If you are wanting to get ahead of the rest, you best start embracing technology. Ride the social media wave and start building a personal brand online. The plethora of platforms available provides immense opportunity for you to start building a personal brand online, and gain the necessary exposure. The great thing is that most of the social media tools are free. Corporations big and small have all begun approaching social media in a more serious manner, as for them it is a great way to directly engage a targeted audience for free. Why shouldn’t it work the other way?
I would recommend promoting yourself through two social media conduits: Twitter and a blog.
- Twitter – a great platform where one can promote himself or herself as a specialist and choose to only follow people who align to their field of interest. This allows one to create network or relevant individuals. Besides being alerted of the latest opportunities. Unlike LinkedIn where you only message someone if they are in your network, Twitter allows you to direct a tweet @ someone. Although this is not direct message, it could at least be a potential precursor to establishing a dialogue with someone. Its also a great place to get free advice, and if done properly, you can be put in touch with the right people. By limiting each tweet to 140 characters allows for the rapid free flow of information. This creates a dynamic real time communication tool, which cannot be said for most of the other social media platforms.
- Blogging is a great way to establish a credible presence online. Sure some may say that blogging is now a saturated market, and your blog will simply be lost within swathe of other millions of blogs out there. There is certain amount of truth in that. BUT the point of blogging in this case is not necessarily to get thousands of views a week/month, but more so to get the right kind people visiting your blog. For me a blog is potentially a medium to make the interests/strengths on your CV come alive. It substantiates what you’ve written on your CV. For example when I was looking for a job in the financial markets, I launched the blog called ‘The market knows best”. This was a way for me to show my interest in the financial markets. It therefore became a great talking point in interviews, and most definitely helped differentiate me from the crowd.
You may have noticed that I have not mentioned LinkedIn. I feel that although this a good platform that should not be neglected, it does not have the same amount of clout as twitter or a blog.
LinkedIn for me needs to modernize, and give its users a more enjoyable experience. I think that at present LinkedIn is a more asymmetric social media channel, because if you wish to get the most out of it, you need to subscribe to a pay service. I have subsequently changed my view on LinkedIn. Since writing this post, LinkedIn has modernised its platform, and as a job seeker I think that if you know how to use LinkedIn properly, the free service is enough. LinkedIn is definitely a key platform when it comes to building a personal brand online.
Additional, yet small platforms to build your brand on: