Whether you work in-house on a marketing team, as a freelancer, or you own a marketing agency, your reputation will help you secure new leads for both projects and clients. Explore with us the best branding advice for social media managers. Success starts with how you position yourself and your skillset in the crowded world of marketers-for-hire.
Let’s find out how to brand yourself!
What’s a Brand Identity?
Brand identity is
“the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding,” even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable.”
If you are a freelancer, your brand identity is of utmost importance. You are your business, not just the face of the business, but the business. Your success as a freelancer depends on creating a believable and trusted brand identity that clients can relate to and want to work with.
As a digital marketing agency owner, your brand identity is what people expect and trust from the agency, not necessarily from you as the owner. The brand identity of your agency is what makes you instantly recognizable to your customers. Your audience will associate your brand identity with your product or service, and that identity is what forges the connection between you and your customers, builds customer loyalty, and determines how your customers will perceive your brand.
Now as an in-house marketer, your brand identity is a bit more hidden, but is still important, especially if you are in a front-facing position with clients, are helping with sales or if you are at the start of your career and might want to move up the ladder!
What’s on the outside, thus what is seen by the outside world, is your brand identity.
As a social media marketer, know what you stand for, who you are, where you want to go and what you have to offer! Those pieces together determine your brand identity.
Does a Social Media Marketer Need a Branding Style Guide?
If you are a freelancer, you need a branding style guide!
This is also true if you have a personal blog.
At the same time, when you are looking for a new job or new clients, and you are developing a portfolio, it would benefit you to first create a branding style guide for yourself, before applying for opportunities. Knowing who you are, what you stand for and more importantly, what you are looking for in your next client is important to getting what you want!
Branding Your Business – Agency Ownership
Before you brand your agency, there are many things to consider.
- Do you have a partner, or are you considering getting one?
- What does your mission statement say?
- What’s in your vision for your brand?
- How fast and how large do you anticipate growing?
- What are your business values?
Business owners starting out on a new venture, need to take all of these questions, along with another into consideration to start building successful brands, a brand personality and ultimately a branding strategy.
How To Build Your Brand as a Social Media Manager
In order to build a brand, any brand, you need visibility. As a social media manager, that means sharing your expertise, your thoughts and your knowledge with the (online) world. Someone has to talk about you in order for your brand to be built and initially, that someone is … you.
Eventually, others will start talking about you too (i.e. referrals, online reviews, LinkedIn recommendations, Podcast, speaking opportunities).
1) Network Like Crazy!
Nothing grows a brand like genuine, wholesome, sincere networking. Showing up online and in-person is paramount to growing a brand. Nothing and I mean nothing can stand in the place of you being present. A recorded video can serve as a stand-in when needed, but showing up to meet ‘n greet colleagues, movers and shakers and industry leaders and having real conversations with them, is the best way to build your brand!
2) Share Other People’s Content
I bet you are flattered when your blog post is shared! How do you feel when someone loves your pin and repins it or when your carefully crafted tweet is retweeted like crazy? Flattery through sharing great content (and I mean – only share good quality content from people you admire!) is a great way to build relationships.
3) Engage with People Online
Little kids learn to talk by using their voice. They practice speaking through repetition and pick up their caregiver’s nuances, dialects and language through daily usage. Do this for your brand! Develop your brand voice by using it!
Analyze what works and go with it! Remind yourself “it’s a process”.
4) Build Trust
As a social media manager you need to build trust with leads aka potential clients. Therefore, your marketing strategy should include quality social media content that educates, entertains and engages your audience! If it does all three you are on the right track in developing that brand voice!
5) Show Social Proof of Excellence
How can you show social proof of excellence? It’s all about who you hang out with: online and offline! I recommend you collaborate with small businesses and big brands alike. Work on projects together, speak at conferences, become an affiliate, a brand ambassador, a brand cheerleader. Lift others up as “a rising tide lifts all boats”. That in itself is proof of excellence and your reputation for managing social media will precede you where ever you go!
Our Best Branding Advice: Treat Yourself as a Client
You heard it!
Treat yourself and your personal brand as a client. That means creating and executing a social media strategy. Set weekly, monthly and yearly goals. Analyze what's working and what’s not. Create a written social media strategic plan for yourself and you’ll be able to measure growth and ultimately, success.
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You'll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.