Personal branding online

Does it matter what our ‘digital profile’ is? In other words, what will people find if they search for us online, and does it matter?

I think it does. If you’re in the first half of your career and are likely to be moving jobs before you retire, it’s definitely important. Potential employers may incorporate it into their decisions. But whoever you are, at whatever stage of your career, your customers and prospects may well want to see who they’re dealing with.

Will they be impressed with what they see?

For many people, a solid LinkedIn page is quite enough to present them to the world. That’s fine, but is that what comes up when people search for your name in Google? Try it and see. If you have a name shared with others, think about what they might try if the results don’t look like you. They might try your name + company, or your name + town or country. Try these: is the page you want to see (such as LinkedIn) coming up prominently?

What you don’t want to see is some trivial reference to you. If that’s the case, or if your LinkedIn page just can’t be found, it might be time to think about setting up a personal home page, which you can use to provide background information and links to related sites. It’s not a vanity thing; a web-based ‘business card’ makes a lot of sense.