Three Ways to Improve Your Online Brand

a cellphoneThe great beauty of today’s dynamic environment is our ability to connect with people all around the world from the comfort of the laptop in your living room. We’re able to rapidly present information to countless people, and highlight our own accomplishments. This constant flow of information is great for personal use, like social media accounts, but it can also be harnessed to further careers. You have the ability to develop a personal brand that our network will automatically think of when you come into a conversation, or your expertise in the field is needed. As you develop your career, it’s important to consciously think about developing your online presence—how and when to share the right information so that you can leverage online tools in your favor. Here are three tips to help you cultivate that online character using tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Step 1: Understanding that Your Online Brand is Malleable

The first step to building your online brand is to understand that it is entirely within your control.  You get to pick which groups you want to join (and which groups you display publicly). You decide which articles to open, let alone repost and share with the rest of your network. Importantly, when you share a post or article, you’re not just sharing the content of that post. You’re telling your friends/viewers/network other bits of information, too, like what your values are, what you’re interested in, etc. It’s easy to overlook the unspoken, especially on a personal social media account, but it’s critical that before any information is posted, you consciously analyze whether it benefits your image/presence, and how it could be perceived by a variety of people. Taking a conscious control of what you post/repost—and the language used in those posts—lays the groundwork for building your desired image.

Step 2: Join Groups that Align with your Interest

Especially on Instagram and LinkedIn, subscribing, following, or otherwise joining groups that directly align with your interests serves a variety of purposes. Your interests aren’t just your hobbies and pastimes, however. This also means following your professional interests, too. First off, following a group aligned with your desired career helps you stay up-to-date on the industry news. This makes it much easier for you to be an active contributor, and well-versed in any conversation surrounding the topic. Another added benefit is that it will allow you to connect with people of similar interests. Whether you’re looking to find new friends, grow your network, or just connect with like-minded people, it’s easier to connect when you’re immersed in a group of shared interests.

Step 3: Be an Active Contributor

Once you join a group, don’t just be a passive member. Actively post to support these groups, whether it’s videos, reposted articles, or any sort of content. This demonstrates that you are an active person, which helps both your personal and professional image. It also makes you that much more knowledgeable and reputable. In order to be known for something, people need to understand your views on a certain topic, or understand that you are well-versed in your topic of choice. As such, many will acknowledge your understanding, and will look to you for advice, or expertise.

On LinkedIn, maybe this means reposting articles or videos related to your career. Or if it’s on a social media platform like Instagram, posting articles, photos, or content that delivers a message of choice to your followers will always be helpful to you and your brand.

Of course, this does not mean that you need to make it your job to post all the time on social media. But occasionally when you read an article, or see a video that you can deliver to your network/friends, it will always be helpful to your group, and your own personal brand.

By Johnny Fernandez ('22)
Johnny Fernandez ('22) Peer Career Advisor