Personal Branding and Digital Footprint

Creating your personal and or company brand is a delicate act on the social networking sites. You really need to be genuine, positive, honest, and stand behind anything you say. And that is something in the contradiction with the main task – being Active. What do you say on a web 2.0 sites – if you have nothing to say that day? You know you need to be active and communicate with others. The long term success of that contribution you make to the social networking – depends on the Quality of your contribution. If you have nothing to say – say nothing.

Quality of your online content
It took me a lot of time to learn that. After some time (and numerous mistakes!) I have realised that it is sometimes worth far more to post once a week on a blog than once a day! The quality of the content is actually far more worth than the quantity. If it takes a week to write a good article, do not rush it. Do not force yourself to publish when you do not have something of a value for your audience.

Digital Footprint
All you say (write) on the Web 2.0 sites will stay there, and will work for or against you in the future. It will always be easy to put your name or your company name in Google and check what you are all about. Your name associated with something you are not proud while publishing it – will most likely hurt you at some stage in the future. Carefully choose what photos you publish, and how you represent yourself on the web. Your digital footprint is there to stay!

Release your Marketing Message
The social networking sites like LinkedIN, Twitter and Facebook and blogs let you publish your ideas, thoughts and opinions. Define who you are and what you are. Then define who your target market and the audience are. List the topics you know about and they want to hear about. Bring your original marketing message in the mix. Do not push it on your audience. Leave it there for them to take it.

Let Go of your Marketing Message
This is what worries most of us. Corporations are shivering with just the idea of it! What do you mean by letting go of our (so far always tightly controlled) marketing message?

In the Social Web, the users will take your messages and give their spin on it. Here you are getting crowd generated picture of your brand. Your only made the initial input and slightly steering and maintaining it later on. Your audience – the crowd will decide if they like your message, and will contribute to it.

Candidate Digital Personal Branding
Your CV is great tool to open the doors. But it gives you what you want to say about yourself. This is why recruiters ask for references. To check up and make sure all you wrote is true, and that there isn’t something important missing.

In the Digital world of the Blogs and Social Networks – it is all about the public opinions being formed around yourself. It is about the number of people you are connected, about the ‘qualities’ of this connections. It is about the quality of your contribution to the public communication. It is about the response from the crowd on your social communication contribution. Does the crowd like you? Do they value your professional opinions?

How do you measure your Digital Branding success?
When the people you do not know, not your co workers, not friends or family, simple people who find you online – publicly show respect to your work and you – you must be doing a lot of good! It doesn’t happen overnight! You will need to invest a lot in creating a digital brand. Regardless if that is yourself or your company brand. It takes time.

The Social Web is changing. Remember MySpace? Remember Bebo? Both are gone. Have you started with Google Wave, or did you decided that you will be left behind? Social media tools are changing. You need to change your skills to be able to follow the change. Your message although always the same in its essence will have to be adapted for every new web publishing and collaboration tool that comes around.

Conclusion and a Real Life Personal Branding Example
Related to the recent article about the Internet traffic on Job Sites, I asked the LinkedIN Users for their input via the LinkedIN discussion: Irish jobs sites traffic comparison chart. Here is just a short few sentences I got as a reply:

Thanks Ivan and admire your humble approach. I suspect this combined with your vast knowledge and being a genuine nice person is how you have gained my respect and trust of so many others also. You have not become one of the market leaders for no reason…

…Hope to catch up with you again at the Christmas drinks.

Would like to hear how other niche and generalist job boards are doing, if you’d like to share….

MD of one of the Irish Jobs Site

When you start getting positive comments like this from the ‘crowd’ – people you are not associated to in any way, they start forming a Digital Image of your brand. Competitors recognition as in this case is of the utmost importance – that was the reason I have chosen this comment in front of all the others. It is a bit like the eBay and the recommendations it introduced smartly in ecommerce. People trust brands that are positively spoken about online.

What will you do today to create a Digital Image of yourself that you desire?

If there is a job, Hound will sniff it!

hound-job-siteAmerican marketing was always a bit specific. In some cases it just does not ‘cross the water’ well, and sounds a bit off on our shores here. In recruitment the example is the job site Hound.com. It is a Employers Only model job site, like Ireland has its own RealJobs.ie. It’s marketing is very original and different from the usual jobs sites. On Hound everything is about the hounds and the front page is full of dogs images. 13 dogs will welcome you on the Hound home page. Quite impressive for the jobs site, isn’t it?

