We all know that content is king, and its empire is growing by the minute. This is more true now more than ever since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update. One of the best ways to add content to your website is to create and maintain a blog focused around topics relevant to your company’s industry. A blog is also a great way for professionals to build their personal brand by writing about industry topics and trends. Continue reading
Love, love, love this blog post! “Work Lessons From the Hunger Games”
Find out how the following rules will help you to survive at work and “win” your dream career.
- Get people to like you, or you’ll die
- Be yourself so that people like you so you don’t die
- Be memorable or you’ll die
- Some people will like your guts but others won’t
- A good mentor will help increase your chances of survival
I definitely recommend checking it out!
Your online reputation can make or break your personal brand strategy. In order to maintain your online reputation, regularly scheduled monitoring is necessary to keep track of what information about you is out there on the internet. While you can control what is on your personal online profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), you can’t always control the information others post (whether it is true or false).
I recently found a new site called BrandYourself that allows you to manage your online reputation and personal Google rankings. This site can help you manage an SEO campaign for your personal brand.
Their services are free, though you can pay a fee to upgrade to access additional monitoring features. To start off, I think that the features you get with your free account are sufficient though this may depend on what you want to achieve and the current state of your online reputation.
How it Works
For each step in the monitoring process, the site gives you a score and suggestions on how to improve.
- They pull the first ten Google search results corresponding with your name. You then categorize each result as positive, negative, or not me. They provide tips on how to bury negative results through a process of getting your positive results to rank higher than negative listings.
- Submit positive links about yourself, such as your LinkedIn profile. (Only 3 link submissions allowed for non paying users) Once you submit the links, they give tips on how to better optimize the links to appear in search results, how to cross link your profiles, and how to boost your social media profiles so that they will show up in searches. Each link is then tracked to see it how it performs in search results over the next few weeks.
- Create a BrandYourself profile, which is automatically Search Engine Optimized (SEO’d) to rank high for your name and increase rankings for your submitted links. Check out my BrandYourself profile to see what they look like http://briannasmith.brandyourself.com/
- You can earn badges for having positive search results, having no negative search results, burying search results not about you, boosting a positive search result to the #1 spot in searches, and more.
- You are notified whenever someone visits your BrandYourself profile page and when the search ranking changes for one of your submitted links or listings.
I have just started using this online reputation management tool myself, so I am still in the trial stage. But, so far I really like the features that the free membership offers and can see why upgrading would be beneficial as well. This is a one stop shop for managing your online reputation that I recommend checking out.
For more on Personal Branding, check out my other articles:
Social media is probably the best tool that you can use these days when job hunting. Actually, when I was applying for my first job in the marketing and advertising industry, after college graduation, some companies requested that I include social media in my application. It was requested that I did not send them a traditional resume; rather they preferred my cover letter in the body of my email and a link to my public LinkedIn profile. This makes sense since I was applying for a position in an ever-changing industry. This type of application would showcase the applicants who were using the newest and best tools.
Usually, when you think of an online professional network the first platform that comes to mind is LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is undeniably an excellent resource, blogs and Twitter can be great tools as well.
There are quick changes that you can make to all your social media profiles that help portray your professional image.
- Remove (not just un-tag) any unflattering or inappropriate pictures.
- Delete any posts, tweets, shares, etc., which contain inappropriate or offensive language.
- Remove any affiliation with a person or group in which you may be questioned about by future employers.
In addition to making the above changes to your personal profiles, I recommend doing a few searches on Google to see what comes up (what a future employer would see if they “Googled” you).
The most valuable thing to remember when building your personal online brand, specifically across multiple platforms, is to maintain consistency. You cannot be interested in every industry, instead try to highlight your strengths when creating a professional social media presence.
If you going to join a LinkedIn group, blog, or tweet make sure that all posts are connected and relevant to your industry. If you join 50 groups on LinkedIn, each with a different topic, you may come off as indecisive or unfocused to a potential employer. Joining groups based around a similar topic will portray drive and focus.
Keeping the information in both the experience and specialties sections up-to-date is particularly important, because potential employers can view your public profile at any point. In addition, I recommend rewriting your summary section to include keywords that correspond with your industry and expertise.
Blogging is a powerful tool to increase your professional online image. It can increase the likelihood of quality content (specifically related to you) appearing first in search results. However, this is only positive if you pick the correct topic. If you are applying for a job in the print media industry, blogging about your love for homemade juice is not going to help your professional image. Rather, blog about the industry you are in, or are interested in entering. However, do not pick too specific of a topic, because it will be difficult to come up with new posts. Blogging about your industry will highlight your expertise to the world, and even prepare you for future interview questions.
