You’re almost 24/7 on call. Your job is to put up fires and prevent a crisis. And in between, you need to make sure everything else is working as it should for your clients.
Focusing on social media for yourself is somewhere at the bottom of your to-do list, if at all.
After all, you don’t have the time and you will worry about that when it’s time to look for a new job.
It’s very easy to fall into the “I am too busy trap.” But building your career is not an overnight thing.
Moreover, it should be at the top of your priorities list, no matter how busy you are.
Your career is your business and social media is key for your success.
Building and maintaining your personal brand in social media helps you and guess what it helps your company as well.
You’re good at building relationships. Building your personal brand in social media is putting those skills to work for you.
So you see, it’s just doing more of what you already do for your day-to-day job.
How to Build Your Career through Social Media
But where should you start?
If you were to create a communications plan and strategy for a client, you’d have no doubt where to start.
But when it comes to doing the same for yourself, your mind goes blank.
The secret is to treat yourself like a client.
Step 1: Audit Your Social Media Presence
Just like you would for a client, start an audit of your social media presence.
If you’re just starting out in social media, take a look at well-known profiles such as Gini Dietrich, Ann Handley, Deirdre Breakenridge, David Meerman Scott, and many others and see how they do it.
Now let’s get back to auditing your social media presence.
Take a look at each and every social media profile or page you have, even those long forgotten.
Delete what you’re not going to use and focus on maximum three social channels.
Ideally, you would start with one channel and build it from there. But those times are long gone.
You need a LinkedIn profile to connect with professionals and companies you admire, and to network.
You also need a Twitter profile to get in touch with those professionals, share their content and get on their radar.
So, you see you need at least these two.
From here it’s up to you where and how much you want to grow (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.).
For now, let’s focus on these two social platforms.
After you’ve done your homework and audited your channels, it’s time to get to work.
Update your bio and profile photo. Add links to your other social channels.
For example: On Twitter add your LinkedIn profile and vice versa.
Step 2: Draft a Social Media Plan
Just as you would for a client, start creating a social media plan for yourself.
It should include what content you want to share on each channel, how often (day, week, month, etc.).
Make it is as simple and easy as possible. Remember, this is supposed to help you, not make your life more complicated.
Step 3: Research
Do the groundwork and research whom you’d like to work with.
What type of content are they sharing? How often?
Make a list with all that and record names and social media handles.
Side note here: Don’t try to do everything at once and connect with everybody.
Choose three to five people and start building a relationship with them.
You can grow from there.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
So far you’ve cleaned up your social media presence, you have the channels you’d like to focus on. You also have a social media plan in place and know with whom you’d like to connect and build relationships.
It’s time to make a decision: Find the time in your day and prioritize yourself.
Think of what works best for you. Is it in the morning before everybody else starts the day?
Or maybe at lunchtime?
Whatever you decide, don’t put your career in the last place. You may be tempted to leave it all after work because you’ll have more time then.
But you know that’s not true.
You’ll be too tired and you’ll keep postponing forever.
If you’re serious about building your career and personal brand in social media, you have to make yourself a priority.
How I Do It
Here is how I organize my day, so I can put myself first.
Before starting the workday, I check all my social channels and personal email to respond to mentions, emails, whatever it happens to be.
Then I schedule content I want to share on my channels for the whole day.
I can now focus on my work day.
At lunch, I take a break and check my social media channels and start engaging with people.
This can take you 15 minutes of your time or less if you’re very efficient.
At the end of the day, I have one more look at social media for no more than 15 minutes.
Do that every day and it will become a habit.
Not only that, in time, you will see you have built relationships with people you like and admire.
And when you decide to start a new adventure, your network will be there to help you, because you did the right thing first: You nurtured them, you cared about them, and you helped them when they needed it.