Personal Branding & First Impressions: Writing Your Bio for Social Media | Learn with about.me | Hannah Morgan | Skillshare

Personal Branding & First Impressions: Writing Your Bio for Social Media | Learn with about.me

Hannah Morgan, Job Search Strategist and Career Sherpa

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7 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:13
    • 2. Making Your Brand Personal

      4:16
    • 3. Discover Your Unique Brand

      4:47
    • 4. Craft Your Communication

      5:36
    • 5. Share Your Brand

      6:40
    • 6. Final Thoughts

      1:09
    • 7. What's Next?

      0:35
23 students are watching this class

About This Class

Personal branding is what people say about you when you're not in the room. Take control of the conversation with career expert Hannah Morgan and about.me in this 25-minute, straightforward class!

Whether you’re looking to grow your side hustle or get the next promotion at work, Hannah shares how you can blend your professional skills and personal interests into a cohesive message to further your career goals. Learn how to:

  • Ask the right questions to articulate your passion and skills
  • Keep your messaging consistent across platforms and websites
  • Use about.me to create a central hub for your brand online

After taking this class, you’ll have three pieces of clear and concise communication to use on resumes and social media, add to your about.me page, or at networking events: a long biography, a short summary, and an elevator pitch. Unlock your ability to communicate your skills, nurture professional relationships, and build your dream career.

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Download the class worksheets here

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With about.me, you can create a page to present who you are and what you do in one link. Plus, get 15% off a custom domain for your page to present yourself professionally. Enter promo code SKILLSHARE at checkout. Get started on your page today at about.me.

