When you're attempting to build a career, rather than just find another job, it's important to have a strategic career building strategy. One of the key components of a good strategy is marketing. Just like companies have to market themselves by building a brand and promoting what they do, we have to build our own personal brands and promote who we are and what we have to offer.
There are so many ways that you can build your personal brand. One way that really has an impact is creating an identity on social media like Twitter. One of the nice things about micro-blogging is that you can create and manage your image, your brand identity and you have a vehicle that will reach many people with very little effort.
It might seem like a waste of time at first, but by creating your own niche with Twitter, you will build an audience that will reach many employers. In fact, even the employers who aren't aware of your Twitter will probably take a look if you include a link in your resume. Ideally, they should be able to look through your Twitter and get a good idea of who you are, what you do, how you work and how you would fit with their company. It's become so common that there was even an article at The Atlantic about how important Twitter can be in moving a career further.
Here's how to build your Twitter marketing campaign:
- Make a professional Twitter account – If you currently use Twitter to connect with your friends and family or in any other non-professional way, start a new Twitter account specifically for your career. Ideally, this account will be the one that will follow you throughout your career, no matter where you work, so don't make the mistake of tying it too tightly with one company. Of course, you should come up with a professional screen name. It doesn't have to be your own name, but it should be something that communicates your best traits, what you do or at least something you wouldn't be embarrassed to say.
- Be consistent – Tweeting doesn't take very long, so you should try to do it fairly often. Many professionals make the mistake of only sending out a message when they are trying to promote something and otherwise, not engaging with their followers. This makes you appear to only be interested in advertising, rather than creating friendships. Interact with your followers and the people you follow. Join in on conversations and ask questions.
- Stay on topic – As much as possible, keep your tweets professional and stick to a specific range of topics. For example, if you're a hair and makeup artist, the majority of your tweets should be about make up tips, celebrity make up critiques, new hairstyles and so on. If you become a good source for information about a specific topic, you'll gain more followers and create an audience for the subject. If your tweets are all over the place, the people who like one thing might really hate the other. Keep this sort of randomness on your personal account, not on your professional one.
- Share great content – Spend some time looking for great content to share. If you consistently share interesting information, the people who follow you will want to continue to follow you, even when you no longer work at their company. This is a great way to stay in contact with past co-workers, old bosses, college colleagues and other network contacts. It also will allow you to establish yourself as an expert in a specific area or someone to go to for opinions or advice. It may not be because you are the best in your industry, but because you consistently have good things to say and you're easily accessible.
- Let your winning personality shine – The number one goal of a good Twitter feed is to let your winning personality shine through. When you share great things, stay on topic and create a conversation with others in your field, you'll have a million different chances to demonstrate your wonderful qualities. Be professional and treat everyone else with the same respect you would give a client or a co-worker. Don't be afraid to be enthusiastic, passionate and show your sense of humor.
Once you create your profile on Twitter, remember to keep up with it. So many people start these things with the best of intentions, only to abandon them when they find a new job. Do your best to keep at it, even when you're working. It will make finding your next job so much easier.
What do you think? Do you have a professional Twitter account? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Image source: Twitter