If you want to get started managing your online visibility for the long-haul, not just while you’re eager to find a new job, here are the secrets to managing your online visibility and building a reputation of excellence!
Listen, Learn, Lead
There are three secrets that will help you improve your online visibility. They are listening, learning and leading!
Let me tell you how they work.
Back in 2008, I was asked to speak to a group of executive MBAs about networking. As flattered as I was, I was also panicked. What qualified me to speak about networking? Sure, I’d been teaching job seekers how to look for work for several years, but was that enough to impress or convince this audience that I was worth listening to? I needed reference material and my own words.
I talked with a friend who pushed me to start blogging. I did a lot of reading. Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Keith Ferrazzi, and Penelope Trunk were early inspirations. I wrote 5 times a week, for 3 years! (I had a lot to say!)
Beyond writing my own articles, I was told by experts that you were supposed to leave comments on other blogs. And as I found more blogs within the job search and career space, I began to leave comments. It was around this same time, someone recommended Twitter. So I opened my account and began following people. Every morning after I wrote my blog post, I would skim my Twitter feed, share interesting articles as well as my own.
I did all this before 7am (while I was working a full-time job). I had 2 kids under the age of 5, and a husband who worked the night shift.
What I didn’t really understand at the time was that I was building an online presence and reputation. I learned about SEO, basic technical stuff like HTML, how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to promote my content. Oh, and most importantly, I met some great friends along the way!
I’m an introvert and have pretty good listening skills when I want to. Listening is so important to building your brand and online reputation.
- Listen to what other experts in your area of expertise/interest are saying
- Listen to your potential employers/customer’s problems
- Listen to fill gaps or voids in knowledge
- Listen to feedback your friends, family, colleagues and managers give you
- Listen for opportunities
As you listen, you learn. Observing behaviors, styles, methods and hacks.
I think it’s smart to know where your strengths lie and where you are weak. There’s no excuse for not having something you know you’ll need. There’s a wise saying, those that can’t do teach. But even wiser is this quote from Benjamin Franklin:
Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
Engage in learning. Make it a life-long quest for knowledge.
No one needs to give you a title in order for you to lead. Lead yourself. We can all be leaders- in different aspects of work or life. Choose where you want to lead. You’ll build a reputation of excellence and become a magnet for new opportunities!
Share Great Stuff With Your Network
Listen to what others are saying and share. You may not have your own thoughts yet but sharing the ideas of others, good or different, shows interest and helps cement what’s important to you.
Where are you listening for information and trends?
- Follow LinkedIn Influencers
- Subscribe to industry newsletters, SmartBrief, Google blogs or AllTop by topic (learn about these here)
- Follow your favorite blogs/newsfeeds using Feed.ly (learn how to use Feed.ly here)
Where are you learning?
- Networking groups
- Professional associations
Manage Your Online Reputation
- Google yourself, do you own page one with positive and best links?
- Create an awesome LinkedIn profile (here’s how and here are profiles to inspire you)
- Don’t just lurk, really use LinkedIn (learn how here)
- Use a personal email signature (here’s how)
- Get a personal website or landing page: try about.me(here’s a full description)
- Monitor your online rep: Set up Google Alerts- Me on the Web, Social Mention
- Manage your online reputation- dominate the first page of search results (use Brandyourself)
The best defense is a great offense! Build your online visibility today!
Are you interested in some of the other tools I use regularly to build my online visibility? Here are my 26 go-to, must-have tools!