Your digital presence is an important part of your personal brand. Ensuring that you are found when people Google you is essential. But more importantly, what they find needs to support what you want them to know.
Have you Googled yourself lately? It’s important to check out how you appear on Google because believe it or not, other people are Googling you all the time. You meet someone at a networking event; you’ll be Googled. You go to an interview, as interviewer or interviewee; and you’ll be Googled. You want more funding for your business: you’ll be Googled. What are they going to find? Does what they find, support what you’re trying to achieve?
Tim Ferriss hits the nail on the head when he says this:
“Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.”
If you were going to an important business meeting, maybe you’re pitching for new business, you’d probably make an effort in your appearance. So, what effort are you making with your digital presence? It’s just as important. A lot of people make decisions as to whether they’ll meet you based on what they find online. We’re too busy these days to waste our time meeting people that don’t stack up.
Many people make a lot of effort developing grand reputations in the real world, and yet, you Google them and they are invisible. Any mentions might be as a result of content that someone else controls. Would you go to a meeting and take someone you didn’t know with you to do all your talking? No, thought not. So you shouldn’t do it online either. Taking control means protecting your reputation and ensuring that you’re telling people what you want them to know. So now what’s stopping you?
But what if we don’t all want our own websites? Maybe we feature on our company website, but it’s just not enough. Social media is a great way of filling up your pages of Google quickly and simply. And there’s no expensive or time consuming website in site!
You might have your own blog, but if this sounds like too much work, then why not just comment on other people’s blogs. Pick blogs that interest you and that you’re proud to be seen on. Remember, these comments stick around so don’t be rude. Any articles that you do comment on can be shared elsewhere so that people can read your point of view and understand what interests you. This is also a great way of demonstrating your expertise.
LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to show off professionally. You can collect raving testimonials and build up an impressive number of contacts. It’s important here to remember what you want to say about yourself. Just because you’re asked to list every job since you were born, doesn’t mean you have to. THINK about your message and what you want people to know. If your background and experience supports your current ambitions, then great, tell all. But if not, leave it out.
Twitter is a great way of letting people know what sort of person you are. Where LinkedIn is all about being professional, Twitter is about the conversation. And it’s through conversation that people get to find out who you are and what makes you tick. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you take part and engage. It’s not about broadcasting and showing off. If someone did that at the pub, they’d soon be sat on his or her own. Twitter is a great platform for sharing good content. If what you say is good, it’ll get passed on. The more great content you share, the more it gets passed on and the more people know about you. Again, think about what content you want to share and what you want to be known for.
If you were to just use these three methods, you could very quickly build up a digital presence that serves your personal brand.
Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation.