Are you a baby boomer? Are you using social media to develop and promote your personal brand? Am I speaking gibberish?
I wrote in a previous post that many baby boomers struggle with the concept of personal brand. In the old days it was your reputation. With the rise of the Internet many jobs can be done from just about anywhere. So, you aren’t just competing for your next job with the guy around the corner but everyone around the world. How do you create a global presence? Social media.
Step #1 Pick a Social Network
There are a lot of social networks to choose from. You cannot be on all of them. There is just not enough time in the day. So pick one!
If you are looking to create a personal brand around your professional life I would recommend you choose LinkedIn.
Step #2 Create a Profile
Get a good picture. Yes, you need a picture.
When you think of a brand do you get a picture in your mind? Of course. Not having a picture raises questions. Sometimes just throwing one up there raises questions, too. When someone looks at the picture what does it tell them about you?
You have to be recognizable from the picture. I have seen a few pictures where so many years were removed using Photoshop that I could not recognize them from the photo.
Enter only your last 10-15 years of work history.
Do not enter the year you received any college degrees.
Step #3 Get Connected
Go through all of your e-mail contacts and connect with them. Search LinkedIn for colleagues from past jobs, college friends, high school friends….
Take the time to reconnect on a personal level. That means don’t just send the standard message. Write something personal in your invitation.
Join groups that pertain to your career interests. There are a million of them. And visit them frequently. Comment, positively, on other people’s posts.
Step #4 Engage
You are now virtually connected with people on line. Read, share and comment on what you find. The whole idea is to be social. Meet new people.
It is in this last step that you develop your personal brand. How you interact, what you share or even what you create will tell people a lot about your talents, skills and expertise.
Step #5 Return to Step #1 and Repeat
Once and only once you have become comfortable with the selected social network pick another.
For baby boomers who are looking to create a professional personal brand beyond LinkedIn I recommend Google+. Google+ is about finding people with similar interests. If you are adventurous you might try Twitter. It has taken quite a while for me to get comfortable working with and interacting on Twitter.
But the site has video tutorials on how to use it. So go for it!
Are you ready to take the plunge?
Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.