Online Presence as the First Step

3 09 2009

In my recent post on how to use social media in marketing I focused on the potential that new social networking sites and channels offer both to individuals and companies in marketing their personal and professional brand in this Internet age. Many people, however, only turn to new channels as a last-resort solution when everything else fails. Keeping the current job, managing customers that you currently have or working on getting your desired book deal often simply take precedence even though a different approach with focus on online image may yield better results. This article outlines why building your online presence first may make your life easier in the long run.

UNDER30CEO recently published an interview with Christina Katz, author of Get Known Before the Book Deal. What Christina argues in her book is that aspiring authors who want to get published should work on building their “platform” first and foremost rather than sending manuscripts blindly to hundreds of publishers. In the interview, she describes platform:

Your platform communicates your expertise to others, and it works all the time so you don’t have to. Your platform includes your Web presence, any public speaking you do, the classes you teach, the media contacts you’ve established, the articles you’ve published, and any other means you currently have for making your name and your future books known to a viable readership. If others already recognize your expertise on a given topic or for a specific audience or both, then that is your platform.

This can be easily adopted to any profession or expertise. Once you “establish your name” online and build your online presence, you have a tangible piece of portfolio-like content that proves your abilities and (hopefully) already has readership and followers. In this way you can connect with people who are interested in what you have to say and pitch your ideas better. Furthermore, an outsider who has no experience working with you or your company can get a feel for what your brand stands for simply by looking at your online platform and the way you interact with your industry.

You can use your online presence as leverage when presenting yourself in all, not only Internet settings. It “gets you in the door” and can open up many possibilities.

Are you working on your online presence now? Or are you still procrastinating?

For more thoughts on how to go about it, check out another UNDER30CEO article “How to Create a Rockstar Online Presence”.






Learn To Use New Social Media in Marketing

27 08 2009

I’m currently in the process of writing a “How to use social media” guide for students which will appear on this blog as soon as it’s finished. The reason for this? Despite the recent surge in discussions and commentaries on the advantages of new social media channels, the actual implementation rates can often be very low. This is true even for the Generation Y talents and my classmates who are graduating from university and letting some of the best opportunities slip either through mismanagement or ignorance of professional uses of social networks. And they’re not the only ones.

Who should be using new social media for marketing?

  • soon-to-be  and recent grads: market yourself in a professional way in the daunting job search
  • professionals: Are you maintaining your personal brand? Are you considered an expert in your field?
  • businesses: Do your customers know what you’re doing? Are you open about your business strategies? Are you attracting new customers?
  • nonprofits: Is your charity getting enough publicity? Do people know about you? They can’t help if they don’t know you exist.

How can you use social media for marketing?

If you’re an individual, make sure your profile is complete and puts the best reflection on your professional credentials. LinkedIn is extremely useful if you’re currently job hunting – use the search options to get yourself a referral at the company or find out who the hiring manager is so you can contact them directly. Make sure your profile is in line with the personal brand you’re trying to portray (for a great article with more information see Dan Schawbel’s “How To Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn” at Mashable).

For companies and nonprofit organizations, LinkedIn can be a great source of professional publicity. Do you appear in the “Company Search”? Are your employees on LinkedIn and saying good things about their job? Use LinkedIn to manage your professional network and maybe attract new talents.

  • start a blog

Blogging is a great way to establish expertise. Are you following the news in your industry? What happens if you do a “vanity search” and put your name (or your organization’s name) into Google? Do you like what comes up? Do you have a strong online presence? Writing a blog allows you to control the content that appears online and is a great way to present yourself to potential employers or your customers. Blog about what your business is doing. Blog about the cause that your nonprofit is supporting. Blog about your knowledge of the industry and the skills that you’re developing. Then put your blog url on a business card and make use of this wonderful channel of marketing.

Tweeting about your company can provide you with great feedback. Use the search engines to find out who (if anybody) is talking about you. Individuals should tweet too. You can use Twitter to promote your blog posts. You can use Twitter to share interesting articles that pertain to your field and which your followers and customers could find valuable. Build your social network and strike up conversations. Make sure the content you post is useful and engage with others. Present news about your organization. Mention the seminar you’re attending to advance your career. Work on your personal or business brand in the vibrant Twitter community.

This is especially useful for businesses and other organizations. Set up a Facebook Page and post information about new products or innovations, about events and workshops that you’re holding. Allow people to connect with you and seek feedback. Gain new supporters on one of the largest social networks.

How are YOU using social media to market yourself or your organization?