By: Charlotte Young
From the professionals looking to solidify entrepreneurial or consultant ventures to those who want to distinguish themselves in the job pool, online branding is the perfect venue for you. Fast Company reports that this year, smart social networking is essential to gaining control over your professional life. As you undertake a new online strategy, there are five key steps that you must fulfill effectively to reach your personal online branding success.
As important as it is to incorporate Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn into your personal brand, make sure you have your own personal website as your base. Your website doesn’t have to be extravagant, it can be a simple page created on Squarespace, webs.com or WordPress. Make sure to use a real professional headshot on your site to give make it stand out. Once you’ve established your website, don’t forget to use social media tools to drive traffic to your site to get people interested in what you are doing or hope to do.
The next step is to blog! While you don’t have to create a deeply introspective blog with posts every few hours or every day, a blog with a post a week that includes simple text and a bit of multimedia can make a difference. You can then use the blog to drive traffic back to your website.
Once you’ve got your website and blog established, never underestimate the power of 140 characters. One bad Twitter status can ruin your reputation or a potential job opportunity. Make sure you keep your most outrageous comments to yourself and double check your wording before sending your thoughts into the universe.
Although it’s not necessary to jump on every social media platform as soon as they come out, pick a few new platforms to boost your personal brand. For instance, Fast Company observes that Google+ is a great way to build your personal brand and so it the app Path, which allows you to network with people on a professional level. One quick thing to note about Path: you’re only allowed 150 friends, so choose wisely!
The last piece of advice is to network, network, network!!!! Networking is a never ending process so to continue to expand into the online realm, try to find new people to connect with or follow every day. Make sure you actively engage with your followers and friends by saying hello and responding to posts and messages.