Branding, as the word suggests, is something that leaves a mark, and making an impression with customers is crucial when it comes to gaining their trust and building a relationship with them. While it’s easy to think of branding as something only large marketing teams do for even larger companies, having your own personal brand in the digital world is important and can have a major impact on your career and business. Social media is the gateway to building and promoting your personal brand in a way that not only resonates with your clients but strengthens your relationship with them.
Your personal brand communicates to others who you are and what you stand for, and social media is the keystone to amplifying your brand. Having a strong online presence helps you tell your story; it builds the foundation of trust a client needs to start – and keep – working with you. The virtual version of word of mouth, social media helps you build and protect your reputation. If a potential client researches you online and comes up empty, you may as well be a ghost.
How do you build your personal brand?
Like any strong marketing strategy, you need to first figure out what your messaging is and then stick to it. Personal branding isn’t about curating some perfectly polished online version of yourself; it’s about sharing who you actually are, whether online or off. Building a relationship with clients takes trust, and trust takes vulnerability. You can’t expect clients to feel comfortable sharing key moments in their lives with you if you don’t share who you are with them.
Just like in any relationship, people want to feel connected and they want to know you’re invested in them. Sincere, authentic messaging helps do that. One important facet of authenticity, however, is to not deviate from it. Stay on brand; nothing can undo a hard-earned online reputation faster than going off-brand by sharing something you aren’t known for or that could damage the trust you’ve built with your clients. On the flip side, one of the biggest benefits to building and promoting a strong online presence is that as you cultivate stronger working relationships with your clients, real word of mouth comes into play. When you have clients that trust you and enjoy working with you, they often tell others. Keeping yourself and your services top-of-mind online with your clients can translate into valuable referrals offline.