With the current poor economic outlook and job losses mounting, this is an ideal time to polish your personal brand to prepare yourself just in case the unthinkablehappens.
Using social media is an ideal way to build your personal brand, to expand and reinforce your network but there are risks that you should be aware of. Here are 10 tips that will help you take advantage of social media to build your brand safely:
1. When networking on Facebook or other social forums always use the privacy controls to limit access to your information (usually you can find these by clicking on “account”).
2. Use Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks to make people aware of what you do or want to do.
3. Google yourself to see what’s being said about you and do the Granny test on the results – if Granny wouldn’t approve then perhaps the content isn’t appropriate to enhance your business profile.
4. Don’t put up any photos, videos or images that compromise your image.
5. Portray yourself professionally as appropriate to your industry in all forums.
6. Be true to who you are: transparency leads to trust – if you have a good reputation people are more likely to do business with you.
7. Remember that you have a valid and unique opinion. Don’t be afraid to voice it.
8. Always be respectful of others, its okay to disagree but be polite about it.
9. If you are young and looking for a job be aware that a party boy or girl image may seem cool to your peers but it won’t help you get a job or grow you professional network.
10. On-line networking is a vital tool for anyone trying to build a career but don’t get sidetracked or sucked in. Avoid this by scheduling time for on-line networking and sticking to it.
11. Don’t make friends with everyone and anyone. Be selective. It will help you manage the volume of information and will also expose you to less risk.