The 7 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media

The 7 Steps to Building Your Personal Brand on Social Media

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I never thought I’d be a public speaker or a leader who could inspire others. But that’s exactly what I’m doing every day, all thanks to my personal brand.

Through LinkedIn and Instagram, I've gained so much visibility that prospects want to talk to me, peers want to connect with me, industry leaders have taken notice and offered me speaking opportunities, and young professionals look up to me. But perhaps even more important is that I’ve gained a newfound confidence and the courage to dream big.

Your personal brand is what sets you apart from everyone else and is the foundation for all your future opportunities. — Sallie Krawcheck

This is what you can achieve when you’re intentional about building your personal brand. Sure, opportunities are great, but for female entrepreneurs, you also become a role model. Someone who inspires other women to believe in themselves and -achieve their own aspirations. This goes beyond just financial compensation. I believe the world needs more women to be seen and heard.

My secret is that you can build both your company and personal brand at the same time. They’re both closely connected and will benefit each other.

My 7-step process:

1. Establish your brand soul

2. Choose the right platforms

3. Create a professional social media profile

4. Share valuable content

5. Engage with your audience

6. Collaborate with others

7. Monitor and adjust

STEP 1: Establish your brand soul

If you know me, you know I always make sure there's a purpose behind everything I do, for myself and for my clients. Without purpose, it's easy to get sidetracked.

If you already have a well-defined company brand, use it as a starting point for your personal brand. As a startup founder, your personal vision, mission, and values should align with your company’s.

There are 4 things you’ll need to clarify:

1. Your vision — Consider the future, what kind of world do you want to see?

2. Your mission — Focus on the present, what actions are you taking to achieve your vision? It should align with your startup’s mission.

3. Your values — Write down three principles that are important to you.

4. Your goal — Clearly define what you want to be known for by your target audience, industry, or peer group. Sum it up in one sentence:
I want to be known for { skill/trait/accomplishment }, by { target audience/industry/peer group }, through { platform/network/activity }, by consistently demonstrating { key value/differentiator }.

STEP 2: Choose the right platforms

For most startup founders, LinkedIn and Twitter are often the preferred platforms. I personally chose LinkedIn as I found many like-minded entrepreneurs seeking connections and I appreciate the more in-depth conversations that can take place on this platform.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone has their own preferences. I’ve seen colleagues find success on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and even small private communities. If you’re new to social media, start with one platform first.

How to select the right platform:

1. Research — Check which platforms your target audience, industry, or peer group use, and what type of content they typically share.

2. Ask — Connect with people in your industry personally and ask them where they prefer to engage with others.

3. Try — Experiment with a few different platforms to see which one feels the most comfortable to you.

STEP 3: Create a professional social media profile

Your social media profiles are a representation of you and your company, and first impressions matter. Think of your social media profiles as your attire.

Your personal style is the key to making a lasting first impression. — Oprah Winfrey

4 must-haves, no matter what platform you’re on:

1. Short bio — One short sentence to explain what you do. Use this template to get started:
{ Job title } | I help { target audience/industry } achieve { goal/outcome } with { relevant skills/expertise/products} | { Credential/achievement }

2. Professional headshot — Invest in a professional headshot. No selfies, no sunglasses, look directly into the camera, and only you should be in the photo.

3. Cover image — Don’t just add any random image. It’s often the first thing people will see when they land on your profile. Include your company logo, a brief description of what your company does, and any relevant credentials.

4. Call-to-Action (CTA) — Don’t overlook this aspect. Make sure you have a clear CTA, such as directing people to a landing page for your product waitlist or signing up for your email list. Be specific about what you want people to do.

Pro tip: Incorporate your company’s color scheme, typography, and design elements into your cover image to create a cohesive and professional look.

STEP 4: Share valuable content

When I first started sharing content online, I was unsure if I had anything valuable to share. But, I was wrong. You have unique insights and experiences that can be used to establish yourself as a knowledgeable and respected figure in your industry. Consider sharing your perspective through various forms of content, such as infographics, videos, photos, captions, and audio clips.

What to share:

1. Business success — Share your accomplishments and how you achieved them.

2. Business or personal failure — No one is perfect, and people can relate to those who are open and honest about their failures.

3. Origin story — Share the story of how and why you started your business.

4. Opinion — Share your unique perspectives on the industry and challenge common myths or misconceptions.

5. Expert tips and how-tos — Share your expertise and the valuable knowledge others are looking for. Remember, what you consider basic may be new information to others.

Pro Tip: You can repurpose or share all the content you created as a founder on your company's social media account.

STEP 5: Engage with your audience

As I consistently show up online and gain followers, a community is starting to form. I have an audience who always engages with my content, attends my events, and continues private conversations.

Social media is a great place to connect with your audience and build relationships with them. By engaging with your followers, you can turn them into loyal supporters who give you feedback, buy from you, and promote your brand.

Ways to engage:

1. Share interesting and thought-provoking content

2. Reply to comments and messages

3. Ask questions and start discussions

4. Personalize your interactions by sending direct messages

5. Make time for 1:1 phone calls to truly connect with your followers.

STEP 6: Collaborate with others

As I formed partnerships with other influencers and leaders in my industry, I made valuable connections, opened up new opportunities, and provided value to my audience. Collaborating has been a highly rewarding experience for me.

When selecting potential partners, make sure to choose individuals or brands whose target audience aligns with yours, but does not directly compete with your own. This will help you reach a wider audience and strengthen your personal brand.

Collaboration ideas:

1. Hold joint webinars, workshops, or events

2. Write articles together to share industry knowledge

3. Bundle each other's products or services to make the offer more appealing

4. Speak at each other’s events

5. Create content together with other experts

6. Share each other’s content on social media

STEP 7: Monitor and adjust

I consistently monitor my social media analytics to inform my decisions and better serve my audience.

Stay on top of your social media metrics and adjust your strategy as necessary to achieve your desired outcomes.

What to track:

1. Post reach — How many people are seeing your posts

2. Engagement — Likes, comments, shares, and saves

3. Audience growth — Keep track of your increasing followers

4. Conversion rate — The percentage of people who take action (e.g. sign up for your email list)

Consistency is the key to success

It’s not enough to just follow these steps. To truly stand out, you need to be consistent in your message, voice, visuals, and presence. If you’re serious about boosting your personal and company profile, make a commitment to consistently show up online and make yourself visible.

However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a break. I personally took a 2-month break from social media in early 2023 to recharge and reset. It was challenging to regain the momentum, but I knew the break was necessary for my well-being.

Consistency is the hallmark of trust, on social media and in life. — Sheryl Sandberg

Kung Pik Liu


Kung Pik Liu • Founder of Design Angel

Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

1. Startup Branding Quiz:

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