Practice what you train

training icon

One of my big focuses at work, right now, is to train our colleagues on how to use Twitter. And I’ve realized that trying to convince baby boomers of the importance of 140 character blurbs can be overwhelmed by “handles,” “hashtags” and “live tweeting”.

So I begin my training with three fundamental points, with the hope that they will motivate the trainees to figure out Twitter, as opposed to relying on my examples to get them through:

  1. The digital world is highly integrated with our off-line life. The more you can be aware of the digital conversations, and take part in them, the more influence you will have.

  2.  Create a personal brand. Read my post on personal brand tips.

  3.  Integrate social media into your current patterns. If you read news every morning, tweet the articles you find especially interesting. If you are in and out of client visits, check the Twitter app while in the elevator. Stuff like that.


Despite my awesome advice to people, I struggle with keeping on top of my social media. I question my personal brand, and I wonder if I am creating a voice worth listening to.


Last night, I was going through my notebook of random thoughts/inspirations and I found an old note to myself:

“I don’t have to have all the insights, knowledge and thoughts, I just need to add my voice to the conversation and the connections will come.”

And that’s what I’m going to do. If you have any advice that has helped you, please share!

Three ways I learned to create my personal brand

When I started my first job, I was all excited about establishing myself online as some kind of expert, but I was uncomfortable with everything I was publishing. My blog? A fluffy mimicry of fashion blogs I followed. Twitter? Sporadic and voiceless.

I thought the frustration came from feeling like I was selfishly talking about myself all the time, but after two years I realized I hadn’t figured out my personal brand. I didn’t have any confidence in creating and sharing “me” because the person I was portraying was a façade.

A big part of my job, right now, is training others on social media and I always start my Twitter training talking about personal brand. So while I haven’t perfected my personal brand, here are three tips that have helped me:

Hilary Twitter Profile Personal Brand

1 – Pick a focus.

I started out, like a lot of people do, just jabberjawing about anything that came to mind. It’s a good way to get familiar with the different platforms, but a personal brand should have a focus. For example, right now, mine is branding, design and guerrilla advertising. Figure out what your unique focus.

2 – Care.

You should enjoy posting on social media and the best way to do care about the conversations you’re involved in. This is very similar to picking a focus, but you can follow topics you don’t necessarily focus on. For example, I throw a little bit of Harry Potter and literature into my conversations to add depth and it makes me excited to continue building my brand.

3 – Stop focusing on the end.

I’m a destination person, and one struggle of creating a personal brand is there is no destination. People are ambiguous and continuously changing, so a good personal brand will match that.

What other tips have you found to be helpful in building your personal brand? I want to know!