Personal Branding: What I’ve Accomplished

August 11, 2011 1 comment

Over the last few months, I’ve embarked on a journey, a personal branding journey.  I’ve created my personal brand mainly through the use of my Professional Diversification blog, but have promoted my blog on social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.  Today is the last day of tweeting and blogging because I have to and the beginning of tweeting and blogging because I want to.

In memory of this journey, I want to share with you some of my social media statistics and personal branding accomplishments:

Social Media Statistics

  • 254 Twitter Followers
  • 968 Tweets
  • 61 Blog Posts
  • 6 Video Blogs
  • 5,572 All-Time Blog Views
  • 90 Blog Views on my Busiest Day
  • 68 Average Blog Views So Far This Month.

Personal Branding Accomplishments

How Social Media Can Compromise Your Personal Security

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

water restaurant blackberry iphone phone check in

We all love our social networks and building our personal brands.  The newest craze in social media is the ability to “check-in”.  I first started using the check-in feature on my mobile Yelp! app.  I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.  Back then, I only used Yelp! to find good restaurants.  Then, when I got there, I would check-in on my Yelp! app so the restaurant would be saved in case I wanted to go back another time or write a review.

Later on, I realized that Facebook started to do the same thing.  I started noticing status updates that said, “So and so is at here or there with blah blah blah.”  Even to this day, though, it doesn’t really seem like Facebook’s “Places” function ever took off.

Finally, I came across Foursquare when I started my first Personal Branding class at UNR.  I thought I knew a lot about social networks, but I was surprised to have never heard of this one.  Basically, all you really do on Foursquare is check-in.  While Foursquare is growing like crazy, it was never really a hit with me.  I was hesitant to share with the world where I was every minute of the day.

This is exactly why I’m writing this post today. I want to remind everyone that while it may seem ridiculous to believe that someone could rob your house or kidnap you because you’ve been checking-in on social networks, there is still that possibility. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

1. Check in when you’re leaving the place.

If you check in when you leave the place of interest, robbers won’t have enough time to get to your house before you do.

2. Avoid checking in during long events.

A lot of people like to check in at work.  This just lets thieves know that you aren’t home and won’t be for a while.

3. Don’t check in at night.

Checking in at night is a bad idea, especially for cute little college girls.  I know a lot of people who will check in as they’re bar hopping.  It won’t take long for a kidnapper to follow your trail.

4. If you’re away from home for an extended period, avoid checking in.

I know it’s tempting to check in at all your favorite restaurants while visiting places like San Francisco, but it’s really a bad idea.  If someone’s paying attention to your activity, they’ll notice your a long way from home.

5. Stay away from Foursquare.

Like I said before, I don’t like Foursquare.  Since Foursquare is all about checking in, you can’t get away from it unless you stay away from it completely.

6. Don’t check in at all.

If you really want to protect yourself when it comes to checking in on social networks, just don’t do it!

Image Credit

Professional Diversification Online: Using Facebook to Promote Yourself

August 8, 2011 2 comments

facebook eric chaump professional diversification social media network personal brandingOkay, before we really get into this, I want to make one thing very clear.  I’ve heard this phrase a number of times throughout my personal branding endeavors and I want to share it with you.  Facebook will not help you get a job, but rather will help you lose a job.

What does that mean?  When you apply for a job, employers will likely Google your name in search for your Facebook page.  Why?  Because that’s where people post all kinds of stupid stuff (we all do it, so don’t deny it), like inappropriate photos, misspelled status updates, and profile information that’s completely irrelevant.

It’s time for your Facebook to “grow up,” but it isn’t going to be easy.  People are so attached to the way they do Facebook now that they don’t want to change.  Trust me, you’ll thank me later!

Since most of us already have a Facebook account, I’m going to help you change it to be more professional.  Here’s how:

1. Grab Your Vanity URL

To get your vanity URL, go to Account Settings and change your Username.

2. Choose A Professional Profile Picture

Ideally, you want to make your profile picture the same across all your social networks.  Use the one from your LinkedIn or Twitter account.

3. Get Rid Of All The Inappropriate Pictures

This is the biggest reason why people lose jobs on Facebook.  They’ve got pictures of themselves double fisting drinks at the club or peeing in the bathroom at a house party.  Save them on your hard drive and remove them from your Facebook.

4. Fill In Your Basic About Me Section

When you edit your profile information, you’ll see a number of tabs on the left hand side.  Under Basic Information, you’ll see a section for About Me.  Here’s where you want to copy your about me statement from your LinkedIn or About.me page and paste it in.  You can change it up a little if you want it to be more personal and fun, but make sure it remains appropriate.

5. Fill In Your Education and Work Information

Be sure to fill in your education and work, because that’s probably the most professional piece of information on Facebook.

6. Fill In Your Interests

Next, you should find a section for Interests.  Where else do you have a list of interests?  Your LinkedIn profile.  Go there and copy them over to your Facebook.

