4 Essentials to Building Your Personal Brand Online

4 Essential blog post

 

Personal branding: the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Sounds easy enough but where do you start? It’s not hard to do, it just takes time and dedicated effort. Here are 4 essentials to building your personal brand online.

 

1) Google Yourself – many people are surprised by what people can find then they simply google you. Most recruiters start with Google. If you don’t like what shows up (or if nothing shows up) start building an online presence for yourself that really stands out.

 

2) Make your LinkedIn Amazing – everyone knows that LinkedIn matters, but many people simply put their resume on LinkedIn and call it a day. The goal of LinkedIn isn’t just to “not suck”. The goal should be to WOW people. Everyone can create a WOW LinkedIn profile – it just takes thought and some research to find out what employers/recruiters are searching. What will make your profile stand out from the millions of others? (Extra tip….don’t forget a professional profile picture, that means no pictures from your last get- together, with your friend cropped out but their arm still around you!!!)

 

3) Determine, what is your brand? What are the key things you want to highlight? A strong personal brand is memorable and positions you well. Yet many people simply put their resume online and never get the WOW factor of creating a brand that will put you at the top of every recruiters/employers short list. Everyone should know the 2 – 4 accomplishments that really impress people – and highlight these online and in person. Determine the personality and professional traits that really set you apart – feature these on all of your profiles.

 

4) Think KEYWORDS and SEARCH – most recruiters report searching for people online. If you don’t have the right words in your online profiles you won’t be found. Use the words that recruiters search for in all of your online profiles (especially LinkedIn) to increase the probability that people file you.

 

It’s not rocket science to create your personal brand online. Do your research, consider what your goals are and what you want to convey to potential employers. Have a few people take a look at your resume, your LinkedIn profile, etc and see if they have something to add. You may be underselling yourself or forgetting some of the important professional achievements you’ve had throughout the years. An extra set of eyes can be helpful!

 

Why You Need a Personal Website

Why you need a personal website now

I’m a strong believer that every business professional should have a personal website. While LinkedIn is great, they don’t give you full control over how you represent yourself. By investing in a personal website you are investing in an asset that will generate returns over your entire professional career.

This could be one of the best investments that you ever make.

Here is why investing in a personal website is important:

1. It gives you a platform to represent yourself

The primary advantage of create a personal website is that it gives you a platform to represent yourself professionally. It is a place where you can share your interests, passions and highlight the best aspects of your personal brand.

Your personal website is the best place to show others who you are and what you are all about.

Plus, other people find it impressive 😉

2. You have complete control

You have 100% control over your website – you don’t have 100% control over how sites like LinkedIn represent you. Your website is yours and you can choose what you put on it. You can design it to represent the best you and impress others.

3. It will often show up at the top of searches

Generally when people search for you your personal website will show up at the top of search engine results. This means that you can create a strong first impression.

Think of your personal website as your best suit – it is your way to put your best foot forward.

4. It isn’t very expensive

Some people think that a website is difficult and expensive – they used to be – but not any more. You can easily create your own website with a website builder or you can get a professional site built for you for only a few hundred dollars. Either way it is easy and inexpensive.

5. It is an investment that pays out over your entire life

Your personal website will payout over time again and again – even if you don’t need it NOW. The best time you build your website is before you really need it. Consider it as a way to showcase your strengths and talents to build an impressive first impression, and over time you can use it as a key part of your personal branding strategy.

Regardless of your career aspirations, creating a personal website will help get you where you want to be – and will work for you now and in the future.

 

 

 

10 Sites to Grow Your Online Personal Brand

Building a strong personal brand online is more important than ever – people look for you online to assess your credibility and determine whether or not they’ll do business with you.

Many business professionals still struggle with how exactly to build a strong online presence. While you’ll want to prioritize the sites that are right for you, this infographic will give you some food for thought about how you can use different sites to supercharge your personal brand.

personal branding tips

Self-Branding Tip: Show Your Passion (and if you don’t have passion, you have a bigger problem)

Passion 06302015

I recently had a conversation with another business owner about hiring. We were discussing the importance of passion with potential job candidates. One candidate in particular that he interviewed had a good resume, but clearly wasn’t passionate about his chosen field. Outside of his 9 – 5 day job he didn’t really show much of an interested in the profession.

