“If I’m honest, I need to improve my ‘personal brand’. I need people to see the real value I can bring.”
We hear it all the time. Consultants recognise that to truly differentiate themselves they have to be seen as unique, relevant, and appealing to potential clients.
They also recognise that social media is invaluable in building trust, strengthening relationships and reinforcing who you are.
Yet many acknowledge they are only touching the surface when it comes to maximising the power of the two most powerful platforms for business: LinkedIn and Twitter.
LinkedIn, with over 560 million members continues to grow rapidly, where others such as Facebook have felt the hit. Its continued success has come from retaining its clear business connection and knowledge sharing focus.
So how can you, as a consultant, better take advantage?
LinkedIn is not your CV
This is the biggest mistake people make. Please, please, do not cut and paste your CV into your profile and think that’s enough! Remember, you are selling your brand, so don’t be the profile that just lists a set of skills and accomplishments. Outline how you have applied them to add value to your clients, to deliver projects and build relationships. How can you help your potential clients overcome their challenges?
LinkedIn have a helpful master guide for building a LinkedIn profile that will help get you noticed.
Now, social media etiquette can be tricky water to navigate, and LinkedIn is different from any other site. Here’s some advice on some of those unspoken LinkedIn etiquette rules to help you find your way.
Twitter is more powerful than you might think
It really is. I promise you Twitter is not just for complaining that your hotel room isn’t up to standard, or to vent frustration at your latest train delay! Businesses are spending significant sums of money each year on advertising on this platform – they do that for a reason and that’s because it’s a great way to seed your brand outside of your normal network.
It’s an ideal platform, in particular, for small and medium sized consultancies. Not only can you ‘follow’ your clients, potential clients, peers, and thought leaders in your field, but engage with them. Respond to their tweets, like their tweets, retweet them. You’ll be surprised at the relationships you can quickly build.
Tools like Hootsuite are great to pre-schedule tweets during the week. A couple of tips: photos and images always get more impressions and don’t tweet too much, a couple of times a day is idea and mix up the post timings.
Then review your analytics, see what worked and amend going forward.
If you already use Twitter to post about your favourite interests outside of work you might want to consider having two profiles, a personal one and a work profile to avoid mixed messages or needing to self-edit on a weekend.
Be one person across all platforms
One of the most important things to consider when using LinkedIn and Twitter to build your personal brand and relationships is your tone. Consistency across platforms is key in ensuring that your tone matches your brand.
You might want to ask your peers and clients how they would position you – or emulate a profile you feel has impact.
Treat the maintenance of these platforms as a part of running your consultancy, take time each week to respond, and review. Ensure you have both on your phones to allow you to engage in real time on conversations and build a natural style of business engagement that builds your personal brand.
Just get started
If this all sounds like a lot of work, honestly just get started. If you apply our guidance a few hours a week your brand will grow, audience reach expand and rewards start to develop.