Imagine there was a way to immediately set yourself apart from the masses, reach new prospects, companies, and job opportunities, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
What if you could do this all for a few dollars and a few hours of work to set everything up?
It’s no secret that the majority of employers now check social media before making a hiring decision.
They also use social media to make firing decisions, As well as promotion decisions, succession decisions, and a host of other workplace opportunity decisions. So with this knowledge in hand doesn’t it make sense to stack the deck in your favor? Or at the very least to ensure your online presence isn’t damaging your career?
Optimizing your online presence has less to do with being seen and more to do with being found.
You can start with the basics like removing questionable images and quotes from your Facebook and Twitter account, and then move on to the next logical step; optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
What I’m suggesting however, is to take it one step further and really differentiate yourself as an expert in your field or career and quickly stand out from the crowd.
The Power Of A Personal Website
The power to stand out and have yourself be heard can be done by creating your own personal website. By owning your own little spot in cyberspace you have complete control over this digital real estate and can put whatever you want on it.
Want to post an online resume? There are hundreds of great resume templates available that you can easily customize. My favourite source being Themeforest.net.
Want to establish yourself as an expert? You can start today by producing content, writing a blog, or creating videos in an area of your field or career that interests you.
The beauty here is that potential employers, contacts, and prospects will be actively searching for anything they can find on you to help with their decision to hire or work with you; especially if the stakes are high.
You can help control what they see by simply helping to guide them to your website or social media platforms which can be done by including links in your email signature, on your business card.
Where To Start
The best place to start, and something I always recommend, is that everyone should try to buy their full name as a custom domain name as soon as possible, just to have it on hand for future opportunities. At around $10 a year, it’s a small investment that gives you control over your personal brand. (i.e. adamerhart.com)
1. Domain Name
I’ve found the best place to do this is Namecheap. Click the “Bulk Search” option and start typing in versions and combinations of your name until you can find the .com one that’s available.
You can try combinations like: * Firstname+lastname.com * Firstname+ middle initial + last name.com * First name + middle name + last name.com * First name initial + lastname.com
If everything you’re searching for is already taken, then you can either try a different domain extension (like .co or .net) or add your chosen field to the end of your name (like firstname+lastname+lawyer.com)
2. Web Hosting
Next you’re going to need web hosting. You’ve got 2 different but equally terrific options depending on your budget. The first is my personal favorite which is WPEngine. They offer WordPress website hosting exclusively but their speed, performance, and security are top notch. They’re also $30 a month so unless you’re really planning on investing a lot of time and effort into your website you may be better with Bluehost.
Bluehost is also a terrific web hosting service and comes in significantly cheaper at around $4 a month. They also enable you to host other types of websites such as basic HTML ones.
3. Basic Website.
Now that you have your custom domain name, and your website hosting you’re going to want to set up a basic website. You can find a number of different great resume themes here at Themeforest.net. Learning to customize them can be a bit tricky so it’s up to you to decide if you’d like to teach yourself how to use WordPress (there are many great YouTube videos available to help get you started) or hire a professional web designer.
4. Custom Email
Even if you decide not to build out an entire website or online resume, you can still take advantage of custom domain name email.
One of the best things about owning your own domain is that you no longer need to use generic email address like Gmail and Hotmail. My email server of choice is Google Apps for Work which allows you to set up your own custom email address such as email@example.com. It’s around $5 a month and works great in regards to looking more professional. Considering how much email we send on a daily basis this is a really valuable way to immediately upgrade your personal branding image.
5. Custom Email Signature
Finally, if you’re looking to improve your image just one step further than WiseStamp is the way to go.
WiseStamp enables you to quickly design an amazing looking email signature. This is a great way to elevate your emails and help to direct people where you’d like them to go, whether it’s your website, social media platforms, or to simply give you a call.
Time To Start
The best time to do this is now, before you send that email, or make that call, or visit that prospect. By ensuring you have a clean, professional, and accessible image, you make the decision to work with you the easy choice, rather than the other way around.