Personal Internet presence? Why should I care about a personal Internet presence? I don’t want recruiters bugging me.
Unfortunately, this is what most people early in their professional careers think about a personal Internet presence.
Whether you want recruiters bugging you or not, isn’t the point about being found on the Internet. The point is the world of business is changing rapidly, and the Internet is driving the change. The Internet is about access to, and the ability to communicate, information (i.e., there is a reason the Internet is called “The Information Highway”).
The Internet is the go-to resource more often than ever to find answers to questions that start with: who, what, where, when, why and how.
Being associated with the answers is a good thing in the context of your own professional value proposition. Most certainly, just being associated with the answers isn’t good enough anymore. You need to be visibly associated with the answers. In today’s business reality, that means being associated with the answers via content that can be found on the Internet.
Again, so you ask, “I still don’t get it. Why should I care?”
Answer: Most business professionals at all levels within corporate hierarchies are paid by employers, clients, and customers to contribute towards delivering results. How do we deliver results? We deliver results by solving problems: our employer’s, co-worker’s, client’s and/or customer’s problems.
It is becoming less and less common professionals spend their entire career working for one employer. Too many people let their careers happen to them. It is becoming every more important a professional take personal responsibility over their career advancement versus leaving it up to their employer to advance their career based on merit and/or opportunity.
Create an awareness of your ability to contribute to delivering results drives opportunity – within and outside of your current employer. Create a buzz that causes people to say, “I want that individual on my team.”
This is important when it comes to your next project assignment with your current employer. Being on the best projects often translates into the best pay, the best raise, and exposure to the next best project at your current employer – let alone exposure to your next employment opportunity.
Consequently, employees need to be responsible for their own value proposition, their own brand image, their own PR. Too many professionals make the statement, “I’m not very good at selling and/or marketing myself.” Getting good at selling and marketing yourself has high return on investment in the context of making the most of a professional career prior to retirement.
Leveraging the Internet to create visibility for your skills, abilities, and value proposition is actually simple – no matter how early you are in your career.
Everyone is an expert at something. For individuals early in their careers, it is simply being expert at solving the problems and answering the questions you are faced with every day.
When you find yourself answering the same kinds of questions, or addressing the same category of problems, write them down. Then write about these topics, and publish them on the Internet in blogs or articles. Simply make sure you are being generic enough to make sure you aren’t violating your employer’s non-disclosure agreement.
Take it one step further and don’t simply create Internet content. Actually learn how to create visible content people can find when they do relevant key word/phrase searches in Google and other search engines. The great thing about this learning curve is you don’t need to be a technologist to learn and understand a few basic principles you can leverage to create visible content that effectively establishes your visible personal Internet presence. Anyone can do this.
Leverage content publishing sites:
Example: Networking platforms like Ecademy whose blogging content benefits from high ranking in search engines.
Example: Ezine publishing sites like EzineArticles whose article content benefits from high ranking in search engines.
Combine this with cross linking URLs within content you create, and building key word/phrase association in the search engines by hyperlinking key word/phrases to the URLs of the content you create.
Don’t fail to leverage the Internet to create a visible value proposition. Take ownership of your brand image and PR. By implementing these simple principles, you’ll be building a base of visible content, and as a result, a visible personal Internet presence that will propel your career beyond those who don’t.