Before you begin marketing yourself with Social Media, you must first have something tangible to market. A good way to start is by creating a blog. A blog can serve as your landing page. A blog is a great way to establish some authority and influence in a specific area of expertise or focus. A blog can be used to establish your personal brand. In fact, in a future post I will talk about micro-site landing pages … pages designed specifically to match your landing page view to a very specific job, much as you would craft a cover letter. But before we go there, lets start first with your ‘Personal Brand’.
If you search on the exact phrase “Personal Brand” in Google, Bing, or other search tools, there are over 500,000 web pages with this exact phrase. I’m going to direct you to a friend of mine’s blog. Jeffrey Blake offers a very long list of tips and considerations for building a Personal Branding Landing Page. I’m going to comment on his 1st point which is:
“It should deliver a simple message and not try to do everything. This is the difference between being a jack of all trades and a branded specialist.”
If you’ve been to a resume writing or networking workshop (or read equivalent books), there is a lot of focus on your “3o second pitch”. Now, I’m not suggesting that your landing page be that 30 second pitch exactly, but your landing page should have a simple focus that contains some words or phrases in your 30 second pitch and links to other blog topics, blog categories or other secondary focus topic pages that further explain them. You want to keep it simple and not overwhelm the reader with 1500 words or more of all your job experience, skills, and life story. You want them to be curious enough to click on another link or two. So if you look at Jeffrey’s landing page http://jeffreyblake.com/, there is simplicity and focus here that establishes a view of his personal brand. Like a 30 second pitch, you quickly get a sense of who he is and his area’s of expertise. It reflects some of the key words and phrases he used when he introduced himself to me at a technology meetup event last December. And there are enticing links to investigate. Why is there a hammer on the landing page and what exactly is this “Brand Hammer” link over to the left?
There is no specific format for a landing page that will work for everyone. Many readers here who are not inclined to create a blog might simply use their LinkedIn profile as their landing page for their personal brand. There are several possible approaches should you want to use a blog platform for your landing page. If your landing page is your blog, you can create a “static post” that always appears at the top (keep it short), or you could create an “About <your name here>” bio page. In my case, I wanted to showcase the unique YouTube video resume with navigation I created that is probably more ‘buzz worthy’ for the technique used than the actual resume content in my YouTube video. Since I wanted a place where someone could download my resume, I created this wordpress.com blog. I did not follow the very rules I’m suggesting here. Maybe I should change my own landing page?My landing page is as experimental as my YouTube Video resume. If it does not deliver the desired result, I will go back and change it.
Jack of all Trades?
Maybe you have many skills and experiences and do consider your self a “jack of all trades”. If there is no specific job target that is cohesive and benefits from every one of these skills and experiences, I would not blog about all of them. If you are truly qualified for more than one job position and these positions are not ‘joined at the hip’ in purpose, you might consider creating two or more separate focused blogs instead of one single blog that lacks focus. I’d recommend starting with one.
As an example, I might blog about topics related to both Product Marketing and Product Management. They are closely related. In both roles, I spent considerable time focus refining the key messages about product benefits with my product team peers. In both roles, I presented numerous times to customers in the Executive Briefing Center. In both roles, I listened to customers, tried to understand the problems that most vexed them, and either explained how my product could help alleviate or solve those problems, or took notes for new potential product features back for consideration for future product releases. I would probably not blog about my past experiences as Manager of a Technical Assistance Center or Manager of an Applications Services Team. I’m not actively targeting my job search to those two operations service manager roles.