get angry when members don’t send referrals your way.

Review all your networking organizations and your individual connections. Identify your key contacts and how you plan to reach out to them at least 10 to 14 times per 12-month period. Emails, phone calls, and cards count as reaching out. Lesser contacts can be communicated with three to five times per 12-month period, according to marketing expert, Dan Kennedy.

And finally, if you’re staring at a business card like a phone number on an old paper napkin and you can’t remember who the person is, that person is no longer a viable contact. Remove them from your networking dance card. No love lost there.

© 2006 – 2018 • Wendy J. Terwelp • All Rights Reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is a recognized expert on networking, both online and off. Her advice and ideas have been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Fast Company, Inc., More, The Business Journal, Careerbuilders.com, Monster.com, NBC, ABC, FOX, and other media. Wendy works with organizations who want to rock their networks internally and externally to close more deals, improve employee engagement, and increase brand awareness. Book her for your next event: https://www.knocks.com/speaking/

Networking Got You Spooked?

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Have you seen this Ghost at your networking event?

Are you haunted by the thought of running into one of these characters at your next networking event? Here are the warning signs and tools to slay those situations.

The Vampire: Charms all the contacts and advice right out of you – for free – providing no reciprocation.

Slayer: No pointy stick needed. Instead, try this phrase, “Vlad, it’s a real pleasure meeting you. Would love to schedule a call to discuss what you’re looking for and how we can work together. Right now, I’ve got x time and x time open for a phone call. Which works best for you?”

The Zombie: This person doesn’t eat brains, but sure wants to pick your brain. For free. “C’mon. Let’s go for coffee,” they say. And they keep coming back for more free advice. In the meantime, you haven’t earned a dime.

Slayer: Neutralize the brain-picking requests with this killer phrasing, “Zena, thanks so much for your request. I’d love to work with you. Let’s schedule time to discuss your situation over the phone. That saves us both driving time and we can maximize our time on the call. At the end of our call, I’ll recommend some of my services, which could help you turn around that situation fast. Here’s what’s available. What time/date works best for you?” Or “Thanks for asking, I’ve got a great blog post on that. What’s your email, I’ll send you the link.”

The Werewolf: His hair is perfect. You have a nice conversation. You exchange business cards. The next day, you find you’re subscribed to his newsletter and you’ve received several sales pitches from him via all your social media accounts.

Slayer: Your silver bullet: Unsubscribe. And, block, if necessary. Sure, you can try to educate Wolfy on proper social media etiquette, but chances are this Werewolf has bitten before and likely won’t change.

The Mummy: This person is wrapped up in themselves. And their department. They don’t want to share information for fear they’ll be exposed and lose their job or client or whatever else they deem most valuable. (Maybe it’s a red Swingline stapler.)

Slayer: You understand. You can build trust by reassuring Mummy that sharing a little piece of advice won’t jeopardize their career. Instead, it may enhance it because they’ll have a new ally in another department. They can build on this connection, create cross-functional inroads, and get their job done faster. And you benefit because you’ve got a fresh set of eyes on your work situation from an expert with a long history at the organization.

The Ghost: You were having a great conversation. You turn around and poof. They’ve vanished. No exit conversation. No, “let’s get a call on the calendar.” And no contact info. They’ve simply vanished. “Who was that person? Why did they leave? What did I do?” you ask yourself.

Slayer: It might not be about you. It may be the Ghost’s typical behavior because they hate networking events. If, however it is you, examine the conversation. Might you have accidentally shown a few symptoms from the Mummy, Werewolf, Zombie or Vampire? If so, work on improving your networking prowess. Focus on building the business relationship and friendship first, before making an ask. Think about ways you can help your network, whether it’s making a personal introduction to another in your network or sending a helpful link or resource. That way your network will thrive. And you’re less likely to run into these characters or accidentally turn into one of them yourself in the future. I know you’ll slay it at your next event. Drop me a comment and share your networking story.

© 2017 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with leaders, directors, and high potentials to propel their careers and be rock stars at work. Her private coaching clients win promotions, salary raises, and gigs. A sought-after speaker, Wendy works with organizations who want to smash silos, increase employee engagement, and eliminate people headaches. Book her for your next event: http://www.knocks.com/speaking/