The emergence of technology has led people to look for information and connections via search engines and online social media platforms such as Google, LinkedIn and Facebook. It has become essential for everyone to have an online brand to advance their professional career. Having an online brand connects you with people around the world and positions you as a subject matter expert whom others can look to.
If you are not on the radar of prospective employers or people from your industry, you will likely be outshined by other candidates with a stronger online presence. Here are some helpful tips on how to improve your online brand
1. Choose the right platform
There are hundreds of social media platforms available online. However, each serves a different purpose depending on what we would like to achieve.
If you are a video producer looking to grow your team, you will be able to find new talent on platforms such as Vimeo or YouTube. An accountant or entrepreneur of a start-up firm may prefer to engage with their industry peers on LinkedIn to expand their network and establish new relationships.
If you are looking to build a reputable online brand, you should set up a social media account on the platform where your community is most engaged.
2. Boost your online visibility
Business social network platforms can connect you with people from your industry and thought leaders from around the world. Therefore, having a profile that fully details your accomplishments, accolades, as well as career aspirations, is important in showcasing your career identity.
Highlighting your key achievements not only helps to enhance your employability, but can also position you as a subject matter expert. However, be careful not to over-exaggerate or you could risk being called out by your peers or network, which could damage your reputation and credibility.
It is important for your online brand personality to be authentic to establish credibility. Third-party endorsements are perceived as the most independent and trusted source, so ask your colleagues and people you’ve worked with to write you a testimonial or recommendation to improve your credibility.
3. Become a thought leader
People follow thought leaders because they inspire and can provide compelling and thought-provoking viewpoints. To become a thought leader, you must first be a subject matter expert in your own field.
Position yourself as an expert by leaving opinions on topics that you are knowledgeable about and familiar with. For example, if you are a UX developer, you could weigh in on topics such as customer experience, how an offline experience can impact the online experience, etc. Do not be afraid to provide a different perspective that may challenge others to spark a healthy debate.
Being a thought leader does not mean that you can only share your viewpoint on topics that you are most familiar with. Stay curious and ask the right questions, even for subjects you are less knowledgeable about. This demonstrates that you have a keen learning attitude and are willing to participate in discussions that are outside of your comfort zone.
Not only will you get to learn from other subject matter experts, you will also get to form connections with people from other areas of expertise and gain new insights through different perspectives.
4. Find a community
Join LinkedIn communities and groups related to what you do to connect with new acquaintances and keep up with the latest news and trends within your industry. People working in similar professional fields from around the world will have the opportunity to know you better, and know where to find you if they ever need your professional opinion or advice.
5. Stay engaged
Building a network is not a numbers game. Merely having a large number of contacts or joining hundreds of groups is not enough, especially if you do not have meaningful connections with your network.
You need to constantly share relevant content and insights with your network to develop meaningful relationships. Make the first move by posting your opinion on the latest news or your thoughts on industry trends. You could even highlight your attendance for an upcoming industry event and propose a meet-up with people who may be there – a quick hack to expand your network easily.
Building a successful online profile is hard work. Make use of your commute to engage with the online community via your mobile devices. When you dedicate time to offer something of value to your network, you will essentially be amplifying your online brand and extending your reach to other like-minded professionals.
Having a notable professional online profile opens doors to an array of opportunities that you didn’t think would exist. And who knows, you could be shortlisted in the next LinkedIn’s Power Profile series.
This article is contributed by Randstad Singapore.