Do Things, Tell People: The Power of Personal Branding | Hamza Khan | Skillshare

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Do Things, Tell People: The Power of Personal Branding

teacher avatar Hamza Khan, Managing Director, Student Life Network

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Great Exhilarator


    • 3.

      Telling Stories Is Human


    • 4.

      Action 1: Identify Your Brand Perception


    • 5.

      Action 2: Discover Your Reason For Being


    • 6.

      Action 3: Articulate Your Value Proposition


    • 7.

      Action 4: Select Your Channel Mix


    • 8.

      Action 5: Complete Your Social Profiles


    • 9.

      Action 6: Create A Personal Website


    • 10.

      Action 7: Practice Social Listening


    • 11.

      Action 8: Engage Meaningfully


    • 12.

      Action 9: Build Thought Leadership


    • 13.

      Do Things, Tell People.


    • 14.



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About This Class

Publishing your story online and sharing it with the world has never been easier. But lower barriers to access have resulted in more competition for attention. And when it comes to social media, attention is everything. Whether you’re a student entrepreneur or a seasoned executive, building a strong personal brand is essential to succeeding in the modern economy. A strong online presence can create demand, mobilize people, and drive actions—outcomes that are integral to winning in our fast-paced, mobile-first, and largely digital world in which people's’ behaviours and expectations are always changing. In this class, you will learn how to construct the core elements of your personal brand, build and maintain a strong online presence, strategically promote yourself (and your organization) to others, effectively network, and authentically promote yourself without hesitation.

This class is mostly for people who want to discover, articulate, express, and build their personal brands online. But it’s just as valuable for those with relatively well-established presences, as it can serve as a refresher with new ideas and practical advice on how to improve. You’re doing incredible things. But are you telling people? Don’t leave it up to someone else to tell your story.

To complete the class, you'll just need a computer, some paper, and your favourite writing utensil(s).

