Using social media to build your personal brand

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A personal brand is the identity and persona that you create for yourself or for your business – one which potential clients, potential employers and other professionals will all see.

Your personal brand should embody the qualities that make you unique in an increasingly saturated market of professionals. It encapsulates your skills, experiences and the things that set you apart from the crowd.

It’s an incredibly important step to define your personal brand, and even more important to personify it in all your working activities, both online and offline. By keeping your personal brand consistent in the workplace, on social media, and in your communications, you will start to build rapport.

A personal brand is your reputation and how others view you and your work, making a strong personal brand vital for your career in today’s competitive market. Although important for anyone in business, it can be particularly beneficial for women in business, who can face additional challenges in the workplace from pay gaps to confidence gaps.

By giving potential employers and clients a picture of who you are and what you want to be known for, you are starting to stand out from the crowd. With a clearly defined personal brand, you can influence what other people think of you and position yourself as a leader in your respective field.

Having a distinct and consistent look, presence, and message both online and offline will enable your target audience to trust you more – and your name will spring to mind when a new business venture arises in your area of expertise. This leads to more opportunities, whether that be connections, employment offers, or new clients.

Why use social media to build your personal brand

We’re bombarded with information about how toxic social media can be, and how logging off for a while could be the key to improving your wellbeing. While this may be true, it doesn’t mean that you can’t leverage social media for your personal brand while still setting boundaries. 

Many people make the mistake of thinking that social media is harmful to your personal brand. With the growing amalgamation of working life and social presence, social media might be the exposure you and your personal brand need.

Social media has become central to our everyday lives. Take a look at your screen time breakdown – how much time is spent on social media? With countless social media platforms available to use, ranging from those focused on connecting professionals such as LinkedIn to those intended to connect friends like Facebook, you really are missing out on a trick if you neglect social media when considering your personal brand.

How to use social media to build your personal brand

Social media is, for better or for worse, intrinsic to our daily lives. Instead of fighting against social media, embrace the power of your profile to build your personal brand.

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Find your niche

Building a personal brand is relevant for anyone in any industry – whether you are a finance expert or a budding lawyer, a graphic designer or a travel blogger. The pool of experts in any given industry is getting larger and larger, making it increasingly difficult to get noticed for your expertise. If you can find your niche within your field, this pool starts to get smaller.

By examining your strengths and finding your speciality, you position yourself as a professional with a unique skill set. Engaging with content online around this chosen area of expertise provides you with the knowledge of what is available on the market in this area, and what is missing.

Create boundaries between personal and professional

Using your own personal social media profiles to build your personal brand can be risky. It also makes it harder for you to set clear boundaries between work life and personal life. Having to vet everything you post to ensure it aligns with the messaging of your personal brand will become stressful and isn’t maintainable in the long run.

Consider setting up separate profiles to keep the distinction clear. For example, have a private personal Instagram account that’s reserved for friends and family. Then create a separate professional Instagram account that centres solely around your work and personal brand.

Whether you do this for all platforms depends on how much you use it for personal reasons. Perhaps you have a Twitter account but you only use it for work related matters anyway, then you may as well just keep the one account.

Do what feels right for you and don’t try to do too much all at once. Start by focussing on just one social media platform to begin establishing your personal brand online then build from there.

Establish consistency

It’s important to establish some kind of uniformity with your social profiles when you are using them to boost your personal brand. This doesn’t have to mean having the exact same profile photo or posts on each site, but there should be some similarities that draw together each profile under your personal brand.

An easy way to do this is with an established tone of voice, a distinct message, and elements such as logos or colour schemes to bring everything together.

Make connections

Making connections with your target audience and interacting with them in meaningful ways is an easy way to leverage social media while building your personal brand. This isn’t just reserved for LinkedIn – you can connect with others in a huge variety of ways using your social profiles.

From follows and likes to comments and messages, it’s possible to connect with prospective clients, employers and other leading professionals in your industry in a variety of different ways. It is important that these connections have meaning and the weight of interaction behind them – otherwise you can quickly become lost in the sea of professionals doing the same thing.

Create new and original content

What better to establish yourself as a thought leader on a particular topic than to create compelling content around that topic? By creating well-researched and thought-provoking content, you open the door for other professionals to start to engage with your content, widening your reach and making your name known.

While it can seem daunting to build up a strong personal brand, no one knows you better than yourself! With some careful consideration into what message you want to portray with your personal brand and how you want to be perceived, you can start to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons.

Use every tool at your disposal – including social media. Through your social profiles, you can solidify your personal brand identity in the minds of your target audience, bringing connections and exciting opportunities your way.

About the author

Jessie is a digital marketing expert and founder of the luxury travel blog, Pocket Wanderings. She is passionate about empowering women to travel with confidence and supporting female-led businesses.

Jessie Moore
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