As the saying goes, if you love what you’re doing – it’s not work! I’ve been selling technical services (primarily quality or engineering based) for many years, and most days I love it. Why? Because I get to fix problems for my employer and clients! I work hard at what I do – and I’m well-respected for it. But as one might expect, over the years I’ve had to re-invent myself a few times … i.e. when I’ve changed companies, or services, or just to stay in step with changing business practices. And that experience has helped me keep current with the ever-increasing move towards Social Media for:
* Employment (finding employment and being found by recruiters)
* Business / Commerce (buying and selling)
“Not all dreamers are winners, but all winners are dreamers. Your dream is the key to your future. The Bible says that, “without a vision (dream), a people perish.” You need a dream, if you’re going to succeed in anything you do.” ~Mark Gorman
Over the past decade, I have practiced the use Social Media (especially professional sites such as LinkedIn) to build my own personal brand as a means to better my standing in a highly competitive marketplace. But like so many before me, I represented myself one way on one platform, and another way on another. For example, on LinkedIn I highlighted my professional identity and successes, while I used Facebook to share important events and photos with family and friends. While most of my colleagues and coworkers knew I was a Christian, my faith was spoken of in the office outside of quiet side conversations. But my faith is key to who I am as a person, and so like so many of my friends and family members, eventually I started using Facebook as a means to more boldly share my faith and convictions.
But still, I kept my Facebook identity (which represents my personal and family life, as well as my spiritual convictions and church life) separate from my LinkedIn and/or professional identity. And there is nothing wrong with that, and I shall continue to keep them largely separate because my personal life is – well, personal. Duh!
However, the more I began to understand the value of Personal Branding on Social Media, the more it began to bother me that in some ways my professional profile stood at odds with my personal profile. Why do I speak of my faith on Facebook, but not on LinkedIn, or Pinterest, but not on Twitter? After all, am I not the same hope-filled woman in all the varying personal and professional domains of my life? And if not, why not?
“Your daily life is the platform your faith is lived on.” ~David Payne, Lifesong Church (Sutton MA)
And I discovered I was not the only one who struggled with this challenge. Most people seem to bucket their personal life into one group of social media platforms, and business life into another. Perhaps in contrast to what you’ve read so far, I’m all for that. I seriously doubt my LinkedIn connections are intrigued by my secret desire to learn to fly-fish, nor do they want to see pictures of my adorable grandchildren. So I’m not suggesting redundancy within the different platforms – but rather congruency across them. Think of it like this: if all my multiple online profiles were somehow overlapped, does the combined image display the cohesiveness and congruency of all the individual profiles – but perhaps in deeper / richer colors and depth? I certainly hope so, and this is what I would describe as a more “holistic approach” to Personal Branding, wherein you represent your true self across all the social media platforms you use.
So how do you represent your whole self, in a congruent way, across multiple social media platforms?
The answer will be uniquely different for every individual. Born out of my own experiences and passion for helping others, I have put together a “HOPE-FILLED” Workshop primarily geared towards churches, non-profit organizations, and faith-based groups that frequently include stories from my own experiences leading up to the launch of my own small business in 2014, giving you the tools to build a Personal Brand that accurately represents who you are professionally, personally, and even spiritually.