Meet Your Teacher

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Hamza Khan

Managing Director, Student Life Network


Hamza Khan is a multi-award winning marketer & entrepreneur. He’s the Managing Director of Student Life Network, Canada’s most comprehensive resource hub dedicated to helping and empowering millions of students across the country. He co-founded both Splash Effect, a boutique marketing & creative agency, as well as SkillsCamp, a soft skills training company. He is the author of an Amazon bestselling book, “The Burnout Gamble.” From TEDx stages and national conferences to MBA classrooms and Fortune 500 boardrooms, Hamza is regularly invited to deliver keynotes and workshops around the world. He is a faculty member at Seneca College and Ryerson University, teaching courses on digital marketing and social media. Through his consulting, writing, teaching and speaking,... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: What's up Skillshare? Welcome to your new class. Do things, tell people. The power of personal branding. I'm your instructor Hamza Khan, and I'm here to help you lay a solid foundation for effectively communicating who you are and why you matter to the people who need to hear it. Publishing your story online and sharing it with the world has never been easier than it is today. But lower barriers to access have made the competition for attention tougher than ever, and when it comes to social media, attention is everything. Whether you're a student entrepreneur or a season executive, if you want to succeed in the modern economy, building a strong personal brand is not a nice to have anymore. A strong online presence can create demand, mobilize people and drive actions, outcomes that are all necessary to winning in our fast-paced, mobile first and highly connected world, a world in which people's behaviors and expectations are always changing. If you want to discover, articulate, express, and build your personal brand online, then this class is for you. But if you've already got a relatively well-established presence, well, this class is also for you. It can be a refresher with new ideas and practical advice on how to improve, get back to the fundamentals and maybe even bust through a plateau. Whatever stage of the game you're at, I promised to make this worth your while. Since you're investing in your professional development by using Skillshare, I already know that you're doing important, impactful, and meaningful things. But do people know about them? Are you telling people? If anything, I hope this class will convince you to not leave it up to someone else to tell your story. In terms of materials, all you need to make the most of our time together is the device that you're watching me on, some sheets of paper, and your favorite writing utensils. Ready? 2. The Great Exhilarator: This is [inaudible] : the power of personal branding. I'm your instructor. By the end of this class I'm hoping that five things will be true for you. One, you'll learn how to construct the core elements of your personal brand. Two, you'll learn how to build and maintain a strong personal brand online. Three, you'll learn how to strategically promote your brand to others. Four, you'll learn how to effectively network online and last but not least five, you'll learn how to authentically promote yourself without hesitation. Now, if for whatever reason there's any gaps in your learning, don't worry, I'm here to help. Between the assignments and the discussions, we can smooth over anything that's missing. My ultimate goal with this class is to empower you to discover your personal brand and intentionally use it online and offline to succeed in the modern economy. Whether you're trying to unlock new opportunities, pursue a new job, earn that promotion or land that client, your online profile can be a way that your prospects learn more about you. It's also something that you can use to your advantage in your current role. For instance, studies regularly validate the fact that investing in your personal brand can influence such things as raises and promotions. The point is that people who create strong online brands have a competitive edge. The structure of this class is simple, broken up into three parts. One, three and nine. That's one strategy, three phases and nine actions. Let's go. My family immigrated from New York to Toronto in 1992. No offense to my fellow Torontonians [inaudible] , I was a little bummed by the transition. I mean, we're talking about New York City. The New York City after all, a city with an almost mythological quality, especially if you're a fan of hip-hop like I am. Now in many ways, Toronto at that particular time in history felt like a bit of a downgrade from where I was born, but that was 1992. Today my friends things are looking very different. I can confidently say that Toronto is a world-class city. If I daresay, it's one of the most famous cities on the planet. How did that happen? Many reasons and many catalysts. But one of the most influential, if not the most influential without a doubt, has been the most prominent artists of our era. Drake. Yes, that Drake, the artist who single-handedly surpassed Michael Jackson and The Beatles in Billboard 100 accolades. By intentionally incorporating Toronto into his personal narrative, Drake was able to elevate the profile and awareness of my city to astronomical heights. That's evidenced by this quote from one of his interviews. Toronto is the reason I do this as Drake. All I did was find a way to make people proud of our city. Acting as a great accelerator, a brand evangelist, Drake's ambassadorship of Toronto was worth reportedly $3 billion and he accounts for nearly five percent of the city's tourism. Now, most successful brands, personal and business, are enhanced by the strategic or at least passionate storytelling of a great accelerator. Someone who is genuinely and sincerely in love with a brand and is equally vocal about it. In turn they form a symbiotic relationship, a reciprocal relationship. The great accelerator takes on the qualities of the brand and in turn, the brand takes on the qualities of the great accelerator. They imprint values upon one another becoming synonymous. Think