4 Ways To Effectively Build a Personal Brand
Have you tried Googling people? Maybe before, or after a meeting?
Well, how about doing it right now, for yourself. Hit CTRL+T, type in your full name and press Enter.
What are the top five results like? For many of us, the top results will pretty much include social media profile links like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Like it or not, it is highly likely that you are being Googled right now. In this perpetually connected world, we are stalked online by family, friends, colleagues, human resource managers and various other people from different walks of life.
Wouldn’t you want to show them something better than just your social media profile? How about showcasing an achievement or maybe some information that will help them have a better opinion of you?
In this digitally dominated world, failing to leverage your online profile is an opportunity loss. You are simply losing out on the power you could have got by creating the perfect first impression.
Here are four ways to effectively manage your personal brand and creating that impactful first impression.
Get active on LinkedIn
First things first, if you don't have a profile, make one, period.
LinkedIn is the best professional social network out there. It is always going to be there in the top results for your name. So posting good content on that profile is extremely important. This is where you showcase your professional side.
To begin with:
- Update your profile with a formal wear mug shot
- Update the education, work experience and accomplishment sections in detail
- Ask for recommendations from colleagues and friends
- Write and share articles about your industry
- Engage with posts of your connections
- Connect with new people from your domain and increase your Social Selling Index score (a tool that measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships).
The primary goal of this exercise is to establish you as a thought leader in your domain.
Make a personal website
Having a personal website is soon going to be an equivalent to a visiting card. Soon enough we will be sharing our Web address instead of a visiting card. The best part about this is that you can modify the information as you progress in life.
Don't let Web development intimidate you from not doing this. Making a website is not rocket science, any computer literate can make one using Wordpress or Wix. You should choose a domain with your first and last name followed by a .com or .me domain extension.
You can also add a blog to this website and start sharing your thoughts about anything that you are passionate about. Once the website is live, link it through all your social profiles. This will help Google understand its connection with you and rank the website sooner for your name.
Get featured digitally
This may sound daunting, but it’s not. There are a lot of blogs for every industry. Find bloggers in your niche and approach them for a feature. Contribute to their blog via an article or ask them to write about you or your business.
If you are getting published then ask the author to give you a link from their blog to your personal website. This will again help Google connect the dots and rank this faster on the first page of search results.
Google My Business (GMB)
Google launched this feature in June 2014, but not many are aware of it. GMB is a free tool to manage the online presence of a business across Google. Being a Google property this one almost instantly starts ranking and will eventually take up the first position of Google results for your name.
Having said that, this is not recommended for all. One should ideally have a GMB listing only if they classify themselves as a business. This is ideal for teachers, freelancers, doctors, trainers, public speakers or anyone who directly engages with people.
GMB can also be a platform for new people to find you. A well-optimized listing will start ranking for business related keywords and help you reach out to people beyond your current network.
To begin with:
- Make a GMB profile with your name and the business that you do.
- Verify your page with the code that Google physically sends at your address
- Update your business contact, address and other details
- Request your clients to add a review to your page.
These four ways will help you dominate the first page of search results and play a pivotal role in building your personal brand. Brand building does not happen overnight, hence starting early and staying consistent is the key.