How I'm building my online presence

Image by Alex Iby edited by Glenn Prince on Unsplash

This blog is pretty new and, as my first ever post hints at, I’m starting to be more public with the work I do. University has been the catalyst for that change however it relates to a subject I have been reading and investigating for quite a while, personal branding. Personal branding is the image and representation of yourself, particularly in the online world (Michael Page, 2017).

Reputation, Progression and Information

I have three main drivers for embarking on this journey: substantiating my reputation; further progressing my career; and providing information and value to others. Firstly, from a reputation perspective, my public reputation has basically been non-existent, apart from a half-hearted attempt at a LinkedIn profile, mainly because of Impostor Syndrome. This also means, as recommended by Fertik and Thompson(2010), I need to proactively protect my online reputation by building one. Secondly, from a career perspective, I’m am moving on to the “next stage” of my career, whatever that may be. Solution design is what I like to do, but because I haven’t been public with what I do it’s hard to convey that value to others (I have a firm case of imposter syndrome!). An online identity, as Troy Hunt explains, is hard to fake over a long period. Finally, I like to help people and find solutions to problems. This is where the main focus of this blog will be and will make up a large portion of my online identity.

The Approach

The approach I am taking is based on a lot of similar approaches from various sites around the Internet, as well as books on the subject of personal branding and online identity. As Claypoole and Payton (2011) propose, it’s a benefit being aware of your public image and managing it, and they provide some good recommendations around how to do approach improving your identity that I am following.

Brand Strategy

My “brand” strategy is to passively promote myself and the work I do (providing solutions to complex business problems) through funnelling people to my Twitter account and Website to consume the content I produce. To achieve this, I set myself a number of goals that I have already achieved and a number of future goals that are still underway. Like everything, I need to manage these as tasks on my Kanban board.

Completed Tasks

  • Head-shot - The first task was to try and dig up a reasonably good head-shot to use across my social media profiles. I ended up using a photo a friend took on a fairly good camera.
  • Consistent Profiles - I have tried to make my profiles on all social media platforms as consistent as possible. This included using the selected head-shot as a profile picture and using the same text about who I am and what I do
  • Website - I created this website, rather than a generic WordPress site, to hold my content. My main driver for this was to not only differentiate myself from other WordPress bloggers but to also own the domain related to my name, GlennPrince.com
  • Blogging and Tweeting - I’ve also started blogging on a semi-regular basis and trying to tweet at least twice a day so start engaging with people and building up that content base

Learning so far

So far, this journey has been a great growth and learning experience. I’ve met online a number of different people from different backgrounds and provided some assistance and it’s only been six months so far. For me the key things I have learned through this process are:

  • Online presence building is a marathon, not a sprint While I have seen a decent jump in engagement across Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as reasonable traffic through me website, building an online presence is a long journey that requires patience and regularity.

  • Systemize everything It might be the IT person in me, but I found building a system, structure and schedule around all of the work I have been doing in developing an online presence extremely helpful. This includes a Trello board of activities as well as scheduled time both daily and weekly to develop and compose tweets and blog posts.

  • Write, Review, Post I use Hootsuite for scheduling tweets and Hugo for scheduling blog posts which allows me to quickly develop and write out ideas in bulk really fast first, before coming back and reviewing the content for intent and message, then posting for public consumption.

  • Read and Learn but most of all, Do There is a lot of information out there about personal branding but at some point, you just have to do it.

Next Steps

As mentioned in my previous post I want to expand on my content creation activities and systemize my work process more. Regularly creating content is now becoming my focus to build upon my initial efforts around establishing profiles to increase my reputation and further expand my career. As Lars Klint proposes in his article here, now is the time to be consistent and trustworthy.

References

Michael Page. (2017). Personal Branding: How to build the brand called ‘You’ | Michael Page. [online] Available at: https://www.michaelpage.com.au/advice/career-advice/career-progression/personal-branding-how-build-brand-called-you [Accessed 9 Dec. 2018].

Fertik, M & Thompson, D 2010, Wild west 2.0: how to protect and restore your online reputation on the untamed social frontier, New York: American Management Association, 2010., viewed 9 December 2018

Claypoole, T, Swecker, C & Payton, T 2011, Protecting Your Internet Identity: Are You Naked Online?, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, viewed 9 December 2018

Michael Page. (2017). Personal Branding: How to build the brand called ‘You’ | Michael Page. [online] Available at: https://www.michaelpage.com.au/advice/career-advice/career-progression/personal-branding-how-build-brand-called-you [Accessed 9 Dec. 2018].

Klint, L. (2017). How to Build a Personal Brand. [online] larsklint.com. Available at: https://larsklint.com/build-personal-brand/ [Accessed 9 Dec. 2018].


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