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Building your Personal Brand Online

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A challenge facing all professionals is developing and managing a "best in class" personal online brand. It is imperative in this job market to offer potential employers a strong personal value proposition that is much more than technical skills.

I would like to share some specific tools and techniques that I have used in trying to build my own personal online brand.

     1. LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com)
            A. Build a complete profile that contains more than technical skills.
            B. Solicit recommendation to include in your profile (recommendations set you 
                apart from peers).
            C. Establish quality connections and be sure that you have "something to offer" to 
                those to whom you invite to connect.
            D. Don't be afraid to reach out you will be surprised at the response, but do not    
                just  "blast out invitations" (see C.)
            E. Join relevant Groups and contribute content driven conversations that convey 
                your expertise (do not ask for jobs or how to contact recruiters).
    2. Build  a virtual resume. This allows you to share more of a multimedia marketing
        presentation. I have used VisualCV.( http://wwww.visualcv.com ) and there are      
        other good free resources.
    3. Build (or take control of) your professional profile on Zoom Info
        (http://www.zoominfo.com/).
     4. Blog- I blog on Proformative as I feel it allows me to most directly reach my peers.
     5. Consider Twitter,, but make sure that if you go this route to be active
     6. Consider developing your own personal web site, but only do so if you take the time
         to do it right and have the time to maintain it.
     7. Google your name in quotes and see if there is anything online that you need to       
         manage out there in cyberspace.

I will stop here and invite others to share tools, websites, online networking groups, and insights regarding building a "best in class" professional online brand.
 

Answers

Dave Tate
Title: Attorney (San Francisco / California)
Company: Law Office of David W. Tate; davetateesq..
(Attorney (San Francisco / California), Law Office of David W. Tate; davetateesq@gmail.com) |

Thanks Ernie for the comments. A very important topic, and it will continue to be important. I am still searching for what works. Anyone can spend a lot of time trying to network without sufficient success. It is really difficult to predict the right approach without trying it, and most likely wasting a significant amount of time in the process while hoping for success.

Regards,
Dave Tate

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

You list some great ideas for building a digital footprint, Ernie, but they do not necessarily also translate to building a personal brand. Because, as Dan Scharf (the lucky winner of the 360 Reach assessment) is going to find out, your brand is how you are perceived by others; not who you believe yourself to be.

An easy analogy would be this. As a finance executive, you believe you are a visionary and empowering leader. However, if you ask your team, board, CEO, or other boss, they would all agree you are a short-sighted micro-manager. Who are you really?

So until you understand your perception in the marketplace (not just those with whom you work/worked but also with whom you live and play), it's almost impossible to wrap a digital footprint in a brand. Internal and external perspective is crucial to ensuring your brand is authentic, not just marketing spin.

A strong digital footprint is critical today for every senior executive. You want to be attracting the exact kinds of opportunities that you want on a 24/7 basis. Wrapping your digital footprint in your authentic brand ensures those opportunities are a great match.

Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: CEO & COO
Company: Treasury Careers
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO & COO, Treasury Careers) |

Great point Cindy. What are your suggestions to access and manage the perception of one's personal brand. Also, did I miss any important sites or areas for building an online presence?

Topic Expert
Cindy Kraft
Title: CFO Coach
Company: Executive Essentials
(CFO Coach, Executive Essentials) |

You did a great job of listing ways to build an online presence. I would add Google and Ziggs.com as two additional sites.

There are many tools out there for unearthing a brand. Just Google personal branding. I use the Reach tools - the 360 Reach assessment and the Career Distinction book - with my clients and highly recommend them.

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