Whether or not you have done something to build or improve your online presence and your brand, to reach the best of it is not easy. Unless you take control and make things the way you like them, you may not be presented in the best way possible in other people’s eyes.
These days you can find out all you need to know about a person by doing a quick Google search on them, and browsing through their profiles on social networks. It has become quite easy for recruiters to get extra information on job applicants with so much available online.
To start talking about how to improve your online presence, let’s first give you the meaning of personal marketing.
Personal marketing is the process of building your image. It’s the practice of marketing yourself and what you do (your business) so that you can gain respect, be noticed, and reach your specific goals in life.
Now I want to focus on the digital side of all this. The Internet is such a big part of our daily life and the way we do business, that online presence is more important than ever.
So, what's online presence?
Online presence is the group of identities created by you and the relations you have established with them online. It can be a blog, your business page, or your profiles. An online presence helps portray why you, your service or your business are different from the others out there, or why you and your website worth the time of your users and readers.
Most people have remote teams, connect with influencers without ever meeting them in person, and build a name for themselves with every action they take online. Doing so, you’re creating an online presence. So let’s make the most of that.
Here’s what you can do today to improve your online presence and start building your brand and be on top of your game:
1) Start looking yourself as a brand
First and foremost, take things seriously. And keep in mind the fact that all this is a process. You won’t just build a site and leave it like that, or follow some people on Twitter and wait for them to contact you.
Instead – just like with anything you want to achieve in life in the long-term – you’ll have to stay consistent. Personal marketing and networking should even be part of your daily work, especially if you have a digital business of some kind.
Understand that from the moment you go online; you’re creating a name for yourself. So make it positive, professional, and successful.
2) Create Brand Awareness
Use the Internet to create awareness of your brand.
Social Media is a great tool that helps you promote your business and generate interest from the public. How do you correctly create awareness for your audience? Do you post content that is entirely related to your business? Do you like or respond to comments? When establishing your brand online, remember to vary your content. Don’t post content that is all directly related to your product or company. Post content from other sources that are related to your niche to build credibility.
But you can break this rule by posting content that is relevant but not related to your niche such as holiday greetings for your fans. Remember to like the comments of your fans and interact with them because this leads us to.
3) Establish Yourself As An Expert
By just talking about your passions or expertise, people can discover you and what you do.
They’ll get to know what you’re good at and you’ll build up a trust with your audience. You can try using alternate social media sites to do this too. If you have a low budget, try to avoid the monster sites like Facebook, which are crowded and losing their audience.
Establish a blog or use LinkedIn to talk about whatever you’re skill set allows you to talk about. If you’re not the most excellent writer, it’s not the end of the world. Have another person, an employee or spouse to read it out loud to you so you’ll immediately hear the awkward parts. Practice being a copywriter.
4) Practice to Be a Great Copywriter
Most of the time, since you’re doing your work from your laptop, you don’t have many chances to present yourself personally to people. So it’s better to master the art of copywriting from the get-go.
You don’t have to be a writer or anything. But you need to define your strongest sides, what you want others to know about you and your primary goals.
If you’re looking for a job using social media or connecting companies directly, you will have one email (or one profile) to present yourself accordingly.
That means that you have to market yourself as the best person for a specific position in just a few sentences. Not an easy task.
So start reading about copywriting, it will help. And get clear about your strengths and weaknesses and what exactly you want to achieve.
5) Build your portfolio
If you’re a freelancer, or anything else actually, you can’t go without this one.
A decade ago, just a CV was enough. Not anymore.
People want to see samples of your work, and to see new stuff too. So the best portfolio you can offer is a site of your own. If you’re a writer, create a blog and update it frequently.
But even if you’re not, write about yourself. Use it as a diary to share things relevant to your field of expertise, and keep in mind that potential employers may read it.
Another part of your portfolio is past clients. Having the endorsement of your satisfied clients will be vital for your credibility and brand.
