Whether you’re looking for a new job, you have a public-facing role in the role you’re in right now, or you’re just simply curious what Personal Branding is all about, then this post should add value to whatever you know already.
Where are Your Digital Footprints Taking You?
As I’ve written in the Delightful Personal Branding blurb on this site, the proliferation of the web and social media means having an optimized presence online is crucial for a number of reasons:
- I’ve been told by people “in the know” at search engines that searches for names represent 60% of search queries. Now I’m pretty sure they meant brand searches, because most people use Google and Bing as navigation aids as well as looking for stuff, but people names are going to make up a significant proportion of that massive number and that means YOU are going to be among them!
- If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, and your name isn’t as common as “John Smith”, then the chances are you’re going to rank very highly via these social media sites because those networks are very authoritative with the search engines. If that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense to make sure they present you and your brand in the best light possible?
- Somewhere down the line, you might want run for office or have a family and how are voters or your kids going to feel if your online persona is littered with compromising photographs, factual errors, missing data or, even worse, NOTHING can be found out about you at all!
Making sure that you have a tidy house online says a lot about you:
- It shows how serious you are about people getting a good first impression when they look you up.
- It helps people find the right sort of information about you and puts you in control of your personal brand.
- And it shows you actually care what people can discover about you online, and acting like you care adds positive fuel to your fire.
Now you might be thinking: “Who are these people that are looking for me online?”
Well here are a few scenarios:
- Job recruiters and headhunters – whether you have applied for a job or not.
- People in your company that want to know more about you.
- People in other companies that want to know more about you – they may be competition or potential work partners.
- Potential new flames!
- Long-lost relatives.
- The nice lady you always chat too at the supermarket checkout.
- On and on and on…..
Now having an effective, orderly and clean online presence is fine, but in order to maintain it you need to learn to conduct yourself in a manner that shows your interested and interesting.
This might mean:
- Regularly checking and updating your various profiles to make sure they are accurate and current.
- Having a no swearing policy – what would Aunt Mary from Outer Mongolia think?! – unless of course you’re a rock star and that sort of thing is cool (man)!
- Keeping abreast of social networks’ privacy policies and security features, so you know the minute they change how to hide certain content or add new permission measures you can act swiftly.
- Simply adding a bit more flesh to your posts and updates so they are not so thin and cryptic and anyone can instantly see what you’re about – hopefully in a positive way.
Personal Branding is not something you get right overnight. It takes discipline and nurturing to start cultivating an online persona that starts paying dividends.
The good news is that it can be done, and over the next few months I’ll be updating the Delightful Blog and adding links to this post that will give you some ideas, tips and examples of how you can look good online so people like you, you give a great impression to potential employers, and you leave a digital legacy that you can be proud of.
Thanks for reading,
Here are more posts on Personal Branding from this blog:
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Photo Credit: M Pratter