Steve Jobs and Apple, think Lebron James and Nike, think Richard Branson and Virgin. Heck this applies to most passionate sports fans or music fans. Brand narratives are furthered by great accelerators, ambassadors who do things and tell people and when stories are told, meaning is made. 3. Telling Stories Is Human: Let me ask you this central question underlying this entire class. Who is telling your story? If it's you and you're doing it well, which means you know yourself, you've established an online presence, and you're actively networking to further both your professional and personal goals, then congratulations you probably don't need this class to be honest, but stick around anyway because you might learn a thing or two to take your game to the next level. But let's go back to that central question, who is telling your story? Well, for starters it's you, but it's also your friends and your family. Outside of that circle it's likely your colleagues, and your coworkers, it's definitely your boss, also online is probably your fans and followers across various social networks, the ones you've had, the ones you have, and the ones you will have. In the future it will undoubtedly be your next employer, your customers, your partners, your investors, your audiences, your supporters, your voters, whoever. The natural reflex before, and after, and increasingly during our interactions with people it's to look them up online. You know this already because you do it too, and in lieu of accurate sufficient information, what do you do? what do we do? we fill in the blanks. For us patterns seeking humans it's in our nature to fill in the blanks. In other words if you're not telling your story online, your complete and accurate story, someone else is, and let me tell you, they're doing a lousy job at it, so don't leave it up to someone else to tell your story, the onus is on you to own it. This first part of the class is about how to discover your story and become both self and situationally aware. Now much of what we'll talk about has to do with personal branding as it pertains to life online, specifically social media. I realize that aspect of what I'm talking about might turn you off, trust me you are not alone. Even though I work at the heart of social media, and teach it at a post-secondary level I too oscillate between loving social media and hating it. When I love it I'm active and engaged, and when I hate it I'm tempted to delete my accounts. But I'll tell you this, there's a real cost of not participating online and I've experienced it firsthand. When I've gone dark for extended periods of time, I've observed a significant decline in speaking requests, book sales, blog reads, newsletter subscriptions, and all other metrics relevant to my business. There's a real opportunity cost in not playing the game, but here's the good news, if you're overwhelmed by or just plain sick of social media, the thing you're supposed to do tell stories, is thankfully platform agnostic, it's timeless, in fact, I'd go as far as saying that telling stories is human. Stories are after all the fundamental unit of human understanding, it's how we construct meaning and let's zoom out a little further, every leap in communication technology has shared a common denominator from oral culture, through the phonetic alphabet, the Gutenberg press, universities and publishers, the telegraph, radio and television, personal computers, the Internet and social media right up to the digital layer, all we've been really doing is transmitting stories, while the mediums have changed the purpose has remained constant. With that said the fundamentals of personal branding online in this digital age are no different than they were in any point in the evolution of communication technology. They come down to four simple words you guess it, do things, tell people, it really is that simple. Now, I do a decent job of telling my story, branding myself and marketing myself online has afforded me the opportunity to speak, travel, teach, win awards, make an impact and make a very comfortable living, but the secret to my success is that I've never quite seen myself as a marketer, instead I've always seen myself as a storyteller. I know through my formal education and professional experience that something powerful happens when a story is told. Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik effect? Well, check it out this is about to blow your mind if you haven't. What if I told you that the need to complete stories is hardwired in us, whether it's an incomplete TV show or an interrupt conversation. If you've ever felt the regret associated with abandoning something, then you've likely experienced the Zeigarnik effect. In her 1927 doctoral thesis, Dr. Bluma Zeigarnik described the brain's tendency to fixate on an incomplete task rather than a complete one, that's to say it's human nature to want to finish things once you've started them, and you can easily make this work in your favor. How you ask, tell a good story about yourself, remember that nobody hears the stories that are untold, so tell your story online where it's easy to be found where people are already paying attention. Hook a follower with one good tweet, one good post, one good story and guess what? You've likely got them for life. I'd argue that you'd actually have to work harder to lose them. 4. Action 1: Identify Your Brand Perception: Let's jump right into the first phase and first action of this class. Phase 1 is all about defining your personal brand. It's about looking inward, reaching deep down, and discovering the essence of your brand. