If you want to get the attention of your target audience, whether you’re in an executive job search or trying to build business, you have to position yourself right in front of them online.
Most recruiters and hiring managers are Googling candidates and making decisions based on what they find, before they’ll even consider talking with you.
I already summed up the importance of monitoring, tracking, fixing, and increasing your online presence to accelerate your search in Is Your Online Identity Sabotaging Your Executive Job Search?
Now that you understand the need to proactively take charge of your online identity, here are some of the best ways to do it. These efforts have the added benefit of exponentially building your network, boosting your credibility, and positioning you as an expert in your field.
These marketing efforts are free except for two that are relatively low-cost. Some take no time to roll out, some take a little time to develop and put out there. I can tell you from personal experience, purposefully building my own web presence, they all bring in great results, pretty quickly.
Remember to keep all of your communications and efforts on-brand and relevant to your areas of expertise, keeping in mind that your mission is to put yourself directly in front of the people you want to know about you.
1. Regularly self-Google. Keep track of how many results come up when you search “your name” and what they look like. The number of results and relevance can literally change from moment to moment. As you start incorporating the things I suggest here, monitor how they affect your search results and keep doing the things that work.
2. Set up a Google Alerts account for “your name” and other relevant search terms. Google sends you an email whenever your name or other terms you provide are newly published online. Find out when, where, and how people are talking about you.
3. Purchase the domain name for “yourname.com” (or as close as you can get to your actual name). This one costs a little bit – about $7-10 a year. You may not know what to do with your domain name now, or use it right away, but you’ll need it in the not-too-distant future.
You should be thinking about launching a blog or website (see 6 and 7 below). Grab your domain name before someone else does.
4. Create an on-brand e-signature for email, business cards, etc. Write a brand-charged tagline to briefly describe you. Along with your contact information, include your website/blog URL and links to your online social networking profiles (see 5, 6, and 7 below). Lead people directly to your accurate, branded online information.
5. Join appropriate online social/business networking sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Recruiters and hiring manager tell me they routinely troll LinkedIn membership for candidates. Brand and power up your profile to attract attention. Cut and paste chunks of your branded executive resume into appropriate spots. Start connecting and tapping into the hidden job market.
6. Start blogging. Easily one of the most powerful ways to increase search results and visibility, cultivate community/networking, and build credibility. Search engines love blogs because the content is relevant and ever-expanding.
For more on blogging and links to two master bloggers, see my post Build a Blog to Build a Better Network.
Contribute several times a week to your own blog, guest blog on relevant blogs, and/or comment on relevant blogs. To build community and your network, refer and link to other relevant blogs in your posts. To direct more eyeballs to your own blog, remember to include a link to it in your other online marketing efforts wherever you can.
7. Launch your website and online career portfolio. Make it easy for people researching you to find everything you want them to know about you in one online location they can get to with a single click. Include all your career marketing materials – executive resume, case studies, achievement summary, leadership initiatives, career bio, etc.
Here’s where “yourname.com” comes into play. It’s the perfect destination to house all your materials. Your own designated website/portfolio costs money through a registrar, but VisualCV offers a pretty nifty free Web portfolio product.
8. Write book reviews for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. Set up an account and create another online branded profile to attract attention. Your reviews immediately begin spreading and popping up on other online bookseller’s sites, further increasing your search results and visibility.
9. Get involved with professional associations. Choose sites that attract the people you need to get in front of. Participate in their online forums and blogs; present teleseminars/webinars to position yourself as an expert; and/or publish articles, tip sheets, white papers, etc.
Need to find appropriate organizations? Check out Job-Hunt.org’s list of over 600 associations.
10. Share your expertise on major online forums. Yahoo! Answers, Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, LinkedIn Q&A, Wiki Answers are just some of the possibilities. Joining discussions is a great way to make connections and position yourself as a niche expert.
Have I overlooked any other great ways to get your name out there? I’d very much appreciate your input. -Meg