You could easily spend hours upon hours a day working to grow and manage your personal brand online and offline. But you won’t have to spend such a large amount of time if you are use the right tools. I commonly receive the question about what tools I use to more efficiently manage my personal brand. Below is a list of some of my favorite apps, websites, and tools that I use to build my personal brand and managing market efforts in general. However, while these are my favorites, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to try out different tools to figure out what works best for you and your goals; whether that is to grow your community, land your dream job, increase your client base, establish yourself as a thought leader, etc.
1. Google Alerts
I recommend that anyone looking to manage and track their personal brand should set up a Google alert for mentions of their brand name and their own name online. Google alerts will send an email straight to your inbox with any mentions of your brand or name online; including mentions in news articles, within blog posts, in videos, on websites, or on discussion boards. When creating an alert for your name, make sure to include either your city or industry because otherwise, you will end up with a lot of alerts that are not related to you. This is especially important for someone with a common name like mine!
Google Alerts is also a great way to find new information to share on your social media profiles. You can create an alert for your mentions of your industry or a particular topic, then you will get an email every day full of great content to share
When you are trying to manage your personal brand on multiple social media networks, it can become very time consuming to check each site throughout the day. To make better use of your time and to understand how people are interacting with the content you share, I recommend using a social media management tool. One of my favorite tools for individuals (and small businesses) is Hootsuite. Using a social media management tool will allow you to manage all your profiles from one place, schedule posts to be published later on, monitor brand mentions, measure your follower growth, and more. While I wish could tweet in real time all day long, life does not allow for that to be a reality. However, my community is online all throughout the day so I don’t want to miss an opportunity to interact with them. As such, using a tool like Hootsuite is great for scheduling informational and educational posts that will be as relevant in a few hours as they are now.
One of the best tools for growing your personal brand is having a blog, and my preferred blogging platform is definitely WordPress. While there are many different platforms that you can use to host and manage your blog, I recommend WordPress for several reasons, including:
- com is free to host your site, you only have to pay for a custom domain name. I do recommend buying a custom domain because it will be better for SEO, the free domains are technically subdomains and may rank lower in search results.
- It is easy to set up and has powerful tools right out of the box, including excellent SEO components that will help you optimize your blog posts.
- There are thousands of professionally designed mobile friendly themes to choose from. You will be able to find just the right theme to match your personal brand style.
- You can use it for more than just a blog, it can be used for creating a full website as well.
- There is a great online WordPress community and a vast amount of WordPress resources, so it never takes long to find the answer to a question.
There are hundreds of great task management apps out there, but one I have grown to love is Wunderlist. It is great for organizing projects and tasks, assigning due dates and reminders, and assigning tasks to others. One of their newer features that I really like is the mail to Wunderlist feature, where you can forward an email to your Wunderlist account and it will automatically creation a task for you!
BrandYourself.com is a tool that will help you claim, manage, and optimize your online profiles to better control what people see when they Google you. It allows you to submit the social profiles and websites that you want people to find when they search for you, provides feedback on ways to optimize your profiles so they show up higher in search results, track how your rankings change, and even find out when someone Google’s you!
Canva has had a huge impact on both managing my personal brand and all my other marketing projects. Having great images is critical to stand out from your competitors, whether those are other businesses or job candidates. Canva is a free tool that makes graphic design amazingly simple for those of us that were not born with the gift to create designs from scratch. This tool is perfect for people like me who have ideas in their head for ads, images, etc., but have never been able to accurately get them down/designed on paper. Canva has pre-sized layouts for almost anything you need, from Facebook cover photos, to Instagram posts, to Twitter images, to email headers, to blog graphics, and more. The great thing is that they are already sized correctly so that they will show up perfect in newsfeeds! They also have free icons and graphics that you can incorporate into your images, photo editing capabilities, and lots of inspirational examples to use as a starting point. Check out more about Canva here: “How Canva Re-Energized My Marketing Strategy”
Commun.it is a great tool to help you grow your Twitter following and improve engagement. A few of my favorite features of this tool include the who to un/follow and content to tweet recommendations, influencer recommendations, reply to recommendations, and social campaign management. I like this tool because it helps you manage your following without having to be on your social media profiles 24/7.
8. Hours Keeper
If you do any freelance work or need to track your time spent on a project, I recommend the Hours Keeper mobile app. You can set up clients with different pay rates and billing periods, track your time, run timesheet report, and even create and PDF invoices right within the app.
A few months back I came across Brain.fm on Facebook, and I am so glad I did because I have been much more productive since I have started using it! I have never been someone who could listen to my favorite music while working, I would always start listening and then I would get distracted. Brain.fm is an audio platform app that emits AI generated music to help you work, sleep, or mediate better. The app was developed by psychologists and I was very impressed the first time I used the app. I first used the app to try to improve my focus while working, I selected my goal and hit start. Within a minute or two I could already tell that I was focusing better. I was more productive and focused than I had been in a loooooong time. As you continue to use the app, its algorithm will generate more and more effective audio tracks based off of your feedback.
Curating great content to share with your online community is very important to growing your personal brand. But finding the time to search for new and interesting articles every day can be difficult. An app that does this for me and has made finding content much easier is Flipboard. Flipboard creates a personal magazine of articles that you would be interested in based off of topics your follow. You can also share articles from within the app and even schedule them in Hootsuite to publish later.
11. HubSpot’s blog topic generator
Coming up with new blog topics will forever be a challenge for both individuals and businesses. Luckily HubSpot has a tool to help with this problem, their Blog Topic Generator. All you have to do is provide three nouns of general topics you would like to write about and then the tool generates 5 blog topics to start with, and then if you submit a form they will send you an Excel file with a year’s worth of topics. While I wouldn’t use all the topics/titles that they provide, it will at the very least provide some ideas on what to write about next!
These are just some of my favorite tools for managing my personal brand, I would love to know what your favorite tools and apps are, just tweet them to me at @Brianna5mith!