How to Use Social Media Marketing to Promote Yourself as a Brand (part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of my epic masterpiece on self-branding and promotion by utilizing social media. Last time, I wrote about how to think of yourself as a brand. Sit that lesson on the back burner for a little while, and lets talk about our audience.

Know Your Audience – Before you can start selling yourself, you have to know whom you are selling yourself to. A lot of people might be thinking, “Well, everyone, of course!” A lot of people are likely wrong in thinking this. Here’s a tip: The world doesn’t give two poops about you or your brand. Sorry, kiddo, but it’s true. audience

As I noted before, you have to know who you are and what your brand is to start getting out there, but if you want to market yourself to people, you have to know what they are into. The best way to do this is to find the closest niche to the things you love and explore what people are saying in that niche. Chances are likely that there are forums, social networks, and specialized sites that cater to all sorts of groups. Once you find out where the people are who have similar interests to your talents, listen to what they are saying. Get in the conversation, but don’t push yourself on them just yet. At this point, you should be listening and joining in conversations you feel passionately about. You can also use this time to set up profiles on various social networks and, if for some strange reason that you haven’t already, start a blog. It might also be a good idea to create YouTube and Flickr pages.

After you think you have heard enough of what people are saying, listen some more. Stay in the conversation and speak your mind, but don’t be the expert. Find out what others have done to improve their own careers, and definitely learn from others’ mistakes. It also helps to know what tools, services and or products surrounding your niche are important to the people you want to connect with. There is no better form of advertisement then word of mouth, and social media is word of mouth in its finest incarnation.

The problem with finding what people want and what they are paying attention to in the world of Web 2.0 is that everything is fleeting. What is popular one day within a niche can be completely destroyed the next. It is important to remain flexible, and still be able to get your brand out there. I’d love to know your thoughts on these ideas, as I often hear the argument that you can’t successfully promote yourself online. In fact, here is a great article via Pandemic Blog, which tackles the Paradox of Self-Promotion with Social Media.

Stay tuned for next time, when we examine the next step in the process: Know Your Competition.

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