You are probably reading this article because you have realised the necessity to raise your profile. You are also probably aware that marketing has changed in recent years – big time! It’s all about who you are and why you are doing what you are doing. People want to know what’s your story! You need to realise that you are the brand! You are the broadcaster! You are the storyteller! You are the reason people will buy what you are selling, or not! And it doesn’t matter if you are selling services, products, yourself, or an investment opportunity. That being true, you need to raise your profile!
Now more than ever, credibility and your personal PR are important. You need to be found online easily, in the right places, and for the right reasons. So, what are the ‘right places’ and what are the ‘right reasons’?
The ‘right places’ depends on what you are selling. Are you selling your personal abilities and skillsets? Are you selling a line of medical devices? Are you selling B2B enterprise software? Whatever you are selling, you do not want to be found looking worse for wear during or after a hen night, because you forgot to change your privacy settings on FaceBook or Instragram or wherever else you post selfies! That would raise your profile for all the wrong reasons, and most likely cost you.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to google yourself every so often to see what appears, as well as checking your social media outlets via the ‘incognito’ chrome browser or equivalent in other browsers.
But I digress. Let’s assume your privacy settings are perfect or you never do or post anything your Mum would be ashamed of and let’s now go back to the original question of ‘what are the right places’? For example, if you are selling B2B enterprise software, where would I expect to find you to check out your ‘street cred’ in the field, so-to-speak:
First and foremost – Linkedin. It’s commonly known as the FB for business people although lately there have been arguments as to what is suitable for LI and what isn’t. People who still aren’t on LI shy away from it but for now, it’s not going away and a really important, and useful tool for checking people and companies. With that in mind, you really do need to figure out how to use Linkedin and the best way to do that, is to start using it! So, back to you – if I wanted to check you out, one of the first places I would go to is your LI profile and look at:
- Who you are connected to in the industry?
- Who has recommended you and what they are saying about you?
- Who have you recommended and what for?
- What groups are you a member of?
- What articles have you published?
- What skillsets have you been endorsed for?
Re the endorsements on LI, these are far less important than recommendations because anyone can endorse you and it’s very easy to do so. I’ve had people endorse me soon after linking in with me and they have never interacted with me in a sufficient manner as to be able to endorse me so anyone knowing LI will view your endorsements with a pinch of salt, unless you have a relatively high no. of endorsements for a particular skill-set. On the other hand, recommendations have a filter on where you have to declare how you know the person you are recommending, so while they could still be false, it is less likely. A great way to raise your profile is to have excellent recommendations on LI and the best time to ask for one, is after you have completed a great job for your client.
Next, I would visit the company website and look at the news section, the About Us, the Team Members, and see where you fit, and what is said about you.
At some point, sooner or later, I would google your name and if it’s a common name, the company you are associated with, to see what comes up.
Bearing all of above in mind, you need to think where you should put your precious online time raising your profile. Where do you want to be found? Where are people you respect in the industry found?
It is when you ask those questions, you will start to figure out the answers of where best to raise your profile. So here are some tips for you to think about:
- Complete your Linkedin profile to 100% by following their instructions
- Start discussions on Linkedin
- Join relevant Groups on Linkedin and join in discussions, aiming to get people reading your responses to check out who you are
- Connect with people in the industry on Linkedin
- Connect with people in the industry on Twitter and create relevant lists
- Create boards on Pinterest that would interest your target audience
- Blog at least twice a week
- Vlog as often as possible
- Start a discussion on quora.com or respond to relevant discussions
- Get speaking positions at relevant conferences and exhibitions