If you read my last post on how not being online costs you money, and hopefully I could convince you of the fact, this is a follow-up post on how to get found online in a few simple steps. It’s a two-part series because of the volume of its content. I wouldn’t like to have you sleep off while I’m talking now would I.
By now you must be wondering, how exactly do I get myself online without breaking the bank? Well, although this is not a one-step solution to all your problems, it’s a start, and a good one at that. Just be sure to follow-up with other recommended steps, some of which I’ll be posting at a later date.
To build an online presence, you must understand the power of search, social media and professional networks. Having all three at your disposal is a huge booster to getting found. So let’s discuss them here.
The power of search
Now I’m sure when you hear search the first name in your mind is Google. No doubt this is the biggest online search tool. So do something practical here, it’s something I always do, search your name on Google. It gives you a pretty good idea of your standing. Don’t be shy, no one’s watching. Go ahead and give it a try. Chances are, you’ll find your name pop up in places like Facebook, Google+ and twitter or LinkedIn depending on how “professional” you are, probably both.
Google records a total of 3 billion searches per day, 121 million searches per hour, 2 million per minute and 34,000 searches per second.
So basically, search is the coolest kid on the block. Never underestimate its power.
The power of Social
Social media is the new rave. It’s like the email of 2005. Back then when not having an email meant you were stale, now not having a Facebook or Twitter account makes you look like some endangered species. What I love the most about social is its connecting factor, the fact that Mr. X is the friend of Mr. Y who is your friend. This gives a lot of room for connecting the dots and closing more deals, simply because you can leverage friendship for trust, in a small amount though.
Facebook status updates: 700 per second
Twitter tweets: 600 per second
That’s how much people are using social media to connect.
The professional network
Everybody knows you love fashion blogs from monitoring your Facebook status updates, but do they know you have a fashion clothing line, or a marketing agency specially dedicated to helping fashion designers grow?
Welcome to LinkedIn, the world’s professional network.
As at 2011, LinkedIn had 161 million users, 2 million company pages and 4.2 billion searches
On LinkedIn you can share your professional work experience and join your business page so people know exactly what you’re doing and where.
Where it all comes together
OK, so know you have been introduced to the world’s new super powers. Let’s explore how the taming of these three nations can get you a better online presence and bring you more money.
In May this year, I had a meeting with an account executive from a leading courier service in Nigeria. As at second contact, by mail, all I had was a name, and I had no idea if the person i was talking to was a guy or a girl, the name was unisex. And then it hit me two nights before the arranged meeting to Google the name. This was what I found out – “Her” Facebook profile. And from there, here university and year of graduation which lead me to believe she had not worked there for long factoring in NYSC, her marital status, friends (you have no idea how much you can tell from a person’s friend until you need to find out), and the exact office she was contacting me from. Now I was armed a bit more than I was the previous day. And by the tone of her conversations on Facebook, I could tell she was the friendly type, and so I addressed her that way, the meeting went splendid.
So now let me paint a picture of you leveraging these tools for your online presence. Imagine I wanted to find you, and possibly give you a job.
I search your name on Google, finding your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile.
I go to your Facebook account and find that you went to the same secondary school as me, and you were a classmate’s friend, this makes me trust you a bit more, even before I meet you. I also notice that you’ve had a lot of friends getting married in the last few months, but you’re single, which means you’re probably searching or involved (could be useful, who knows 😉 ). I go to your twitter profile and notice you had been twitting excerpts from a conference you attended in your business field, means you’re actively involved and up to date on industry standards most probably. I have even more trust now, still before I get to meet you. And then I finally go to your LinkedIn profile and find you job history there and see that you have been endorsed by three management level persons on an outstanding job.
Do you have an idea how my call to you would be? I can tell you this one thing; you probably already had the job, even before I picked up the phone.
Just by leveraging freely available tools, you can boost your online presence and reputation to a point where it starts to work for you. And although my illustration could be said to be a bit farfetched, it’s possible, and I’m sure you know it.
So now you understand the power of search, social and the professional network. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for the second part of this post.
Now if you don’t make use of any of the free tools talked about here, then your missing out on a potential touch point, so be sure to create an account for yourself. Tell us how you leverage these “world powers” in gaining a better online presence.