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A Millennial’s Guide to Building an Online Presence

A Millennial’s Guide to Building an Online Presence

As a millennial, the internet played a huge part in your teenage or early adulthood years. Not only are you familiar with online communications, you also know how to tap into the internet’s resources for any information you require.

While millennials today are often seen as impatient and entitled workers, their resourcefulness, ingenuity, and confidence uncover opportunities that previous generations often miss.

For example, data shows that millennial entrepreneurs are starting more businesses than their elders. Being used to the internet, 85% of millennial workers also prefer working at home all the time – making it easier for startups to acquire the manpower they need to gain traction.

Whether you’re planning to run a startup, become a freelancer, or look for a job online, you must focus on building an online presence to be visible in the online world. Without further ado, here are the steps to building a solid online presence that will separate you from the rest of the pack:

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

    Having a LinkedIn profile is like a rite of passage for millennials. It means you desire to be a professional and that you’re ready to contribute something to the big world.

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    One of the main advantages of a LinkedIn profile is that it makes you more hire-worthy for millennial employers and prospective clients. On top of a killer resume, an updated LinkedIn profile will indicate that you’re familiar with technology, which is one of the most sought-after qualities in a modern workforce. It will also expose you to useful contacts that can help you grow in your professional life.

    Here are the rules of thumb for maximizing your presence on LinkedIn:

    • Use a recent, professional profile photo to be 11 times more visible.
    • Have succinct, clear, and powerful descriptions to avoid boring your profile visitors.
    • Highlight your skills, certifications, interests, and projects to help prospects examine your track record.
    • Join LinkedIn groups to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.

    Build an Online Portfolio

      An online portfolio is several times more impressive than an updated LinkedIn profile. It allows you to demonstrate your creativity, skills, and aptitude when it comes to technology. More importantly, it also allows you to feature your previous work accomplishments while utilizing different content types.

      One of the best ways to build an online portfolio is to use a content management system like WordPress, but you can also go the simple route and choose a site builder like Wix and Weebly. Alternatively, you can refer to this Lifehack post for a list of online portfolio platforms you can use.

      Remember the following tips when building your online portfolio:

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      • Use a content type that puts your work samples in the best light. Infographics, for example, is a great way to showcase your graphic design and research skills. If your work is published in other websites, be sure to leave a link for your audience to see.
      • Tell the story behind your personal brand. Ultimately, your online portfolio is about you and your background. Just remember to write a brief biography that focuses on your professional experiences.
      • Ask past employers and clients for testimonials. Doing so will prove to your new prospects that you’re field-tested.
      • Don’t forget to include your contact information. To make it easier for prospects to contact you, use a contact form tool that’s cross-compatible with different site builders. You can view a list of contact form tools you can use by clicking here.

      Write a Blog

        In the information age, authority means everything, and one of the best ways to be seen as an authority in your niche is to have a high-traffic blog. It has all the benefits of an online portfolio and a LinkedIn profile. Best of all, it allows you to build a following that will be ready to consume your content as you publish them.

        If you’re done building your online portfolio, then writing a blog should be cakewalk. Wix, Weebly, and WordPress all allow you to incorporate a blog section with your online portfolio.

        However, maintaining your blog is a huge responsibility that takes time, effort, and your full commitment. First, you need to write useful content that will attract more readers to your site. This is a tremendous task by itself as you have to research your target audience, spend hours writing the actual post, and optimize your content for search engines.

        Additionally, you also have to establish your content distribution channels – starting with your mailing list. Today, there are several email marketing tools you can use to launch your own campaign. When it comes to creating emails, learn the essential elements of email design.

        Another way to promote your blog posts is to leverage social media networks, which leads us to the next step:

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        Have a Social Media Presence

          Finally, social media networks are one of the best channels for content distribution. But before anything else, remember that you need to spend money on advertising if you want to outshine other established accounts.

          A more realistic goal is to automate your posts on social media using a tool like Buffer. It’s a comprehensive social media marketing platform that allows you to schedule posts on multiple accounts as well as monitor the performance of your content.

          The key is to broadcast you post on times when your social media followers are most active. According to studies, below is a good schedule to follow:

          Facebook

          • 12:00-1:00 PM on Weekends
          • 3:00 PM on Wednesdays
          • 1:00-4:00 PM on Thursdays and Fridays

          LinkedIn

          • 5:00-6:00 PM
          • 12:00 PM
          • 10:00-11:00 AM on Tuesdays
          • 7:30-8:30 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays

          Twitter

          • 5:00 PM
          • 12:00-3:00 PM

          Lastly, make sure you link to your social media accounts from your LinkedIn, portfolio, and personal blog. Doing so will funnel your current visitors to those profiles and hopefully convert them into social media followers.

          Conclusion

          Building an online presence is undoubtedly a ton of work. However, it is one of the best things you can do to excel in this life.

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          If you think I missed an important step for building an online presence, feel free to share it.

          ~~~~~~

          Image Credits :

          Keyboard hand linkedin computer via Pixabay.com , Close up of computer keyboard , Person woman apple hotel , Person apple laptop notebook via pexels.com

          Featured photo credit: Ana_J via pixabay.com

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          Vikas Agrawal

          Vikas is the co-founder of Infobrandz, an Infographic design agency that offers creative visual content solutions to medium to large companies.

