At the beginning of my CAP 105 course, we used BrandYourself to identify the current status of our searchable online presence. Mine was an A in the beginning, and remains an A now at the end of the semester. I think having a positive online presence involves many factors, but there are always ways to improve.
Here’s 5 steps to take in order to improve your personal brand:
1. Clean up social sites.
If you wouldn’t want a future employer seeing it, don’t post it. This is the easiest way to clean up your social sites. We’ve all posted some questionable things while growing up in the emerging social media world, so it’s important to go back and filter out what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
2. Create new content.
Having new content on each of your social sites will bring the positives to the forefront. Make new and relevant blog posts with certain tags that attract the type of attention you would like to have. Have tweets and Facebook posts that are relevant and appropriate for those who may be viewing your profiles.
3. Mark the sites that ARE NOT yours.
On BrandYourself, you can mark certain links as “positive”, “negative”, or “not me”. This filter system can allow you to create a view of your brand from the eyes of future employers. You have to be able to see where things might come off differently to someone searching for your name.
4. Promote yourself.
Writing a blog post and hoping someone finds it isn’t enough in this day and age. In order to create your own brand, you have to be your own biggest advocate. Share and share and share. Using multiple social media outlets give you multiple options of sharing your content and giving people the option of sharing as well.
5. Be authentic.
To stand out from the crowd online (and in general), we have to be authentic. I went to PRSSA National Conference this year and heard David Grossman talk about the idea of being authentic. Nobody likes a fake persona, and transparency is key. People easily connect with others when they feel that someone is genuine and original. Flaunting your own strengths and weaknesses and keeping it real is very important in creating your personal brand.
Improving your personal brand is a growing process. As students, it’s vital to take steps now to create the online presence that we need to improve our brand. Following the steps above might give you the first step in creating the brand you hope to see for yourself.