Whether you aspire to get a killer job, be seen as an expert, get clients, become a speaker or coach, YOU MUST DEMONSTRATE PASSION FOR WHAT YOU DO.

I love candidates who participate in the industry or in the field in their own personal time. As a coach, consultant, speaker, expert or entrepreneur you MUST have passion to drive you to put in the hours required for your success.

If you are really passionate about what you do, you’ll find some time to do it personally, on your own time in some way.

If you don’t want to do what you do for a living in your own time, maybe you aren’t passionate about it?

If this is the case you have two choices: Get Passionate or Do Something Else.

People can lose their passion. We all have ups and downs in our enthusiasm levels. Find your passion, show your passion, it is the KEY to your success.

If you are interested in building your personal brand, you must have passion. Passion shows because you want to share it with people. You do it all the time. You think about it constantly and you like doing it.

A personal brand that isn’t based on passion is pointless, because it will be VERY difficult to build and maintain a presence about something that you don’t truly and deeply care about.

As you set our on the journey to grow your brand, consider your passions first. Once you know what they are, the next steps is to bring them to life in a meaningful way.

How To Use Infographics to Grow Your Personal Brand

I’m big on infographics….. I even wrote 2 books on visual social marketing.

Recently, I discovered a new use for infographics. As a professional speaker, I created an infographic for myself to highlight and share my personal brand in a visual way.  The infograpgic is a great way to make your brand consistent and communicate it clearly. Plus, as a visual it is even more compelling and interesting.

Whether you are a speaker, author, consultant or coach, a visual like an infographic is a powerful way to communicate who you are and what you do.

What do you think?

Krista Neher Speaker Infographic Personal Brand

How To Use LinkedIn Publishing To Grow Your Personal Brand

LinkedIn launched the publishing platform in 2013, however it was only available to pre-determined “thought leaders” who were invited to contribute. In 2014, they opened up the publisher network to everyone. At this point, not everyone has access to publish, and if you don’t, you can request access here http://specialedition.linkedin.com/publishing/. If you’d like to see how this looks, check out my LinkedIn Profile.

What is LinkedIn Publishing Platform?

The LinkedIn publishing platform allows you to share long-format content on LinkedIn, similar to a blog. To create a publishing post, click on the pencil icon in the status update box. If you don’t see the pencil icon, you don’t have access to the publishing platform.

How to post to the LinkedIn publishing platform

Next, you can create a blog post, including images, etc (you can see a sample post at the end of this article). The posts look very similar to a blog post that you’ll find on blogs or websites. Once you post, your LinkedIn profile will include you posts below your summary information. This is a great way to establish your expertise and take your LinkedIn content to the next level.

How LinkedIn posts display on your profile

 

Why Should I Post on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform?

Posting on the LinkedIn publishing platform is a great way to establish your expertise and continue to stay in-front of your LinkedIn connections. Similar to a blog, it is a great platform to share your thoughts and knowledge. In addition to your post being shared with people who follow you on LinkedIn, your post can also be shared on other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

BONUS TIP: Add a great image, since the images will display below your profile.

What if I Already Have a Blog Or Write Articles Somewhere Else?

Many people (including me) use the LinkedIn platform to re-post articles that are already on a blog or website. Doing this gives you bonus views of great content that you have already created (and only takes a few minutes). If you use this strategy, be sure that you use content that has been on your blog for a few weeks so that search engines give you credit for the content vs. LinkedIn.

Most of my posts on LinkedIn publishing have hundreds of views, which is great additional exposure for only a few minutes of time investment.

Could you create original content for LinkedIn Publishing? Sure, if you have time. If you’d like to post unique content on LinkedIn, you definitely can do that, however you can get the benefit of the platform by re-publishing great content that you have already created.

Is This a Good Substitute for a Blog?

No. A blog is content that you own and can create or export from your own website.

The LinkedIn publishing platform keeps content on their site, and they control how/where the content is shared.

In order for people to discover your content, they will have to be on LinkedIn, vs. your website/blog which is a standalone platform.

