How Creatives Can Use Social Media For Personal Branding

How Creatives Can Use Social Media For Personal Branding:

As a creative professional you have every opportunity to leverage social media to your advantage in your career. More than any other profession, creatives are judged on both the appearance of their work and their personal appearance. Creative professionals include people who work in industries like design, advertising, media, art, and more.

Most creative professionals will change employers many times over their careers. Many will also work as freelancers or start their own companies. This constant change has given rise to the need to present a cohesive story about your personal brand.

It's not very hard to establish and maintain a personal brand, and the importance cannot be overstated. It's important that, as you move from project to project and you become more well known, you have an established voice across the Internet. That way when people hear about you, they can readily find out what you want them to know. Here are some simple steps you can take to begin establishing your own personal brand.

Create your own Web site and blog. It doesn't have to look amazing and you don't have post to your blog daily. You should, however, have a Web site that showcases your portfolio or resume, what you can do, and what your interests are. Post to your blog a few times per month discussing some of your recent career challenges and how you met them. Let people who visit your site know you have a personality. It may not seem important, but as you grow in your career and start making a name for yourself, people are going to start looking for you, and you want to make sure they find the info that you supply, instead of what someone else says about you. You should also use this site as a place to connect to all of your other content on the Web, especially your active social media profiles like Brazen Careerist, Twitter, or LinkedIn. For a good example, you can visit my site

Use Twitter. Find 5 - 10 people who are leaders in your industry. Listen to what they are saying, answer questions that they send out, and occasionally send them some interesting content. In other words, be their friend. Be patient, though, because if they really are leaders in your industry, they're probably very busy. Do the same thing with 5 - 10 peers in your industry, and also with people in closely related fields. Building these online networks is a great way to build offline networks. I have received consulting offers, collaboration opportunities, and performance auditions (I'm an actor) all from Twitter. Use management tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to create groups of people that you follow on Twitter. If you are job seeking, or thinking that you might be soon, find recruiters in your industry and follow them as well. They often post jobs directly to Twitter and forming relationships with these people is very important.

Use LinkedIn. I use LinkedIn as a way to connect with people that I have worked with or hope to work with in the near future. I don't randomly add people on LinkedIn, because that's not the culture. Creatives were late to the game on LinkedIn, but their numbers are growing, especially in the advertising, design and PR field. Answer questions on LinkedIn Answers.

Use niche sites like Brazen Careerist. Finding niche sites where you can be an early adapter are important. Brazen Careerist focuses on Internet savvy young adults who are ambitious to grow their career. Being well known here can make you appear to be a thought leader in your industry and raise your Internet celebrity - which is important for your personal brand. Make sure you look for an active community, though. Brazen has done a good job of engaging their users. When I started, I had just joined Brazen and I noticed that a significant portion of my traffic came from the Brazen community.

Provide Value. It's not the number of friends, it's the quality of connections. I know some people who have used automated systems to attract 20,000 followers, but they don't know any of the people they're connected with, so their connections do them no good.

Building your personal brand will make it easier for you to network, protect your online reputation, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. If you haven't started on your own personal brand, then start today!

Cory Huff founded where he teaches artists how to sell art online, enabling them to cut out middlemen and keep more profits for themselves. He also works as a social media specialist for a and has a parallel career as a professional actor.