When blogging about your industry, always include your own insights about the topic and trends, as well as offer suggestions to your readers. In your profile, display your creative and deductive skills, along with your knowledge of the industry.
Twitter is becoming one of the big job “search engines” for both job seekers and companies looking for skilled employees. Companies are tweeting job listings more regularly, and professionals are searching for ways to stand out in the sea of tweets. The best way to make your tweets stand out on Twitter is by using Hashtags.
Hashtags specific to your industry
Hashtags specific to your social media profiles
Hashtags about your qualifications
General Job Search Hashtags
Above all, make sure that your Tweets are relevant, appropriate, and informative. The goal of your tweets is to highlight your skills and create a conversation with future employers.
Today, social media week Miami hit it out of the park with some amazing speakers. I was able to catch two great discussions that were broadcasted live on LiveStream.
Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings
The first discussion was “Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings” which focused a lot on social media policies in relation to employee management. The discussion focused around a key point that I can not stress more; the importance of having a company social media policy in place BEFORE you begin using social media. While it is always nice to think that there will not aggressive, rude, or “sensitive” posts or tweets about your company, you need to be prepared for the “what if” situations.
For example, what if an employee tweets a negative and inappropriate comment about the company to their public Twitter profile? Having a standard or policy in place on what employees are allowed and are not allowed to say online, (in regards to the company) will make incidents such as that much easier to handle.
Not only should your policy include internal standards of maintaining your brand image in social media, but it should also include standards on how to respond to “sensitive” posts about your company by non-employees.
The key to monitoring your brand online is being honest, transparent, and quick to respond. Above all, do not ignore or delete negative comments. You do not have to address all negative comments in a public forum, comments are often addressed offline through Twitter direct messages or Facebook messages.
A great FREE tool that you can use to monitor your brand online is SocialMention. In real time, SocialMention aggregates all the user generated content that mentions your brand into one information stream. It pulls content from Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.
Other key takeaways from the “Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings” event were:
- Try to keep all posts/tweets as organic as possible
- Create a conversation calendar
- Every engagement with a follower can be an opportunity
- When creating a social media policy for employees, balance maintaining company values and not scaring employees off from using social media
- Recommend to employees that they avoid talking about the company, but encourage talking about the industry
Personal Branding Through Social Media
The other event that I watched, was “Personal Branding Through Social Media”. During the event a tremendous panel discussed how to harness the power of social media to build your personal brand.
The panel included the following social media experts: Gabrielle Bozza from Made You Famous, Gerard Bush the Chief Creative Director of the BRPR Group, David Sugarman from Sugar Time Sports Management, Susset Cabrera the president of Peacock Public Relations, and Anne Owen the publisher of Miami magazine.
The panel discussion focused around creating a new persona; a digital reflection of who you are as a person and as a brand. When creating your personal brand you have to be prepared to defend yourself, your posts, and your tweets.
Some of my favorite takeaways from the “Personal Branding Through Social Media” discussion were:
- Put your personality out there, otherwise people will get bored
- You must be prepared to defend yourself
- Be consistent but don’t be overly careful
- Social Media – touch the world in 15 minutes
Also, if you want to watch either of these discussions you can find the videos for both the “Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings” and the “Personal Branding Through Social Media” events on LiveStream. You can also watch all of the events live here: Social Media Week On LiveStream. If you do watch any of the events live, I highly recommended following the corresponding hashtag on Twitter as well. There are some great Twitter conversations, thought, insights that happen throughout the events. For example, today while watch these events I followed #smwmiami , it made the broadcast even more exciting and got great insights from the other viewers who were tweeting. To see all the Social Media Week 2012 events check out their website here.
Brand strategy is not limited to businesses anymore; it is now expanding into the idea of branding yourself. I was introduced to the concept of branding yourself during my senior year at Tulane when everyone was getting ready to apply for jobs, specifically the idea of branding your online identity.
But, when I thought about it a personal brand does not exist solely online. Actually, a personal brand strategy can be applied to networking (online and offline), applying for jobs, and career goals.
It is important remember when you are developing a personal brand strategy, that it is just as important for you to monitor your online brand as it is for companies.
Also, don’t forget to keep your brand information up-to-date (job position, promotions, or new skills) and to build an active community around your brand (make sure your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts are relevant to your personal brand strategy).
If you are interested in developing your own personal brand strategy, check out this infographic about things to remember when creating your strategy.