Social Media and Personal Branding
When I started out in social media in early 2008, I didn’t know it would have such an impact on my life in so many ways, personally and professionally. Later on that year, I read an article on personal branding by Dan Schawbel and realized then I had already started engaging in social media, and I also understood how important it is to brand oneself online by creating your own personal brand.
You are your brand
No matter where you are in life, career or studies, you are your brand. Everything you do will affect you - either positively or negatively - and in the social online world we live, now even more important to nurture your personal brand. An understanding is required that one's status updates on Facebook can turn against you at a later time, or if you write something on Twitter that can be perceived incorrectly, and in many cases, certainly will be taken out of context. No matter what, one should care what you say when it could have consequences far ahead into the future. A good rule is: "What you can say to a neighbor in the elevator, you can also say online."
CV vs Online Profile
CV (Curriculum Vitae) is the professionally focused biography and as a tool used when applying for a job, I think it will survive a while longer. To have a strong and active CV is a good start. I emphasize the importance to keep your CV as a living document. There are always small but important changes happening in your life, either on the professional part, in the work and education sections, or interests / hobbies section, and then it is important to let it be reflected in your resume.
In other countries it’s now common for employers to find candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and other online sources. Here in Sweden, companies and recruiters recently began to use these sources on a more regular basis.
So my take on where to have online profiles is these places: Facebook, LinkedIn and Google profiles, but I also think a blog is good to increase your Personal Brand Value. Whatever you do it is naturally your own choice, but I think that if you are to be available anywhere online, you should at least have Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.
How do I start?
A good way to start is to "ego-Googling" yourself; i. e., insert your name as a keyword on Google and see what you get as a result. Do you have a common name and is not active on the Internet (Blogs, Twitter or Facebook) you will probably not show up on the front pages. This will also give you an idea of what others will see when they Google you. On that basis, and based of what you find, is what you get is what you want others to find about you? And isn’t it about time you change that image of you NOW? The answer is this: Simply make up an online strategy for your Personal brand - you yourself!
Start Branding yourself Today
There are excellent opportunities to create the clear picture of yourself with various tools on the Social Web. I have already talked about Facebook and LinkedIn, but personally I think that the blog will be the center of your online strategy. The blog will generate the best search results when you are searched for, and then it is of course important that you make sure to use your real name so your name is searchable. On the blog you can add links to your other online sources, which makes it the center of your personal brand.
What you write on the blog is up to you, but it's smart to blog about something you are passionate about. On the blog, it is even more important that you are your true and authentic self, and show your personality (‘persona’) to strengthen the brand that is you.
Register with your name (if possible) on the most important / frequently used services Like Twitter, Flickr (photo service), Google, YouTube and Vimeo (video services). If you find anymore useful services I suggest you also sign up for those!
Oscar Wilde: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”.