Today’s guest post comes from Ellory Wells. Ellory blogs about leadership, personal development and personal branding on his website, Empoweringthe80Percent. He also coaches people on how to achieve their goals in life, and is passionate about helping others succeed. Ellory loves video games, playing golf, and spending time with his wife. You can connect with Ellory on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
In today’s connected world, your personal brand matters more than ever. What you and I put online is there for everyone to see. Even if you don’t own a business, or don’t consider yourself a professional, you have a personal brand. And that brand means something.
Your brand, otherwise known as a reputation, matters. Here’s why…
I was scheduled to meet Jennifer, one of the directors of the company. It was a Wednesday morning and we were to meet each other for the first time in the cafeteria at nine o’clock.
She didn’t know what I looked like, but that was okay. I’d done my homework.
Before Jenifer had even walked into the cafeteria, I knew the face I needed to pick out of the crowd as well as a brief summary of her background with the company.
I was ready for our meeting. No need to panic. Crisis averted.
This story of how I used a personal brand to avoid complications happened several months ago. Instead of looking out across a sea of faces in confusion, I was able to go directly to Jennifer, a complete stranger, and begin our meeting as if we were old friends.
For anyone with a career, building a personal brand is a must.
Whether you’re using social media to your benefit or not, people like me are looking for people like you. I searched for Jennifer’s profile as a way to find who I was looking for.
The days of hiding who you are online are over.
Between LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, we can get a pretty good idea about the people who we’re doing business with, buying from, or connecting to.
Let me share a different story, one which led to me finding something that might shock you!
Several years ago, before LinkedIn really took off, and before practically everyone with an internet connection was on Facebook, I got a call from a hiring manager, Steve.
I was trying to get a job with a large IT company and a chat with Steve was my first stop along the process.
Growing up in the same part of Texas, I had come to learn all of the area codes for phone numbers. But this one was different; it was from out of state.
After our call, what did I do? I did a Google search of the phone number to see where this guy was calling me from. What I found was pretty crazy!
I learned that Steve was part owner of a night club in Chicago, that he was trying to sell his part of the business, and that he was trying to sell his condo so he could relocate to Dallas.
What’s really insane is I was able to see every room in his house!
See, Steve had listed his phone number, the same number he’d called me from, on the “For Sale by Owner” real estate page. With the 360° view feature, I was able to see inside where he lived!
Isn’t that crazy? And I was able to find all of that six years ago and without using social media.
How much of your life is shared online? What are people discovering when they search for you?
Here are 4 things you can do today to tell the world your personal brand matters.
- Put a face with your name. Your face is one of the most unique and recognizable things about you. Don’t make the mistake of not having a picture.
- Keep your profiles current. Sometimes we just want to know who we’re talking too. Update Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., with current information like where you live and what you’re up to.
- Share. Let us know what you like doing when you’re not at work. Tell us what you do for fun, what your hobbies are, and what talents you have.
- Connect. Life is about connecting with other people. No one has ever done something great by themselves. You may have the exact talents I’m looking for.
We like learning about each other! Build connections; life is more fun when you do!