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's first try to understand at a fundamental level what a brand is. Brand, that's a word that almost every student in this class will have a varying definition of. For many, it conjures up feelings of corporate greed, and authenticity, and overpriced goods and services. But a brand is really an idea. It's the essence of something. Consider Apple. You know what business they're in? Think again, what business are they really in? What is it that they're actually selling? The answer is creativity and simplicity. The feeling of being part of a community of people who get it. Their slogan: "Think different". Take Nike as another example. Nike sells shoes, sporting gear pair, etc. But what is Nike really selling? It's performance. The idea that anyone can be an athlete. If you've ever laced up a pair of Nike, you might have felt an extra bounce in your step. Not necessarily because Nike is a superior product, but the brand stands for something more. Their slogan: "Just do it". Disney is another example, sells movies, theme park experiences, toys, merchandise, etc. But what is Disney really selling? What business are they really in? Happiness, nostalgia, magic, smiles. There products tagline: "Where dreams come true." Coca-cola, as you know, sells beverages. But what are they really selling? Refreshment. Their current tagline: "Taste the feeling." All of these brands do a great job of harmonizing the various dimensions which comprise a perception of their brand. It's time to see if your brand has the same integrity. Every brand is comprised of two elements: perception being the first and number 2, experience. Perception is a combination of three things in particular. Number 1, how you see yourself. Number 2, how you want to be seen. Number 3, how others see you. Experience is a combination of another three things. Number 1, activities. Number 2, interactions. Number 3, time. The activities your brand engages in, the interactions it has with others, and the total time that your brand has been doing both. You can quickly audit your brand perception gaps by creating three columns, with one column for each of the perception components. Then start answering the questions, and make sure you talk to other people to qualitatively assess how others see you. Now when it comes to the best brands like the ones I just mentioned, Apple, Nike, Disney, and Coca-Cola, the answers to how they see themselves, how they want to be seen, and how others see them, are either identical or very tightly grouped. That's brand integrity. Brands with low brand integrity have different and competing answers to those questions. It's entirely possible that a person working at the company, a fan of the brand, and someone with limited brand awareness, all have different answers. That's not good, and that's perhaps what's happening to your brand right now. Fortunately, you can engage in activities and have interactions that will reinforce your brand integrity. You can do this over time. The goal here is for the answer to all three questions to be the same. The answers to how I see myself, how I want to be seen, and how others see me, should ideally be identical. Now when you combine perception and experience, you get a brand. A brand in the wise words of Amazon Head Honcho, Jeff Bezos, is what people say about you when you're not in the room. In this way, a brand is a promise, and this way a brand is a story. As I mentioned earlier, telling stories is human. Stories are after all, the fundamental unit of human understanding. 5. Action 2: Discover Your Reason For Being: What is your story? That brings us to action 2, discovering your reason for being. Have you ever heard of the Ikigai concept before? Ikigai's a Japanese concept meaning a reason for being. A reason to jump out of bed each morning. Your driving force, your "Why." You've probably seen this diagram before and if you haven't, I'm really excited for you because it is an absolute game changer. The Ikigai framework is comprised of four sections. Let's call them circles for the sake of this exercise. Number 1, the first circle is what you love. Number 2, the second circle is what the world needs. The third circle is what you can be paid for, and the fourth and final circle is what you're good at. There's a number of questions you can answer relating to each of the four elements, each of the four circles that will help you to articulate your why. I personally go through this diagram once a year as an almost diagnostic tests of sorts. Here's the question that I answer. You can follow along by drawing the four overlapping eight guide circles and then filling them in with your answers. To discover what you love, ask yourself the following. Is what you are doing, something you're genuinely passionate about? Could you enthusiastically talk about your industry or profession for hours on end? Are you emotionally connected to the result of your work? Do you think that you could out care other people in your field? If you weren't concerned about money, would you still do what you're doing? Then to discover what the world needs, ask yourself the following. Are you helping to solve an actual problem bonus? Is your work directly or indirectly supporting the United Nation's sustainable development goals? Is the marketplace demanding what you have to offer? Are people willing to part with their resources such as money, time, attention, trust, loyalty, love, etc, to buy what you're selling? Will this work still be needed 10 years from now? How about a 100 years from now? If not, will the value of your work today increase over time? Then to answer what you can be paid for, ask yourself the following. Lately, have you been paid for what you do? Have you ever been paid for what you do? If not, are other people being paid for this work? Are you already making a good living doing what it is that you're doing? Can you eventually make a good living doing this work? Is there a healthy amount of competition in your industry? Are there other people who can do what you do but better? Lastly, to discover what are you good at, ask yourself the following. Are you useful? Is what you do something that your friends, family or community have sought your advice or opinion on before? Are you among the best in your workplace or community at this? How about in your city, in your country, in the world? With some more education and experience, could you master what you do? If that's too complicated or time consuming of a process, here's something else you can do. It's simpler and in some cases more effective. But it's also kind of dark, ready? Write your eulogy. Yes, I said that. Write your eulogy. You see I've walked brands of all sizes through complicated branding exercises. I facilitated activities with rooms of founders, marketers and executives, all with