BernieBorges.com Blog: Social Media and Web Marketing
Developing Social Influence Through Your Personal Brand
3 Suggestions to Build Social Influence in Your Industry
Recently, I conducted a two day training event on personal branding in the corporate workplace. The attendees were mostly from midsize businesses and universities. The overall theme of the training event was developing a “corporate personal brand.” The idea is for corporate managers to deliberately encourage certain employees in their organization to develop their personal brand for mutual benefit: the employee and the employer.
One of the topics we explored is developing social influence. We explored three ways to develop social influence through corporate personal branding.
Demonstrate Domain Expertise
To develop influence in any industry, you have to demonstrate expertise in a specific domain. There probably already exist other people in your industry with influence. Therefore, to develop social influence you must be capable of proving your domain expertise. It’s not feasible to simply declare yourself a domain expert. Others must recognize you as a domain expert and be willing to recognize you in a way that is noticed and respected in your industry. Developing social influence in your domain requires that your expertise is exposed and shared through online social channels. While it is possible to develop domain expertise through your personal brand outside of social channels, it’s much harder. If you are not highly accomplished through published works and high profile speaking engagements, your absence from digital social channels significantly limits your ability to develop social influence in your area of expertise.
Aggressive Content Strategy
The most credible way to get others to recognize you as an expert in any market segment is to produce content that illustrates your expertise. The interesting issue that I encountered among some of the attendees of this training event is resistance to producing content. This is like trying to become a body builder without being willing to workout with weights. It’s just not going to happen. There is some, but arguably limited value in curating content. To earn social influence, you must produce original content.
There are many ways for a domain expert to produce content to develop the credibility that will earn recognition and build social influence. If you like to write, you’ve got it made. Write a book, or an e-book, or white papers, blog posts, guest articles, newsletter articles, etc. If you don’t particularly like to write, but you’re willing to read blogs in your industry, you can add your comments to relevant articles. But, you have to do a lot of this to gain social influence. You can also produce a podcast or a video show to build your social influence. Whatever your chosen content strategy, the point is you must have one if you want to build social influence through your personal brand.
Professional and Social Credibility
The digital age has proved many things, and one of them is that we are social creatures. Regardless of age, creed or any other demographic our desire to be social with others is a natural part of our human nature. Social media has given us channels and opportunities to be human in the context of daily business conduct as much as our personal lives.
If you want to build social influence, you are well served to demonstrate both your professional credibility and your social credibility. Simply stated, all work and no play is boring in the digital age. Show your human side a little bit to give your friends and followers insight into you as a person. Of course, you don’t have to do this. There’s no social media rulebook that says you must be social. All I’m saying is that if you want to build social influence in your area of expertise, you should be social. It’s not rocket science. Again, I encounter a lot of resistance to this in my travels. In the end, it’s always an individual decision.
If you want to build social influence through your personal brand consider these three tips. Share your ideas and your story below if you are so inclined. But, you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
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