Personal branding is more important than ever – as people search for you online, the internet is now the front door to your personal brand.
We put a lot of care and attention into how we present ourselves physically because we want to make a good impression (or a good first impression). Now we need to put the same care and attention into our online personal brand – since this is where people go to find information about us and validate our credibility.
Start with an Audit
Where are you now? The first step in building a strong personal brand is to start with where your brand is now.
- Google Search – Search for yourself. What shows up? How does this represent you? Are you happy with the impression you create? What results are on the first page? How do they represent you and what type of an impression do they create?
- LinkedIn – This generally shows up first for most business professionals. The bottom line is that you CAN’T AFFORD to have a mediocre or average LinkedIn profile. How does your profile stack up to other people in your industry?
- Facebook – If you are on Facebook, chances are that people can at least find your profile and see some of your pictures. Do you know what public information about you is shared on your Facebook Profile? Logout of Facebook and look at your profile. Generally profile pictures and cover photos are public. Make sure that your public photos represent you well.
- Google Image Search – One of the top reasons that people search for you is just to know how you look. Do a google image search at images.google.com and see what pictures show up with you in them 😉
- All of your social networks – Whether your networks are private or public, take a look at what you post and how it represents you. I typically review all of my social networks every 3 months and ask “If I didn’t know this person, what would I think of them?”. This helps me to understand the brand that I am creating with my friends and contacts.