Also, with the high competition in the digital world, the best way to become known in your industry is by offering your services for free first.
So if you’re a designer or programmer, for example, find clients who don’t have a big budget or even those who do but who can also connect you with the right people once you do an excellent job for them. And do your best. Then use this work as proof of who you are and what you do when you’re looking for clients who will pay.
6) Use a Professional Sounding Email Address
Drop the funky email address you made in high school and create a professional email, incorporating all or parts of your full name.
Sticking with email@example.com will not impress potential employers and only give an immature impression to those dealing with you.
7) Be on every social media out there to improve your online presence
Making your mark online requires creating a website and setting up profiles on popular networks like Facebook, Twitter, and most important LinkedIn.
You can purchase a domain to a website in the style of yourfullname.com and optimize it to rank high on Google when somebody searches the topics of your work, expertise, and even your name.
With the number of internet users dramatically increasing by the day it's essential that your profiles stand out when somebody Googles your name.
Add up-to-date contact information on your sites so that you are reachable and share information related to your specialty and industry, on a blog, website, or through your social pages. It lets potential employers that you know your stuff.
If you want to be found then you need to set your social profiles (primarily LinkedIn) to public. Creating a private profile on LinkedIn will prevent you from coming up in search results. If you want users to discover you online, then be visible.
Create a profile everywhere and spare a few minutes daily to post an update (something inspirational, something you read that’s related to your field, or else). Social Media is one of the main ways to improve your online presence.
Build Up Your LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile is the equivalent of an online resume. According to a recent survey by OfficeTeam, a third of companies surveyed feel that profiles on social networks will eventually replace resumes.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s features and make your profile pop by showing things you can’t have in a paper resume. Add videos and images of your work, or links to a recent project you did. You can also put in links to references for your work and accomplishments from your company site or a local newspaper.
You need to be present on several Social Media websites to improve your personal brand online. LinkedIn is the most known business-related social network, but you also have other kinds of targeted social networks to be used for different needs.
Using Facebook for your personal marketing plan is not just a good idea, but essential for someone who wants more visibility for their product, service, or cause. Especially when you have your own business or when you are a freelancer or professional selling your services.
A solid Facebook marketing plan can help you attract followers and gain loyal customers. Aside from that, you won’t be wasting your time and money on traditional advertising. Your brand confidence can also improve, and you can establish authority in your niche.
But to show that you care, to stand out from the crowd and be taken seriously, invest some time and money into shooting professional photos, thinking of your descriptions, making a logo, adding a business email, automating what you can and using tools to build a following.
8) Upload a Photo in Your Profiles
According to research by LinkedIn, profiles with profile pictures are 14 times more likely to be viewed than others. No matter the platform, profiles with photos get more clicks. So don’t hold back on uploading a professional-looking profile photo.
The best option is to get the photo taken by a professional. A cropped image from a group shot or a selfie from your phone isn’t going to make an excellent impression.
If you find hiring a photographer is expensive, then borrow a good quality camera from a friend and use the following tips to take a good photo yourself:
- Your face should take at least 60% of the frame. Job recruiters want to see what you look like, so crop the picture from the top of your shoulders to just above your head.
- It appears warm and friendly. Smiles always look good, but if you’re uncomfortable showing off your teeth, then a neutral expression will be exquisite. Just don’t look a creepy serial killer!
- Select a photo that looks like you daily. Keep the glasses and put on the amount of makeup you usually wear day-to-day.
- Although not much of your outfit will be seen in the photo, pay attention to your clothes. Wear formal attire which is work appropriate, and prefer solid colors than prints; it looks better in pictures.
- Choose a neutral background, which isn’t distracting. After all, you want your face to be the focal point.
And don't forget to look like a professional
LinkedIn is proving itself to be a cornerstone of recruiting strategies in the corporate world today. Whether or not you are looking for a job, you need to optimize and polish your LinkedIn profile.