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          Last Updated on November 3, 2020

          How to Mind Map to Visualize Ideas (With Mind Map Examples)

          How to Mind Map to Visualize Ideas (With Mind Map Examples)

          When you have a lot of ideas in your mind, you may create a text document, or take a sheet of paper and start writing in a linear fashion. However, this type of document quickly becomes overwhelming. It lacks in clarity and makes it hard for you to get a full picture at a glance and see what is missing. Instead, try looking at some mind map examples to learn how to mind map and visualize your thoughts.

          Mind maps can help you zoom out and see the whole hierarchy and how everything is connected. You may see connections you were missing before and find new ways of brainstorming solutions.

          Below, you’ll find more information on mind maps and see some mind map examples to inspire you next time you need to organize information.

          What Is a Mind Map?

          A mind map is a simple hierarchical radial diagram invented by Tony Buzan[1]. In other words, you organize your thoughts around a central idea. This technique is especially useful whenever you need to declutter your brain or develop an idea, a project (for example, a new product or service), a problem, a solution, etc. By capturing what you have in your head, you make space for other thoughts.

          In this article, we are focusing on the basics: mind mapping using a pen and paper.

          The objective of a mind map is to clearly visualize all your thoughts and ideas. Don’t complicate a mind map with too many colors or distractions. Use different colors only when they serve a purpose. Always keep a mind map simple and easy to follow.

          How to mind map: Mind map example

            Image Credit: English Central

            By following the three next steps below, you will be able to create such mind maps easily and quickly.

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            3 Simple Steps to Create a Mind Map

            The three steps are:

            1. Set a central topic
            2. Add branches of related ideas
            3. Add sub-branches for more relevant ideas

            Let’s take a look at an example Verbal To Visual illustrates on the benefits of mind mapping.[2]

            Step 1 : Set a Central Topic

            Take a blank sheet of paper, write down the topic you’ve been thinking about: a problem, a decision to make, an idea to develop, or a project to clarify.

            Word it in a clear and concise manner. It can be a single word or even a central image.

            How to mind map: start with a central idea

              Step 2 : Add Branches of Related Ideas

              What is the first idea that comes to mind when you think of the subject for your mind map? Draw a line (straight or curved) from the central topic, and write down that idea.

                Step 3 : Add Sub-Branches for More Relevant Ideas

                Then, what does that idea make you think of? What is related to it? List it out nearby by connecting it with shorter lines or a line of a different color. Ensure that it remains organized.

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                  You can always add images or other branches later, but that’s good for now.

                  In our example, we could detail the sub-branch “Benefits” by listing those benefits in sub-branches of the branch “Benefits.” Unfortunately, we already reached the side of the sheet, so we’re out of space to do so. You could always draw a line to a white space on the page and list them there, but it’s awkward.

                  Since we created this mind map on a regular letter-format sheet of paper, the quantity of information that fits in there is very limited. That is one of the main reasons why I recommend that you use software rather than pen and paper for most of the mind mapping that you do.

                  Repeat Step 2 and Step 3

                  Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as you need to flush out all of your ideas around the topic that you chose.

                  Mind map example

                    I added first-level (main) branches around the central topic mostly in a clockwise fashion, from top-right to top-left. That is how, by convention, a mind map is read.

                    In the next section, we are covering the three strategies to building your maps.  

                    Mind Map Examples to Illustrate Mind Mapping

                    You can go about creating a mind map in various ways:

                    • Branch by Branch: Adding whole branches (with all of their sub-branches), one by one.
                    • Level by Level: Adding elements to the map, one level at a time. That means that firstly, you add elements around the central topic (main branches). Then, you add sub-branches to those main branches.
                    • Free-Flow: Adding elements to your mind map as they come to you, in no particular order.

                    Branch by Branch

                    Start with the central topic, and add a first branch. Focus on that branch and detail it as much as you can by adding all the sub-branches that you can think of.

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                      Then develop ideas branch by branch.

                        One your ideas have filled the branches, the mind map is complete.

                        Branch by branch mind map example

                          Level by Level

                          In this “Level by Level” strategy of mind map examples, you first add all the elements that you can think of around the central topic, one level deep only. Here, you add elements on level 1:

                            Then, go over each branch and add the immediate sub-branches (one level only). This is level 2:

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                              Do the same for the next level (level 3). You can have as many levels as you want in a mind map. In our example, we only have 3 levels. Now the map is complete:

                              Level by level mind map example

                                Free-Flow

                                Basically, a free flow strategy of mind mapping is to add main branches and sub-topics freely. There are no rules to restrict how ideas should flow in the mind map. The only thing to pay attention to is that you need to be careful about the level of the ideas you’re adding to the mind map — is it a main topic, or is it a subtopic?

                                Free flow mind map example

                                  Try each strategy and combinations of strategies, and see what works best for you to help you start problem solving.

                                  The Bottom Line

                                  When you’re feeling stuck or when you’re just starting to think about a particular idea or project, take out a paper and start to brain dump your ideas and create a mind map using the mind map examples above. Mind mapping has the magic to clear your head and organize your thoughts.

                                  If you can’t always have access to a paper and pen, don’t worry! Creating a mind map with software is very effective, and you get none of the drawbacks of pen and paper. You can also apply the above steps and strategies just the same when using a mind mapping tool on a phone and computer.

                                  More Tools to Help You Organize Thoughts

                                  Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

                                  [1] Tony Buzan Group: Home
                                  [2] Verbal to Visual: A Mind Mapping Approach To Your Sketchnotes

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