If you're anything like me, the idea of personal branding seems somewhat intangible and even slightly overwhelming. Don't get me wrong -- I understand the importance. But, when it actually comes time to do something that contributes to my personal brand, I find myself stuck.
Here's the good news, though: Refining and improving your personal brand doesn't need to be an overly complex undertaking -- particularly if you're ready and willing to leverage social media to your advantage.
In fact, there are a few quick and easy things you can do to foster a more positive reputation for yourself online -- without needing to invest tons of hours and elbow grease.
1. Swap Out Your Photos
Is your LinkedIn photo growing mold? Has it been years since you've changed out your Twitter profile picture?
Adding a new image to your social profiles is a great way to give your pages an instant makeover with very little effort.
Even if your existing photo isn't necessarily bad, adding a brand new headshot serves to breathe some new life into your accounts!
2. Update Your Twitter Profile
You know that little 160-character blurb that appears directly under your Twitter photo? Well, when's the last time you knocked the cobwebs off of that?
It's a short little paragraph, which means it takes very little time to update.
Tag the company you're currently working with, add your personal website, or even challenge yourself to think of a witty statement that suits your personality and the brand you're attempting to foster.
Yes, that bio is short, but it still says a lot about you -- so, make sure it's accurate and engaging.
3. Highlight Your Recent Work
You never want social media to become your platform for shameless self-promotion. But, there's nothing wrong with sharing some of your recent work there.
Add a few new portfolio pieces to your LinkedIn profile. Or, share a recent piece of work on Facebook or Twitter.
It's always better to show what you can do, rather than just talk about it -- and this is an easy and wide-reaching way to get that done.
4. Share an Interesting Piece of Content
Of course, you don't only need to share your own work. Passing along pieces of content that you find interesting is an effective way to establish yourself as a thought leader without being overly promotional.
Whether it's an article you thought was intriguing, an infographic you found relevant to your industry, or even an engaging video clip that relates to your profession, there are plenty of opportunities to fill other people's feeds with valuable and informative content.
5. Tweet to Someone You Admire
Social media is also a powerful way to forge connections with people -- provided you're willing to actually reach out.
Whether it's an author or speaker, industry leader, colleague, or anyone else that you look up to, send a friendly tweet telling that person how much you admire his or her work. It's a great tactic to establish relationships in a casual, low-pressure environment.
Elevating your personal brand might seem like it involves a huge time investment. But, like with anything, small steps in the right direction can go a long way. Utilize these five quick tips, and you're sure to give your online reputation a boost.