Social selling and personal branding go hand-in-hand so the first step in social selling is to develop a credible personal brand.
But what does it entail?
It entails cleaning up your social networks by removing unfavorable content of yourself and replacing it with favorable content. You are your own brand and need to treat your image as such.
Do a web and an image search. Include geo tags in your search if you have a common name (i.e. John Smith Charlotte, NC).
Check out my post on why you should Google yourself for more information on what to do.
Oh, Facebook. You either love it or hate it and even if you hate it you probably have an account.
The first thing to tackle is your privacy settings and simultaneously create friend lists. Make sure that the information that needs to be private is private and your settings allow you to approve content when your friends tag you prior to it showing up on your profile. You can read more about Facebook privacy settings here.
Personally, my Facebook is account is well… personal. I am currently in the process of building my Facebook Page where I can share public updates that anyone can follow, allowing me full control over my personal brand on Facebook. I recommend the same for those with rich Facebook profiles (i.e. so much content that it will take forever to clean up).
I signed up for Twitter in 2008 when most people didn’t know what it was and what it was for. I thought it was just another place to post status updates in 140 characters or less. My postings were uncensored and are nothing that I would want anyone to see today. Today, my first account is private and I do not post to it anymore. I also keep my personal and professional accounts separate allowing me to keep my postings directed at the right audiences. My daily use of Twitter has changed dramatically in five years and has been a powerful networking tool.
Other social networks
Whether it’s MySpace, Instagram, Google+, a blog or whatever else that may have unfavorable content… clean it up! When in doubt, delete.
If you have a large foot print online or the thought of going through all your profiles seems daunting, don’t fret. There are dozens of tools that can help you with the task but my two favorites are SimpleWash and Social Safe.
SimpleWash – allows you to search for specific words that you would like to remove from your profile. Links directly to each post making it easy to manage. Works with Facebook and Twitter. [Free]
Social Safe – the service is not free but allows you to download and see all of your posts across all social networks in chronological order. [Free 60 day trial]
Just because you’ve clean up your profile does not mean you can’t be yourself. Just keep in mind that there are some things that you should not post. For a list of things to keep to yourself, check out Jeff Bullas’ list of 30 things you should not share on social networks.
Your customers are everywhere, make sure all your profiles are clean, complete, and professional. Be credible. People buy from people they like, know, and trust.