5 Steps to Building a Personal Brand Online

5 Steps to Building a Personal Brand Online

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In a recent interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s goal is not to build a platform; it’s to be across all of them. This quote really got me thinking about the world wide web as a whole and how it seems like every time you blink your eye there is a new technology starting up. Of course Facebook has dominated recently as far as social networking goes, where 48% of 18 to 34 year olds check Facebook right when they wake up. Also there are 206.2 million internet users in the United States, meaning 71.2% of the web audience is on Facebook. This also shouldn’t let people pass up great services like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, all of which I like to use. As a matter of fact many people have become frustrated with Facebook because of so many changes they have already made and plan to do. It’s true though, people will click through their pains and still be addicted to the social network.

 

Along with Facebook’s success, across the world many popular platforms like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress are heavily used. This comes to realize that there are so many services online that people can be a part of, which can easily add to your personal online image. A lot of people already have accounts in these services, but since the future is heavily technologically based, you might want to be involved in some more. I created a simple step guide to help you further improve this image online, which can be used to send to recruiters, share stories with friends and letting people get a better feel of who YOU are.

  • Utilize social media – Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Jumo, Flickr, Foursquare and Google+ are great ways to connect online.  I personally use these services to connect with friends and share photos. It is important to remember that when you use social networks anyone can see this information (aside from some privacy settings). There are many potential job employers who may not want to be seeing you partying it up! Don’t let this allow you from not having fun, just be smart.
  • Be social – When being present on many different platforms it is important that you are still using the full potential of the service. For example, my WordPress blog I update about once every two weeks, which is not frequent but I am not leaving is dormant. On this site as well and for blogs in general, it is important to read other posts and comment on them. The more you comment on other blogs, the more traffic you generate to your site.
  • Show professionalism – This goes along with being smart when utilizing social media, but now is your time to show off! By creating a profile on LinkedIn or a resume on Vizualize.me you can have a professional e-profile at hand. Also, try to stay connected to past employers and any employees since they can help you get a job down the road. You might be able to discuss topics or find jobs on these services that you wouldn’t be able to elsewhere.
  • Register a blog – You can create blogs for personal reasons, educational and informational reasons, business and corporate reasons or a multitude of other uses and purposes depending on what suits your fancy. There are many blog services like WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr and Blogger that all work well. Blogs are just a way for you to show your work, express ideas and share things you stumble upon. If you are passionate about photography, create a photoblog for instance. This is a good way for people to find out more about what your interests are and how you like to express yourself.
  • Create a home page – Some services like Flavors.me and About.me are a way to link all of your online profiles into one site. These sites can serve as a “homepage” linked to profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This is a way for your brand to have some ground, and direct people to who can then later explore your profiles across the board. My homepage.

These are just a few steps that I have found some success in. For example, when contacting some recruiters about an internship they said they really enjoyed reading my blog. This hopefully will help them get a better feel of who I really am, and it will serve as a marketing tool for my personal brand. I hope these tips help, and just remember that each service rubs off on you in some way. Do any of you readers have any other services you like to use or recommend?

Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.