In the 21st Century, you’re building your brand before you even step foot into the ‘real world.’ Social media is an incredibly valuable resource to aspiring entrepreneurs, but it’s crucial to be conscious of the responsibilities that come with a powerful utility — just look at what recently happened to a couple of recent NBA draftees, Bobby Portis, Frank Kaminsky and Larry Nance Jr. The seemingly harmless statements they made a couple years ago were resurfaced, and now they face an uphill battle to counteract the negative consequences of their naive remarks. I, for one, would not want to face the wrath of Kobe Bryant like Larry Nance Jr. will be this coming season.
Speaking of Twitter, it may be one of the most powerful developments for entrepreneurs of the entire internet revolution. The platform allows you to access almost anyone & everyone. You’re 140 characters and one click away from getting in front of those you admire most. Put this in perspective: Two generations ago, you would be forced to hunt down the physical address of those you looked up to and write a hand-written note. From there, you’d hope & pray it arrived safely in their mailbox and then you’d hope they would have the time to read your letter. In the most recent generation, email inbox afforded people luxuries of quickly distributing information, but acquiring the desired email was all-too-elusive. Nowadays, a two-way medium like Twitter has more than 300M active users and the majority of the progressive business leaders in the 21st Century have adopted.
While Twitter gives you instant access, LinkedIn offers your online resume. While most mistakenly consider it a social network, LinkedIn is a professional network at it’s core. If you’re in the business world, it is almost a requirement to possess a LinkedIn page at this juncture. Fortunately, you’re in control of the image you’re trying to convey. Do not be shy about highlighting your top accomplishments. Don’t hesitate to grow your network with people of interest, but always be thinking of how you can add value to them before considering how they can add value to you. For example, taking the time to recognize the ‘Top Skills’ of others and writing customized connection notes will reap benefits over time.
Other networks like Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest give you plenty of opportunities to build your brand, especially if you’re an aspiring photographer, musical artist or fashion guru, respectively. Each of these networks allow you to express yourself in a different fashion.
Whether you realized it or not, you’ve been building your own brand since you set up your original online footprint. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur in this day & age, you must manage & grow your online brand every month. Between the social media and internet revolutions, there’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. The world is literally at your fingertips, and you have every opportunity to take advantage.
This article is a part of the Learn It From Experience series, where Atlanta entrepreneurs provide business advice learned from their journey in business.