7. Fill In Your Contact Information

The last piece of information you want to fill in is where people can get a hold of you and where else people can find you.  Make sure you provide your email address, link your Twitter account as an IM Screen Name, and links to your LinkedIn and About.me in the Website section.

8. Continuously Observe “The Mosaic”

As @drbret would say, make sure “The Mosaic” is appropriate.  What is “The Mosiac” you ask?  Click on your actual profile.  Scroll up and down and just browse.  Don’t click on anything.  This is “The Mosaic.”  Do you see anything inappropriate?  If so, you need to fix it.  Make sure your continuously observe “The Mosaic” because it changes over time.

9. Go Mobile

eric chaump mobile facebook app smartphone iphone
Finally, just like any other social network, try getting the Facebook mobile app.  For the iPhone, the app is terrible, but it gets the job done.  It allows you to check your feed, respond to messages, and chat.  Unfortunately, it’s really slow and doesn’t always update properly.

Life Events

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Today is a big day for me. Later in the afternoon, I will be saying “I do” to a very special woman. Yes, that’s right, I’m getting married.

This past week has really given me an opportunity to think about my life events; the ones that have already occurred and the ones that are yet to come. So what I’d like to do is share with you some of my past life events:

  • First day of Kindergarten.
  • First kiss.
  • First day of Middle School.
  • Making the basketball team.
  • Winning the 15-Year-Old All Star State Championship.
  • First day of high school.
  • Making the baseball team.
  • First paycheck.
  • First car.
  • Going undefeated in league play during my senior year baseball season.
  • High school graduation.
  • Acceptance into the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • First internship.
  • College graduation.
  • First “real job”.
  • Acceptance into the MBA program at UNR.
  • Buying our first house.
As well as past life events, we all have future life events that we all get to look forward to, like:
  • Getting married.
  • First promotion.
  • Having children.
  • Retirement.
I know my list is short and I left it that way for a reason. I want you to share any others that you’re looking forward to in your future in the comments section below!

Professional Diversification Online: Using About.me to Promote Yourself

August 3, 2011 1 comment

For those of you who don’t know what About.me is, let me tell you a little bit about it. About.me is exactly what it says it is: a webpage all about ME (or in your case, YOU). It’s known as a profile landing page, where people can go to find out more about you and your online presence. The page allows you to talk a little bit about yourself and provide links to the other social networks where people can find you. The nice thing about About.me is that it is supposed to rank high in Google searches. So when someone Googles your name, your About.me profile should be close to the top of the results. When people click on your About.me, they can then follow the links you’ve provided to find out where else they can connect with you. If you don’t already have an About.me or don’t really know what to do with the one you currently have, I encourage you to follow these steps to build a successful About.me profile page:

1. Grab Your Vanity URL.

Just like every other social network, you want to make sure you use your full name when signing up for an account. It makes it easier for you to share the URL with others.

about.me eric chaump vanity url

2. Set A Background Image.

The first thing you want to do to get your About.me started is to start editing your profile. At the top of the screen, you should see a bar that says Dashboard, Profile, and People. Click on Profile and then click Edit (right next to Profile). The first thing you get to change is the background image. About.me will give you a list of pre-loaded options you can choose from or you can upload your own. If you upload your own, make sure you try to follow the size requirements, otherwise you image will not look right. When uploading your own background image, make it something you’re interested, but try to make it somewhat professional.

3. Upload A Picture.

Click over to Biography. This is where you get to upload a picture. Make sure you use the same picture you’ve used on all your other social networks.

4. Fill In Your Biography.

By now, you should have a nice biography written about yourself for your LinkedIn profile. Feel free to use this here, or you can write a new one and include different things about yourself. If you want to be a little more personal here, that’s fine too.

about.me about me bio biography eric chaump diversify yourself

5. Change Your Fonts And Colors.

The next two areas you want to change are going to be your fonts and colors. You will get carried away trying to get the perfect font and color combination, but don’t spend too much time on it. It’s not all about the way your profile looks. It’s the content that’s important.

6. Connect Your Other Services.

Next, click over to Services. Here you will get to connect your other social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Flickr, YouTube and whatever else you might have.

About.me About me External Services wordpress linkedin twitter youtube facebook flickr eric chaump

7. Add Flat URL’s.

Flat URL’s are links to external websites that aren’t part of About.me’s services. For example, Yelp! and Diigo are two networks that I have added to my About.me, but aren’t part of their connected services.

about.me about me external links flat url diigo yelp eric chaump

Semipro Everything

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Okay, so I’m getting married in less than a week and I’ll be gaining a new uncle who, I kid you not, is good at just about everything.  He will beat you in pool, he will beat you in golf, he will beat you in darts.  He can snowboard, ski, wakeboard, and waterski better than you.  If you jump off a tall cliff into a lake in the middle of summer, he will dive off a taller cliff into freezing Lake Tahoe in the winter.  Let’s put it this way, the guy is GOOD.  He’s always the guy to beat no matter what game we’re playing or what adventure we’re embarking on.  He is what we call: Semipro Everything.  Not quite professional, but good enough to be better than everyone else.

