Have you ever Googled your own name to see what results would show up? If not, you must try it. Most likely you will see a result of social media profiles listed, and one of them might actually be yours. You might also see a few images of yourself pop up as well. Are you happy with how those search results depict your personal image? Let me share a few tips I have learned from some experts on how to build your individual brand online.
According to Wikipedia, “personal branding” is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. With the abundance of social networks, personal branding has become easier than ever for anyone to do, it just comes down to HOW you want to market yourself to the world. Believe it or not, you can have a healthy balance of personal and professional branding, all while being consistent across different social networks. Although the tips I’m going to share can be used across most social media profiles, I am going to talk specifically about LinkedIn in this post because it is where I started building my own personal brand.
First impressions are important, and your profile picture is that first impression. Use a photo that is clear and not too casual; professional headshots are best. You may not like posting a profile picture, but studies show that people are more likely to click on your profile when they see a photo of you versus a factory avatar or silhouette picture.
Your bio/summary is an important section, but many people don’t complete it. When completing those sections, choose the message you want to convey. Be authentic and transparent, this is where viewers will see how personable you are and that you are not a fake profile. What are your passions and hobbies? Tell your own story.
Create a common theme to your profile. Upload content that supports your education or experience. Follow groups and companies that are in line with your passions and hobbies. Be sure to showcase any blog postings, articles or presentations that fit the theme as well.
Lastly, be engaged and promote your profile and you can do this in a variety of different ways. Within LinkedIn, a good rule of thumb is to post something at least once a week, whether that is a news article, or maybe a company promotion you have going on. This will increase your opportunities of being noticed by potential customers and peers. Ask people to connect and accept connection requests, but be purposeful when doing it.
Whether you are trying to build your own business, searching for your dream career, or just working on your own personal growth; developing an individual brand online can open the door to so many more opportunities. Don’t be shy, get noticed!