Photo credit: Flickr
Improving your online brand is really important if you want to maintain visibility and keep at the forefront of peoples minds. it’s not just about broadcasting on Twitter you know. I talked about tools to help you improve your online brand last week, but its not all about the tools.
In business we rely on networking and recommendations based on reputation. You reputation matters in business. This is also true online. People won’t read your blog, or follow you on Twitter, or Like your business page on Facebook if you have a poor reputation. You have to make sure your reputation remains good. It is really hard to improve it when things have gone bad.
If things have gone a little awry try to look forward and move forwards positively. You can’t change the past. What you can do is work to ensure that positive messages go out and rebuild your reputation
You know the steps to creating a professional business reputation. Network, self promotion, blog, and community. But what else do you need to do. It’s a long list…
You’re a specialist at what you do so don’t dilute it. Think of the technical specialists you know – and those who will have a go at anything. Who has got a better reputation for their expertise? The specialists or the Generalists. Become a specialist. If you’re working inside a company – become the go to person for that subject. Become the only one who knows lots about Yammer for example – and share your knowledge with everyone. you’ll soon get a reputation for being the go to person on that topic. Capitalise on this. help others out, when they need help and your name, reputation and brand will spread inside the company. This will improve your self confidence and authenticity
Make sure that the passion for your work shows with every customer visit you do. Having passion for the company brand shows you as having passion for your brand. You’re an extension for the company and any perceptions about you will be similar to the clients perception about the company. Become an evangelist
With your specialism and expertise, you can stand out from the crowd. Capitalise on this
Think about quality. Make sure online examples of your work is excellent, thought provoking, interesting and compelling. If the content isn’t interesting to you – how will it ever be interesting to your network or potential employers?
If you’re using your brand to promote how good you are – don’t share too much personal or irrelevant you are on open networks. Your trivial / anarchic / politic / religious conversations might not be viewed kindly by others and lose you the job you wanted. If your social username reflects the work you do, then don’t talk about things that are widely off topic. if you use your username, you can be a lot more flexible. Remember, you are what you say, so don’t say much after consuming lots of alcohol
Think about your demographics and the connections you want to leverage in your network. Be aware that Generation Y have the technical and social media know how, but haven’t developed all of the business skills they might need. Generation X and Baby Boomers might not be social media savvy. Understand this and learn from each group and add the skills you need to your brand. Watch how the others act online and learn from their errors.
Learn about how you behave online. Are you a lurker, a commentator, a liker or a critic? Are you first to reveal the facts, or do you wait and give a measured reasoned commentary after considering all of the options and information available. Each of these behaviours have their strengths and merits. Watching alternate behaviours is a great opportunity to grow and refine your own online persona.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete, updated regularly and active. Participate in groups, link to other social networks you have such as slideshare and your blog, and include links to them. Make sure your profile is customised so that you can use it on your business card. You need to be on LinkedIn if you want to have an effective online brand – it’s how you use LinkedIn that matters. LinkedIn is no longer just a place to store your online CV. There’s a job board that you can subscribe to and make sure you get the most appropriate roles. You can look at other companies, the services they offer and careers available.
if you want to update your brand make sure you communicate it well. Have a recent image on your profiles across social networking sites. Update the image regularly. I get comments every time I change my profile photo across the sites I use. People respond to real people. Be careful though. When Justin Bieber cut his hair much shorter he lost over 80,000 of his Twitter fans. Update your brand gradually.
Ask questions online. Think about responding to questions on Quora, voting up quality answers and answering some questions of your own. You could even use Facebook questions to get interaction with your followers like Tesco did. You can see who the influencers are in you network using Quora, and make some valuable connections
It’s not about the tools at all. It’s all about the investment you put into your online brand management. the more you get in, the more you’ll get out…