competing visions of what their companies brand should be. The one instance that inspired this morbid strategy's saw me in a branding exercise that was dragging on for days and days. Strong personalities just couldn't see eye to eye on what the branded? Who they did it for and how the world was different as a result? So frustrated, I asked her really blunt question. I asked, what do you want people to say about your brand when you're not in the room? Of course, that question was inspired by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and his definition of a brand. Now, I took it a step further by asking the team to imagine what people would say about the brand a 100 years into the future, when all was said and done, when it was no longer in business. Within an hour, the team had articulated their mission, vision, values, principles, and purpose. The question pierce through the confusion and got to the heart of the matter. It also got me thinking, could this be done for people? The exercise is very simple and you can get it done in one sitting. Here's how you do it. Number 1, get into the right head space. Simulate the circumstances that a loved one might experience in preparation for delivering your eulogy. Then grab your favorite writing utensils, a fresh sheet of paper or two, and a seat where you can do your best thinking and writing. Then start writing. Write out what you hope your family, friends, coworkers, customers and champions might say about you. Get into their head space and imagine the following. What you said, what you did, how you made them feel, and the impact you had on their life and the lives of others. Then take a break. Once finished, do step away from the eulogy. Do something, light and happy. Binge some Netflix, play some video games, take a walk to the park, do what you need to do. Congratulations by the way, you've written out and one of the most important things you'll ever write. When you come back, skim for attributes, when you're ready, bust out the highlighter and go back to that eulogy and highlight key words and phrases. Look for adjectives and values and start to compile them somewhere. Ideally another sheet of paper. Then find the promise, the things that you've highlighted will comprise the promise you hope to have in this world. Arrive at the core statement of how the world will be different as a result of you being in it. That right there my friends, is your value proposition. That right there is your personal brand. Now look, if this exercises too morbid for you, that's totally understandable. Not everyone deals with mortality in the same way. Hell, this is the last thing I'd want to write if there was a recent death in my inner circle. If that's the case, only envision and award ceremony instead. But let me tell you, I've done both exercises and have found the eulogy to be much more potent because it projects further out into the future and detaches itself from only accomplishment based attributes. What you should end up with at the end of this exercise is a strong "Why". Most people position themselves online and offline, starting with a, "What." They typically lead with their company name or their position. I've done this too and it's ineffective, especially if you have a confusing title and work in a not so well-known company. What you really want to do is what Simon Sinek articulated so well, start with, "Why." Lead with the impact you're making and how the world is changing as a result. Whenever I'm asked by people to describe my work, I say some variation of the following. I say, I'm helping millions of students across the country to make the successful transition from high school through post-secondary, all the way to their dream jobs. I'm doing that as a managing director of Student Life Network, working with an elite team to curate relevant content, create exclusive opportunities and nurture online communities. That's way better than simply managing director of Student Life Network, am I right? It's much more memorable. Most importantly, it adds context, gives people some idea of how they can potentially work with me. Go ahead and conduct the Ikigai exercise or the eulogy exercise. They're both heavy activities and I'll totally understand if you want to call it a day afterwards. Don't worry, I'll still be here when you get back. 6. Action 3: Articulate Your Value Proposition: The third and final actions in the first phase of this class is articulating your mission in ideally eight words or less. Why such tight constraints? Because constraints breed creativity. By forcing yourself to be concise, you will cut out all the unnecessary distracting things you're believing about your mission and get right to the heart of it. Once you have your nucleus, you can build outwards. Your mission is the business you're in, and it can change based on the phase of your life and the role that you're in. Now, I'm still trying to figure out how to succinctly articulated my own mission and the context of my work at Student Life network. Let me focus on the one that I've created for my speaking and writing career instead. Yes, of course, you can have as many value propositions as you want for each of the various stories you want to tell to the different communities to which you belong. The structure of a good mission is as follows. Number 1, a verb. Number 2, a specified audience, and number 3, an outcome. In other words, what you do, who you do it for, and how the world is going to be different as a result in implicit or explicit suggestion of how that world is going to change as a result of the work that you do? Here's a few good examples. Number 1, TED, spreading ideas. Number 2, Kickstarter, to help bring creative projects to life. Number 3, Coca-Cola to refresh the world. How about Google? To organize the world's information, and last but not least, Uber, evolving the way the world moves. Let's go into some personal brands. Oprah, to inspire others to be more than they thought they could be. Richard Branson, to have fun and learn from my mistakes. The Rock, mana, gratitude, tequila, and not necessarily in that order. Your mission statement should basically answer these three questions. Number 1, what do you do? What business are you in? Number 1, who are the people you serve? Number 3, how is the world different as a result? Well, articulated mission statements enable you to know yourself better and to stay focused on your reason for being. Know yourself, and once you do, everything else falls into place. If you've got it down to eight words, congratulations, you can now tease it out into 500 word paragraphs on your bio page or a maximum 140 character Twitter bio. Speaking of which, let's get right into Phase 2. 