So you want to uncover, communicate, and manage your personal brand. Sounds like a rather large task, but by following these 10 steps you will build a powerful personal brand that will attract the right people and open up opportunities that would have passed you by. [Read more...]
Does your personal brand leave a strong first impression? Whether you are interviewing for a job, meeting potential clients and partners at a networking event, or even commenting on someone’s blog, how you use your brand to say “hello” and engage others will provide the differentiation you need to stand out.
The first impression you make goes a long way towards defining how others perceive you, and remember, we don’t get a second chance to make a first impression! Here are three ways to leave that strong first impression both online and offline. [Read more...]
If you are ready to begin the search for a great job, chances are you have a lot on your mind! You have to get your resume up to date and impressive, create the perfect cover letter, find out who is hiring and prepare for those tough interview questions.
Even though you’ve got a lot on your plate, don’t overlook management of your social media accounts. More and more potential employers are turning to social networks to check up on prospective employees, and what you’ve got online could determine whether or not you land the job!
Know where you can be found
Sure, you have a Facebook account or a LinkedIn profile, but you might not be aware of everywhere you appear online. Maybe you signed up for a dating site a few years back and have forgotten all about it, or maybe a family member uploaded some crazy pictures of you at your last family reunion.
While you certainly need to be concerned about the social networking sites you use on a regular basis, old profiles need to be addressed too. If you can’t remember every site you’ve ever signed up for (and who can?), try doing an online search of your name, any screen names and/or your email address. If you find your name attached to a profile or website that you’ve never heard of, email the webmaster of the site and ask them to remove you.
You can almost bet that your potential employers are going to run a Google search on you, and you don’t want to lose out on an amazing job because you didn’t take the time to make sure there was nothing bad about you online — especially if you didn’t willingly sign up to the site!
Keep pictures G-Rated
When you upload a picture online, you are sending a message about who you are. Even if you delete that picture, it may have been saved by countless others, circulating the Internet unbeknownst to you. This is why you should always be careful about the pictures that you post, even if you’re celebrating because you’ve recently graduated from college.
Avoid posting pictures in which you are scantily clad, obviously drinking alcohol or engaging in any illegal activities, and any pictures that you wouldn’t want your future boss to see — because chances are he or she will.
Facebook has a tendency to change their privacy settings quite often, and most people don’t care to read the latest updates. The next time you log onto your Facebook page take a look at your privacy settings and make sure that your settings are private!
If you don’t have anything nice to say…
Chances are you don’t upload photos to Twitter like you do on Facebook, but you do have to watch what you say. Unlike Facebook, if your Twitter account is public anyone and everyone can see your tweets, regardless of whether or not they have their own account.
If a potential employer sees you tweeted something inappropriate, illegal, politically incorrect, or anything else that could be deemed offensive they may not hire you. For example, if you’re a recent college grad who is applying for jobs, a potential employer isn’t going to be too pleased when they see a tweet where you talk about how you cheated your way through your Philosophy class, or how you “embellished” your resume a bit.
Even if your Twitter account is protected, that doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Many employers will request to follow potential employees on Twitter. Sure you’re free to deny their request, but that doesn’t send them the best impression of you!
Don’t insults/diss past employers
If you’ve ever been unfairly fired or just had a bad employment experience, it can feel very good to vent your feelings on your blog or through some other social media platform. However, potential employers are sure to find these kinds of tirades and it can make them worry that you’d do the same thing to them. Vent to a trusted friend (in private) instead.
If you’re filling out a profile on a job search website and you’re trying to explain why you were “let go” from a previous position, be extremely careful not to sound angry or bitter toward the company, even if they did wrong you. Keep your explanations vague and political. Saying “The position was not the right fit for my personality” sounds much better than saying “My boss and I could never see eye to eye.”
If all else fails…
If the temptation to post pictures of yourself partying or to blog about how awful your last job was is too great to resist, then at least take control of your online escapades by keeping them anonymous.
Use a separate email address or screen name for personal online activity and don’t mix it with your work name or email. Remember, though, that it’s best to resist if you can, because today’s savvy employers often have a way of finding what you don’t want them to find.
Imagine you have worked hard to build “brand you”.
- You have established a firm belief in your brand by uncovering your brand attributes, strengths, and unique promise of value.
- You have developed the tools you need to become your brand including a personal brand statement, a branded bio, and both an online and offline brand communication plan.
- And you are clearly, consistently and constantly managing your brand environment and brand identity to be your brand every day.
One day a “Google Alert” pops into your email inbox. You are eager see if your brand visibility and credibility is growing. To your surprise you see something that is off-brand. People in your brand community begin to comment on this, tweet about it, and share it. Before you know it your brand is in question. You might consider blowing this off hoping it will disappear in cyberspace. However, by not taking action your brand is derailed.
A ‘Derailed’ Personal Brand
In the world of cycling, when your chain is derailed your bicycle will not move forward – you cannot pedal, you cannot shift, and you run the risk of crashing. When this happens, you need to pull over, assess the damage, take out your tool kit, and make the necessary repairs before you try to pedal on. By constantly maintaining and tuning-up your bike you can prevent such derailments.
The same holds true for your personal brand. It is almost inevitable that you will go off-brand, but if you have the proper tools and the right training you can repair your brand. Here are 5 tools you need to have in your ‘personal brand tool kit’ to keep yourself tuned-up and on brand.
Tool 1. Maintain consistency across all channels and touch points
If you are not setting your own reputation, someone surely will. Take control and establish a strong on-brand presence. Always make sure your personal brand is expressed in a consistent way.
This includes your social media accounts, your website/blog, your business cards, your office, and even your physical appearance. Even if one of these elements is off-brand it will eventually get noticed and can derail your brand.
Tool 2. Remember, one size does not fit all
When dealing with your brand derailments, offer an individualized solution depending on the context, person(s) involved, and the issue at hand. If needed, reach out to the person who derailed your brand one-on-one, keep the conversation on the issue at hand, and listen to what they have to say.
Also, as your family and friends share information about you online, take the time to educate them about the photos they tag you in, the images they post, or the comments they make about you.
Tool 3. Don’t take it personal
This tool really goes hand-in-hand with Tool 2. Always remember that what you say online stays online, so be constructive. Never play the “blame game”. Handle it professionally and absolutely avoid fighting negativity with your own negativity.
Tool 4. Manage your SEO
You do not need a huge ‘marketing budget’ to effectively manage your on-brand message. The average person has enormous power to control their personal brand message with little to no financial investment.
Post and publish your own on-brand content with strong SEO on a regular basis in a blog, website, video, and social media channels. This will elevate your on-brand message in your search engine results, while pushing down any off-brand content. You want to absolutely make sure nothing off-brand appears on the first page of your search results and ideally nothing on the first three pages.
Tool 5. Control your search results
Even if you are diligent about managing your SEO, something still may appear online that is derailing your brand. Imagine if you could control your search results and avoid mistaken identity? Now you can by setting up free accounts with Vizibility and BrandYourself.
Vizibility enables you to organize and share your entire online identity in one click from your curated Google results. Each Vizibility account comes with a personal SearchMe link button instantly directing people to your true online identity.
BrandYourself takes it one step further by giving you an easy to use dashboard to not only populate your optimized profile with relevant content, but how to build more relevant content about yourself in credible places across the web.