The term “branding” historically has applied to companies, but today, virtually everyone has a personal brand. You may not have discovered yours yet, but chances are it exists nonetheless.
According to one recent study, 92 percent of children under the age of two already have digital footprints. Seriously! The question is no longer whether or not you have a brand, but how well you choose to direct it and let it be defined to your benefit.
In today’s information-rich and real-time publishing world, when you put anything online, you are disseminating your message to the world. By default, you are promoting your personal brand. The Web, by definition, spreads and grows, connecting computers and people on a global scale. For instance, once a comment you make is in digital format, privacy is gone. The opportunities for distribution are limitless and your content can be found, theoretically, forever.
Are you listening now?
Here are some tips for optimizing your personal online brand:
Know Yourself – Then Build Your Brand
Your personal brand reflects you, so you cannot brand yourself unless you know yourself. Conduct a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your passions and the skills you have mastered or are striving to master. Build your brand from this foundation.
- If you have a unique name, make it your domain name. Otherwise, create one. Buy the domain name that corresponds to your brand name and secure the Facebook page and Twitter and Google+ accounts. With LinkedIn, you’ll use your actual name, so put your brand name prominently in your profile. If your preferred name is already owned, create a different one.
- Build a website for your domain. It’s easier than you think and it doesn’t have to be extensive. It can be a simple two to three page site with your resume, links to your social platforms and a brief bio. You can always expand on it in time. WordPress is the de facto standard.
- Audit your online presence. Google yourself and set up alerts for your name on a regular basis. Cultivating a strong brand is just as much about being responsive to what’s being said as it is about creating intellectual property.
Share Valuable Content
Share helpful tips, relevant news and developments, and personal updates that add connections and build relationships.
- Get feedback from trusted sources. The advice and encouragement of others helps keep your brand development on target. Turn to colleagues and friends who can objectively assess your ongoing efforts and act as informed sounding boards.
- Associate with other strong brands. Your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your link to other brands. Leverage the strongest ones, starting with your company, colleges and universities you have attended, and your professional colleagues.
Optimizing your personal online brand is a critical job-search tactic – one of many that you need to master as you search for the job you’ve been waiting for. For additional tools, resources, contacts and expertise, consider partnering with a recruiter from PrideStaff Fresno. We can help you achieve your career goals, now and in the long term. Read our related posts or contact us to learn more.