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Hannah Morgan. I'm also known as The Career Sherpa. I have a company called careersherpa.net. What I do is help people who are transitioning understand how to position and brand themselves better, so that they can stand out in the marketplace. So, personal branding really is nothing more than what people say about you when you're not in the room. It's your reputation, and it's not all that hard to develop because it's already there. It's just a matter of making sure that you have thought about it, and you're intentional in what you want your personal brand to represent about you. One of the tools that I've been using and had some great success with in helping me organize and encapsulate my personal brand is about.me. It is a single web page in which you create a bio-personal message about you. It's also an opportunity for me or you to link to the different social media channels where you're active, or a website, or actually even have a call to action so that somebody can contact you very simply through a contact form. So, about.me is a great tool to encapsulate and to bring all of your social media and personal branding messages together in one hub. We're going to talk about several different things today. First, it's going to look at how you actually create and develop this personal brand. There going to be a worksheet, and we'll give you examples of different questions that you can ask to help you bring out the best qualities that are marketable and the things that you want to accentuate. We'll also talk about how you condense and compile all of that information into different communication pieces, whether that'll be in writing or whether you're introducing yourself in a sort of a pitch format. We'll also be looking at then where you put this information. What are we going to do with your personal brand once we've developed it? So, we'll look at how we're going to disseminate that information too. So, one of the things that you'll get to do after this class is upload the finished product and some of your samples of personal branding materials into the project gallery, and then you get feedback and share with one another. I think one of the best ways to learn about personal branding is to gather ideas from other people. I'm really excited that you chose to take this class, and I'm really excited to help you develop your personal brand. So, let's get started. 2. Making Your Brand Personal: When you hear the name of a brand, whether it be Starbucks or Mercedes or even Apple, your mind goes somewhere. You think of that brand and it makes you feel a certain way. So, what personal branding is this similar concept what you're doing is. When somebody hears your name or even your company name, you want them to think or feel a certain way about you. Your personal brand can incorporate things like your work ethic, or the fact that you are really great at solving customer questions, or that you have one of the most innovative, creative ways of putting together thoughts and words for advertising or in designing logos. Every single person has a very unique and special way in how they approach the work that they do, and the clients that they work with, and the customers they serve. Your personality is definitely a part of that as well. The great news is you already have a personal brand, it's what people are saying about you. Your colleagues and co-workers, they all have a great impression of how you've helped them solve problems or that you stayed late and worked with them on finishing a project. Your clients and customers also have a very good impression of you, and they may not write you testimonials or send you those glowing emails, but you do know that they appreciate the work that you've done. What you want to do is be able to encapsulate that information in your personal brand, so that everybody can find out. The funny thing about personal branding today is that it evolved. It no longer is just your work priorities and the skills that you have related to the work that you do, it's blending together both your personal interests and your professional interests. That's a great thing because people know you better and they feel like they can trust you. So, part of what we're going to be incorporating today in your personal brand, as we develop this, is both your professional skill sets as well as your hobbies, interests, and passions. When you think about it, it's not necessarily the person that is most qualified that gets the gig or the job or the promotion, it's the person that's more well-known. So, your personal brand is your opportunity for you to be well-known. The more people that can speak about what you do well and what you're great at doing and who you are, the better your chances are of getting discovered and being that chosen candidate. So, there's a saying that perception is reality, and I don't want you to miss out on the opportunity to create the right reality for you. One example is Meredith Crosby. She's a writer, consultant, and small business owner. What we're seeing on this about.me page that she created is a high-level overview of what she does and what qualifies her to be great at what she does. So, you get the impression reading her about.me page that she comes with some credentials. In other words, the work that she does is going to be top caliber, and that's a great way for her to position herself moving forward. Another example of a good about.me pages is Giselle Gonzales. She's a writer, model, and Disney Adventure guide. So, what she's done on her about.me page is give an overview of the many different things that she does. She loves to travel and she's a storyteller. One of the things that makes Giselle a little bit different than Meredith is that Giselle is more of an entrepreneur. She's got that spirit and that kind of sense that she's doing her own thing and on her own terms. Another example of somebody who has a side hustle is Steve Carter. On his about.me page, it says that he's a brand strategist, a conference organizer, and a photographer. So, that's a lot of different things that he has going on, and he's bundled them all together in this one about.me page. One of the things that Steve lists are his list of projects that give him a sense of credibility. So, what you can see from those three examples of about.me page is that we've got three different types of people. Two of them had side hustles and one was running her own business, but each one of them has a very unique message and highlights different things about themselves that's really going to connect with their potential audience to help differentiate