What does Captain Google say about YOU? More often than not people are unhappy with how they are presented online and they have no idea how to claim their digital power. The smartest, most cost-effective way for you to own your online narrative is to join LinkedIn and start networking to build your online presence and personal brand, as each week over 49 million individuals worldwide are actively engaged on this platform. It’s highly likely once you nail your LinkedIn bio and the first 3 sentences that represent your truth, intent and purpose that the algorithms of Google will start working to your advantage which means you can attract the right career opportunities without spending a cent.
Where can you start?
Here are some easy wins you can action to create a powerful digital footprint that feels right for you:
1. LinkedIn is a content creator. This means you can create content that adds value to a business community that is interested in hearing from you. If you have an imposter syndrome block around this, remind yourself that if others follow/connect with you it 100% means they are interested in hearing from you!
2. LinkedIn shares articles in newsfeeds and if they gain enough impressions (20k plus) they land as credible information sources on Google. The more you create and post relevant content the more it drives brand reach.
3. LinkedIn newsletter has an inbuilt CRM system. Tap into your database of connections and send weekly content directly to their inbox to build influence and community engagement.
4. Ask for LinkedIn testimonials from 5 people you respect to build online advocacy. These can also help build your online profile when people ‘Google’ you and are considering connecting.
How to gain the attention of others
Once you are in a routine of creating content and posting you may ask yourself, what next? How do I get more people to notice me? How can I attract better clients, a job promotion or board role? Build a community that actually opens my newsletter and engages in my content? Well, LinkedIn is about a mutual exchange of energy which means you don’t just sit back and wait for people to like your posts – like posts from people who you want to get to know better. Get on their radar and set aside 30 minutes a day to actually write your thoughts in the comments section of their posts, articles or newsletters. People will then see your name and engage back which means you are forming a bond PLUS they are likely to look up who you are and how you can add value to their current role or business. This is how you build advocacy and a powerful community of like-minded people you can tap into throughout your career.
Join a community that inspires you to show up
You can also consider joining or creating a group of like-minded people to support your content and commit to engaging with each other’s posts at set times during the week. I find with our Powerful Steps community this works well as it leads to impressions of up to 110,000 per post generating career opportunities beyond their wildest dreams. I recently joined another group of 30 entrepreneurial women in the United States and 3 times a week on our WhatsApp app group we share content and engage with each other on Instagram and LinkedIn. While I am the only Aussie in the group, it works for our business as we build out our global footprint for the Business Attraction Program for women to claim their personal brand power as it has created the opportunity for podcast swaps and new audience engagement driving our growth and building our online community.
What happens when someone does not like your content?
I asked Yasmin London, Director of Digital Wellbeing, Linewize who I happened to meet many years ago when she slipped a DM into my social feed asking to connect for a coffee date because you guessed it – she liked my content, it felt relevant to her.
Yasmin suggested steps to consider when responding to someone who targets you online including:
Staying calm: Remember that responding with anger or aggression is likely to escalate the situation, and is exactly what an online troll is looking for. Stay neutral in your responses.
Take a minute to assess who they are and what their intentions might be: At times, people are genuinely interested in having a constructive discussion (this is really important to avoid echo chambers and filter bubbles when we are online).
Stay empathetic: It’s always helpful to consider the perspective of the person trying to fire things up. They may be motivated by frustration, insecurity, or a desire for attention. Responding with empathy and sticking to the facts can help keep the situation under control.
Redirect: If possible, steer the conversation away from confrontation and towards a more constructive topic or point of discussion. Encourage them to share their viewpoint without resorting to personal attacks.
Set Boundaries: If someone continues to behave aggressively or engage in personal attacks, it’s important to set clear boundaries. Politely but firmly call out their behaviour, and that it is crossing a line for you.
Disengage if necessary: If the person is persistent in trying to create a fight and doesn’t respond to your attempts to defuse the situation, consider disengaging. Sometimes, the best response is no response, as engaging with trolls can feed into their desire for conflict.
Report or Block: If the person’s behaviour crosses the line into harassment or violates the platform’s guidelines, consider reporting them to the platform administrators or blocking them to prevent further interaction.
I have to be honest, I have had an exceptionally good ride showing up on social media, stepping forward from a behind-the-scenes role as a Publicist for top global retail brands, celebrities and influencers. I have only experienced two trolls since I created Powerful Steps. One wrote something negative about a woman on my podcast which said more about her than the podcast guest and as I ignored the comment I noticed she deleted it a few days later (aka I didn’t give it any air which is a very PR way of dealing with trolls). The second was when we hosted our first Power of Connection Event and I asked 3 of my high-profile friends to speak and another ‘actual’ speaker posted a nasty comment on Linkedin about me not giving others a chance. She made no effort to connect or get to know me, just trolled me so didn’t know or appreciate these were my good friends, helping me when I needed it most as I was in the start-up phase of my second business and that’s what good friends do – support each in business and life. I called her on it, reported it as aggressive behaviour to her speaker agency and the comment disappeared.
Building an online personal brand is ultimately about claiming your power, staying in your lane and not trying to be someone you are not! Enjoy the ride because it is worth it when you are building a personal brand, product or service.