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What are the best tools to use in developing an online professional brand and in developing my professional value proposition?

Answers

Mital Poddar
Title: Marketing Automation Consultant
Company: Poddar Consulting
(Marketing Automation Consultant, Poddar Consulting) |

In my experience you should start with LinkedIn. This site allows you at a minimum to post your resume online, and indicate who you know. Covering both the what you know and who you know. A twitter account (post at a minimum twice a week) and a blog (at least a short post once a week) are also great options. To build a well rounded online persona you should also contribute to forums such as this one. Be sure to use the same name for all of them and soon you will be recognizable across your industry.

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

I think those are two very different questions. Before you can build an online brand, you must know and understand your value proposition.

Ferreting our your value proposition is a question of digging into how you have solved a company's problems, pains, challenges, and/or situations ... and delivered a positive impact. I'm not sure there are any "online" tools to help you do that ... but others may know. My process is to guide my clients through how to think about the things that they've done that have made those solid contributions to a company, always looking through the lens of value.

From a digital footprint perspective, it depends. What's your goal and who is your target audience? You need to be wherever your audience is showing up. For example, I have a Facebook business page and I tweet. Is my CFO audience on Facebook and Twitter? For the most part, no. But, I have an ulterior motive for using them. They are both Google-friendly so they raise my visibility in a Google search.

Linkedin, though, in my opinion, is an absolute necessity. But, only if it is used correctly. That is, ...

-- having a complete and compelling profile that you can be found and when you are found, your message is on point; and

-- then actively (whatever that means from a time perspective, consistency and constancy are key) maintaining your visibility by participating in groups, asking questions / answering questions, and utilizing the status update bar.

And I agree with Mital's point about anonymity. No name and no picture is akin to walking into a networking meeting with a brown paper bag over your head. I wrote a blog post about this very thing. But the bottom line is, you can't build visibility if you are anonymous.

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