Sooner or later, you will be googled. Maybe by an employer, customer, or neighbor. When that happens, what will they find?
What you hope for is that everything that turns up is positive and indicative of your kind of person.
This article will provide some personal branding basics to get you toward a positive and consistent online identity.
I have broken the process down into five not-so-simple steps.
1. Document your current online branding effectiveness. Put your name in Google and Bing. See what comes up. Screen capture the first three pages and print them out. Are you there? How many times? Any negatives? If nothing comes up, add your location after your name and try again.
2. Make your online profiles consistent across all networks. Using the same picture, tagline, bio, etc., can be helpful to someone searching for you. Google and Bing bring in data from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest (among others) into their name searches. If you are not on those networks, sign up. It’s 2017, for goodness sake – time to get in the game.
3. Eliminate negatives. Perhaps you thought it silly to snap pictures of you and your buddies drunk and then post them on Facebook. Maybe you posted on a charged political thread? It would be best if you eliminated all of that starting today. Rule of thumb – only post on the internet what would be perfectly acceptable on the front page of your local (or national) newspaper.
4. Find your real persona. What are your interests, and what is your personality? What are your passions? These can be challenging questions to answer. They require thinking and soliciting feedback to be done effectively. What comes up online about you should synch with your best self. Your persona should be part of who you are today and striving to be tomorrow. A well-done persona – your personal “brand” – can differentiate you.
5. Execute, execute, execute! You must be on the internet with frequency, consistency, and quality. Post on blogs and contribute to discussion groups on LinkedIn. “Like” on Facebook, and “retweet” and “repin” posts that complement your brand/persona.
Building a brand is hard work, but it can be done and is worth it.
The goal here is to be easy to find. These steps will not only get you there, but they will also ensure when they find you, they’ll like what they see.