I just recently watched the Edward Snowden movie with my Russian girlfriend. She fell asleep in about 10 minutes, but the movie was great. The most interesting part was to watch a real live NSA agent be paranoid even about the phone being tapped in a hotel.
It was a scene from a spy movie. Edward Snowden basically changed my view of how governments are monitoring citizens. I knew it was happening, but seeing that movie made it real for me.
When Ed Snowden talked about how that government monitoring was widely accepted by it’s citizens, I started to notice it. A few people made comments socially about the government “knowing everything”. Another TV show I watched, someone made a comment about being monitored…I realized…he was right.
Everyone basically accepts that we’re being watched. Big brother knows everything about us.
There’s a sentiment that “if you’re not doing anything wrong, then who cares.” Which is true if you’re not thinking about the power it gives and what the wrong people could do with that power.
We’ll skip this core issue today, because I want to talk to you about personal branding.
How does it relate to all of this data that’s out there about you? How can you craft the type of “profile” that you want to be seen around the web, and around the world for anyone that looks for you.
Something that looks as good as the media outlets profiles…
I’m going to give you a guide on how to do that today. if you follow this guide, you’ll start getting more job opportunities, start making more money, start dating the right people, and you just might be left alone by the government.
Actually, the government knows about all your little secrets, because you’ve left a trail of them somewhere…but hey, what do they care.
So, how do I get all of those things I mentioned earlier? More money, better job, better social life?
A lot of it has to do with your digital footprint.
Your digital footprint is everything that you touch and interact with online. All of these activities build a profile of you on the internet.
When potential employers look for new hires, when bosses review you for promotion, when potential partners check you out to see if they’ll date you….they all come in contact with the profile you’ve built.
If you build your digital footprint with your goals in mind (better job, more success, etc.) then you’re probably going to start getting it.
Here’s how to craft your personal brand
Even if you’re not into branding, you do have a brand. It’s you, everything you say, stand for, post and who you interact with. This personal brand will last longer than your current job or business, longer than your current relationship and even longer than your parents and relatives.
Building it right online, means you’re putting your best foot forward. But that’s not all. You need to know how to do that, and what sites can help build your personal brand the most.
Since I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and a lot of my success relies on referrals and leads I get from the internet, I’ll share with you how to build a personal brand easily.
In the next 15 minutes, you’ll learn how to:
1. Make more money from personal branding
2. Get a better position using personal branding
3. Date better people using personal branding
4. Get fresh leads from your personal brand
5. Get invited to speak and host like a VIP
Busting the self-promotion myth
You know those friends of your online that post nothing but updates about how angry they are, or how beautiful their kids are (every 5 minutes) or how sexy they are?
This isn’t the right form of self promotion.
There’s a key difference between self-promotion and self esteem issues, and that is this…
“Self promotion is a tasteful & relevant solution offered by the expert himself. Let’s not let narcissism ruin the power of promotion.”
You can promote yourself and it be well received, even helpful when it’s done right.
The rules of self promotion etiquette
1. Market according to your style.
2. Be confident, not boastful.
3. Get someone else to be your mouthpiece.
4. Make it a mix of promotion and personality.
5. Don’t pretend not to sell.
6. Plan ahead for promotions and seasons.
7. Share your space with other great promotions.
8. Give credit to others.
9. Give people something of value.
A word on value.
Think of your Mom, your co-worker and your friend and ask yourself, “Would these three people find this valuable?”
If the answer is no, don’t do it.
Social Media Profiles
Let’s face it, even if you work at a boring job, the people around you (including your boss) has probably seen your social profiles.
What do they think when they them? Hopefully they see “professionalism” and “well rounded”. This is probably the largest focus of your digital footprint surrounding your career and your social life.
Here’s a guide to building your personal brand
Don’t post photos of you drinking! Not if you ever want to get recognized for something serious, or a job promotion, or something similar. Hold the drink behind you when the photo is taken.
Don’t post more than a few photos at a time. When you post 38 photos of the same scene, it’s like sneezing on someone, it’s just not cool.
Make sure all the photos you post are high quality. This requires a bit more ground work, but it’s worth it. People need to see the best version of you. No one hires fuzzy picture people.
Fill out some great information in the “About” section. Sit down and write it like a resume. Even though LinkedIn is the social network for work, you’re probably getting searched on Facebook by your employer as well.
