How To Create A Professional Online Presence (2022)
Last Updated on February 9th, 2022 by Lachie Hiriart
If you’re serious about having a career in technology, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of establishing a digital presence as soon as possible.
You’ve undoubtedly heard stories from your older relatives about how they landed jobs by dressing up and stepping into an organization with a resume. However, that was not the world most of us found when working. “Apply online,” we were told. However, you didn’t have to have your online presence or personal brand to do this.
Now the situation is shifting once more, and your grandchildren will be surprised that you used to apply for job opportunities by filling out form entries and uploading documents to a website without having an online presence.
The truth is that if you’re on a job search or in need of a new job, either full-time or part-time work, filling out online forms is no longer the most successful method.
There are far better ways to handle your job hunt or freelance employment in 2021 than churning out resumes and generic cover letters. By the way, this is a no-no. A copy and paste cover letter are easy to recognize and much more straightforward for potential employers to dismiss.
You could be wondering what the future method is. It all starts with establishing an online presence.
Various names know as online presence; personal brand, digital footprint, online profile, web presence, etc.
Building a web presence, whatever you want to name it, is fundamental and a determining factor in your career growth.
This article will discuss what a digital footprint is, why it’s essential, and how to create a robust online presence.
What is a Digital Footprint?
What does it mean to have a digital footprint? Your digital footprint is a comprehensive representation of the online persona you’ve developed, both professional and personal. Your online identity changes whenever you publish material, send a tweet or connect with others in a public online arena.
In a word, what you openly post online determines your digital footprint. It’s the information that is gathered about you through a web search. A private Instagram profile or Twitter profile does not count because only the individuals you allow access to it.
You have a digital footprint, even if you don’t realize it. Try it out for yourself. Google your name (full) with the state or county where you grew up or currently reside to check your web presence. Only if you have a trendy name will you indeed be found. So there you have it, your digital footprint.
Employers nowadays want you to have a digital footprint, particularly if you’re a software engineer, programmer, or other professional. And, if you’re planning to freelance, your web presence will be crucial in attracting and retaining clients.
In reality, 77 per cent of employers increasingly use Googling and other methods to study prospective candidates. Your online presence is what shows in the search results. And if nothing appears at all, it raises suspicion.
Why is it essential to have a professional online presence?
Perhaps your digital footprint is indeed impressive, or maybe it’s a tad underwhelming. The best part is that you can easily take control of your online identity and change it.
Your internet presence has a lot of clouts. It can help you to establish who you are, develop credibility and trust, demonstrate your enthusiasm, and set you out from the crowd. But, on the other hand, it might make you stand out negatively when you forget to delete that one Cover photo from that party.
It’s fantastic to have in-demand talents and experience. However, jobs and contacts aren’t going to fall into your palm if no one knows you have excellent skills. So make yourself visible to the rest of the world.
An online presence can also be used as a networking tool. A good one will allow you to connect with many people, including influencers, peers, and decision-makers.
5 Ways to Make a Personal Brand/Online Presence
The process of establishing a web presence entails many variables. A handful of the most widely used and effective measures to boost your online presence are listed below. These recommendations can help you even without an online presence and like to build from zero, or you want to clear up your existing presence and develop a professional brand. However, you must be careful of the content you post online, as it can make or mar your career.
1. Build a personal website/portfolio
It is the first stage in developing your online personal brand. Having your website is the first step. Next, you’ll need a dedicated web space where individuals can learn about what you do and who you are.
A portfolio site or website is an excellent location to describe your ideas and skill set, display samples of your work and credentials, and provide contact details. Create an “about me” page to express yourself, things you have achieved in the past, and outline your experiences, objectives, and personality.
2. Brand Yourself
After you’ve created a website, you’ll want to start working on your own brand’s look. While you don’t need brand colors or a logo when you first begin, focusing on a style or branding components that help you stand out and reflect who you are can be helpful.
3. Create a social media presence
Is it necessary for me to be active with every social networking site? No, you dont have to be active on all social networks to have an effective online presence. Social media is also helpful for communicating one’s professional story.
At the very least, IT professionals should have a LinkedIn profile or sign up on GitHub (for those who code). Joining Instagram or Twitter, or starting a Facebook community, can also be beneficial if you have the time and information to post regularly. TikTok or YouTube are also excellent social media platforms to join if you enjoy making videos.
LinkedIn is beneficial, especially for building an online portfolio if you’re hunting for a job. It is the best site for organizing and managing your career network, and recruiters actively utilize it to source candidates. Danny Thomspon, for example, used LinkedIn to transition from grilling chicken to working at Google. Likewise, Caitlyn Greffly used LinkedIn to leap from beer sales to web development.
Many developers utilize social media to expand their professional network and digital presence and establish a following.
In addition, three practical tips are widely suggested for creating professional online profiles for social media profiles; Improve your profile picture, establish your tagline, and be yourself.