This is the key to Professional Diversification, just viewed in a different light.  When it comes to your career, you want to be semipro everything.  You want to be good at this and good at that, at least better than everyone else.  To be honest, it really doesn’t take much.  A little research here and a little practice there, and you’re on your way to being able to add some more skills to your portfolio.  Think about it this way, you go home after work and research the stock market.  You learn how it works, how to invest your money, where to invest your money, and all the tips and tricks to being successful in the stock market.  It takes a couple minutes every night, but you now have an opportunity to earn additional income on top of your normal salary because you know how to properly invest in the stock market.  You don’t have to go to school and become a stock broker to make money.  All you have to do is know enough to be dangerous.  Like I said before, Semipro Everything.

Professional Diversification Online: Using Twitter to Promote Yourself

July 29, 2011 2 comments

eric chaump twitter profile professional diversificationNext on the list of social networking sites to promote yourself on is Twitter.  I know what you’re saying.  Twitter is for celebs who want to share what they’re eating for lunch in New York City and those who actually care enough to read what they’re tweeting.  Yes, but no.  Trust me, I thought the same thing before I actually started using Twitter.  There are people on Twitter who post stupid things that nobody cares about like where they’re going with their BFF or how they feel about the last episode of the Real Housewives.  Stupid, I know.  But, there are people who are using Twitter the right way.  The right way?  Okay, I don’t know if it’s the right way to use Twitter, but it is how I was taught to use Twitter (thank you @drbret).

The proper way to use Twitter, especially if you want to promote yourself, is to do a little thing called content curation.  Content curation is basically the act of finding good, relevant content and sharing it with others.  For example, you’re looking for a good article on how to invest in stocks.  You find a few people on Twitter who specialize in investing and you read their content.  Once you find one you like, you share, or retweet it, with your own followers in case they were looking for the same thing.  That is the proper way to use Twitter.

With that in mind, let’s discuss how you can get your Twitter profile up and running:

1. Grab Your Vanity URL.

Just like LinkedIn, you want to make sure you get your vanity URL on Twitter to make it easier for people to find you.  You do this by ensuring you use your full name as the username when signing up.  Try to make it the same as your LinkedIn profile.  Since I used EricChaump on LinkedIn, my Twitter handle is also @EricChaump.

2. Fill In Your Profile Information.

You’re profile information will be the first thing you do after creating your account.  You will be asked for your full name (use your full first and last name here), your location (provide the city and state), a link to your website (if you have a blog, put it here, if not, we’ll talk about starting a blog in a couple weeks), and finally your bio (similar to a 15 second elevator speech, but in 140 characters or less).  When creating your bio, make sure to include what you’re good at and what you are interested in.  This will give others an idea if you can help them or they can help you.

3. Choose A Professional Profile Picture.

Choosing a profile picture is very important.  People like to connect with faces so they can visualize the person they are connecting with.  You’re profile picture should look professional and be focused on your face.  You want your face to be bright and clear because that’s what people are going to see in that little tiny square next to each of your tweets.  And always remember to keep your profile picture the same across all your social networking sites.

4. Start Following People.

Start searching for people who have similar interests as you and follow them.  If you’re interested in fishing, start following people who are also interested in fishing.  Chances are they will follow you back.

5. Create A List.

The best way to segregate people who provide content value to you on a particular topic is to add them to a list.  Try creating a list for your main value stream, the one thing you really want to learn more about.  Then start adding people you’ve followed to that list.  Once you have that list compiled, you can choose to view only those tweets from those people.  My main Twitter list is called Professional Diversification.

6. Engage In A Conversation With Someone.

One way to really show people you care is to actually engage in a conversation.  If you retweet someones blog post, ask them how their day is going.  I’m sure they’d be happy to chat.

7. Join A Twitter Chat.

Speaking of chatting, keep an eye out for the hash tag #TChat.  This is the hash tag used during a large group chat on Twitter where people ask questions and have them answered.  It’s a great way to find valuable people on Twitter and gain more followers for yourself.

8. Go Mobile.

eric chaump twitter mobile app iphone smartphoneJust like any other social networking site, it’s important to stay up to date on all the information flowing through Twitter.  The best way to do that is to download the free Twitter app for smartphones.  You can stay up to date on your Twitter stream, reply to messages, and retweet other people’s posts.

Now if you follow these eight steps, you’re on your way to creating a successful Twitter profile and a successful online presence.  In the next few weeks, I’ll be doing the same thing for Facebook, Google+, and the most important one of them all: A BLOG!

Related Content:

What is Content Curation? – Michiel Gaasterland

Professional Diversification Online: Using LinkedIn to Promote Yourself – Eric Chaump

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