People buy from people, so the saying goes. But it is true, so why is it that in a sector as competitive as recruitment that recruiters – at all levels – spend so little time on building their own personal brand?
In the six months to June 2016, more than 3,000 new recruitment businesses were registered with Companies House. While not all 3,000 will be direct competitors of your agency you would remiss to dismiss the probability that there will be at least one or more who have set up shop either in your local area or within your specific sector.
Arguably, one of the biggest promotional vehicles these new players will use to get there name ‘out there’ is social media. So how can you build your personal brand and make your target clients and candidates favour you over your new (and existing) competitors?
Here are 9 useful tips:
1. Find the Right Groups
Facebook and LinkedIn both offer great opportunities to join groups focused on specific topics or industries. If you can find groups that line up with your area of expertise, then you’ll be able to share that experience and build authority around your personal brand.
Industry groups are good bets, but they might already be overcrowded with your competitors. Instead, think outside the box and find other groups where you’re likely to find your audience.
2. Keep the Image Consistent
Across all of your social profiles, you have to maintain a certain consistency with your brand. When people want to learn more about you, they may search for you on a number of social outlets. Presenting yourself in a consistent manner helps you control their perception of your personal brand. You can damage an otherwise impeccable reputation if one of your profiles shows up with content or images that don’t represent you well.
3. Engage Regularly
Building a brand takes a lot of effort, and it should be treated like a job. Every day, you should be sharing and producing content. Adjust the frequency and types of content based on the audience presence.
We already post a lot on the social accounts for Web Profits, but I still make time to post on each of my personal social profiles.
“A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not going to accomplish much, if anything,” writes Michael Noice, founder of Entrepreneur Coach. “For this reason, it’s best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them, rather than posting sporadically to a half-dozen.”
4. Diversify Your Content
I recommend crafting a communications strategy for your personal brand that includes an editorial calendar and a diverse content plan so that you won’t resort to publishing the same types of articles every single day.
Be sure to include images, videos, articles, and even questions. I see a lot more reciprocal engagement when I change up the type of content that I post daily.
Another benefit is that this diversity prevents you from oversharing your own content. Even if your own content is fantastic, your followers will appreciate when you source and share authoritative content from other people.
5. Study Influencers
Connecting with and even collaborating with influencers is a smart way to build your personal brand and get yourself seen, but it takes time. You have to develop a relationship with influencers before they’ll want to work with you.
When you’re first getting started, locate and automatically engage with influencers you want to partner with by using Narrow.io. Once you’ve found the top influencers in your niche, analyze their networks. Note the types of content they share and how their followers respond. Try to build your own following by using their strategy for inspiration.
6. Give as Much as You Can
If you want to create a memorable brand, you need to give people a reason to remember you. While I’ve grown my personal brand considerably in recent years, I still like to reach out to contacts directly and ask them what I can do for them.
Matt Sweetwood, CEO of beBee, believes this is a fundamental way to grow a brand.
“This personal connection makes the customers feel that you care about them, and that they are more than just revenue to you,” he says. You’re not trying to sell or pitch anything. You’re legitimately asking if there is anything you can do to help them. Give away some of your time, your advice, and any other resources you have available to help your connections.