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Creating a concise and powerful personal branding statement is an accomplishment in and of itself–but it’s only half the battle. Unfortunately, the best branding in the world is virtually useless unless you promote it.

Once you’ve crafted your message, you have to get the word out. Social media provide an ideal platform for your promotion efforts. Used properly, online networking activity can reinforce your branding by making you more visible, credible and involved.

Social Media helps you Establish Credibility and Visibility.

A strong brand is of little value if nobody knows about you. It’s worth even less if you don’t back your claims up. To put your branding to work for you, you must become both visible and credible. So don’t just “talk the talk.” “Walk the walk” by trying these ideas:

Get out there: If you don’t have a strong online presence, create one. Develop profiles on networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter; create directory listings on Naymz, Plaxo and ZoomInfo; vote for your site in social bookmarks like Delicious and Digg to improve your position in Google results.

Publish articles: Put yourself in the spotlight by writing and publishing articles relevant to your area of proficiency. Then link these resources to your profiles. The more you show what you know, the more credibility you lend to your brand.

Create a professional blog: Prove that you understand and care about relevant professional topics by contributing your two cents. Start your own blog to demonstrate your willingness and ability to give back to your niche.

Post to other professional blogs: Find out who the other hot bloggers are in your field. Reach out by posting to their blogs with responses that provide unique insight or support your branding (Tip: it’s perfectly okay to spend a few minutes on paper planning your response before posting).

Post content, links and news: Reinforce your credibility as an expert by showing that you keep current with developments in your industry. When appropriate, post articles, news or other links to timely and relevant information which others may find valuable.

Answer questions on Q & A communities: Few things will reinforce your branding more than providing the solution to a problem within your niche. Actively search out questions in places like LinkedIn and Yahoo! Answers, and provide well thought-out responses that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise.

Garner recommendations: LinkedIn’s Recommendations lend credibility by providing 3rd party perspective on you and your work. Take advantage of this opportunity. Ask your boss, peers and/or satisfied clients to write recommendations for you–and make sure they are familiar with your branding statement. Review their comments to confirm they align with your branding efforts before posting them to your profile.

Hone your profiles: Both Facebook and LinkedIn provide prominent places to display your personal branding statement–take advantage of the free advertising! In addition, the LinkedIn Summary section is connected to its powerful search engine–so make sure you place essential branding keywords in the

Resources

Personal Branding for the Little Guy : http://www.sunfeatures.com/columns/2008/07-06-09.html

Schawbel, Dan. Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand: http://mashable.com/2009/02/05/personal-branding-101/

Sherman, RJ. How to Brand Yourself. http://blog.brand-yourself.com/2009/how-to-brand-yourself/

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