Monday, September 28, 2009

E-brand yourself

Branding yourself does not mean you have to put up billboards of yourself around town. The virtual world is your magic lamp; do the following and see how you stand taller among your peers.

~ Set up a public profile: The starting point. Go to a professional networking site, LinkedIn strongly recommended, and create an account. Fill out everything about yourself in detail as required, including your special achievements and skills. Get people to post recommendations on your profile. LinkedIn allows you to have a URL with your name as a part of it like get it and point people to this link. Make sure you also build a quality network of contacts -- this will show who you know and who knows you. At a glance others will know all about you professionally.

~ A personal blog: Get yourself one; these are free and can be set up in minutes on sites like Rediff, Blogger and Wordpress. You can also get a domain with a custom name, even your own, which is a good idea. Talk about one subject you feel strongly about -- it could be about your professional expertise, public interest issues, travel, a hobby or anything else. Set up multiple blogs if you have the capacity to maintain the same. When deciding a subject area, ask yourself this question: Will anyone care to read about what I am writing? Go ahead only if the answer is in the affirmative. Stay clear of personal ramblings -- what you write will reflect on the kind of person you are and how you think.

~ A personal website: It could be an extension of your blog or a separate one. Let it be like your online CV covering academics, career path, testimonials, photographs, achievements, skills, published works, links to your blog and work-related sites and other relevant information. Make sure your website and blogs are well designed -- select neat templates and inviting colours. Don't be flashy for the sake of it.

~ Write for publications: Look for any available opportunities to write for websites, newspapers and magazines -- people will notice you and this will add to your profile. Media outlets are always open to accepting columns from experts and knowledgeable professionals.

~ Be on social networking sites also. Show yourself to be multi-dimensional. These sites, unlike professional networking ones, are more about your personal side like your hobbies, holidays, family and friendships.

~ Show yourself to be an expert: There are many online forums where you can participate in Question and Answer sessions. Join the ones where business subjects are discussed; there is none as powerful as the one on When you share your knowledge, people start recognising you for your expertise in your area of work -- and you don't know who may want to connect with you and send an opportunity your way.

~ Network, network, network: Develop relationships with as many people as you can, with diverse backgrounds and not just relevant to your own industry. Everyone has a contribution to make. And the internet, especially through social networking sites, allows you to do so without moving away from your desk.

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