Build your executive career brand and online presence by using LinkedIn as a springboard
Business development, whether for your business or your career, requires some degree of online branding. But it doesn’t need to be difficult.
There are many platforms to select from, but most, whether they are job searchers or business owners, choose LinkedIn because its popularity with business professionals.
I recently met with the CEO of a business who is marketing his organization internationally; this person was not a job seeker but wanted to build his online reputation and his brand to attract business. We talked at length about the perceptions of CEOs being active on LinkedIn and his immediate impression is that LinkedIn is solely for job seekers.
This is not the case. Try searching for the title CEO on LinkedIn and see the results.
In the 21st century marketplace, your online reputation is critical because board nominating committees, hiring decision-makers, and potential clients will immediately conduct a Google search to see how active you are. What these decision makers find or don’t find may impact your candidacy—especially if you are considering a move away from your current industry where you are less known.
If you are own or run a business, you need to leave a positive impression on your potential customers.
Top of mind is first to find
Creating an online space does not mean that you need to be continually online, posting content or actively tracking down and interacting with your networks. A simple plan can be valuable as it quietly promotes you without grandstanding or bragging.
Think of LinkedIn as the 21st century yellow pages.
Here are statistics about LinkedIn that demonstrate its popularity (as of February 2018):
LinkedIn has 546M+ members and is growing and there are:
71.5 % of LinkedIn users are located outside the U.S. If your brand is global, consider the following demographics:
Measuring your executive career brand with a digital audit
If you are uncertain about your digital presence on the internet, you can complete an online audit which takes about 10-15 minutes and can be helpful to gauge your findability.
Individuals with your name can damage your reputation when the chair of the nomination committee at the board you’re vying encounters someone else with your name. When he or she heads to LinkedIn to find your photo and your profile is incomplete or non-existent, your application could be set aside or ignored entirely.
Susan P. Joyce of jobhunt.org suggests adopting a “clean name” that you use for online purposes exclusively. See her comprehensive article on this topic here.
You can also use an online tool such as the Reach™ Online ID Calculator™ to assess your online presence.I completed the audit myself and discovered many others with my own name although there was nothing there that caused me any concern. I will make this part of my quarterly audit process. This tool provides four results that range from digitally distinct to digitally disastrous
What to do if you do not currently have an online presence
Creating a digital footprint today is easy, although it will require some effort. Your first step includes creating a LinkedIn profile.
There are many benefits of using LinkedIn, but the two that are top of mind for an executive like you is (1) a quiet career marketing strategy created for your target audiences and (2) the ability to publish articles in your area of expertise. Your articles become indexed in search engines and in time, those keywords published in the article will become attached to your name.
A personal website
You can also enhance your executive career brand with a website and this can be kept quiet, away from search engine indices and for the private viewing of your career suitors. This is a subtle way to market yourself while demonstrating your intellectual prowess with content designed for your targeted audience. There are many tools available that you can use to build your own site.
Even if you are not ready to launch your own website (private or public), consider purchasing the domain name now so that you will have a unique URL reflecting your identity. Domain names can be searched at many places. Here is one you can try here https://www.websavershosting.ca/ (scroll to the middle of the page to search for your own domain name).
Blogging is an excellent way to showcase your expertise and you do not need your own website to do so. In fact, connecting with targeted organizations who host blogs is a great way to leverage their brand power to spread your message.
Managing your online reputation is much easier if you are quietly present online and the investment can create your new future.
What one step can you make today to take you closer to an online presence that will market your career or business brand?
For a complimentary copy of my 30-page LinkedIn report, contact me today firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo © tashatuvango / depositphotos
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