Ep 99 – How Transparency Empowers Your Personal Brand

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Over the last couple months on previous episodes of the podcast we’ve talked about using social media tools to build a personal brand. We discussed strategies to using tools to LinkedIn to create brands. The bigger question is how do we really go about that which is why I’m really excited to talk to who has built both a personal brand and also worked with large corporate brands. My guest will help us navigate your larger personal brand strategy using honest, transparent information about you to grow you professionally.

Episode 99: How Transparency Empowers Your Personal Brand with Eric Tung (@ericttung)

Eric Tung was on the first million users on “The Facebook” and quickly realized its impact and how he connected with his classmates and teachers. Eric is a self-taught marketer who has grown his personal brand and worked with businesses to grow and build theirs. He has experience in social media and digital politics and saw first hand how social media can impact the larger business.

What Social Platform Should You Build Your Personal Brand With?

Eric says there are lots of different moving pieces when it comes to social media It’s complicated and fast moving, but your personal brand doesn’t have to be. He suggests finding the platform that resonates with you the most and go from there. Eric recommends starting a blog and being willing to connect and network. If you are creating multiple social accounts on different platforms, it’s best to unify your handles on all social media so that people can find you easily. I can speak from experience this is a great suggestion which is why my personal social accounts are @jmillermerrell just like Eric’s are @ericttung.

When it comes to managing your time effectively, Eric says your time commitment to spend on social media to build your personal brand really depends on your organization. If you are independent, you have more time and free range to make decisions for your personal brand yourself. He suggests creating official rules and guidelines that are self-imposed and would make sure that those were only posted outside of business hours so there was no conflict or concern that he wasn’t focusing on his job. For example, I create my blog content and record my podcasts outside of my workday or during my lunch hour.

An important part of your personal brand is not just your creating consistency across social media handles but also with the all-important headshot photo. Eric suggests using a consistent headshot that is also fun and quirky to get people’s attention and helps reinforce your brand. Your headshot should be a recent photo that others can identify you with when and if you are meeting them for the first time.

Tips for Developing Your Workplace Social Media Policy

Because of Eric’s work with not just building his personal brand but also corporate brands, he suggests when creating, revising or updating your social media policy that should be welcoming and open. You want to encourage employees to feel comfortable to share on social media about their workday, company culture and experiences. He says social media is a place where one third of B2B companies are using social to make decisions when it comes to purchasing.

Why Transparency Is Important on Social Media

In the sea of social media, there are millions and often billions of accounts and individuals who are having conversations and building personal relationships using social media. Eric recently has shared online and on social media that he has been laid off. He created a campaign on multiple platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and others surrounding his #HireEric campaign. For some, being this open is uncomfortable, but Eric feels differently. He says when you see transparency on social media, it’s refreshing especially with the power of streaming video on Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook Live and Periscope.

Being our true selves on social media and choosing to share personal information about ourselves can be scarey, but we are in control of this narrative and the level in which we share as well as the stories we choose to tell. For Eric, he says social isn’t just a place. For him it’s a job and a community. Authenticity tells and shows people who you really are.

Best Personal Brand Building Tip

When it comes to Eric’s best tip in building your personal brand to create a differentiation in your market or niche, he suggests starting a blog to share content, information and resources with your peers, leaders and community. If you can’t make the time commitment or have the technical know how, he suggests partnering with someone who has their own blog or using a platform like Medium or LinkedIn Publisher. Blogging is the best way to establish yourself and showcase who you are. Give Eric’s podcast interview a listen to learn more about his insights into transparency in establishing a long term and visible personal brand.

Connect with Eric Tung on LinkedIn.



*A special thank you to my production team at Total Picture Radio.

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