Facebook can be an incredibly powerful, yet frustrating part of building your brand. The questions are endless: personal page or fan page? If you launch a fan page, should you advertise or rely on organic reach? What’s the perfect ratio of personal posts vs. brand posts, 20% or 21.3%?
Indeed, the rabbit hole runs deep.
If you’re just starting to take Facebook seriously as a part of your branding, try this for 14 days. It will work even if you don’t have a blog, podcast, or original content.
1. Post 3 articles related to your industry in a week, one each on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.
Let’s say you want to be a fitness trainer, but have no clients or website. Google a few articles on fitness or nutrition, write a bit of copy on the post that gives some insight, and share it on your Facebook status.
Don’t be lazy. Simply writing “This is amazing!” won’t do anything. Tell people why it’s amazing — give them a taste as to what they’ll find if they click the link. This will help you become a better marketer, especially when you start writing your own content.
This allows you to build credibility through content you didn’t have to spend time creating. It also cues people who already know, like, and trust you to understand what you find interesting (outside of your kids, dogs, food, etc.).
2. Post 2 inspiring quotes related to your industry per week, on each on Tuesday and Thursday.
The key is to post quotes related to your industry. Do not — I repeat, do not — quote anything that is “off-brand.” If you have trouble finding quotes, use brainyquote.com.
Let’s revisit our fitness trainer example. I went to Brainy Quote, typed in “fitness,” and I saw this great quote:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
Bam. Just paste that quote and share it as a status update on a Tuesday. Find another quote, and share that on a Thursday. No, you don’t have to create a picture quote. If you insist on doing so, go to canva.com. It’s super easy and they have template, but there’s no need to do all that right now. Just share two quotes a week.
Congrats! You have 5 entire days of great content that you’re sharing, and you haven’t even written anything original!
3. Share one picture of your personal life once a week, either on Friday or Sunday.
This is your “cheat day” but if you can tie this into your industry, do it. An example might be something you’re eating for dinner, and how that helps you feel energized for your workouts. Just make sure the copy you write ties that all together, i.e. “Eating kale salad keeps me fueled up to keep pace with the kiddos.”
The One Rule You Cannot Break (Or Else):
Do not post anything that is off-brand. That’s the one rule to rule them all.
- No pics of your dog.
- No pics of your kids.
- No updates about how you’re stuck in traffic and hate bad drivers.
- No commentary about politics, religion, or big-time social issues.
You are (in this example) a fitness trainer. I know you’re college educated, intelligent, and savvy about social issues. But people go to fitness trainers for fitness advice, not pictures of dogs, kids, or political commentary. You can share that kind of stuff after you’ve established yourself with credibility in your industry space.
Bottom line: if you’re wondering, “Is this off-brand?” it probably is. Don’t post it.
Marketing, especially for personal brands, is all about focus and discipline. My friend (and branding genius) Kary Oberbrunner likens a personal brand to a radio station: you must play one frequency to maintain people’s interest.
How Long Should You Try This?
If you’re just starting out, do this for 14 days. You must not deviate. The hardest part about this exercise will be refraining from posting off-brand content. Follow this schedule, no exceptions. It doesn’t matter if it’s posted in the morning or evening (I prefer morning) — just make sure it’s shared that day.
- Monday – share an article
- Tuesday – share a quote
- Wednesday – share an article
- Thursday – share a quote
- Friday – share a picture
- Saturday – share an article
- Sunday – get off Facebook, you addict! =)
Some tough love: if you can’t follow this simple plan, you will not make it as a personal brand online.
Sounds harsh, but it’s true. What’s outlined above IS marketing. It’s confidently conveying a crystal-clear message to the world as to who you are. When it comes to personal branding, you are what you share.
The brilliance of this exercise is that it separates your marketing skills from your content creation skills. None of the content, save the Friday photo, is original to you. The heavy work of content creation is out of the picture.
I did this years ago when first venturing into consulting and marketing. I had zero blog posts, no podcast, and no credibility with people as a marketer; in fact, people knew me primarily as a speaker and musician.
After a month or so, people started to think of me as a marketer. That’s the power of focus. Behind-the-scenes, I had just taken a new job as chief marketing officer of a company, but none of my friends knew what that meant. That also meant none of them would be able to refer me to their colleagues that needed marketing help.
I followed this strategy, and since that time I’ve walked client after client through this same exercise. Lo and behold, after just a few weeks my clients started to notice their friends asking them about fitness, or real estate, or productivity, or coaching. The industry isn’t relevant, your focus is.
Like a physical pivot, making a pivot in your career requires you plant one foot firmly into the ground, then turn. That’s exactly what this exercise is. Drive down with iron-clad discipline. See this plan through.
If you can do this for 14 days, you’ll notice a marked difference in your understanding of marketing and in the way people perceive you. Try it.
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