In my social media consulting business for business owners and executives who want to build their personal and business brand, I often speak with highly motivated individuals who “want to learn about the social media thing” and “make it work for our business”. Then they want me to help them jump into the deep end of the pool, meaning they want to immediately dominate Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Google Plus. While I’m obviously happy to hear that kind of enthusiasm from a client, I typically try to help that client focus on starting small and learning to be really effective on one social media network at a time.
Here are 3 reasons why I recommend starting small when your goals are to build you personal brand on social media.
1) Starting too quickly makes you appear less genuine.
If you go from less than 1 post-per-day to tweeting every hour, posting new statuses to Facebook every day, participating in Linkedin group discussions, and Plus 1’ing everything in sight, it just comes across as contrived and lacks sincerity. Plus, if you’ve just begun, you likely won’t be talking to anyone anyway. Those few followers you begin with are your foundation. They already follow you or followed you while you were just beginning because they like what you stand for. Don’t cheapen it by spamming them.
2) Growing your audience sequentially is more efficient than growing simultaneously.
If you focus your efforts on developing your community on Linkedin, for example, you have a built-in base from which to direct traffic to Twitter (or Facebook, or Google Plus, or Pinterest…), when the time is right to begin the next phase in your growth. Conversely, if you begin by going after 3 or 4 platforms, you’re having to split your time, which keeps you in the beginning phase longer, making it all the more difficult to focus on putting out quality content.
3) It builds your confidence to know you’re really good at something.
There’s not enough that can be said for the confidence one gains from small wins. Putting in consistent, focused effort on one social media network, you will see positive trends emerge, which should give you that boost that you need to keep moving towards your goals.
Personal branding on social media is a marathon, not a sprint. So be prepared to follow a proven plan and stick with it, despite the ups-and-downs that are guaranteed to occur. By starting slowly, you’ll be setting yourself up for success and at the same time, build solid habits that will guarantee long term, sustainable results.
Do you have any experience with personal branding on social media? How did you begin? I’d love to know what lessons you learned along the way.