Improve your profile picture
Your profile pictures must be visible, professional, and recent. Unfortunately, people commonly mistake cropping vacation images or taking selfies as display pictures. Avoid doing that because it’s typically clear when you’ve done so. Instead, hiring a professional photographer to capture your headshots is strongly recommended.
Establish your tagline
Creating a tagline that captures what you care about and who you are in one or two lines is an excellent way of making sure your descriptions and bios are consistent across different platforms.
In your online personal brand, identity is vital. People want to get to know you and discover more about you through your digital presence. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that when people search for you online, they’ll see both your professional and personal accounts. As a result, there shouldn’t be too much of a mismatch between your professional and personal online identities.
4. Create Content
Start blogging if you’re an excellent writer. It is usually done on your website, but you may also use online platforms like Dev.to, Medium, or freeCodeCamp to do it.
Concentrate on producing high-quality content that is useful to others; this will aid in the growth of your blog’s traffic.
It’s okay if writing isn’t your area of expertise. Due to modern technology, it’s quick and easy than ever to start podcasting, designing graphics/illustrations, or making videos. Here are some more content ideas for you to consider;
- Instagram is a great platform to share images of your job and personal.
- Take pictures and write reviews on products or tech gear.
- Make TikTok videos or Instagram reels.
- Create a YouTube video diary or vlog.
- Market and sell products online
- Make and share memes and gifs that are hilarious or relatable.
- Create infographics, cartoons, or illustrations.
- Write and post relevant articles and poet.
- Interview individuals about an area you’re interested in or wish to pursue as a career — you don’t even have to know much and will learn and develop connections along the way.
- Send out an email newsletter regularly.
- Create more creative or artwork content, such as blackouts from newspapers, paintings, bullet journals, and so on.
- Give your unique perspective and advice on something general, based on your observations and the qualities that make you who you are.
5. Create Projects
Uploading code or projects to your GitHub shows you validation that you understand what you’re doing – it’s the “show your work” version of the working world. It gives your digital presence even more legitimacy.
Create a micro app, a good library, or other creative projects for others or yourself as a start.
Max Eccles uses public projects to track his learning process. As a result, he’s now bootstrapping a SaaS application on a lower budget, with no development experience and barely 15 hours per week. Here’s where you may follow his growth. As an added plus, implementing something like this on the internet can help you gain fans and followers for your cause.
How to Strategically Enhance Your Online Presence
Don’t just establish your online presence because it’s the right thing to do. Instead, make a strategy out of it. Develop your personal brand in a way that will assist you in achieving your career objectives. Otherwise, you’re pissing away your time.
The first step in effectively developing an online presence is identifying the type of job you desire. What industry are you in? What role will you play? What matters to the recruiting manager who conducts your interview?
It’s a lot simpler to be thoughtful in the online presence you develop when you have a goal in mind. In addition, it is essential to develop communications strategies, goals, and values that suit your personality.
Providing value through your online presence
Whatever your goal is, offering value is a surefire method to get noticed, develop a brand, and establish your name on the map. Create good content, and people will automatically want to associate with you and promote what you’re doing with others.
Consequently, the best method to enhance your personality is to think about others before yourself. Social media, websites, and other forms of online networking are crucial. Still, they aren’t as crucial as establishing oneself as a valuable member of your community by giving ideas, insights, and assistance.
Suppose you have to use your online presence to add value to others’ lives through blog entries or even social media interactions. In that case, you’ll leave a digital footprint that demonstrates your creativity and skill. Contribute your own opinions and ideas and assist others to go beyond just an online “consumer” of information.
You also don’t have to be a specialist to add value. It can be as fundamental as creating an app or experimenting and recording the process, including any errors made and the lessons learned. Alternatively, you may make a post on future industry events or intriguing news. Or you could look into a question someone has raised to see if you can help them solve their problem. Likewise, you may engage your audience by creating funny or engaging videos, podcast vlogs, or online journals about issues you hold dear.
When you regularly add value to your field, you gain authority, leading to more visibility. Furthermore, by producing high-quality content, you establish trust, enabling you to form partnerships with others in your profession.
Develop your online presence now
It takes time to establish a digital presence. It’s more like a road race than a sprint to the finish line. However, if you begin creating an online presence today, you will maximize it in the future. A digital presence works in the same way that compound interest does; the earlier you start, the more beneficial your original investment becomes over time.
Remember, however, that the longer you wait to start building a professional online presence, the longer it will take to achieve your objectives.
And, irrespective of your long-term objectives, a personal website serves as the hub of your online presence. It’s the foundation upon which your professional brand and name are built.
A portfolio website is an intelligent way to start developing an online identity and exhibiting your skills (digital skills), especially if you’re not ready to start a business or anything else so official.
For more information on how to start a business Entrepreneurship Group has a number of informative article to help guide you through your entrepreneur journey!
Here are some helpful articles by Entrepreneurship Group to get your business off the ground:
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