As I was training a newcomer to Twitter this week, I was reminded that the concept of self branding is still unfamiliar to many, especially if they don’t spend much time on social media.

When you tweet, blog, share a photo on Instagram, or post to Facebook, Google+ or any other platform, how are you representing yourself? What do you want people to sense about you? Are you outrageous? Snarky? Creative? Or caring and kind? That is if you ARE letting your personality shine through and are not all business, like I initially was on social media.

Unless you’re a celebrity, shock jock or the like, you probably are going to want to come across as professional and responsible.

Especially on Twitter and if you’re going to blog, you also want to specialize. Don’t tweet and blog about everything and anything. Give your followers a reason to follow YOU.

Don’t be a daily newspaper trying to appeal to the masses. We certainly know what’s happening to daily newspapers. Instead, be the equivalent of a very specialized niche publication. Readers have an enormous number of options. So pick a few things that you’re passionate about and stick to those subjects when posting on social media platforms.

“Your brand can be as simple as, ‘You being you … online,’ ” as the very wise Robin J. Phillips taught a group of us journalists last spring at the Kiplinger social media fellowship program at The Ohio State University. Phillips is a branding expert, journalist, social media editor and educator.

This was her advice: Know your talents and skills. Know your goals. Ask your friends, mentors and even strangers what they think is your brand promise. Once you know yourself, Phillips said, you can define your brand.

You can find out more about personal branding at Phillips’ website I also will further examine this topic of branding in future blog posts.

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