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A Millennial’s Guide to Building an Online Presence

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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 August 25, 2021

          Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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          Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

          As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

          Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

          According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

          “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

          A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

          What Is Your Personal Brand?

          “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

          Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

          Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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          I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

          A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

          Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

          Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

          Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

          In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

          According to Castrillon,[2]

          “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

          The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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          As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

          In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

          “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

          When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

          The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

          Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

          The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

          5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

          These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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          1. Set Your Personal Goals

          What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

          2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

          Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

          1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
          2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
          3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
          4. What makes you different from others like you?

          The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

          3. Write Your Professional Story

          Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

          4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

          Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

          5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

          A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

          The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

          Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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          As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

          Other People’s Stories

          Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

          Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

          Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

          “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

          So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

          Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

          Reference

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