Like Me? Follow Me.
Today, I'd like to talk about the self-aggrandising "experts" who preach their own virtues and not much else.
When I see bios on Twitter like this one, my first reaction is generally laughter:
Here's a person unknown to me who's calling himself a "genius" and backing it up with gems like:
Erm, ok. Offering me cheesy platitudes does not make you a genius; it does make you very funny. Except, I'm not laughing with you; I'm laughing at you.
Well, I don't want to follow a feed from somebody who calls himself a genius and floods me with greeting card philosophy. Straight away when I see a bio for somebody telling me how great they are, I know all I'm going to get from "befriending" them via social media is a bunch of self-promotion.
If you work in internet marketing but you also tweet about cooking, foreign films and your dog then don't tell people in your bio that you are an "author, trainer, genius and consultant," tell people you're an "internet marketer, amateur chef, film buff and dog lover." The first makes you look arrogant, the second makes people want to find out more - especially if they share your interests.
Then actually tweet about the stuff you like - both work-related and non-work-related.
Another of my favourite gems?
I love it when people refer to themselves as a "Social media evangelist" - what does this mean? Do you spend your days telling people how much you love social media?
My 13 year old nephew keeps telling my husband how much he loves Facebook but that doesn't qualify him to offer advice to businesses on how to use social media as part of their marketing efforts. "Evangelist" is not the same as "expert." I'm certainly not going to get the two confused when that bio is backed up with:
Ok, erm, an expert would know that if you have nothing to say then you should probably just say nothing.
So what's my point?
How to Establish that Personal Brand
My point is very simple. Don't bleat on about how great you are - show me. Social media is about personality, conversation and communication. It's not a one-way advertisement as to the size of your genius or the depth of your love for social media.
If you really want people to listen to what you have to say you have to give them a reason in the first place - don't tell them you're a genius, tell them who you are, what you like; give them an idea of what to expect from you and show them that it'll be funny, engaging and informative.
Finally, always remember that establishing a profile on social media is no different from capturing a sale from a visitor to your website - you have a split second to impress and a short space in which to summarise yourself. Don't waste it.