Building a personal brand is increasingly important if you want to stand out from your competition. Many potential employers do research on promising candidates via search engines and social media platforms before bringing them in for an interview. If you search for your name on Google right now, what are the first few things that pop up? Do they represent you in a flattering light? Do they represent you at all? This week we are sharing some tips to help you develop your personal brand in order to take charge of your "digital footprint" and come out on top.
1.Create and manage a LinkedIn account.
Your LinkedIn profile is oftentimes the first place a prospective employer will visit before deciding to proceed. Make sure your profile is up to date and you are showcasing your experience and skills. Include any freelance work or side projects you have worked on - you want this to represent you as a whole. Create a custom URL that is easy to remember. Connect with others that you have worked with or know from your personal life in order to build your network. Joining or creating groups on LinkedIn is another great way to connect with people and share your thoughts. Write positive recommendations for people you had a positive working relationship with and they will usually be willing to return the favor.
2.Utilize social media to build your network.
Social media giants like Facebook and Twitter will help to reinforce your brand and expand your network. However, it’s important to be cautious about what you post on these sites. You want to develop a positive image for your brand, so think before you post. Joining a lot of social media services is a great way to connect with more people, but don’t overcommit. Don’t bother signing up for a service if you’re not going to use it regularly. Make sure your privacy settings are configured so that you know EXACTLY what can be seen by those inside and outside of your network.
"Content is king" is a phrase that many successful brands live by. Creating unique content that establishes you as an expert in your given field is the single best way to stand out in a sea of competition. Developing a blog about your chosen profession or a field you are passionate about is a great way to do this. Choose a unique topic or stance in order to further stand out. Writing articles for a larger blog and having them link back to yours is another great way to build a following. Tag your posts and use key words in order to maximize search engine optimization. When someone does a search for your name or a topic you have covered, coming up as the top result should be your end goal.
There are a number of other ways to get name out there. Creating videos is easier than ever - both Youtube and Vimeo provide great platforms for distribution. Once you have established yourself as an expert in a field, virtual teaching opportunities, presenting webinars, and weekly podcasts are all excellent ways to share unique and valuable content with others.
4.Track your presence.
An essential part of managing your personal brand is the ability to gather metrics about your content and analyze how it is spreading. Create a Google Alert for your name so that you are notified whenever your name is mentioned in a blog post, article, etc. You can also use sites like Topsy to see how your content is spread through services like Twitter and Google Plus. Many blog and video services allow you to track metrics on how your work is viewed and shared. Be sure to keep a close eye on trackbacks and where your content has been embedded so that you can network and interact with those that feature or mention your work.