That being said, if you have been holding off on creating a blog, or if the idea of regularly posting scares you, LinkedIn publishing can be a great way to get some experience writing without the pressure of creating regular posts for a blog. It is still a great way to show your thought leadership and enhance your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn Publishing Post example

How To Use Slideshare to Grow Your Personal Brand Online: Visual Social Media Marketing #VSMM

Slideshare is one of my favorite tools for personal branding that many people still don’t use. I have generated tremendous business and personal value from slideshare and this post will show you how to do the same. You can check out my slideshare account here.

 What is Slideshare?

Slideshare is an online social network where users can upload and share presentations (PowerPoint or Keynote). For example, if I had a powerpoint presentation that explained my product or service, I could upload it to slideshare and people could view it online. For example, you can see the presentation below, which I uploaded to Slideshare is now viewable in my blog.

Why do People Use Slideshare?

People use slideshare to share powerpoint presentations. When I give a social media keynote presentation, people often ask me for a copy of my slides afterwards. Years ago I would collect email addresses and physically email out a copy of my slides to participants. Now I simply upload the presentation to slideshare and I can post it onto my blog.

This allows people to see my presentation on my blog without having to download the slides.

The Benefits of Slideshare

I started using Slideshare in 2009. I uploaded 11 presentations. It took almost no effort for me to upload the presentations since I had already created them. I simply logged on to my slideshare account, clicked upload and added a quick description.

In the first year I received over 10,000 views of my presentations. Now I have many presentations uploaded and I have individual presentations with almost 5,000 views.

Clearly, this is a powerful tool for reaching new audiences and spreading my message.

How You Can Use Slideshare for Your Personal Brand

Slideshare is great if you want to grow your personal brand and be seen as an expert. It allows you to quickly and easily share powerpoint presentations. From the perspective of growing your personal brand, uploading presentations to slideshare implies that you are giving presentations on your topic and positions you as a credible expert. Plus it is also another tool to grow your personal brand online.

What Are You Waiting For?

It is easy and free to get started on slideshare. Create a free account, update your profile information and upload a presentation. It is that easy. Plus if you have a blog, LinkedIn or Facebook page you can share your presentations through those sites as well. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Krista Neher Slideshare Account

Your Personal Online Reputation: How to Manage Google Search Results for Your Personal Brand

Have you Googled Yourself Lately?

One of the things that most people do during our personal branding workshops is Google themselves (I know it sounds dirty). But seriously, when is the last time you Googled yourself?

  • Over 80 million people are Googled every day
  • 80% of people have searched for other people online

If you haven’t Googled yourself, do it now…. Do you like what you find?

You might say “Well, there isn’t anything bad.”

You might say “Yikes”

You might say “Where am I? Nothing shows up…”

You might say “That isn’t even me…”

Your goal should be to say “WOW! I sound like a credible and knowledgeable professional that people would be excited to meet”.

In this day and age, people are searching for you, and mediocre doesn’t cut it. You need to work to create an amazing first impression online, because people are searching for you.

If you don’t love what you see, here are 3 tips to manage what shows up in search engines when people look for you:

1. Create a Personal Website or Blog with Your Name in the URL

The first and best way to manage your personal brand is to create a website or a blog. This is your personal space where you can show how knowledgeable and credible you are. It may seem like a difficult task to create a website or blog, but you can quickly get started for free on a site like www.wordpress.com and build up to a more complicated personal website over time. Start by creating a solid branded presence for yourself online.

2. Create Profiles on Social Networks

Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare and more typically show up at the top of Google search results. If you have a strong presence and are active on these sites, you will have a higher probability of your social media profiles showing up when people search for you online. Create profiles and share content on social networks and make sure that you use your real name to optimize your chances of showing up in searches.

3. Upload Photos and Videos of Yourself

People often find that the images and videos that are found about them online aren’t exactly flattering. The truth is that people are mostly taking pictures and posting them online when people are out having fun. These photos don’t help build your personal brand. To offset any issues with social photos driving your brand impression, upload professional images and videos that are tagged with your name to create a professional brand impression across mediums.

Personal Branding for Job Seekers

When in transition or looking for a job, building a powerful online personal brand is absolutely vital. Over 90% of recruiters search for candidates online, so putting your best foot forward online is vital to success in job search.

Just like wearing a suit to a job interview, a well-dressed online profile can make the difference.

Social Media for Job Seekers

 

Yet many job seekers don’t invest adequate time or attention on building their brand online.  This is a HUGE mistake.