them and make them stand out. That's the goal here. 3. Discover Your Unique Brand: One of the things that we've done is create a worksheet for you, and on this worksheet you're going to be able to take some notes, write down your thoughts, and actually have one place where you can look at all of this information so you'll be able to piece your brand together better. One of the best places to start with your personal brand is by defining your passion. What is it that you want to do? So, in the case of Meredith, she said that she's a writer, and that's really clear and that's very easy and we can all understand what a writer does, and that helps somebody who might want to do business with Meredith understand how they can use her services. But then there are things that really are more difficult to quantify or to get at. When you talk about your passion, it may be that you just love to travel like Gisele. And so she's an adventurer. Keep in mind when you're answering this question that this isn't really a black or white kind of issue, it is something that you care about and that you want to make sure that you're being true to. So, think about that passion that you have. What is it that you really want to do and don't feel that you have to limit that to a job title like Meredith did? You can use something more flexible and more broad like an adventurer. Keep in mind that you need to be truthful here and honest with yourself and don't limit yourself to what you think a personal brand statement should be. The goal here is to without limitation without judgment write down that thing that you are passionate about, and we'll take it from there. Within the context of what you do, another way of looking at this is what problems do you solve, and this really can help you understand what the client or potential customer would be interested in understanding. What problems do you solve for them? What is it that you do uniquely? When you really think about it, the way you go about servicing a client or solving a problem is often very different than the other people that you've worked alongside and also different from your competition. So, it's worth it to take the time to really think about how you do what you do better and differently. Part of what makes you stand out is the fact that you have a specialty, something that you love to do and that you're really great at doing. And part of this messaging is to ensure that people understand what that is. So, think about those times and those things that you do that you do better than anybody else. What are they, and make a list of them so that you can go back and include them in your personal branding statement. When you actually take a look at the worksheet, there are a lot of questions. I don't want you to feel like you have to answer all of them. They're there to really help dive in in different areas and find information out about you that makes sense. If a question doesn't make sense, you don't have to answer it, but I do want you to at least think about it to see if there's something there that needs to be brought out about your personal brand. Developing your personal brand isn't always easy. It can take a little bit of work and you might get stuck. So one of the things that you could always do is identify people that know you well. It could be a family member, it could be a past co-worker, it could be a mentor. Somebody that has seen you at work or knows who you are that you can go to with questions. You could actually bring a worksheet with you and review some of these questions that you're having problems answering, or you could just ask the simple question, when you think of me what words come to mind? Part of the value of putting all this information together on the sheet is that you're going to be able to go back and look at it and see what pieces are important and what you want to tie in together. If you look at your personal mission at the end of the day, how do all these pieces fit together? Pick the most important parts or the ones that you really want to make sure you call out and blend them together. It's going to be a draft but it's going to be something that helps get you started on the path of identifying what the right message is to identify and highlight your personal brand. A personal brand isn't actually concrete. It is sort of an ebb and flow flexible thing. I encourage you to put together what you think is most important about you in your personal branding statement and then the materials here. But test it out on different audiences, people again that you know like and trust, see what their feedback is. Always keep in mind though that at the end of the day, if your message doesn't reach the right audience in other words they don't understand what you're talking about and they're not coming and knocking down your door for your business, then your message isn't working. So you probably want to go back and re-evaluate what you've written for your personal brand and how you're positioning yourself. It's a natural process. It isn't once and done. You'll always want to be looking at what your messaging is to make sure is staying in touch with what's going on with your life, and what your customers and clients and people need. The other benefit to answering these questions and thinking deeply about who you are and what you're all about is that it leads to a level of self-awareness, and this can only help you as you move forward in your career, whether that career be internally or starting your own business. 4. Craft Your Communication: Now, let's take a look at what we can do to bring that together in the right format, for the right audience, at the right time. What we're going to do next is create a longer version of your personal brand. It's something that you'll put in writing, and it's generally going to be about a 100-300 words. Let's go back to that worksheet that you worked on so diligently and pick the most important things that you want to make sure that you write about, in about 100-300 words, and we'll talk about where that's going to go. Just keep in mind, you want to try and use as much of your personal branding information from the worksheets sheets as possible, but also, always keep in mind who your audience is for listening to this or reading this. Part of what's going to make your personal brand successful is making sure that you have taken the time to craft the message, but also that you're crafting it for the right audience. So, let's say, for example, if you have your own business, on your personal website, you probably have something like a bio, on about page, and that's a longer form narrative about who you are, what you've done, where you been. But it's also an opportunity for you to insert some of your personal branding. If you have a portfolio which is primarily photos, you're still going to have an about page, but this page would probably be a little bit shorter, and it would be more about what motivates you and your style of photography. So, let's take a look at what you can do with this longer version of your bio and see how you can use it. We're going to start by looking at Meredith Moore Crosby. I want to talk about some of the ways she's incorporated information from the brand worksheet into her longer form bio. She's using it here on about.me, but she could have used this on her LinkedIn profile, and she actually did use a form of this in her LinkedIn profile. She could use it on her professional website for her company. It's a nice way of including that longer bit of information about who you are. So, when we look at Meredith's profile here on about.me, what we know is that she is an Executive Vice President of branding. This helps us understand that she's got a senior level position, which comes with a lot of responsibility. So, she's probably somebody we could count on for our own branding at our own business. The other thing that we notice, as you look at her biography here, is that she does include some information about her. That's a little bit more personal, which is great. It helps us get to know her better. She says that she's a lover of funny video clips. Now, that certainly is not something that is critical to the message in general, but what it does do is help us understand a little bit more about her. It makes her a little bit more human. She also talks about what she loves to do in her free time. She loves to collect links to Smart Parenting hacks and management tips for her coaching practice, which is a great way for us to understand what she's passionate about. She also helps us understand how she goes about her work a little bit differently. In this case, she says, "I believe in listening to the whole story and brainstorming creative ways for brands to evolve and connect." Not everybody who's in branding, and helps companies market themselves, does it the same way Meredith does. So, in telling us that, she's helped us understand how she's different from our competition. So, Meredith has given us a great example of how you can take some of those same elements from your own personal branding worksheet and incorporate them into this longer form bio to really make sure that what's unique to you stands out in your messaging. So, next, we're going to look at the shorter version of your personal branding statement and where you might use that. It's probably going to be closer to 140 characters, something that would fit into your Twitter bio or Instagram bio. So, if we start by looking at Giselle's profile on about.me, she actually has given us a very good foundation of what she wants us to know about her. She tells us she reads a lot, she writes a lot, and she's always running off to some new adventure. The beauty of the short form of your personal brand is that it really dives down into the essence and most important parts of your message, what you want people to know. It's not necessarily difficult to figure out when you're going to use which version of your personal brand. It really is common sense. If you are writing a longer version of your bio, that obviously will go in a place like your LinkedIn profile where you have more room to write, and then sometimes you just don't have as much space like in the Twitter bio or an Instagram bio. So, that just means you have to figure out what keywords you're really going to focus in on, and it's shorter. There's still another version of your personal brand that you're going to need to master. It's the pitch. People will inevitably ask you, "What do you do?" You need to have a solid, comfortable, confident way in which you answer that question. That helps position you. It helps make sure that you know that you're emphasizing exactly the right things that you want them to know. The other thing to note is that you don't have an endless amount of time. You've got maybe 15 to 30 to 45 seconds depending on the scenario. So, you want to make sure that you are able to use the right words and really connect with that audience so that they feel like they can trust you and they have a good understanding. They may go ahead and ask you additional follow up questions, which is exactly what you want them to do. One of the things that I try and make sure my pitch includes is a call to action and information that they can take with them and really know what to do with. In other words, they're either going to follow up with questions or refer a client to me. I want them to really have a very clear sense of what I can do and who I help so that they know what they can do with that information. 5. Share Your Brand: So, there are probably many places where you have some sort of a profile, you may have a Twitter account, you may have a Facebook profile, you might have a LinkedIn account, you may be on Instagram, maybe on Pinterest, you may have a WordPress blog, you may have a personal website. The're so many different places where you have begun building your reputation online. The goal is to try and find one place where someone can go and find out the most about you. So, there is one way you can have a hub with spokes or outlets to all of those different social media channels you may be active on. That solution is something that doesn't require a lot of technical knowledge. It's called about.me and I've been using it for a long time because I do have lots of different social media profiles, and that makes it super simple for me to have all of that information in one place, so that I can make sure if anybody wants to learn about me, they can click on any of my different links whether it be Twitter or Pinterest or my Website, it's all right there. So, let me show you some examples of how people are doing this really well, in other words, they've got a hub and they have links to different social media profiles, so that someone can go learn more about them. The nice thing about this is, and something for you to think about is, that every social media platform, sort of, has a different feel to it. Instagram is really known for its photos, Twitter is known for its short messages and links to information, LinkedIn a little bit stuffier and more conservative and really very focused on business, while Facebook is a little bit more fun and more personal. You've got to choose which one of these social media outlets or which ones you want to link to your about.me