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Creating a Weekly Social Media Tactical Plan in Support of Your Personal Brand

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It can be easy to get sucked in to a social media time sink when you're getting started building out your personal branding  social media strategy. That's why it's important to identify your top objectives for your social media usage, then formalize a plan for what activities you'll do on a regular basis in support of that plan.

For instance, as a solopreneur or small business owner, your objectives might look like this:

  • Expand word-of-mouth about my services
  • Connect with 12 new industry influencers
  • Identify and become active in 2-3 online groups/communities related to my services
  • Drive 20% of all new business inquiries from social media channels by the end of the year

So how do you translate your positioning and focus areas into your social networking strategy? 

First, set aside a couple of hours for your planning. You'll want to start by taking a close look at your bios on each of your active social networks. Does your bio consistently reflect your messaging? Before you dive into tactics, you want to ensure you are presenting yourself with the same photo and/or graphics across your channels, and using the same language to reflect your value proposition, regardless of channel.

Moving into the planning process, you’ll need to identify:

  • Your primary keywords. Pick at least 3 and no more than 5 to focus on. Examples: digital marketing, financial services marketing, financial planning, social media.
  •  Key thought leaders and content sources for your keywords, starting with what you’ve already been reading/sharing via social. Aim for 10-20 total.
  •  Your weekly goal for posting content. Content can be something new that you share and microblog about (i.e. add your own perspective to a link), or can be something you RT from the folks you follow. 
  • Your weekly goal for 1:1 interactions. This can include replying to an update someone posts, responding to a question with info or a resource, or just sharing something interesting 1:1 with a key person. 

Now that you've defined your activities, and aligned your profile content to your objectives and value proposition, go ahead and block off 15 or 20 minutes per day, every day, on your calendar to focus on your social media activities. This time should be spent on your 1:1 interactions with influencers and followers, and tee’ing up content in Hootsuite or another scheduling tool, to be shared with your audience over the course of the upcoming week.

Given a 15 min a day budget, you can aim for 1 twitter post and 1 Facebook post per day, and a couple of LinkedIn posts of interest to your network per week. This time budget should also allow for 2-3 twitter interactions and 2 Facebook interactions with influencers each week, and commenting on a couple of LinkedIn status updates or community posts per week. 

To make sure you use your time wisely each day, add the related To Do’s (interactions and content sharing discussed above) to your daily calendar reminder.  By setting your goals and having them part of your daily to do list, you’re on your way to improving your brand through regular use of social media.


How to identify and assess your core competencies

When starting out in your portfolio career, it's tempting to take every opportunity that comes your way, just to ensure a steady income stream. But is that really the best use of your time and efforts? Chances are, if you take on every project that comes your way, you'll inevitably end up taking on  projects that don't make the most of your skills and interests. Given that your most recent projects are what is most likely to lead to your next opportunity, it's important to ensure you keep focused on work that makes the most of your key competencies.

By defining your core competencies and actively going after projects and roles that make the most of them, you will:

  • develop expertise in the areas that matter the most to your customers. 
  • have a path for developing your skills in support of reaching your business goals

Identifying your core competencies

Core_CompetenciesWhat are core competencies?

Lets start by defining what a core competency is in a business setting. A core competency is a specific factor that is central to the way a company and its employees work. It must fulfill three key criteria:

  1. It is difficult for competitors to imitate.
  2. It can be applied widely across many products and markets.
  3. It contributes to the end consumer's experienced benefits. 

Taking this into a real life example, if you are a social media consultant, your core competencies might look like the above illustration. You'll note that these competencies fall into three buckets: functional (which includes unique technical expertise), personal (the areas in which you excel), and leadership (how your competencies interact with managing others.)

Continue reading "How to identify and assess your core competencies" »