I don’t care in WHAT industry you’re currently working, your social presence is quickly becoming the defacto standard for success on multiple levels: B2B, B2C, as well as employment and advancement. Today, I’m going to talk about the latter; your career growth.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before and you’ll continue to hear the same pitch (and not just from me): being active in social media is important. In today’s digital world, there is a shift occurring across industries who are adopting the digital paradigms of expertise once relegated to academics and people with acronyms after their names. That paradigm being article publication in industry journals, magazines, and hard bound volumes. Today, all industries are using digital publication channels to research the eminence and expertise of prospective employees, as well as measuring current employees and identifying those who are candidates for advancement.
Take a moment and do this quick comparison in your head: how many times have you ego surfed yourself, versus how many times you’ve researched someone else on-line? What’s your normal process when you get a friend request on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GooglePlus? Do you blindly accept/reject, or do you click-through and check the person out a bit, looking for reasons to make that connection or deny it? I know which side of that I fall on…
Now look at it from another perspective: if you put that effort into curiosity or determining a social connection, don’t you think any employer is going to go to even greater lengths to research a candidate to ensure they are the right person for the role they are working to fill? You better believe they are! Knowing that, we need to be prepared to have the best on-line presence we can muster, wouldn’t you say?
With that, here’s a few things you can do with relative ease to make sure that your presence is not only found, but controlled by you and helps you stand out:
- Register your own domain name- This is the first step to owning your name and your presence. Here’s a great article by Dan Gillmor explaining why this is essential. Simply said, it gives you more control rather than relying on third-party services to host your name-space. Having your own domain name/ URL provides that first bit of a stable web property upon which you can build.
- Build your personal landing page- A quick and easy solution is to use a service like About.me to build a landing page behind your domain name. Yes, I’ve gone against my own recommendation above and use a third-party to provide my landing page content for AcdntlPoet.com. But I still own the domain and can point it to this blog easily if About.me starts behaving badly. For now, their free service provides me with exactly what I want and need: a location to connect all my other presences. A slightly more advanced step may be to use WordPress.com or install your own WordPress based blog in your domain and take control of all your content.
- Connect the appropriate social accounts so employers or clients can find you- Now that you have your Domain URL and have built a landing page, start connecting the appropriate social channels. This doesn’t mean you have to connect *everything*. At the least, this means using your landing page to link to other professional presences online where you may be engaging in social discussions, sharing slide decks or blog posts, or where your hosting other professional information. Having a one-stop page that connects your other entities to your name and persona continues to help build your eminence.
- Claim your Google Authorship- This is really a big win for anyone who publishes blog posts or other articles a s a means of establishing credibility or expertise in their industry. I’ve blogged about how to claim your authorship before, and am finding that every day this is becoming more and more critical to ensure results for searches on you provide the right details. It is a simple task that will bring larger long-term rewards.
So, there you have it; four beginning steps to building your digital eminence and helping yourself become more marketable in your industry compared to those who haven’t begun to do so. Of course this doesn’t mean that’s all you have to do to suddenly become a leader in your space, but it gives you the structure upon which you can build your expertise for others to see, and more importantly allows your information to be found easily when they need someone like you on their team. Unless you don’t care about your career, you can’t afford to not be building your digital eminence. Soon, if you can’t be found online, you simply won’t exist to employers.