page. So, let's take a look at one of the people here who's done it really well, and his name is Steve Carter. So, Steve Carter has done a good job linking to different social media channels. What we remember about Steve is that he's a photographer and he is all about promoting the city of Rochester. So, it makes sense that he links to Instagram, because that's a great place for him to showcase his photos that he's taken. Twitter is a great way for him to help promote some of the events that he's involved within the Rochester community. One of the other unique features of about.me is that it gives every user the opportunity to use a call to action. So one of the things Steve does with his Ask me more about is that links to a page where the interested party would add their name and email address, so that they could connect with Steve personally. As a business owner, it's really important that Meredith come across as professional and qualified and likable as possible. So, what you'll find on her about.me page is that she has linked to social media outlets that will allow somebody to better understand her qualifications. For example, Meredith links for a LinkedIn profile. What better way to prove that she has the background and credentials to be doing the work that she's doing. By the way, the reason that you would want to work with her is because of her impressive background. Meredith also links to her Twitter bio. Within her Twitter bio, she does some self promotion talking about the different events she's participating in and shares articles and information of interest to the audience that she's talking to about leadership and communication. The social media outlets that Steve links to happen to be more visual. For example, Instagram. The sites that Meredith chooses to link to are LinkedIn, her personal website. But she doesn't focus much on the visual aspect of her job just because it's not as relevant to her personal brand or in the work that she does. So, the next step here is for you to decide which social media channels you're going to link to and how you're going to make sure that your messaging there is consistent. So before you create a social media profile on every platform, you're probably wondering where do you really want to invest your time. So, I shall make this decision, think about what platform is going to be best for showcasing the best of your brand, is your brand written or is it visual. Then also, think about where is your ideal customer or where is your target. If everybody that wants to buy your service is on LinkedIn, no matter what kind of a platform would benefit you, you better at least make sure you're on LinkedIn too. As a photographer LinkedIn is a little conservative. But absolutely, you'd want to be there too if that's where your customers are. So, once you've gone through and done all the hard work and planted your message on these different platforms, and you're really beginning to get a handle on it, it's time to go back and look at what you've done. Does that make sense? Is it working? Is it consistent? So, let's take a look at how you might be able to critique your work, in other words, evaluate what's really working and have you used every resource available to you. If we look at, for example, Meredith's profile on about.me, is there an opportunity for her to improve what she's written? Absolutely. I think there's always an opportunity to improve. One of the ways in which Meredith may come across even more credible is for her to actually link to a SlideShare presentation that she's given somewhere or created. SlideShare is a tool that's owned by LinkedIn that allows you to upload documents or presentations. So, for someone to be able to actually see physical proof of work, would give her a little bit more credibility. One thing Steve could do to his Twitter bio is to add more information. He's left out the fact that he's a photographer and that he is an advocate for the city of Rochester. I think adding those two things would add consistency to the rest of his message, but also really help the reader understand what value he brings. Let me share with you some secrets and other ways you might be able to use your personal brand that you might not have thought of. So, whether you're choosing the domain name for your personal website or you're choosing what name you're going to use on your about.me page, the idea here is to be consistent. What is the main name that you want to be found under? I've made sure that I use Career Sherpa as my domain name and my about.me page rather than my name Hannah Morgan. Career Sherpa is a little bit more novel. It's an easier way for people to remember me, and I think it does a much better job helping people understand what my brand really is. Probably my favorite secret, and the one that most people don't do, is to use your personal branding information in your email signature, whether it be a link to your about.me page or simply a tagline or a headline where you're spelling out the key elements or the key words from your personal brand. Every single person that you send an email message to is receiving your email, and you've missed an opportunity if you haven't included that information in your email signature. It's there, it's free, and it's marketing you, use it. 6. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking this class with me. I hope you had fun. So, what I recommend that you do, is begin gathering up screenshots of links to your LinkedIn profiles summary, where you've included your personal branding statement, that you capture your Twitter bio and any other bios that you've written on social media that now represent your personal brand. Screenshot those, linked to them, and include a link to your about.me page in your projects here. I will take a look at it, and other classmates can take a look at it. We can all make each other a better personal brand and have more fun along the way. So once your information is uploaded in the project, you'll be able to get feedback from other classmates, you'll be able to test it and see if it's working and maybe even make things better. So, I look forward to seeing what you are able to share in your project. Your work isn't done yet, you've created your personal brand but you want to make sure that it's working, so you want to be able to ask yourself some questions, is your brand getting more traffic? In other words, are more people visiting your website? Are you getting e-mail inquiries for the kind of assignments that you're interested in? If any of those things are happening, then you've done a phenomenal job. Your brand's working. Good luck. 7. What's Next?: