Branding | Defining your Online Presence
Updated: Apr 12
As we try to adjust to our temporary normal and have heavy hearts for those who are ill, have lost loved ones or are suffering great financial losses, we have high hopes for a glimpse of normalcy sooner than later and are preparing for the long term. We share these tips again while everyone is home practicing "social distancing" and active on social media. With an ever-changing market, it is important to stay current.
"…Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you you. Effective personal branding will differentiate you from other professionals in your field”, says the company BrandYourself.
If you are a job seeker or a business owner looking for customers, you want to appear positive, consistent and interesting to onlookers. Your online presence should resemble your personal brand.
What is your brand? Your brand transcends your workplace, and instead reflects on who you are as an individual. Your words and actions reflect how you think, what you feel and what is important to you. If you are looking for ways to advance your professional life while you are home, now is a good time to self-evaluate your brand.
There are many books available that can help guide you and here are a few tips to help you get started.
Be aware of how you portray yourself, and how you want to be perceived by others. By self-evaluating, you should look at your brand and your online presence and ask yourself, "what do they say about me?", and "are there any contradictions?". Are you sending the message that you are intending to send? You should think carefully about the image that you want to project. Observe and pay close attention to the way that you carry yourself. Your appearance and behavior should reflect your image and should attract the people you want to meet, i.e., potential employer or customer. How you plan to send that message in person and in written form are questions to think about.
Refine your Social Media Profile
One important area to self-evaluate is your social media presence. The things that you post on social media influence how others view you. Many times, this could be their introduction to you or your business, their first impression of you. As a professional, you want to be sure that your social media profile is professional too. If you present yourself in a professional manner but your online profile has posts, photos and comments that are inappropriate, this contradiction will cause confusion. If necessary, take some time to clean up your social media profiles so that they are business-appropriate, only conveying information and photos that you think positively reflect who you are before engaging in new career opportunities or new business conversations.
Education is often at the center of your brand in your professional life. Taking classes or webinars in your field of interest will allow you to gain more knowledge, thus increasing your credibility. The more that you know, the more people trust what you say and are interested in learning more about what you have to offer. Continuously educating yourself keeps you informed and current in your professional field and abreast of new and emerging trends. Take advantage of the online learning and webcasts offered by universities and colleges and the web-based classes, webinars, and other resources offered to you in your membership with professional associations. Obtaining certifications is a sure way to reflect that you have been formally trained by an accredited institution.
How do you gain experience in a position when no one will hire you, ironically because you lack the necessary experience? Your educational resources are helpful, while it may not directly translate as work experience, the information that you learn is valuable and equally applicable. Volunteering and unpaid internships are options too!
Expand your Social Capital
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Yes, the phrase that you have been hearing since the beginning of your career still applies. Join clubs, associations and other groups, attend the networking events and meet new people that are passionate about the same topics as you. It is beneficial for you to meet people that are where you may aspire to be or are on the same journey as you. Let us not overlook the people who can introduce you to those people!
Update your LinkedIn Profile
Lastly, you should spend some time updating your LinkedIn profile, and other online professional networking profiles. As you gain experience, and become a member of various organizations, be sure to add them to your profile. If you regularly volunteer, you should add that too as this is also a reflection of who you are and your interests. Your profile should always stay as recent as possible; you never know when a potential employer or another professional will come across your profile and become interested in you because of what your personal brand says about you.
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in March 2016; it was edited to reflect today’s market and to reach a greater audience.
At Reign’s we specialize in consulting & legal recruitment, but we support all industries. Check back later to www.reignslegalstaffingagency.com for more career information and tips! Thank you!
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