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Does your online profile tell a purposeful and compelling story about who you are and get you through the door of a prospective employer? So many of my colleagues fill their profiles with facts, figures and accomplishments. This information is important, but not nearly as crucial as tying your pertinent tidbits to your career objectives; compelling someone to want to know more! How did you solve problems, make life more convenient or help customers save money?
Some professionals hesitate to get onboard with social media because they’re worried about time constraints or conflicts with company policies. Having a weak online presence now marks you as out of touch. For example, a top executive I know has less than 200 contacts on LinkedIn- huh? I did a search on a potential keynote speaker, and came up empty. Your online presence is being assessed daily! Today, whether you’re pursuing your next promotion or next customer, it’s not enough to work hard, do great job and hope you get noticed. My motto is, “Be deliberate and thoughtful” when communicating your personal brand online.
Earlier this month, I attended the 2012 National Diversity Women’s Business Leadership Conference in Washington, DC. The conference was an inspirational experience; lifting my mind and spirit with incredible programming, speakers and networking. One of the highlights was attending a, “Visibility Mini Boot Camp” lead by Shaunice Hawkins, Founder & CEO Evolutions Consulting. Her passion is helping others adapt to new realities, grow through transition and change, and evolve into greater versions of themselves. She advocates that your identity is multi-dimensional and that you need to focus on how you want to be perceived by others. I consider myself a fairly sophisticated online user but learned so much in her session. Shaunice provided a wealth of information and a refreshing perspective.
Here are five key tips to improve your online presence.
Before we start, I wanted to highly recommend Shaunice for your organization!
Create an About Me Profile. Do you have an About me profile? It’s a free service that lets you create a fully customizable one-page website that’s all about you and your interests. It’s more illustrative than a resume and allows you to use stories or case studies to build connections. Also, provide a link to your About me profile on all of your social sites.
Join Youtube. Have you posted any of your presentations on YouTube? Consider YouTube as your own personal television broadcast channel. If you are an expert at something, this medium is perfect for getting that expertise out to the masses.
Start Blogging. Worried about now having enough to say? Take the plunge! Blogging is a great way to communicate your expertise, ideas, reflections, and commentary that you’re passionate about. You can also interview other thinkers you admire, or write about good work in your industry. (Like how I’m featuring Shaunice!)
(I started posting on Blogging4jobs last January. It’s been a transformational step in my career. My writing skills have stretched and I’ve honed my ability to communicate succinctly. Blogging has built my credibility as a thought leader in collaboration, change management and organizational transformation. It has connected me with many diverse people and has opened so many doors – I would have never dreamt social media to be so powerful! It’s an honor to be part of the Blogging4Jobs writing team and I look forward to a thought provoking 2013!)
Utilize Linkedin. Is your LinkedIn profile up-to-date? Do you have a queue of invites that you haven’t accepted? Your LinkedIn profile highlights your expertise. It helps you build relationships, market your business, network with colleagues, post or find new jobs and expand your knowledge. Try to post a weekly message about your work, a conference you’re attending or public news about your company. After attending a meeting, “LinkIn” with those you met. I share links to relevant articles and engage in high-level discussion with colleagues. Also, ask colleagues for recommendations and/or endorsements to improve your brand.
Tweet on Twitter! Do you Tweet? Twitter builds credibility from an expertise standpoint and allows you to engage your followers through interesting content. Share 140- character expert tidbits about your work, cause, subject-matter expertise, business, etc. Add photos, links, videos, share music…anything that can broaden the experience for your followers and expand your personal brand narrative.
Executing with excellence, delivering projects on time, assuming leadership roles, and communicating with simplicity are all critical buzz phrases that describe your work. The key is to tie your pieces into a compelling story reflecting your passion, purpose and capabilities that gain you entre to potential employers and clients. Remember my motto- “Be deliberate and thoughtful” in cultivating your online brand!
How are you leveraging Your brand?
How do you leverage your online presence to create an impressionable identity? What changes do you plan to make to convey your unique story? Have a wonderful New Year and I look forward to your comments in 2013!