Googled yourself lately? What did you notice? Are you satisfied with the impression you leave for those who find you? Are you non-existent? In the article about “Un-Networking…,” I shared the idea of being attractive. A good way to do that is to be intentional about your digital footprint. It might be the most efficient way to deliver a positive and notable personal brand.
According to Forbes Council contributor Lakisha Greenwade, “Personal branding is the modern-day scorecard that measures a leader’s core message delivery, their professional presence in person and online, and their application of foundational values both in and out of the office. As technology continues to dominate common daily processes, personal branding is ‘the business of people,’ inclusive of perceptions, and proven career leverage.”
In an age where many companies are reducing their workforces to become more agile, people who are unemployed and even happily employed are looking for ways to increase their marketability, and they are turning to social media and digital platforms to do it.
Recently, I spoke in depth with Ted Rubin, chief marketing officer at Photofy, host, and interim CMO at Brand Innovators, about ways to build your personal brand online on The Culture Soup Podcast. He says that it is much easier to do than you think.
Rubin shared a myriad of ways that people can break through the social clutter so recruiters, business colleagues, and potential clients can find you online. Once you have a message that is crisp, focused, and clear, try these five ways to not only improve your digital footprint, but power it up.
5 Ways to Increase Your Digital Footprint
Owning a website or a blog provides an anchor for your digital footprint.
Not a writer? Rubin says to keep it brief, and don’t feel compelled to stick to a 300-400 word criteria. He mentioned that one of the most popular blogs in marketing is penned by Seth Godin. His blogs are classically brief, easy to digest and go. The importance of having a blog or website is that it is something you own and provides a place for your content to live undisturbed. Having your content live on social media sites can be problematic, if the site suddenly shuts down or changes format. Finally, having a permanent presence online helps people to find you better when someone searches for you.
Getting active in the comments raises your profile.
Rubin says there are a few reasons why this works. One reason is that it provides you visibility as you respond to other influential content. It also can be a thought starter for blogs that you want to author. He also says that it is a great way to engage and create community, if you aren’t quite ready to publish your own content.
Sharing useful information for your social community keeps them coming back for more.
It isn’t enough to simply share your selfies, honors, and company news. Keeping your community in mind is paramount. What information is useful to them? What can you share that will enrich their day? Sharing content that people can actually use is important, and it will position you as a go-to on a topic, or even a thought leader.
Syndicating bite-sized content makes your message digestible.
Brevity is your friend in this new digital landscape. People want to get it and go. Social media allows you to syndicate across multiple platforms and still deliver value. A nice, eye-catching graphic, and only a few lines can go a very long way. Rubin mentioned that he even leverages his social community as a resource to refine seedling thoughts before publishing more long-form content. His hashtag #RonR which stands for Return on Relationships began as a seed of a thought that he shared on Twitter after a business meeting. When he saw how it took off, eventually, he wrote a book on it.
Hiding online is very 2002. Being seen is the future.
For those who are trying to keep a low profile on social media, Rubin says, “That’s just dumb.” Why wouldn’t you want business prospects, clients, or recruiters to find you. If you have your settings on LinkedIn set to hide your photo to people who aren’t connected to you, you’re defeating the purpose of social networks. People who may be searching for you, may want to identify that very smart person who just spoke, or shared a great perspective on a topic. Be found. Be seen. It’s ok.
You can listen to the episode here.