By Wendy Brache
Whether you’re contemplating re-entry into the workforce, searching for a higher-paid position, or exploring future opportunities, one thing is certain: Your online presence is like a public resume. So take a minute to Google yourself. That first page that comes up when you search your name is the online you that the world sees.
In order to “wow” that potential employer, ask for a raise with confidence, or build an incredible network, it’s critical to build an online presence that proves you are a thought leader -- a person to whom others look for information and ideas -- with marketable expertise.
Here’s how to establish that social proof and create a killer online presence within 30 days:
1. Join LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the leading professional networking tool in America. With over 50 million users, group networking, and recruiting opportunities, LinkedIn is the perfect reputation building tool and one-stop-shop for displaying your online resume.
Once you join the free service, begin increasing connections and building your network. Ask for recommendations from those you’ve worked with in the past. These endorsements will be displayed on your LinkedIn profile and will greatly contribute to social proof of your expertise.
2. Write an article and publish it online. This isn’t as difficult as it may sound. The goal here is to create an informative guide for your audience—a “How To,” a “What You Need To Know,” or even better, a “What They Aren’t Telling You About X” article on an important industry topic.
The most important part of this process is to make your article easy to find by publishing it on a popular, Google-friendly site, such as EzineArticles.com. If your article is good, EzineArticles.com will give you “Expert Ezine Author” status, and you can take that “Expert Author” logo and place it right in your email signature (step 3) with a link that says “Click here to read my latest Expert Article on…”
Can’t stand to write? Find a great article that has already been written on the subject and put the link under your email signature, with copy that says, “Here’s a great article on…” You’re still showing that you’re aware of the good information that’s out there.
3. Customize Your Email signature. How many emails do you send out per day? Per week? Per month? Every click of the send button is an opportunity to advertise yourself.
Customize your email signature with links to your LinkedIn profile, expert articles, and your blog (step 5). This is a great way to share your expertise and direct your network to the content you want them to see.
4. Use Google applications, such as Google Alerts and Google Reader. Google Alerts will notify you the moment a topic of your choice is published online. Whether it’s a developing story, an event, a company, or a person, if you’re notified the moment something transpires, you become the “person in the know,” and you also now have a great reason to reach out to people.
5. Start a blog. You can create a great looking WordPress blog for next to nothing. If you’re worried about having regular content, see Tip #4. Post your expert articles to your blog, add your blog link to your email signature, and connect your blog to your LinkedIn profile.
Wendy Brache is the co-creator of SalesForceBranding.com. Sales Force Branding is a comprehensive program that differentiates corporate sales executives from the competition. As a senior consultant at Access Marketing Company, Wendy specializes in B2B Corporate Social Media. Her freelance writing has been featured in newspapers, magazines, trade journals, corporate blogs and newsletters, and on renowned websites, such as Chopra’s Intent.com and Denver’s GreatIdeasForKids.com.