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The ease at which anyone can build a personal brand is one of the most profound implications of web-based social networking.  Thanks to the advent of ubiquitous (and free) social networking applications, everyone in the world is limited only by their imagination on how to go about building their own personal brand.
Keep in mind that your goal in building an online personal brand is to enable people to quickly determine your credibility, and what they can expect to consume from you when they come across your online presence.
Be kind.  This seems pretty obvious, but you don't have to look very far to see someone waxing eloquent on why they hate something (or someone) in the social networking space.  While it's gratifying to stick it to whomever is causing you angst, be aware that your words will follow you.  Don't say anything that you couldn't say to someone's face.
Be available.  When you're asked for help, give it without expectation of the return favor.  Nothing communicates credibility better than freely adding value.  Go out of your way to offer help if you have to - if someone on Twitter has a problem that you might be able to solve, offer assistance.
Be yourself.  Don't be afraid to add some personal flavor to what you add to cyberspace.  Sometimes a snarky remark speaks more to your understanding of someone's condition than trying to correct someone's problem.
Be specific.  Being an expert doesn't mean having all of the answers to all of the questions that come into your social network.  Find your niche, and own it.
Some Practical Ideas
  • Have a consistent handle across all of the social networking applications.  This will make it far easier for someone to google you and find you.
  • Make sure you add a current picture to all of your profiles.  Pictures automatically add credibility.
  • Don't assume that having a Facebook page will be enough.  Find where people go for answers in your field of expertise and create a profile there, and start helping people.
Posted on Sunday, July 26, 2009 9:46 AM Social Networking | Back to top

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