7. Action 4: Select Your Channel Mix: Now in phase 1, we covered a bunch of things. We covered how to identify your brand perception gaps, we covered how to discover your reason for being, and we covered how to articulate your mission. Now it's time to move on to phase 2, which is all about putting your best foot forward. The first action in this section is to select your channel mix. There was a time earlier in my career where I thought I had to be on every single platform. In addition to my core mix of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I was also active on Tumblr, Pinterest, Snapchat, Foursquare, and more. It was overwhelming and there were diminishing returns. When I ran the numbers, one thing became apparent: Most of my engaging potential audience was on LinkedIn and Twitter. Eventually, I moved on from the platforms that weren't yielding results and I've leaned to the ones that were yielding results and experienced much more success. The principle here is very simple, find out where your audience congregates online and be there and only there. My suggestion would be to be on the following platforms: LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and a personal website. If you have to choose one, choose LinkedIn. In fact, I'm going to say that LinkedIn is mandatory. It's where the most intentional online networking that's covered in this course takes place. As well, have a personal website. Depending on your line of work, you might want to add or substitute some of these platforms. For instance, if you're an actor, spent time on IMDB, if you're a graphic designer, spent time on Dribble, if you're a blogger, spent time on YouTube, but back to your website. This piece is also nonnegotiable. You need a destination for people to learn more about you as they engage with you and your work online. We'll talk more about that later in phase 2. First, let's complete your social profiles. 8. Action 5: Complete Your Social Profiles: What do you think the number one activity is on social media? It's stocking. You and I are both guilty of it. The mindless scrolls through timelines with no purpose, it's like repeatedly returning to your kitchen to open up your refrigerator, expecting something to be different in there. We know it's pointless, but we do it anyway. Why? Because its habitual, it's compulsive. Play into that. Play into the reflex of people scrolling and stopping to stare and then clicking to learn more. The last thing you want is for a potential customer or employer, someone who will prove beneficial to you to arrive at your profile and not have a light bulb go off because of a lack of information. At the very minimum, you're going to need the following. You're going to need a user handle. Your handle should state who you are and be easy to remember. You're also going to need an account name. Your account name should be recognizable. This is what users see the most. You're also going to need a bio. Your bio should talk briefly about who you are and what you do. Remember your mission statement? This is the perfect place to plug that in. Then you're going to need some links. The link in your bio should be to the most important platform to your desired goals, such as the website we're about to create, or your blog or portfolio or another social profile. You're also going to need some visuals. Stories are better with pictures. Make your profile picture clear and unchanging. Use your cover photo as a tool to reinforce some themes around your mission. Then you're going to need some content. Content is the lifeblood of your social media. It keeps your story current. Now let's dive deeper into mastering your social posts. Here's a few things to keep in mind. When appropriate, include a call to action, engaging content contains a call to action. Click on this link and comment below are just two typical examples. Then shorten your links. The goal of an effective post is to drive a link click. Use a link shortening tools such as Bitly to create a trackable, easy to input link. Then use visuals. On Twitter for instance, tweets with images receive 18 percent more clicks, and 150 percent more retweets. The adage of a picture is worth 1,000 words is very true online. All of the social media platforms from Facebook to Instagram don't merely place a premium on visuals. In most cases, visuals are permission to play. Think about it. When was the last time you clicked on an article on Facebook that didn't have a thumbnail? Even the motivational quotes read on Instagram have been given careful consideration in terms of design. Then use hashtags. Hashtags are for connecting the community, campaigns and content. They can also be used humorously and for afterthoughts, but don't hashtag basic nouns. Don't cross post, tweets or for Twitter, Facebook poster for Facebook. Don't link them or fans who are following you on both might stop engaging altogether. Remember that timing is everything. Use your apps native inbuilt analytics to find out your best times to post. If you want to invest in a central social media dashboard with a really robust analytics, I'd recommend checking out Hootsuite or a Sprout Social. Do it right. When it comes to LinkedIn, make sure you go the extra mile. Consider the following. LinkedIn profiles with photos are 14 times more likely to be viewed. LinkedIn profiles with skills are 13 times more likely to be viewed, and complete LinkedIn profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities. Why would you not do this right? Also on LinkedIn, consider the following. Illustrate your work and your job descriptions, title and location are not enough. Tell us what you did and use the following basic structure to tell a better story. I did X, which resulted in Y. For example, I led a team of ten marketing professionals to render professional services to more than 50 clients. Pro tip, use numbers generously and then illustrate your contributions with links and rich media. Last but not least, get endorsed and recommended. Think of your social profiles as spokes in a hub and spoke model. The spokes are published to drive traffic to the hub, which will develop in the next action. The hub helps drive conversions to the spokes. The hub is important because without a hub, the spokes would just be stand alone properties not tied to any specific goals or strategy. The hub and spoke model are tied together. They need to be done in tandem because without the spoke content promoting and distributing, the hub wouldn't get enough traffic to be successful. 