Sociable. Sustainable. Branding.

Sociable. Sustainable. Branding.


This 2012 we’re making history again.  This time it’s with London’s Summer Games, the “first Social Media Olympics.”  Athletes, commentators, fans and sponsors will be engaged in a dynamic and real-time interaction through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, 24/7.

Despite my being a regular contributor on both these social media sites, this phenomenon still astounds me. That so many people throughout the world are engaged and focused in virtual meeting spaces. This vast ocean of opportunity should be capitalised on by those of us who are conscious of developing our personal brands.

We’ve all heard about the power of facebook, yet so many entrepreneurs I know are still reticent to use it as a strong personal branding space.  The most common argument being that “my ideal customers are not on that site.”  Ralph Santana, chief marketing officer of Samsung disagrees.  He says “Facebook is where consumers are.”  Veronica Campbell-Brown, Olympian athlete, must feel the site holds some merit – she enjoys 15 219 likes on her facebook page.

Tracking ideal customers

I track far behind the popular athlete for likes on my facebook profile or business page, but of this much I am confident; at least 60% of my connections on facebook are my ideal customers, and the balance are my preferred ambassadors.

This is because I have been focused, proactive and selective in building my connection base.   And this, to my mind, is one of the most crucial elements of personal branding: Taking Charge.   Identifying and seeking out those people we wish to connect with, and then offering them excellent value for their connection.

By value for connection, I mean that what we share back into the space by way of posts and updates, is relevant and powerful information.   Not all sales talk.  Remember, it’s social, and it needs to be sustainable.

Facebook may not be your preferred social platform, there are others to choose from.  These 5 guiding principles can help you to take charge;

  1. Control your visual:  Set up your pages with a strong visual appeal that enhances your brand.  Use well crafted photographs. Delete any spam or posts on your wall that do not align with your brand.
  2. Connect proactively:  Make a list of the people who you would love to be connected with and seek them out.  Not all of them are on social media but it will surprise you to find CEO’s and senior executives love the site also.
  3. Think twice before you post.  Always ask yourself if your contribution adds value.
  4. Stimulate engagement.  Ask questions, invite dialogue and conversation.    Participate.
  5. Be consistent.  And be patient.  A personal brand is your personal reputation.  It is takes time and effort to build it. It’s more like a long-distance run than a sprint.
Michelle Clarke
Michelle Clarke is a Leadership, Expat and Executive Coach with a speciality in Personal Branding. A South African by birth, she is currently based in Santiago de Chile while she coaches clients across the globe using Skype and other web based platforms. She is a lover of photography, animals and all things tech. Visit or for more details.