Don't think you're tech-savvy enough to build a digital personal brand? Think again.
If you're ready for a new job, chances are you've already invested in a professional resume. But once you've written the best resume possible, what else can you do to promote your talents? You could try digital marketing.
What is digital marketing?
“In simplistic terms, digital marketing is the promotion of products or brands via one or more forms of electronic media,” according to the SAS Institute. This includes social media, email marketing, and blogging, to name a few forms. In other words, if you're promoting a brand online, on mobile, or on-screen, you're using digital marketing.
But isn't digital marketing only for companies?
To paraphrase Dale Carnegie, if you want to be treated like a company, you have to act like a company. But you don't need a company's budget to use digital marketing. Try using the digital marketing trifecta: website, blogs, and social media posts. Try it for one month. If it's working for you, try it for longer. At the very least, you'll have something to refer to in your cover letter and during an interview. At the most, someone sees it and hires you. All the smart companies do it, why not you?
Here's the breakdown:
1. Create a blog
Write 200-500 words about your knowledge, experience, and talents at least once per week. Pick a specific topic—an event, a case study, or client story, maybe something new you learned—and write very detailed explanations about it, demonstrating your experience and knowledge of the field. Be descriptive. Use a lot of keywords from your industry; Google them if you have to. Avoid vague words like pronouns (it) and vague verbs (is and was). Almost every word in a blog counts toward searchability. Make sure you use correct grammar and punctuation and there are no typos—have someone read it over before you post it. If you're not ready to start your own blog, try writing and publishing long-form posts from your LinkedIn profile instead.
2. Create a website
Creating a website sounds like huge production, but it doesn't have to be. There are many free and easy website-creation programs out there; just Google “free websites” or “free website creation” and you'll get a list. A couple of my favorites are Wix and Weebly. You don't need anything complicated, probably just 1-3 pages; the site will house your blog and any other information you want to post such as news and client testimonials. You could even create a Facebook page or use your LinkedIn profile for your website. Whatever you use, keep the site updated. Your website is your digital marketing hub—link all your social media posts back to it and you will send all potential employers there. You don't want to promote stale material.
3. Post to social media
This is the shout-out part of your digital marketing. You have to be outspoken and engaging here, but not scream. How? Use keywords and awesome content to promote yourself. Make sure you use hashtags that are specific to the post and specific to your industry on every post. And link back to your website.
Here's the tricky part: Not all social media platforms will serve you well. This varies by industry. You have to choose which information goes on which platform and if you should be using that platform at all.
For example, if you are an architect, you might use Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr because those platforms are based on visual content. If you're a book editor, you'll want to use sites like Reddit or Tumblr. If you mainly provide B2B services, LinkedIn would probably be your main platform. The two exceptions to the social media posting rules are Google Plus and Twitter. Every specialty everywhere can use these two, and as often as you'd like.
Be forewarned: The results of digital marketing are not immediate. Even for large corporations, it takes time for people to realize that you are the talent for that particular field.
Digital marketing can and does work; but like any other tool, you need to know how to use it to its full potential to reap any rewards. And you have to be relentless and consistent. Try promoting yourself through blogs and social media for an hour every week. See how it feels and if it helps at all with any job conversations. Like New York Lotto used to say, “Hey, you never know.”
Need help promoting your brand? We can help.