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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 February 11, 2021

          10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

          10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

          Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

          You have to work hard to develop the right skills

          If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

          1. Make your presentation short and sweet

          With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

          JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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          2. Open up with a good ice breaker

          At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

          • Joking
          • Tugging on their heart strings
          • Dropping a bombastic statement
          • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
          • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

          You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

          3. Keep things simple and to the point

          Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

          4. Use a healthy dose of humor

          Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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          It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

          5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

          Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

          6. Practice your delivery

          Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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          7. Move around and use your hands

          Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

          8. Engage the audience by making them relate

          Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

          9. Use funny images in your slides

          Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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          10. End on a more serious note

          When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

          As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

          Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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