Most of you reading this are beyond the “start a blog, get on Twitter” advice for personal branding. Way beyond it. Hell, if you found this site, you’re already on Twitter, you rock out Facebook, and you know how your Klout score is trending. but still have to look at your license plate to remember the number.
Personally, I’m getting sick of being tricked into reading one more article that promises NEW, IMPROVED social networking techniques, only to find out it’s more dreck about the importance of blogging and the importance of adding value to conversations on LinkedIn.
So here are three advanced personal branding techniques I want you to use as you try to build your personal brand, promote your business, or look for a job.
1. Use videos WELL
I like videos for a number of reasons. One is you get a lot of search engine juice from videos just by optimizing the videos, putting keywords in the titles and description, and then hosting them on a blog. Not only can you optimize your site for Google, but if you win search on YouTube, it automatically puts your video at the top of the Google results again. So don’t just upload a video from your smartphone. Optimize the hell out of it. Put keywords in the title and the description, and embed it on your blog and in your Facebook page.
Use YouTube’s transcription service, which transcribes all the spoken words in the video. If you’re using the right keywords, this will be added to the video’s SEO. And if you post your video on your blog, post the transcription as well, because it’s more content the search engines can index.
Videos should be about your particular niche, but they don’t have to be buttoned-up boring videos. Treat videos like a blog, and shoot fun 45 second videos, and then post them wherever you can. I like YouTube and Vimeo, because they each have their own audiences.
2. Participate in #tweetchats
I like #tweetchats because not only do I get to learn a lot of new techniques, but I also get to advance my own personal brand. For one thing, it can help my Klout score. For another, it puts my name out in front of my peers. And when I answer questions for them, it establishes my expertise and credibility.
Before I wrote this, I participated in Sunday night’s #BlogChat, where professional and beginning bloggers gather and discuss a topic around blogging, my own area of expertise. I’ve also been on #smmchat (social media managers), #prwebchat, and #socialmedia chat talking about blogging and writing.
If you have the skills and experience, ask if you can be a guest moderator for one of them. This immediately casts you as the expert for your topic, and you’ll have dozens of people who could potentially be interested in your services, or at least ready to collaborate with you on future projects.
3. Report breaking news
Start thinking like a citizen journalist and report on important stories happening in your city or industry. I don’t mean become a roving reporter who’s tweeting and blogging about every story you find on the Internet. Rather, pick one or two issues that are important to you, and tweet out information — solid, reliable information — as you find it. By keeping everyone informed about an important news story, you’ll start seeing retweets and @replies, as people look to you as a knowledgeable resource for the issue.
Start blogging about the issues as well, after the initial furor has died down. Don’t be afraid to interview some of the people involved, and get your story out before other bloggers write their armchair quarterback responses to news stories they see the next day.
These are techniques that many personal branding experts use on a regular basis. They don’t focus on them every day, but rather, they pick one tactic, and use it for a day or so, and then switch to another, before they try something brand new. They measure the results, see what works, tweak it and try again.
If you want to take your personal branding efforts beyond “pimp out your LinkedIn profile,” try a couple of these techniques and see what happens.
Erik Deckers is the owner of Professional Blog Service, and the co-author of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. His new book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing, which he wrote with Jason Falls, is in bookstores and on Amazon now.