This is Hound they think you should use them:
Hound shows its members jobs from every employer website it can find in the United States and throughout the world. It is the most powerful job-search engine in existence and powers several job boards. Recruiters use Hound to track down potential jobs for their clients.

Meaning: If there is a job, Hound will sniff it!

Recruitment SEO 101: Keyword Analysis

Any SEO Consultant will tell you that a decent SEO project should somewhere in its starting phase have a step called Keyword Analysis. Unfortunately different people have a quite different idea what exactly does the Keyword Analysis mean. Some mean that it is about finding the most relevant keywords, some that it is about the number or keywords, and the rest arte somewhere in between.

Google has a quite easy to use Keyword Suggestion Tool. Here are the keywords that Google will ‘suggest’ as a similar and relevant search keywords to the term ‘Jobs’.

I’ll leave up to you to draw your own conclusions about the suggested keywords. Are those really relevant? Too many? Too few?

Keywords related to term(s) entered – sorted by relevance:

jobs, sales jobs, job, accounting jobs, job opportunities, job search, finance jobs, medical jobs, find jobs, hr jobs, legal jobs, nursing jobs, summer jobs, temporary jobs, job vacancies, job site, job bank, jobs search, jobs online, jobs google, internet jobs, full time jobs, jobs available, financial jobs, healthcare jobs, temp jobs, job listings, part time jobs, banking jobs, top jobs, retail jobs, job sites, government jobs, jobs uk, jobs london, graduate jobs, engineering jobs, office jobs, new jobs, jobs com, parttime jobs, jobs wanted, jobs banks, find a job, social work jobs, contract jobs abroad, job fair, job find, advertising jobs, job seekers, environmental jobs, pa jobs, job agency, need a job, technical jobs, media jobs, administration jobs, accountant jobs, financial services jobs, sales rep jobs, job vacancy, job agencies, jobs waterford, online job, recruitment jobs, job recruitment, job google, part time job, jobs vacancies, jobs in london, jobs cork, accountancy jobs, local jobs, jobs international, irish job, jobs it, finance job, engineer jobs, jobs canada, hotel jobs, home jobs, sales job, jobs bank, language jobs, job applications, irish jobs, jobs on line, www jobs, looking for jobs, jobs france, all jobs, list of jobs, jobs no experience, ebay jobs, jobs club, jobs i, delivery jobs, microsoft jobs, receptionist jobs, promotions jobs, jobs websites, customer service jobs, child care jobs, fun jobs, jobs website, forklift jobs, partime jobs, maintenance jobs, clerical jobs, manufacturing jobs, jobs compliance, job seeking, loads of jobs, i need a job, ice jobs, microbiology jobs, job search google, tv jobs, nursing home jobs, promotional jobs, jobs in google, health promotion jobs, looking for job, health care jobs, jobs in healthcare, computer jobs, google job listing, job finder, gallery jobs, seasonal jobs, logistics jobs, dental jobs, job boards, jobs in boston, night jobs, jobs in chicago, my jobs, jobs in san francisco, jobs with animals, midland jobs, jobs in radio, payroll jobs, forestry jobs, welding jobs, entry level jobs, looking for a job, art jobs

Google has a bit more for your Keyword Analysis study. Here is the list of:

Additional Keywords to be considered – sorted by relevance

employment, employment agencies, employment opportunities, careers, recruitment, recruitment agencies, career, job listing, job postings, hiring, vacancies, opportunities, vacancy, help wanted, part time, employers, work, telemarketing jobs, employment google, employment online, job opening, job posting, entry level positions, employment agency, job opportunity, openings, auditing positions, recruiters, employment cork, jobs marketing, accountant hiring, positions, sales vacancies, home employment, entry level, recruit, full time, recruitment companies, telesales, recruitment agency, career opportunities, auditing position, part time work, typist, staffing, recruitment google, irish employment, sales reps, irish recruitment, legal recruitment

This second list is actually very interesting. What one can do is take any of those and ask the Google Keyword Tool for the Related Keywords suggestions again. By doing so the keyword list expands indefinitely.