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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

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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!

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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.

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

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

Professional Diversification Online: Using LinkedIn to Promote Yourself

July 22, 2011 4 comments

linkedin eric chaump profile summary

If you don’t know what LinkedIn is, then you better listen up.  LinkedIn is an all business-related social networking site.  It allows professionals to connect with other professionals and share information.  The unique thing about LinkedIn is that it’s like an online resume, a very versatile online resume.  You fill out your profile, which includes information like your work history, education, honors and awards.  Sounds like a resume, doesn’t it?  What’s unique about LinkedIn is that you can recommend people you’ve worked with and they can recommend you.  Now here’s the most important part of LinkedIn that relates to Professional Diversification: your skills.  LinkedIn recently added a skills section to your profile that allows you to choose what you’re good at and share it with the world.  You get to pick your skill level and how many years you’ve been doing that particular thing.

Now that we all know what LinkedIn is, I’m going to give you a few tips to get your profile up and running:

1. Grab Your Vanity URL.

The first thing you want to do is, obviously, sign up for an account.  Go to http://www.linkedin.com/ and click the “Join Today” link.  The first and most important thing you want to do is grab your vanity URL.  What the heck is a vanity URL, you ask?  A vanity URL is what makes your profile unique to you.  Most social networking sites allow you to pick your own and I advise you choose your own full name, like I’ve done below.  Why is this the most important part of your profile?  Because when people search for your name in Google, they can find you!  DUH!

linkedin eric chaump vanity url

 

2. Fill In Your Resume Information.

The next step is to fill in the bulk of your information.  It’s all that boring resume information, like where have you worked, how long did you work there and where did you go school and when.  Obviously, this is the most essential part of your profile, just as it is your resume.  The nice thing is you can copy it straight from your resume, so you better dust that thing off.

3. Fill In Your Skills.

Now we get to some of the fun stuff.  If you read my post on Interests, Skills and Inexperiences, and actually took my advice, you should have a nice list of skills that you can put in this section.  If you don’t have a list like that, please take a look at that post to help you get started.

4. Fill In Your Profile Summary.

This is something you really don’t get to do on a resume.  It’s where you get to talk about yourself!  Everyone’s favorite thing to do.  Some people are really good at talking about themselves, but me on the other hand, can’t stand it.  I have such a hard time talking about myself, which is one thing I have to get over if I want to be successful.  There are a number of great resources online that teach you how to write great summaries.  If you can’t find any, you could use mine as a template.  Your summary should include who you are and what you want to accomplish, a little something about your education and where you excelled, and where you’re at in your professional career and where you’d like to go.

5. Interests = Potential Careers.

In addition to your hobby interests that you’ve identified from above, I encourage you to list your potential careers as interests on your profile.  If employers are looking for people who want to be stock brokers, they can see that you’re interested in the stock market and investing.  There’s really no other place to put it on your profile, because it’s not necessarily something you studied in school and its not something you’ve done as a profession.

6. Join A Couple Groups.

Groups allow you to get together with other people who are interested in the same things.  You can learn a lot from the people in these groups, so I encourage you to join a few that might interest you.

7. Ask A Question.

LinkedIn has an interesting feature that allows you to ask any questions you might have.  Let’s say you want to know everyone’s opinion on Bank of America’s stock price.  You could ask a question on LinkedIn Answers and have highly qualified people answer your question in minutes.  Make sure you give credit to the person who provides the best answer though.  It’s common courtesy on LinkedIn.

8. Answer A Question.

Once you’ve put your own question out there, it’s time to show people what you’re made of.  Find a topic that you believe to be an expert on and answer someone’s question.  If your answer is the best, you’ll be credited with badges that show you are an expert in certain fields.

9. Ask For A Few Recommendations.

Now that you have your profile all up and running, the last thing to do is to ask for a couple recommendations.  Some people are against asking for recommendations.  They think recommendations should not be asked for.  I disagree with this thought though, because I find people won’t recommend you if you don’t ask for it.  So don’t be afraid.  Find some coworkers, classmates, or bosses that you think would be willing to write nice things about you and send them a request for a recommendation.

10. Go Mobile.

linkedin mobile iphone droid app

If you didn’t know, we’re living in what’s called the “Instant Generation.”  We now live in a world where waiting for information is unacceptable.  That’s why I encourage the use of mobile apps, and LinkedIn has a great one.  When you’re on the go, it gives you the opportunity to respond to messages and check out what your connections are up to.

If you follow these 10 steps, you’ll have a fully functioning LinkedIn profile where people can find you, connect with you, and could help you get a job.  If you have any additional thoughts you’d like to add, feel free to comment below.

Professional Diversification Online: Using Social Media to Promote Yourself

July 12, 2011 1 comment

social networks media facebook twitter wordpress blog linkedin youtube onlineSo I’m sitting in the first class of MGT 691, which is a continuation of BADM 726 that I took during the Spring 2011 semester.  The classes are focused on creating a personal brand and promoting that brand on various social media platforms.  Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but this blog is my personal brand and I’ve been promoting it on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

From here on out, I’m going to be starting a new category of posts called Personal Branding.  My plan is to start helping you use the Professional Diversification techniques I’ve shared by promoting yourself on social media platforms to help you get a job if you’re looking or keep a job if you’re at risk of being laid off.  If you are at risk of being laid off, creating a successful personal brand can help you jump right into something else and prevent yourself from a major setback.  Nobody wants to be unemployed for long periods of time.  We all have bills to pay and for some, even a month without a job can be devastating.

All this Professional Diversification stuff is useless if nobody knows about it.  Think about it.  You’ve written down your interests, skills, and inexperiences.  You know what your goals are and you know what motivates you.  What you’ve done is essentially assembled a Professional Portfolio…in your head.  You know about it and that’s it.  Unfortunately, that’s not good enough.  How are you supposed to get a job if you (and only you) know what you’re good at.  In order for employers to find you and learn about what you have to offer, you have to put it out there so they can find it and find YOU.

So with that being said, stay tuned for posts on how to properly use social media platforms and incorporate these Professional Diversification techniques to your benefit.

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