This week, we’re taking time to explore a topic that’s a little different. You. Yes, you. Not your business, not your marketing campaigns, but you on an individual level. If you think about it, the time and effort invested in marketing yourself plays just as crucial a role as marketing your business. This is especially true when it comes to goal achievement. If you work for a large corporation, growth is always welcomed, and if you’re employed by a local start-up, brand establishment is the name of the game. Both of these can benefit from the individual efforts of employees, but the question is, “what’s going to be your approach?” Well feast your eyes on the steps you’ll need to get started!
Step 1: Realize That LinkedIn is Your Friend
Your position as a thought leader is highly influenced by the people your message reaches. That should be a given. You wouldn’t want to spend your time and effort crafting content that embodies both your work and your personality, only to have it sit in perpetual stagnancy. The best remedy here is social networking, particularly using LinkedIn, self-proclaimed as the “World’s Largest Professional Network.”
LinkedIn contains distinct advantages over other popular platforms like Facebook or Twitter, including:
- An environment for professionals to connect. This works to filter out audiences that may ignore your message
- Groups that allow you to hone in on audiences within your industry, your geographic location, or your level of experience
- An environment that’s becoming a big part of recruiting and talent acquisition processes
By taking advantage of this powerful networking tool, you’ll be able to easily contribute to the industry-wide conversation, connect with influential people in the space, and explore opportunities to progress in your field.
Step 2: Seek out Media to Showcase Your Insight
While LinkedIn is a very powerful tool for getting your name out there and having discourse with others in your industry, the platform can sometimes lack recency and structure from the standpoint of interesting and innovative content creation. In other words, LinkedIn may offer a place to discuss your thoughts on a particular topic, but you’ll need a way to more formally (and regularly) share your ideas. In this regard, a great place to start is by using the resources already at your disposal.
Get together with colleagues and propose a company blog or YouTube channel if they don’t already exist. If they do, you’ve got a few options. You can develop a regular blog series that appears alongside your company’s posts or set up a YouTube playlist that features content that incorporates your unique personality. If you’re comfortable exploring digital roads-less-traveled, there are a host of less-traditional content outlets at your disposal, including SlideShare, infographics, screencast tutorials, or microcontent sites like Vine and Instagram).
No matter the avenue you choose to carry your message, keep one thing in mind—whether you try to or not, you are always representing your employer when interacting online. Your individualized content marketing endeavors should be approved by the higher-ups, portray your company in a positive light, and offer relevant information to your intended audience (Basically, upload those cat videos on your own time).
Step 3: Maintain and Measure!
When your personal digital marketing gets off the ground, there are a few important maintenance items to consider. First off, don’t embark on any content-driven marketing medium if you can’t maintain it. You’ll have to be strategic about allocating your time to satisfy your existing work responsibilities and your chosen “side project.” This point can be summed up very succinctly: “Any digital asset, if left to languish, will leave you worse off than if you hadn’t created it in the first place.”
In addition, consider your process for demonstrating the value of your efforts. If you’re approached by your supervisor and she wants to see the “results” of your self-marketing campaign, what will you do? Incorporating a measurement plan that shows your time is paying off with tangible goals, key performance indicators, and metrics will be invaluable. Not only will you be able to quell your boss’s wariness, but you’ll also begin laying appropriate procedural groundwork, should your content become company policy down the line.