It’s time to think like a company.
If you were a company, what does your personal brand say in the eyes of the world? Specifically, from 0-10, how does your professional LinkedIn profile reflect the Professional you offline? Have you given any thought to how you’re being perceived online? What do you say to the world about yourself? How would you like people to view you?
Just like you clean your home before hosting guests for dinner, or dress in your best outfit for an important meeting or interview, you should care just as much – if not more, about how you are perceived in a professional context through your LinkedIn profile.
In today’s social business environment, it’s simply silly not to be concerned with your online personal brand. No matter what you do in life, people will Google you. You are your own company – your life is your business. What you say about yourself, your posts, comments, what you say to others, and what you do on social media, is online forever – attached to your name, and seen by potentially millions of people all over the world. Some of which could become your next employers, investors, clients, and for some – even life partners.
Just think about that for a moment before you post another negative comment about your morning commute traffic or complain publicly about someone on Facebook… I’ve seen some people vent about very personal things on their Facebook Wall, as if it’s their private journal – only it’s as private as Times Square, and that can carry tremendous consequences.
Post with intention. For example, if you’re looking for a new job, know that every hiring manager will look at your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Wouldn’t you if you were in their shoes?
Some people would respond by saying: “That’s why they invented privacy settings”, to that I’d say:
A. Don’t fool yourself – it’s still public to your network…
B. What if instead of hiding, blocking, and avoiding, you use your social media profiles as an opportunity to stand out of the crowd and make a good impression on people – not a fake impression, but express who you are really, what value you bring, and what you stand for! Put your best foot forward – You are your own brand.
So the lessons are loud and clear:
1. Take the time to complete your LinkedIn profile, design a personal brand that would make you proud and attract the right people to you. Do it well, and do it often. Branding is not a one time event. Improve and adjust your LinkedIn profile as you go and grow through life.
2. Choose a photo that reflects you at your best. Preferably, get a professional photo taken, it’s a great investment in your brand.
3. Provide specific information that brands you in the eyes of the reader – Be clear about what value you bring to the marketplace and who you serve. Clarity is power since a confused mind says ‘no’ and moves on. Just being an “Account Executive for ABC Company” communicated very little about what you can do to help people.
Social Media Activity
1. Before posting anything on social media ask yourself: “Does this add value to anyone?” and “How does this impact my personal brand?”
If you don’t like the answer, write yourself an email instead, or pick up the phone and vent to someone who can actually help you feel better.
2. When it comes to posting information on Social Media, I’ve adopted a basic rule:
It must add value to my network in some way, brings forth important information from my network, or improve my personal brand. Nothing else goes.
How do you know what adds value? Just ask yourself – “is what I’m about to post publicly to the world:
Would I be okay with my mother or my boss seeing this?“
What are some creative things you’ve done to design your personal brand? Please leave a comment below.