In today’s digital era, social media is an indispensable tool for tech founders and executives looking to establish a strong personal brand.
A study by Brandfog suggests that CEOs who are active on social media are perceived as more approachable and forward-thinking – crucial traits for leaders in the tech industry.
This is where platforms like LinkedIn, X (formerly known as Twitter), and even Instagram, become more than just networking tools; they are the canvas for your professional story.
We sat down with tech executives in the Powderkeg community to learn about how they build their personal brand on social media. Keep reading to learn real-life best practices—and the benefits they’ve seen from their efforts.
Focus On the Things You Like Most
More recently, rebranding myself in the product space with the focus on the things I like most opened up many conversations with prospects about how I could help their company. It’s great to be someone people want to work with, but that’s not actionable. You need to be someone who is great to work with and who is *really* good at some specific things.
Embrace Your Values as Your Personal Brand
My family mantra, “Remember who you are and who you represent,” inspires me to ensure I am representing myself and my values in every interaction. This has led me to lay the foundation of a successful career in HR, showing kindness, fairness, and compassion for those I interact with – in and outside of my company – throughout the entire employee lifecycle.
Accelerate New Partnerships
My personal brand, emphasizing authenticity and continuous learning, directly secured a strategic partnership. An industry leader, who followed my thought-leadership articles, approached me at a conference. He valued my insights and community engagement. This recognition sped up our collaboration talks, highlighting how a robust personal brand can unlock professional opportunities unexpectedly.
Build Upon Your Previous Experience
My previous role as a Partnership Account Manager had quite the positive impact on my professional journey. During my time in this role, I had the privilege of growing our rural water partnerships from 3 states to 30! Together, we provided free training on EPA regulations to thousands of rural water members. It was a collective effort, but I know the brand I built for myself certainly played a key in attracting the state partnerships and maintaining those relationships.
Tips for Using Social Media to Build Your Personal Brand
Build a Consistent Content Cadence
Build a consistent content cadence. And vary your content format. Three posts per week works best. Try one video, one tip or trick, and a guest feature (I.e. you on a podcast, something you’re reading, something you’re watching, or a guest expert). Then get curious about which themes and formats generate the most engagement.
Be authentic. Your social media accounts should be an extension of your personality so write like you’re having a conversation. Commenting, sharing, and reacting to your network’s posts consistently will not only help build your network but will keep you top of mind when someone needs a referral or introduction.
Be Intentional About Your Strategy and Target Audience
Be intentional about your strategy and your target audience. I never really understood X, so I don’t bother with it. For LinkedIn, I include a pic or image more often than not and it’s usually a selfie or group shot when I’m with my audience. Pics and images tend to get more attention because I’m marketing to a very small (thousands) global audience of my sellers. I’m not trying to “build a following,” or “become an influencer” as much as staying relevant with my audience, and it works!
Showcase Innovative Approaches to Traditional Practices
I’ve used LinkedIn to promote thought leadership in a field that is weighed down by traditional schools of practice. Using the platform as a way to showcase new – and effective – ways to approach strategy development has been a primary way for me to build my business and influence the next generation of leaders in the economic development industry.
Examples of How Building Your Personal Brand Can Benefit Your Career
Leaning Into Your Passion Fuels Professional Credibility
Ever since I first launched Yarooms about 12 years ago, I feel like I’ve benefited from remaining excited about the root cause of what got me into the business in the first place—that hybrid work is best for the individual, the business, and society. This has been part of my identity for a long time, and I make sure that passion comes through in all my interactions with my peers, my employees, and potential clients as well. I’m not the cool, slick, and reserved CEO—I’m always excited to help people understand just what they could be getting when making the switch, and I think that’s really helped me build credibility in the eyes of those I work with.
Your Side Hustle Can Spark Career Opportunities
Attending my first networking event for marketers while still in college was an unforgettable experience. The first person I greeted recognized my name and inquired, “The same Michael Power who does résumé reviews?” My dorm-room side hustle of helping people write their CVs had built a significant reputation among my peers. This recognition not only boosted my confidence for the remainder of the event but also demonstrated to potential employers and recruiters my capability to run a mini-business. Their confidence in my abilities led to job offers at the event, and gaining new résumé-editing clients was an added bonus!
Your Personal Brand Can Help You Find Your First Job
Being known as the “SQL guy” on campus in college helped me immensely when it came to recruiting. The truth is that candidates are always nervous when sending out applications—what if they end up someplace that’s bad? By having a strong personal brand, you’re essentially telling candidates who you are and what you’re about. There’s less doubt in their minds when they see that you, personally, embody the values you want your company to have. If those values are in line with theirs, they’ll flock to you as your next great hire.
Keep reading about Building a Personal Brand on Powderkeg:
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