Publish or Perish: A Web Presence Could Be Critical to Your Career!
“On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” — Peter Steiner
It was true when Peter Steiner’s cartoon was first published in The New Yorker in 1993, and it’s even more true now.
One of the most amazing things about the Internet is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make a name for yourself — and it doesn’t matter how old you are, how you look, whether you’re male or female. The only thing that matters is your mind and how well you can convey your ideas and opinions.
You probably have a personal online identity — but do you have a professional one?
When you establish an effective, professional online presence, doors will open for you.
You can expand your network to an unbelievable degree. Not only are you increasing your visibility in your industry, it’s a great opportunity to raise your expert status even within your own company. By participating regularly in online communication, you’re keeping up-to-date on everything that’s happening, which can be invaluable as the business world changes.
The key is to participate in a way that’s comfortable to you — although you shouldn’t be afraid to stretch yourself! That could mean finding an online forum on a subject of interest to you — in your field, or in a field you hope to enter — and engaging sincerely with the participants.
Maybe you are comfortable writing and want your voice to be heard on a specific issue or subject area: start a blog. Have great ideas but you’re not much of a wordsmith? Try a twitter feed. If you’re more of a talker than writer — podcasts are a great option. And if you combine multiple platforms and communication styles — you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can be seen as an expert in your field!
Deciding what you want to do and even getting started is the easy part — now for the hard stuff: actually getting noticed.
The key to INTERnet success? INTERaction.
Networking is even more important in online communication than it is in the physical world. If you don’t reach out to others, you might as well be talking to yourself in an empty room. And when you first start establishing a professional identity online, that’s probably what it will feel like. Don’t get discouraged. The secret to establishing a successful online presence is actually really, really simple.
The three Rs in online communication are Research, Reach Out, and Reply.
Identify if there are any holes: Is your industry covered, but there’s not a lot of talk from somebody in your position? Can you add a different perspective? If you can identify a niche, you’ve got it made ... but no matter how well covered your area of expertise is, you can contribute to the conversation. And you should.
Really engage — never use the conversation just as an excuse to link back to yourself; it doesn’t work and it’s the quickest way to get dismissed. On your own platform, link to posts or conversations that you find interesting — and talk about why you agree or why you don’t. The more you reach out to people, the more people will follow the bread crumbs back to you and get you noticed. If a site allows guest posts, find out what the criteria is — nothing will get you noticed more quickly than a well-written guest post on a high-trafficked site!
One important tip that cannot be overstated — proofread!
Check the grammar and spelling of anything you tweet, post, blog, or comment. It really does make a difference in your credibility.We're sorry, but the comment box for this article has been closed. However, you may view the past discussion amongst your peers to see what they had to say ...
“Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got.”
– Janis Joplin
“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”
– Beverly Sills
“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
– Virginia Woolf
This is the second time in a week that I have had the concept of creating a strong professional on-line presence for myself. I need to do just that - as soon as I can manage to find the time between work, teaching a new course and raising a one-year old :)
About The Women’s Link