Personal branding and managing your online reputation is a relatively new concept that’s only been developed in the last several years. With the increased popularity of the internet, information can be shared instantly and go viral overnight, so it’s important to keep an eye out for what information about you is online. While you should be selective about what appears online, it’s also important to have a build-up of information about yourself in order to create a solid online reputation. Here are some ways you can start building a positive online reputation!
There are a plethora of social media platforms out there you can choose from to build a presence on, so you might as well take advantage of it! While you don’t want to go overboard and make an account on every website you can, it’s important to have a wide range of accounts. Definitely utilize Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog websites, then choose others. Figure out what industries interest you the most and what sites those fields use, then build up a presence. Focus on quality over quantity, but you should aim to update everything at least once a month.
Edit existing content
Before diving in to new social media sites, review what you already have. Maybe there’s an account you forgot about that you’d like to revamp or delete (like your Myspace from middle school) or there’s some posts you need to clean up. Facebook and Twitter are good to focus on because those are usually the biggest culprits for inappropriate pictures or posts that can make you look bad. Get rid of any posts with cursing or insults toward people or a former job. Choose whether or not you make these profiles public and manage settings for who can post on your profiles, so no embarrassing college photos show up.
Pick specific areas
In order to get the most from your online presence, you need to focus on a few specific areas instead of having your posts all over the place in different fields. Make posts centered around your major and a job you’d like to have in the future, as well as a few hobbies you’re particularly passionate about. For example, focus on education, photography, and snowboarding, if those are areas you’re interested in. Make thoughtful content about relevant topics and share interesting articles you come across that relate to these fields.
It’s never too early to start connecting with others in your field. A great resource for this goal is LinkedIn – the professional Facebook. You can easily find people from school and professionals who work in your future industry and connect with them through the click of a button. You can then follow their updates and possibly even send them a message to see if they’d be willing to mentor you or offer advice. The sooner you get noticed by established people in your field, the better.