Whether you’re a seasoned corporate professional or a nomadic freelancer switching from contract to contract, you’ve probably left bits of your digital footprint across the internet. Why does that matter?
70% of employers look up candidates on social media during the hiring process while 30% keep tabs on their current employees through social media, according to a 2018 Career Builder Survey. Creating a strong personal brand or personal branding through free resources online can give you a competitive advantage in your career.
Your online presence as a professional begins with LinkedIn. Recruiters more often than not check out your LinkedIn profile to get a better understanding of your experiences and qualifications. LinkedIn isn’t just a social media equivalent of a resume. It allows you to build a web of connections with professionals in your industry by creating informative posts or by interacting with them through comments. It takes time and persistence to create these networks, but it doesn’t cost a dime.
You can build a strong personal brand by regularly posting free content. This can be done by publishing a blog, on LinkedIn or Medium. By sharing your experiences and expertise with the world you might be able to establish a loyal follower base. However, your articles or blog posts probably won't get viral overnight. With written content, outreach only increases when you regularly write meaningful content that benefits your target audience and offers something of value which cannot be found elsewhere.
All you need to get started on YouTube is a decent camera and a script. These days, phone cameras can be used to make high-quality videos. Viewers will come back for content that is either engaging or informative or both. With videos, you can express yourself in ways you won't be able to in writing, such as your enthusiasm for a certain topic, or your general personality. Posting videos once or twice a week, might not be enough to gain favourable results from YouTube’s algorithm. Share your videos with your friends, family, and acquaintances to get started. Maintaining a regular schedule for posting new content can help build a subscriber base for your channel.
In the era of digital nomads, even well-established companies have a social media page. Whether it is on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; social networking sites allow creators to connect with their audience and it allows viewers to bond with the creators. A strong social media presence correlates with a larger sphere of influence. More people will probably watch your videos or read your posts if you share them on your social media accounts.
For many professionals, especially freelancers, a website is essential when it comes to personal branding. A website can be used to redirect to all your social media accounts. It can also double as a portfolio. There are many free platforms to create basic drag and drop sites.