Branding Yourself Online: 7 Simple Ways To Boost Your Visibility
Let’s face it, the job market isn’t always full of our dream jobs when we want them. You can spend months looking for a job that really strikes you as more than just a job, or you can simply settle for something available now. However, if you want to land that dream job without really searching until your fingers bleed, there are a few things that you can do. One of the main things that you need to do is to build yourself up as a brand.
A Personal Brand
What? A brand? Like a business? Exactly. Like a business, a person can build themselves as a brand as well. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to pick out a really cool, new age, one word moniker for yourself. What it means is that you need to use tactics similar to what businesses use to make yourself, your knowledge, your experience and your ideas all into a specialized brand that is known. It also means that you suddenly catapult yourself onto a new stage where potential employers can find you easier and become familiar with everything they need to know about you.
7 Simple Ways
To begin the journey of building yourself as a brand, here are the steps that you need to start with:
- Your own domain: You want to have a personal website that you control to brand yourself. Start out by snatching up your personal domain name, such as JasonMonroe.com. You can easily check for the availability on any domain and hosting website. If you have a pretty common name or you share one with a celebrity, you might need to get a little creative. Consider changes to your domain name that still make it easy to remember and easy for people to find you, like Jason_Monroe.com or JWMonroe.com. Once you have your domain, you can move on to the next step.
- Your own website: What good is a domain if you have nothing there? You can easily build up a website that showcases yourself as a brand quickly and easily – even if you have absolutely no web design experience. I suggest that you go with a WordPress blog for your website, as there are thousands of different quick set up templates that will make you look professional right away. With a WP blog, you can easily set up a professional look with a photo (no Facebook parties please), posts with previous work you have done, your personal blog about your specific field, custom videos, and so on. The possibilities are endless using this format, and it is extremely easy to update without doing much work at all.
- Twitter: We all have heard of it, and chances are you have a personal Twitter account. I suggest that you set up a second account simply for business purposes and post no personal tweets here at all. Keep your business brand Twitter completely separate from your personal one. Use this account to follow thought leaders and other people in your industry you find interesting. Tweet links to current industry news, or Retweet relevant tweets to your followers. If you have set up your own website, you can then use Twitterfeed to link your blog directly to this Twitter account so it automatically sends out tweets to your followers when you post something new.
- LinkedIn: If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, you need to open one up. There are millions of people on LinkedIn all around the world and you will be missing out on a great opportunity to build your personal brand if you don’t have a presence on the site. Here you can easily get in touch and interact with those that are in your field. As you continue to use the site, you’ll quickly build more of an online presence.
- Facebook: Yet another that we all know and love is Facebook. Just like with the other two social media sites that I’ve listed, don’t use your personal Facebook. Instead, create a fan page that you can post to from your personal account yet still keep them separate. You can then link that page to your blog, your Twitter, and your LinkedIn accounts. Keep anything posted on this page business oriented and keep in mind that potential employers will see what is here.
- Trolling the forums: Ok, maybe not really trolling, but you want to almost feel like you are. Pick out several forums and other blogs that relate to your field and industry and register to become a member. You then want to set up your profile with links to all of your business social media as well as your new domain and site. From here, you will need to take a little time at least every other day to post replies, ask questions, answer questions, offer ideas, and in general – interact with everyone else. The more that you get yourself and your brand out there, the more you will be looked upon as an expert in your field. One of the great things about postings with your website’s link in them is that they generate backlinks to your site. Search spiders and bots see these backlinks and rate your site higher and higher due to how many are out there. The more, the merrier as the saying goes!
- Guest posting: There are tons of sites out there that take guest posts as blogs, articles, photos, and more. On sites that accept articles, you can set up an account and post articles you have written that relate to your field and have them credited and linked back to you. You can link them to your website, drawing in traffic since you’ve now created backlinks to your new brand site and you’ll quickly build yourself as an expert.
From this point, it is a matter of maintaining these areas that you’ve just created. You will need to spend a fair amount of time building up your online brand and presence. So don’t get disappointed if that dream job offer doesn’t roll in on day one. The more you get yourself out there, the better off you will be in the long run. Turning yourself from a resume into a brand is something that does take time but the benefits are superb in the end.
Business and Personal Brands are Alike
Remember that developing your personal self into a brand is extremely similar to a business developing their own brand. For example, when Blendtec, (creators of the famous Blendtec Blender) wanted to create a more visible brand for their business and their products, they went through all of the steps to build up an online presence as well as their brand recognition. To top off their brand marketing, they created a bunch of videos that were posted on YouTube called “Will It Blend?”
If you haven’t had the pleasure of watching these, you are missing out, because they are awesome. They take a “The Price Is Right” look and mix it with some well known faces and then add in some crazy items, such as a cell phone, and ask will it blend? The results are downright amazing and extremely interesting to watch if you’ve ever considered what a blended cell phone might look like. With over 196 million hits on their videos, you have to admit, that is the way to brand a blender! So think outside the box and you will find that it won’t take long to make your brand known.
Jason Monroe has branded himself online for almost 10 years and has helped many others do the same thing. After learning the importance of building a good reputation as an expert in his field, he knew that others needed to learn the same thing. His advice has helped hundreds of people build up their own online brands. In his free time Jason enjoys sports and is very health conscious, he often starts his day with a raspberry watermelon smoothie, and a quick run or biking session.
Further Reading on Personal Brands: