“Personal branding on social media is the most powerful marketing tactic of today.” – Sam Hurley
When it comes to personal branding, things can get a little bit tricky. Too little and you get lost in the crowd. Too much and people feel you’re bragging.
So how do you balance it and grow your personal brand on social media?
The man with the answer is Sam Hurley.
Sam is no stranger when it comes to a personal branding strategy. He is a digital marketing influencer and a master at personal branding (yup, we’re calling him a master).
Onalytica ranks Sam #8 for the most influential marketing tech expert. Webinale places him #1 after analyzing thousands of Twitter accounts based on MozRank and Klout scores which rank quality and influence.
Most recently, Brand24 monitored over 2 million mentions on Twitter and ranked Sam #38 with over 17,000 mentions and 32 million reach.
And he does all of these without owning a website!
Starting to see why I call him a master?
After our conversation, I’m excited to share how you can rock your personal branding strategy too.
Here are the top five personal branding tips that I learned from speaking with Sam.
1. Pick three social media networks for personal branding
Pick three platforms to concentrate your efforts on. No more, no less.
The reason you want to do that is you want to establish yourself on those platforms.
One big mistake people make is spreading themselves too thin by trying to be everywhere. They try to be on every social media platform and soon burn out because they can’t keep up. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Sam chose Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook because they have huge audiences and are ideally suited for the demographic that he was targeting.
Once you have mastered three platforms, then you can consider a fourth platform.
2. Build solid relationships with people
Blasting self-promotional tweets to a complete stranger isn’t going to work.
Remember this rule: It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.
Start building solid connections with influential people as soon as you can.
Sam says that relationships will get you everywhere if you invest enough time into developing them.
The key is how you approach people. He recommends being authentic and using your character to your advantage. Don’t try to be anyone but yourself.
He also shared that the best way to connect with influencers is to take a genuine interest in what they do.
Let them know how they have helped you
Leave feedback on an article they wrote via social media or in a blog comment (or both!)
When approaching an influencer, follow these 5 basic best practices:5 Best Practices to Connect with Influencers via @Sam___HurleyClick To Tweet
Don’t expect something for nothing
Don’t just dive in asking for something
3. People want to do business with people, not faceless corporations
Sam points out that today’s market is different. Personal branding is highlighting a real person as a face of your company. People want to do business with people, not corporations.
If you want to beat Google’s algorithms, personal branding is the best approach. How many people in your industry have the same name as you?
He went on to explain that if we want to work with the constant changes in Google and Facebook algorithms, personal branding is one way to do it.
One example he gave was how Facebook algorithm makes it so that individuals’ posts show up more than companies’. Sam recommends having real people in companies to start promoting content themselves through blog posts, social media, and elsewhere.
I agree! A post from a CEO of a company is more powerful than a post from a company profile. We’ve seen this work when Mark Zuckerberg posts something on his Facebook profile. It gets the attention and engagement like no other.
4. Dedicate yourself to your personal branding strategy
Sam devotes a lot of time and effort into his social media presence. According to an interview that he did at Growth Hacky, 8:00 am to 2:00 pm is spent on social engagement, social content, emails, and learning. He’ll then repeat the same routine at 8:30 pm to 12 am.
If you go to his Twitter profile you can see how much effort he is putting into engaging and connecting with other people. That’s just ONE DAY.
Connecting with the right people opens doors and increases mentions. With over 17,000 mentions in just a few months, he’s living proof of the power of his personal branding.
5. Select the right tools
Social media tools can obviously help and are necessary. However, they shouldn’t be the main focus.
Sam compared this to being the same as sports or music. The best athletes and musicians have the best equipment to compete or perform, but they don’t ignore the fact that the best equipment is worthless without the skill and knowledge to use it.
When it comes to social media, tools can aid your personal branding strategy, but they shouldn’t be a replacement for putting in the effort.
He added that you should find what tools work best for YOU and maximize the capacity to grow your presence and personal brand.
Some Sam’s favorite tools are:Check out @Sam___Hurley's 12 go-to social media tools for #PersonalBranding!Click To Tweet
“The amazing opportunity with personal branding is that ANYBODY can learn to brand themselves up effectively,” said Sam.
Personal branding should always be about being authentic. One thing that I picked up from Sam was his dedication, authenticity and most importantly PASSION. He was passionate about connecting with people. He loved every bit of it.
If you’re keen to learn more about implementing a personal branding strategy, I recommend you sign up to Sam’s site here. You will be notified when he launches his personal branding growth course this year.