It represents your professional persona online, affecting business opportunities and career advancement openings alike. Always keep your profile updated with the latest experiences and achievements, and don't be afraid to ask your contacts for endorsements and testimonials to give your profile that added edge. Good luck!
9) Cultivate Relationships
Social is spelled as relationships. With social media, you’re not only building authority, but you’re also creating and cultivating relationships.
Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn are an excellent venue for that. How do you cultivate relationships? It can be as simple as liking or commenting on your fans’ posts or replying to their comments. But don’t just say, “Great post!” Expound what they said about it.
Interact with them, laugh with them. React in the way humans would. When you do this, you’re adding more value to their comments. You’re adding more value to fans. With Facebook, you can further extend your relationship with your customer and your personal marketing plan through.
10) Use Social as a Customer Support
Big brands such as Starbucks, Air Asia, and Walmart use Facebook for customer support. These brands understand the value of social media when it comes to customer service. And you should too; this good practice will undoubtedly improve your professional reputation or your small business image.
How you respond to your clients’ needs through social media will make or break your business. Especially now that words spread quicker than you ever imagine. Through your Facebook page, answer customer inquiries and complaints and solve their problems right then and there.
Here’s an excellent tip for you: respond within 24 hours and keep a super friendly tone when you do it.
11) Increase Your Coverage Through Word of Mouth
Great conversations on social media are key to free publicity, which spreads like wildfire. A few bad experiences can ruin your reputation. So, how do you increase your reach on a positive note? We’ve mentioned strategies that you can use earlier. But to recap, share content that your audience would love, engage with them, and look after their needs.
The bottom-line is providing high-quality information that will add value to your audience; share with them what they want.
12) Boost Your Posts
Social media is a cost-effecting marketing solution for your personal brand. Compared to other forms of advertising, it is cheaper and more targeted. You’d be surprised how far a budget of $1000 a month can stretch.
With this amount, you can typically achieve more than 100,000 targeted impressions. Unlike in local publications, you would be paying more for a less targeted audience.
If you wrote an excellent article and wants the content to spread, why not investing a little money to increase your reach? The current social media platforms allow you to target the people who would want to buy your product, avail your service, or help you with your cause.
With all of the target audience information available, you can reach almost anyone, anywhere, and anytime.
In traditional media, paid advertisements in print or broadcast, the communication is one-way. You pay for your ad to be run by media outlets then your target audience consumes it. And it usually ends there. You sent your message, and hopefully, your target audience received it.
But with social media, you can run paid ads and still engage with them. You can further improve your engagement. The importance of engaging with your fans was discussed earlier.
In conclusion, think about boost some of your best content when planning your personal marketing plan. With social media marketing, you’ll be able to gain loyal fans and customers. Big brands or small brands are using Facebook to increase their sales and profit. And so should you.
13) And Keep Your Personal Life Private
While ’it’s essential that your profiles are public, your personal life should remain private. Set the privacy settings of photos and statuses of your life to ‘only friends’ on Facebook and keep an eye out for any tagged photos.
Even if ’you’ve hidden tagged photos from your friends, it is still visible to anybody else. So the best option is to remove tags of photos which could be embarrassing and could kill any future job prospects. Don’t post or tweet controversial statements, but aim to give off the impression of a well-rounded and optimistic person to visitors of your site.
If you’re in the job market and looking to impress potential employers or clients, polishing your online persona should be a cornerstone of your job search strategy.
There are a couple of effective ways to boost your online presence and catch the attention of prospective companies looking to fill a vacancy. If you’re interested in using the internet to facilitate you in your job hunt, then read on for our tried and tested ways to get jobs online.
All this pays off, but you need to be patient.
So that’s how you build an online presence to improve your personal brand. Start doing it today and take a small action every next day so that you can see results. Once you’ve created a name for yourself out there, people will start contacting you personally, and opportunities will come from everywhere.
What do you think? What else can you do to improve your brand?