HOW TO: Build a Strong Online Brand in 14.5 Hours per Week

Brand Yourself AsPersonal BrandingSuccess Strategies

A Wall Street Journal blog post by Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite, last week entitled, “A Resume Is Not Enough: How to Market Yourself Online” makes a really good point in the headline alone: having a positive online presence is more important than ever.

And if you’re without a job right now, you should have plenty of time to devote to such an effort. But, because in-person networking is just as important, if not more so, let’s discuss a bare minimum personal branding online marketing plan.

Your Website: up to 10 hours (one-time); 30 minutes per week (upkeep)

Buy your own domain and hosting, and put up a professional website that serves as a hub of all your other online activity. I always recommend going with WordPress because it’s so easy to use—and because I’m going to recommend later in this post that you have a blog as part of this plan anyway—but there are other services that can help you “cheat” and put up a professional website extremely quickly with extremely little effort.

  • Weebly
  • Wix
  • Brand-Yourself
  • Webs
  • Carbonmade

Make sure you include your elevator pitch, access to your social networking profiles, and a way to contact you.

Social Networking Profiles: up to 5 hours (one-time); 30-60 minutes per day (upkeep)

Again, at the minimum, you should have a presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and any niche networking site for your profession. I think a lot of people see social networking as a huge commitment, but it doesn’t have to be.

Once you set up your profiles, you can certainly only spend up to an hour per day updating your status, sending out relevant information to your connections/followers, and engaging in online dialogues. Just make sure you are spending that time each day—the more updates, the better your search engine rank will be.

Blog: up to 5 hours (one-time); 60 minutes per day (upkeep)

Blogging, when done properly, can actually eat up most of your bare minimum personal branding online marketing plan. Don’t just blog to blog—you want to be effective, too. (Otherwise, what’s the point?)

Since we’re talking minimums, three times per week is typically enough to keep people interested. But, I’m going to recommend you spend 60 minutes per day doing something for your blog: planning posts, promoting your blog, commenting on other people’s posts, actually writing, responding to comments on your blog, etc.

In summary…

At the bare minimum, you can create a pretty strong online presence in approximately 14.5 hours per week. At first glance, that might sound like a lot, particularly if you do have a full-time job. But, considering there are 168 hours in a week, this plan gives even full-time workers plenty of wiggle room to build their brand online.