How A Powerful Online Profile can Get You Jobs

Your online brand doesn’t just matter for jobs you have applied for – it can also get you jobs that are never advertised online. Face it, only a small percentage of jobs are ever posted publicly and when they are, hiring managers receive tens of thousands of applications.

Many recruiters now actively search for qualified candidates versus hoping that the best candidates find them. This means that they are proactively searching online for people with certain skills and backgrounds. At least once a week I get a message from a recruiter or hiring manager asking me to talk to them about an opportunity.

If you have a great online presence, people with jobs will actually find you and connect you with opportunities.

Creating a Powerful Online Profile


LinkedIn
– OK, perhaps LinkedIn is obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many job seekers haven’t completely updated their profiles. LinkedIn allows you to share your accomplishments across a variety of newer profile settings including courses, publications and projects. There is no excuse to not having a LinkedIn profile that really sets you apart.Creating assets on a variety of social networks is important to creating a solid profile when potential employers are searching for you.  Here are a few sites to consider:

  1. Website or Blog – This is your home base. Don’t miss the opportunity to clearly brand yourself as the expert and share your knowledge through a blog or website. This is your opportunity to completely customize the experience that someone has with your brand.
  2. Facebook – Sure, you may have your Facebook set to “friends only” but log out and see what the public can see. They can see your profile and background photos as well as your likes. These should build upon your branding. Also, consider how “Friends of Friends” can view your profile – chances are that you have some connections in common with a potential future employer, so make sure that Facebook isn’t holding you back.
  3. Slideshare – Thought leaders are constantly giving and sharing presentations. Upload a presentation (even if you haven’t presented it anywhere) as a starting point. You can show your slideshare presentations on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks.
  4. Re.Vu – This is a really cool visual resume site that will pull your LinkedIn info and turn it into an infographic. Don’t miss the opportunity to stand out visually with this site.

How to Be the Expert

What does an expert look like online? An expert is always on top of news and trends. An expert also has interesting ideas and opinions about these trends. An expert engages in conversations and shares experiences.

These are all things that you can do to build your brand online. It isn’t just about creating a LinkedIn profile (although that is a good start). It is about being respected for your thought leadership.

Find and create opportunities to share your thought leadership.

Be the expert that people want to hire.

 

When is the last time you Googled Yourself? What is your Personal Online Reputation

People use information found about you online to assess your personal credibilityA lot of the people that I speak to about personal branding have never Googled themselves. If you haven’t, start now.

Google yourself.

What do you find?

Is it positive?

Negative?

Mediocre?

What would you like to see?

What shows up in search results for industry leaders?

The reality is that in this day and age your can’t afford to have a weak online brand. Before people even meet you, they are looking online for information about you and using it to assess your credibility. Your online brand is the first impression.

People google you before they meet you.

People google you after they meet you.

They are trying to asses whether or not you are credible.

The good news is that it is never to late to get started. Here are 3 steps to beginning to manage your online personal brand:

1) Google Yourself

Assess the results – are they good, bad mediocre? The first step is to assess the current situation. If you have a common name, you may add your city or something else to the search.

Everything that shows up on the first page of search results should make you look like a rockstar and build upon the reputation you want to build for yourself.

It isn’t good enough to NOT have BAD THINGS show up – you should look GREAT!

2) Decide what You WANT Your Personal Brand To Be

Once you’ve seen what your current brand looks like, the next step is to decide what you want your brand to be. What is the impression you are trying to build? What are your primary accomplishments? What sets you appart and makes you different and better than others in your field.

Before you can start to proactively improve your brand, you must decide what you want your personal brand to be about and what you want to stand for. What makes you credible?

The key question to ask yourself is: if I search for you, what do you want me to find? What should I believe about you based on what I find online?

3) Take Action to Improve Your Search Engine Results

Once you know the impression that you want to create, now you can start creating assets to create a powerful and credible personal brand online. Using a personal website, social networks and online brand building sites you can change the results that show up when people search for you. SEO (search engine optimization) is the art and science of getting to the top of google search engine results. Even without an understanding of SEO, getting active online and creating profiles on social networks will help you manage your search engine results. In our personal brand training we share a number of basic and advanced topics on this. Regardless of whether you invest in training or a tool, a few simple steps can get you started.