I'm oft surprised by the number of work force professionals challenged by the thought of online personal branding...'I don't like to talk about myself', 'I'm a private person', 'I've more important things to do'. The future is digital folk and it's time we embraced it.
'But why? What does all this digital business mean?'
It means dedicated webpages replacing traditional resumes; LinkedIn membership volume and currency replacing Rolodexes; WhatsApp and other messaging apps replacing phone pickup; Google+ and Google Apps replacing megabyte file sharing email congestion; global file access via Cloud storage replacing frantic midnight calls to irritated home based PA's; MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) a veritable smorgasbord of educational opportunity developed by esteemed Universities, now accessible via our digital fingertips. The list is endless...and all tethered with the smart technology in our pockets.
Given this, we need to understand, climb on board and embrace - for how better to be found, to be seen, to promote our capability and expertise, to connect, to maintain continuous learning? LinkedIn for instance - what better platform to garner headhunter attention, job offers, new clients, fresh contract opportunities, broader networks, or tap into the vast networks of group and thought leader knowledge sharing?
'But how do you find time to maintain all this stuff?'
Building an online presence can sound like a whole lot of work and no matter how important we know it is, who wants to spend several hours a day tweaking their profiles, finding interesting stuff to share, considering group conversations to weigh in on, carefully narrowing a Tweet message to just 140 characters?
In the words of our eloquent Sweet Brown - 'Ain't nobody got time for dat!'
It's a question of making time. And I do. Average 10 minutes over my morning coffee. Seriously, I've often queued longer for that coffee! Substantiating my claim, LinkedIn recently asked personal branding guru William Arruda how much time we should dedicate to putting ourselves out there every day. A spot of research later and he declared that nine was the magic number.
Nine. Nine minutes. Just nine minutes!! I like this man.
Devoting just nine minutes to your career and professional goals a day and your less likely to get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of online brand management. Easy to get sidetracked when you’re aiming to spend an hour, or even 30 minutes promoting yourself, less so when you select just one task to boost your career every day. The more attainable the goal, the increased likelihood of actually doing it.
Here are nine 'quickies' to get you started:
•Share an interesting article on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or other personally selected professional sites
• Send a quick email to a contact you haven’t talked to in a while
• Join a LinkedIn group of interest and share an opinion
• Perfect your LinkedIn profile summary
• Connect with two or three people on LinkedIn, Google+ or other professional sites
• Endorse one or two valued connections
• Write a brief recommendation for a LinkedIn connection you particularly respect
• Scan Twitter headlines and share interesting commentary
• Google features/benefits of other social media platforms that may suit your personal branding requirements (at the same time deepening your understanding of the digital future).
Choose a time of day - maybe the first or last nine minutes of your workday, or the nine minutes you're actually standing in that coffee queue (smart phone access right?) or in place of that fast food forage during the afternoon slump, or the nine minutes your were about to spend on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook - and dedicate those minutes to doing something that will reap long term rewards for your career and personal brand.
Your thoughts? Have you a personal branding strategy you like to share?