Two Little-Known Ways to Master The Personal Branding Social Proof Paradigm
Check out the first three parts in this series:
By now, most job seekers should be aware of the well-known places to build their brand and online presence – LinkedIn, a personal website or blogsite, Twitter, other social networks, etc. Information about using these platforms abounds.
Here are 2 little-known, but powerful, strategies to add to your brand communications plan:
2 Little-known Tips to Master Online Reputation and Personal Brand Management
1. Write Posts on LinkedIn’s Pulse Publishing Platform
I’ve found that many job seekers either don’t know about this opportunity, or don’t know that they have access to it.
LinkedIn offers this powerful platform to post articles that demonstrate subject matter expertise, express opinions, influence people, manage reputation, build online branding, and stay top of mind with people.
Publishing on Pulse is almost as good as running your own blog, but without the hassles of maintaining a blog. And it has added benefits:
- Each article posted becomes part of the member’s professional profile, and is displayed on the “Posts” section of their LinkedIn profile.
- Posts are shared with connections and followers.
- Out-of-network members can follow the writer and receive updates of new posts.
- Each post is searchable both on and off LinkedIn.
Look for the “Write an article” button on your profile Home page, just under your profile photo, to the right of the “Share an update” button.
Coming up with topics to write about can keep many from using this strategy. Here’s a tip:
Go through the list of the relevant keywords and phrases you’re using in your personal marketing communications (resume, biography, LinkedIn and other online profiles, etc.), and write articles about those topics. These keywords represent your areas of expertise, so you should be able to write about them fairly easily.
[Please note that LinkedIn, like all social media, is ever-changing. They constantly update and delete features and functions to improve the user experience. Things I’ve described here may no longer be available or work as I’ve noted.]
2. Write Book Reviews on Amazon
Writing reviews of relevant books and publications on Amazon (or Barnes and Noble, and other sites with very strong link weight) packs many benefits:
- The branded personal profile you create on the site represents a valuable search result for your name.
- Any book review posted becomes another powerful search result.
- Carefully crafted reviews support your subject matter expertise and thought leadership.
- Reading the right books can only improve your breadth of knowledge, and possibly strengthen your skill set.
To write the best reviews and leverage the power of this strategy:
- Choose books relevant to your areas of expertise, so the reviews will demonstrate your subject matter expertise.
- Choose books your target employers’ decision makers are likely reading.
- Look for books written by people whose radar you want to get on. Authors will most likely notice all reviews posted.
- For personal SEO, make sure reviews include the relevant keyword phrases that target employers search to find candidates like you.
- Without being too self-promotional, mention in the review if you’re an authority on the subject, such as “As a [type of] executive with more than 20 years’ experience in [area of expertise], I agree with the author that . . . ”
- Share the reviews you write in LinkedIn updates, LinkedIn’s Pulse platform, tweets, Facebook updates, and other social media.
While actively building your online footprint, safeguard your online reputation by keeping an eye on what happens to search results for “your name”.
Self-Google Once a Week
It’s up to each of us to monitor and safeguard our reputation (or personal brand), and keep it free from “digital dirt”. Without self-Googling regularly, you will never know what people are finding out about you.
What if there is someone with your name involved in nefarious deeds, and people assessing you assume that’s you?
What if someone has posted something negative about you (whether or not it’s true), that damages your reputation and could sabotage your chances?
You could be out of the running without even knowing it.
Get into the habit of self-Googling about once a week. If negative search results for your name appear, do whatever you can to have them taken down.
If that’s not possible, work hard to build positive, brand-reinforcing search results, to push the bad ones down beyond the first page.
Here’s what to look for when Googling “your name”:
- Do you “own” the first several search results?
- Do you own most of the first page of search results?
- Or does it take several pages of results before getting to anything related to you?
- What information will people find about you when they click on those search results?
- Is the information you find what you want employers to know about you and your potential value to them?
- Do all the search results for “your name” – at least on the first 2 or 3 pages of search results – support and reinforce your personal brand?
Beyond social proof, here are some of the things recruiters and hiring decision makers at target companies are looking for when they Google candidates’ names:
Social Media Engagement
Is your social media presence non-existent, minimal, somewhat active, or super-active? At the very least, you need to have a fully-populated LinkedIn profile. And consider having at least some kind of presence on other platforms – Google Plus, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
The vast majority of executive recruiters use social recruiting (social networks and social media) to source and assess talent. They’re online, looking for people like you. If you’re not there, they’re going to wonder whether you’re social media savvy and know how to operate in the digital world.
A Professional Photo
Studies have shown that people relate to content better when it’s associated with a photo of the author. The photo should be a professional-looking, close-up headshot that is looking towards, and thereby approving of, the content.
Reasons To Rule You Out
If hiring decision makers are inundated with an overload of candidates, they’ll set the bar higher to whittle down the candidate pool. Unfortunately, that can mean that some great-fit candidates will be ruled out if “digital dirt” exists. They may never be given the chance to dispute the negative search results, if they’re untrue.
In a competitive job market, employers demand (and get) the very best of the best candidates, who have squeaky-clean online footprints.
Everyone must be vigilant in building and safeguarding their online reputation.
A tip for accurate Google search results:
Google personalizes results based on our search history, so it’s a good idea, from time to time, to use someone else’s computer to self-Google. Different results may appear. Also, it’s best to be logged out of any Google accounts (Google+, Gmail, etc.), before self-Googling.
Executive Job Search and Personal Branding Help
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