Many professionals working in large organizations or as entrepreneurs don’t really understand the importance of utilizing great technology to communicate your personal brand. The world is a different place today. We already utilize the Internet to search for everything from products, and services to recipes and music, as well as many other uses. Business professionals who work in large organizations need to be visible on the web so that they can network with other professionals. Solo-entrepreneurs and small businesses need the Internet so that people looking to utilize their products or services can find out more about them and their business.

People like doing business with people they know and trust. The web is a way of sharing your personal brand and networking to give people an insight into your personality and style. Here are my seven must-have technology solutions for any professional working today to use to build a brand.

1). Be Sure Your Website Is “On Brand”

If you run a small business today, a website is critical. It tells others that you are a professional and allows you to convey your industry expertise. A lot of people have a website, but it does not exude their personal brand. A professional website needs to express to others what makes you unique and stand out from the competition. The design, page layout, colors, fonts, words and image all need to communicate your on-brand message. A professional photo on the “about” page is critical as it allows people to see you and gain a level of trust which will move them forward in their decision to work with you. Be sure to dress in the photo to attract your target client.

2). What is Your Social Online Identity?

Are you utilizing some online social networks to stay in touch with colleagues and friends? If not I hope you will consider this, even if you work as a senior manager in a large firm. The web is becoming the new way to network to gain business and new employment. In fact, a lot of Internet visionaries are saying that, in five years, businesses will no longer post jobs on the Internet or within company websites. Employers and headhunters will research people on the Internet to interview and hire, both from the outside and within their companies. They also claim that new business prospects will come by way of the web to businesses and people who are utilizing social online networks.

3). Are you LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional networking tool. It allows you to place a professional profile online and then invite clients, colleagues and friends that you trust to be in your closest network. You want to be sure that you only invite those people whose services you would recommend to a client asking for an introduction. You can write recommendations for people with whom you have worked so that others can see your viewpoints on their work. LinkedIn utilizes the six degrees of separation concept whereby you have the group you have invited, they are linked to another group of people, and so on. You can have millions of contacts at your fingertips simply by utilizing this tool. If you are in a job search, you can list that you are seeking work in a specific industry. Many human resource managers in large companies and executive recruiters currently use this site to search for people who have the credentials they are searching for in filling specific jobs.

4). Your Face On Facebook

This is another tool for social networking but it is more personal and people tend to invite really close friends, family and colleagues. You can invite someone to be your friend if you want to keep in touch, see recent photos and chat in a more informal way. If you are a professional and want to have a Facebook page, you can design the template to be professional and still communicate with close colleagues. I always recommend to my clients to only share on Facebook what you would tell a client about your personal life, like you have several pets, you love your trips to the beach, etc. Don’t tell too much about your personal life if you have clients and colleagues on your Facebook page. If someone writes on your wall – be sure it is appropriate for your friends to see it – if not, you can erase that comment from your wall and de-friend them.

5). Google Me

Have you ever googled yourself? Try it and type in your first and last name in parentheses and see how often something about you comes up in the search. This is critical today because as I mentioned, in the future everyone, will be googling you. Even if you work in a large firm you need a presence on the web. Think about writing an article to communicate your industry expertise, or give a speech at a professional club. All of these techniques will add to your ability to come up high on the search engine search of your name in Google.

6). Blogging for Business

Blogs are growing at a faster rate each year. People often ask me about blogging and does it really get me more clients. I don’t necessarily blog just to get more clients. I blog about personal branding and professional image topics because I like to share my thoughts and expertise with people all over the world. It gives people a glimpse into how I work, and my methods and views on those two topics. What I will tell you about blogging is that you really need to keep current with it. If you only want to blog once a quarter, select another source of communication because you really need to be consistent with updating your blog with new material.

7). Raise Your Web Visibility

When you belong to a few online social networking sites, have a website, blog, join Internet groups, or have an article or book published on the web, you are raising your visibility and presence in a time when everyone needs more business. It communicates to others that you are an expert in your industry, knowledgeable about technology, and stay on the cutting-edge of business getting ideas. You can utilize the web as your new marketing tool. When people google you or go to your website, you are visible to thousands of people who years ago would have no idea how to find you if they did need your company’s services.

As you can see, the Internet will be the new forum for people to find you for specific types of employment or to work with your business. In today’s world, people are changing jobs more frequently and looking for promotions, which can mean searching for employment at a new firm. I do hope you will think about your public identity and personal branding online as it will be key for you to achieve your career goals and dreams in the future.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS is an internationally distinguished executive coach, corporate consultant, professional speaker, and the founding CEO of her own company, Illustra Consulting. A career acceleration and leadership presence expert, Hathorn created the innovative Predictable Promotion System, a 10-step proprietary process she uses to coach managers aspiring to be directors, directors seeking vice presidential promotions, and VP’s eager to ascend to the C-suite. Hathorn served as a senior level executive for a Fortune 100 company for 25 years, and she has more than 30 years of experience mentoring high potentials for rapid career advancement and extraordinary success.