Be open and share. Don’t act like if someone knows who you are and what you do that it’s a bad thing. Unless you’re doing something wrong, openness is a very attractive quality for companies.
Profile photo needs to be amazing! This you should make it amazing, get it done professionally, (Yes even on facebook) and don’t change it around a bunch. Your visual representation is branding as well, so keep it consistent. I leave my profile photos the for a few years, and have them across all my profiles.
Don’t get emotional. I lost so much respect for some people I was connected to on Facebook after the abolition of the rebel flag from the GA flag. Unfollowed them quickly. (Some actually told me to unfollow them if I didn’t like their post), which leads me to my next point…
Give clear instructions. Do be vague, people need to understand what the post is about, whether personal or business. Include dates, locations, etc.
Dont’ tag people without their permission unless you have an agreement in place.
Use LinkedIn. Add everything you possibly can to your profile. Treat it like you’re trying to get your dream job. This will serve you very well down the road.
Start writing. Yes I know, you can’t write, right? Yes you can. You’re an expert about something, and writing those things down is extremely valuable. If you don’t have a personal blog, publish the piece on LinkedIn. It’s easy.
Be consistent with your profile information. A good LinkedIn profile is probably never finished. You should spend hours on it, and then hours more each month. Every month you should be completing interesting projects or milestones at your job, add those to your profile monthly.
You’ll see that doing this over a period of time will help you when you go to change jobs, open a business or otherwise because you’ll have your entire professional history at your fingertips.
Don’t downplay your role at your work. You work hard right? You stay at your office the majority of your hours, so make sure your profile reflects all of the expertise you have.
Description Length & Job Responsibilities. Each job should have 2-3 paragraphs about what you do at it. Don’t write one sentence, that’s cheating yourself.
Volunteer! You probably care about something, which is great. Get involved and add that to your profile. You might even already volunteer something (Church counts)
Ask people for recommendations. This has been one of the largest positive things about my LinkedIn profile. I’ve actually made a habit of asking people for written recommendations over the years, and it’s worked out really well.
Tinder Profile Guide
Only use great photos. Nothing less. I’ve done a few pieces on how to optimize this profile to reach the people you want to date. Over all, be yourself, and listen to the CEO of Tinder, he can also tell you how to make a great profile.
Don’t post photos of you with other romantic people. It’s just a precursor of how things in your new “non hook-up” relationship will be. No need to show everyone that someone used to like you. If you’re compelling enough, you don’t need it.
No photos with dogs or cars or guns. It’s just trying a bit too hard, and looks that way. Try asking your friend, or a sibling which photo looks best of you, use that one. And use a few good ones. And as an added bonus, leave the photos of you bungee jumping out.
Guys, no bathroom selfies. The type of girl you’re attracting with those types of photos is NOT who you want to date. You can either realize that now, or realize it later, but the truth remains.
Guys again, no photos with dogs. It’s trying a bit too hard. And while the ladies probably appreciate the effort, they’d probably appreciate the effort with some flowers of a nice rooftop dinner more. if you want to dive deep into where to put effort, you can read my blog, I give lots of insight there.
Google Search Guide
If you own the Google search results for your name, you’ve achieved your goal and completed crafted your personal brand for anyone (outside of the government) who searches for you.
Should look like this…
You’ll need more than a few social media profiles though. Here are the other things you need to own all of the search results of the first page for your name.
Your own website. Learn how or pay someone to buy it and put something up. It can be a simple ‘getting to know you’ thing, or a consistent blog. Either way, get a website, it’s 2015.
Use your About.me page. This is another page that typically ranks pretty high if you optimize it. Don’t know what it is? It’s AOLs version of a personal website.
Twitter yourself into the first page. Use Twitter, because Google just started showing Twitter results in the search results pages. That’s another opportunity to craft your personal brand when someone searches for you online.
Wikipedia yourself. If you’ve done something of notoriety add yourself to Wikipedia. It’s a simple process because anyone can log on and add information. Just make sure it’s accurate or it will get removed.
The truth is they are just the start of your personal brand. Since the government knows all, crafting it will take consistent attention to your brand over the years. Doing this will reap tons of rewards though.
Any chance you get, make sure that you look at your digital footprint and think like your boss, partner or business opportunity would. Once you start thinking like your audience, (yes, you have one), you’ll start understanding how to build your brand.