9. Action 6: Create A Personal Website: We're at the final action of phase 2. This is action 3, build an online destination. What you're going to do here is build a website and you need zero design coding experience to do this. We're going to use to build a professional, authentic and simple page that presents who you are and what you do in one link. It'll be a single centralized destination. It'll allow you to showcase who you are from your work to your passions, and it'll be super easy for your audience to learn about you. Best of all, it's free and it's search engine optimized. Head over to and get started. Make sure that your website has the following components; Number 1 your name, Number 2 your title, Number 3 a profile picture, Number 4 a short bio, Number 5, links to relevant social media and published work if you have it, and Number 6 a clear call to action. There you have it. A simple, elegant, effective online destination that you control. 10. Action 7: Practice Social Listening: Practice social listening. In phase two, we learned three things. We learned how to select your channel mix. We learned how to complete your social profiles, and we learned how to create a personal website. Our final phase, phase three, is about nurturing your community. You've articulated your value proposition, you've built your destination, which is your website, you've created your social networks, now it's time to be social. If you get really good at this, you will develop some real influence. I like to think of social media as a house party. If you've ever been to a house party or any size able social gathering like a cocktail mixer or networking event, you've experienced the awkwardness of trying to get into a social circle, literally. People standing often in circles having conversations about anything and everything all over the place. One circle might be talking about politics. Another might be talking about stock prices. One might be talking about their weekend plans. Another might be talking about their new favorite Netflix show, that right there is a microcosm of social media. Fragmented, different conversations about any number of topics comprised of people with various levels of familiarity with one another. Then there is use, someone eager to talk, but before you can speak and truly be heard, you've got to listen. See, I'm an introvert and I'm really good at listening. Not always by choice though. I edge and the circles at these events by first smiling, standing on the edge, waiting for social cue to enter maybe a nod, maybe a wave, maybe you're welcome. Next, I listened to what people are saying and I smile, I laugh, I agree, I nod, I just become an attentive and valuable listener. This elaborate dance is the equivalent of passive engagement, liking, commenting, and sharing. Eventually the attention turns to me. Eventually, I'm asked to speak. How to be a good house party guests, there's a few things that you should avoid at all costs if you don't want to be kicked out. Avoid the following, obviously inappropriate or illegal activity, harassment, divulging confidential information, lies or misrepresentation, rants about colleagues, and non-inclusive language. Action seven in this final phase is about social listening. To be in tune with the conversation of the day, there's a couple of things you need to do. For starters, follow industry leaders and influencers. This includes personal accounts, journalists, news stories, industry publications, and more. Curated feed of insights and information that will keep you abreast of what's happening in your field. Then get in the habit of checking in and being aware of the moves being made, as well as the conversation of the day. Get your finger on the pulse, figure out who the players are, follow them and create lists. I do this in-app as well as in a spreadsheet, I track people I want to follow and I sort them based on importance of particular objectives. For example, if I'm trying to win some new business, I'll follow some key decision-makers and interact with them gradually over a few weeks and wait for them to fall back and start engaging with me. Once enough trust and familiarity has been built, I'll reach out with a link to an article that I think they'd appreciate or an invitation to an event that I think they'd be interested in. Play the long game on social media. Give with no expectation of return. To [inaudible] , you've got to set up several jobs before you can go for the right hook. 11. Action 8: Engage Meaningfully: What you're going to want to do next once you've earned some attention as being a good listener, is to engage. Once it's time to start putting your flavor on content or putting out your own content, there's a few things you can do to gain an engagement. I've found through the management of dozens of various accounts that five types of content perform really well. The first is useful content. This is how to content that helps people learn or sharpen his skill. The second is amusing content. This is content that gets anything from a smile to a belly laugh. The third type of content is informational content. This is content that gives the audience new knowledge or a different understanding. The fourth type of content is inspiring content. This is content that fires people up and compels them to act. The last piece of content is critical content. This is content that challenges people's perspectives. This list is helpful for content of all types, from