In a previous post, I mentioned Napoleon, and how just as many battles are won through logistics and planning as by bullets and bombs. Success in battle, as in social media, comes from having an army of supporters before you even take one step onto the field.
But how do you begin to assemble that network in the first place? How do you command attention, convey authority and earn your followers’ respect? You have to look, act, and be the part. You must be confident, capable—ready to address the naysayers and yet leverage those who look to you for leadership. In short, you have to prime your pump!
Keep Your Followers From Getting Cranky
Remember those old hand-cranked water pumps you’d often see on farms or campgrounds? Perhaps you even grew up with one in your own front yard. Think back to a time when you ran to one of these pumps in thirsty anticipation of a cold drink, only to find that when you cranked the handle, nothing came out.
Along comes your friend who cranks the handle once and—whoosh! Out comes the glorious, crisp, cold water from what seems like the depths of the earth. From that point on, the water flows unabated. You drink with abandon with every new crank of the handle, and you can literally fill barrels with the rewards of your efforts. Getting thirsty yet?
Similarly, when you present yourself to the world on social media, don’t disappoint your followers by not being ready to provide value right away. Prime your pump so that when people come to visit they’ll reap the rewards of interacting with you on the first pull of the handle. Prepare your public profile and persona so that it clearly states your mission and your value to your target audience. Have a great picture that speaks volumes about you without having to say a word. Craft a snappy bio that doesn’t require a dictionary or a degree in fine arts to figure out. Above all, don’t make your audience have to do a bunch of work before you provide them a payoff.
A Primer in Personal Branding
Pop quiz: think of a soft drink. Now think of a running shoe. Chances are you thought of Coke and Nike, respectively. These brands have spent considerable money over the years so that whenever you think of getting a drink or going for a run you immediately think of their brands.
To achieve business or personal opportunities in the world of social media, we need to think of ourselves as our own personal brands. When our target audience thinks of the products or services we sell, or the ideals that we stand for, we want them to immediately think of us.
The good news is that with the power of social media, building a brand no longer takes millions of dollars and dozens of years. You can start building your personal brand and priming your pump by following the simple steps outlined above. Be ready for greatness, because greatness is ready for you!