Gone are the days when investors and employers would enlist your services just because you had great papers. Any shrewd investor or employer looking to recruit a person into their business will first do a background check on them. The first avenue upon which the check is carried out is on Google search. Therefore there is a need to create a personal brand with an online presence. Your personal brand should clearly display who you are and what you want to be known for. The following are 5 secrets to creating an outstanding online personal brand.
1) Create your brand mantra
Make a list of all words that best describe your personality and what you are best at. Choose 3 words that describe your most outstanding features. Develop a simple statement describing who you are and what you have to offer. The mantra should determine your emotional appeal. What do strangers think of you 30mins after you meet? If they think you are aggressive or ambitious then that’s your emotional appeal.
Now determine your function based on what exactly you do career wise and put together all the words to form a phrase that sounds inspiring. If you are a motivational speaker then your mantra will sound something like “motivating others to do their best.”
2) Maximize online presence
Since it’s not entirely possible to be on all social media platforms, ensure you at least have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use your official name on all these platforms and avoid having a prefix like princess or handsome unless it’s really your stage name. If you have earned a title such as Dr. or Eng. then include it in your name. As for your official email address, it should contain your official name in full. However, if you have a very long name then you can have an alphabetical letter stand for the first name while the last name is written in full.
It’s also advisable to have a website as your personal portfolio. You can create one for free on WordPress and Blogger. This blog will be more like your billboard. You should then use this blog to advertise your skills, achievements and contact information. Regularly post articles and pictures showcasing projects you undertake and conferences attended.
3) Online pictures
People will always judge you by your pictures. You might be very conscientious but if your online images are poorly done then people will get the wrong perception about you. Picture this, an employer is impressed after reading your CV in which you described yourself as focused and responsible. She decides to do an online search of your name and luckily finds your Facebook profile. On opening your photo albums he finds tons of pictures of you holding liquor bottles or smoking shisha. Do you think he would consider you for a managerial position you applied for?
If you don’t have a good camera, then have your profile picture done in a photo studio. Ensure it captures your ‘good side’ of the face. Avoid posting gruesome pictures of accidents & pornographic material on your timeline.
4) Content published online
To maintain an outstanding online only publish what resonates well with your personal brand. Avoid publishing anything that may sound racist, tribalist or religious intolerant. Remember once you post anything online it cannot be erased as someone may screenshot and reshare it. Avoid making grammatical errors and wrong tenses as this may portray you as a careless person.
On the personal website, you created regularly comment on issues affecting your industry. Recently Nigeria and Uganda passed bills that pundits claim to be oppressive to homosexuals. As an economist, you can write your views on how the sanctions imposed on these countries will affect their economy and propose solutions. Then share such articles on social media, ‘letters to the editor’ on dailies and forums that host other professionals in your field.
5) Portray a positive online personality
Refrain from ranting on social media about how horrible your boss is or how much your job sucks. Instead, portray a positive image of yourself. This doesn’t mean one should post lies or heap undeserved praises on their boss. Let your status and posts exude positive energy, enthusiasm and propose solutions instead of just highlighting problems in the society.
Unless your job entails working on the computer all through the day, avoid updating your status every hour. Since social media is a ‘public place’, avoid posting intimate details about everything going on your life.
Wish you all the best in creating an outstanding online personal brand!
Written by Mark Maish