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Updated: September 4, 2023 Advice

10 things I know about ... Building a personal brand for business success

You have something important to say, share, or sell. Growing and leveraging your personal social media network can be an incredibly effective way to expand the reach of your professional mission, product or service, recruit talent, and crowdsource valuable solutions.

Bowditch is the executive director for nonprofit The CASA Project Worcester County.

10) Understand your audience. Think first about who you are trying to reach and where they are most likely to spend their time online. Do some research around which demographics and industries use various platforms.

9) Be selective. Don’t make the mistake of trying to learn and manage every platform at once. Social media is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so choose a couple to experiment with. You can always expand later.

8) Build your network. You could have the most innovative message or compelling content, but unless people are seeing it, it’s just shouting into the abyss. Actively and intentionally send out those connection requests.

7) Interact regularly. It’s called social media for a reason. React and respond, not only to engagement on your own posts, but to your connections’ content. Build time into your routine to be active on your platform(s).

6) Be aware. Acknowledge factors that might impact or limit the way people interact with your online platforms. Highly polarizing or repetitive posts can limit your reach, unless that’s what your platform is built upon. And proofread; poor editing can distract from your message.

5) Be authentic. You can’t have a real connection without letting your own voice be the driver. People respond to authenticity and candor, so don’t get so caught up in filtering your content.

4) Utilize resiliency. You can’t engage with a larger audience without growing a relatively thick skin. Everyone won’t agree with you or appreciate your style, and you need to be okay with that.

3) Don’t reinvent the wheel. These steps can become time consuming and overwhelming if you let them. Don’t overlook the option to share existing relevant content or to draw inspiration from others.

2) Evolve. Remember MySpace? (If yes, I can just stop there. If not, you’re reinforcing this point.) What you think you know or the platforms you are most familiar with might become obsolete, or even problematic (hi, Twitter!). Be prepared to pivot along with the ever-changing landscape of social media.

1) Have fun with it. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Allow yourself to make mistakes, and celebrate the wins!

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