tiny tweets to long form blogposts. Remember, your content only needs to meet at least one of these criteria. Don't feel the pressure to infuse all five ingredients. When it comes to maximizing engagement, there's a few things that you need to do. Start by summarizing your story, then use first-person language. Also be visually presentable. Then provide all necessary details about who you are and what you do. Participate in like-minded conversations. Lastly, publish relevant articles, videos, podcasts, or presentations. Now if you do this right, a few things will happen. One, you'll find opportunities, two, you'll generate leads. Three, you'll gain advice and knowledge, four, you'll expand your networks. Five, you'll enhance your profile and awareness. Six, you'll make social connections. Seven, you will improve your communication skills. Eight, you will increase your overall confidence and happiness. That right there my friends, is your litmus test. Discovering, articulating, expressing, and building your personal brand online correctly should yield all of those outcomes and more. 12. Action 9: Build Thought Leadership: Congratulations. You've made it to the final action in this class, built thought leadership. Follow all of these steps late to a T, and over time you'll start to notice that your online influence will grow. Eventually you'll be considered an authority on the subject that you're intentionally applying yourself against. To seal the deal, give this 90-day game plan a shot. It's also an excellent way to reorient your account if you've hit a plateau. This is the 90-day game plan. First 30 days, curate, next 30 days, comment, and the 30 days after that, create. Basically for the first 30 days, amplify other voices and become synonymous with select topics. Follow the foremost experts, influencers, publications, and thought leaders in the space, like their content, and repost, and retweet their content. Train your audience to expect this type of content from you. Then for the next 30 days, add your perspective to conversations. Basically repeat the steps in the curate phase, but now quote tweet instead of retweet. Now add your own captions instead of repeating their captions. Your audience already knows what you're passionate about, and what you're going to talk about, now it's time to let them know what you think about what you're sharing. By the 60 day mark, you'll have earned sufficient permission space to start creating original content related to the topics you've been curating and commenting on. This is your time to shine. Your audience is dialed in, they've acclimatized themselves to the new brand promises you're making, they are used to a certain type of story being shared, and they've stuck around waiting for more. Give them what they're here for. Now, of course, this 90-day game plan is a template. Reorienting your brand might take shorter or longer. Feel it out and pay attention to your analytics. Do more of what gets engagement, and less of what doesn't. 13. Do Things, Tell People.: Perhaps it's an executive recruiter typing your name into Google after seeing it on resume. Maybe it's an event organizer clicking on your Instagram handle after seeing a tag in a photo. Perhaps it's a reporter scouring through Twitter bios to find a subject matter expert worth interviewing. Or maybe it's a friend recommending you for a speaking engagement based on a blog post you wrote. These are all real scenarios, by the way. No matter the situation, if you aren't creating your personal brand as an asset, it's probably becoming a liability in ways that you're unaware of. It doesn't matter if you're a student, a job seeker, or an executive, a well-defined personal brand isn't a nice to have anymore. Don't leave it up to someone else to craft your story. Don't let someone else tell your story because chances are they're harming your brand. Your big takeaway from this class should be this. Do things, tell people. Here's a quick recap of everything that you've learned in this class. How to identify your brand perception gaps, how to discover your reason for being, how to articulate your mission in about eight words, how to select your channel mix, how to complete your social profiles, how to create a personal website, how to practice social listening, how to engage with purpose, and how to build thought leadership. Don't forget how these actions are structured across three sequential phases. In phase 1 of this journey, define your personal brand. In phase 2, put your best foot forward. In phase 3, nurture your community. Now, you didn't think we were going to come back to Drake, did you? Or maybe you did and you were wondering why I suddenly stop talking about him after the start. Well, that's as a garnish effect for you. Do what Drake does, do it the best brands and most influential people do, do things, tell people, do it over and over and over again. You can never get tired of telling your story because chances are someone is hearing it for the first time. I often think about where Toronto's brand was back in 1992, and I compared to where we are today. I suppose you could say we started from the proverbial bottom. Now we're here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here. If a brand evangelists can elevate the brand of an entire city, imagine what you as a brand evangelists for yourself can do for your personal brand. Become your great exhilirator. Get excited about your brand. It should be easy because you're already doing important work and you've got an incredible story to tell. All you've got to do is define your personal brand, put your best foot forward, and nurture your community. The rest, I promise, will fall into place. Unlock the power of personal branding. Do things, tell people. 14. Conclusion: Thank you so much. If you've enjoyed this class and found it valuable, please leave a positive review. It'll go a long way towards encouraging other students like yourself to reach their full potential. As I mentioned at the start, if you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out. Head over to the community section of this class and let's keep the conversation going. My name is Hamza Khan and it has been an absolute pleasure teaching you.