With all the social tools available on the internet it’s much easier to have your voice heard, of course that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you use the tools. Since there is so much noise on the internet you really have to make an effort to be heard and to market yourself, it’s what I call the Personal Brand. It doesn’t matter if you are just out of college or running a large company, the Personal Brand is a great marketing vehicle.
So where do you start? First start with an email address that is simple and identifies you such as firstname.lastname@example.org not email@example.com or something to that effect.
Next, I would split all your contacts/relationships into two buckets – Facebook and LinkedIn. All your personal friends should reside on Facebook and all your business relationships on LinkedIn. Imagine posting something personal on Facebook and having a business colleage see it, it might make for some ackward moments. When using Facebook or LinkedIn it’s about the quality over quantity, it’s not a race to see who has more friends or contacts.
With over 500 million users on Facebook I don’t need to describe what Facebook is all about. My simple rule for Facebook – if I have met that person or talked to them in a non-business way then add them to Facebook.
What is more important in building a Personal Brand is utilizing LinkedIn. LinkedIn is essentially Facebook for the business world, but so much more. It’s simple, create your profile then add people that you know and get quality recommendations. The real gem in LinkedIn’s value is the Q&A section, by participating you will get your name out there and people can see what type of individual you are. Anytime someone approaches me for a business idea or venture, the first place I check is LinkedIn to see what that individual has done in the past.
Next up is Twitter, many people still associate Twitter with people tweeting things like “i just had lunch” or “it’s a Monday get me outta here.” It depends on how you use it, if you are building your career in the advertising business, you could tweet about your thoughts on what are good vs bad advertisements. I use Twitter to share articles I find interesting on the web.
The last piece of building the Personal Brand is starting a blog. The blog is really the central piece to the Personal Brand since you can write about topics that interest you in a detailed manner. This assumes you have something worth writing about. Even if you are right out of college start a blog and write about the sector you are seeking a job in. The worst possible outcome is that no one visits your blog, but in the process you enhanced your writing skills and might have learned a thing or two about the topics your wrote about.
With a blog you can even pick your own domain name which effectively makes it your homepage on the web. From there you can provide links to your Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter page. By utilizing these four tools you can create an effective Personal Brand and a way to get your name/idea out there.
The above article originally appeared on GQindia.com.