Whether you are looking for employment, a promotion or happy in the role you are in with no intention to move on in the short term, you want your digital footprint to be positive, consistent, and authentic.
How is your footprint created? Obviously any content you create yourself, or articles, photos or posts that you are quoted, pictured or tagged in are included. Also contributing to your footprint are any comments or interactions on public posts or articles, and don’t think that something you write in a private or closed forum cannot be traced or have an impact.
So how do you create a positive footprint in the digital space? The simplest strategy is to think before you post. Would you be happy for your parents or children to see your content or comment?
If you want to cultivate and create a positive footprint you need to mindfully create content and share it. If you are an expert in a particular field or have skills or an interesting story history that helps people identify and connect with you, don’t be afraid to share it. I know it can be hard to beat your own drum, and you don’t want to appear arrogant or boastful, but if you are doing something good why not share it?
Blog posts, either on your own site or page, or guest written for others are a great way to share positive stories. If you are creative or have a skill to share, why not consider creating a video and starting your own YouTube channel. Any content created for one platform can be shared across multiple others, and if you are fortunate, shared by others as well. In terms of positivity, it’s hard to beat any charitable or volunteer commitments you may have, challenges you have completed or adversity you have overcome. Once again, it can feel a little uncomfortable to ‘brag’ but your sharing may be just the inspiration someone in your networks needs to get off their backside and make a change in the world. Isn’t that alone worth the risk? It’s inauthentic to undertake projects purely for the PR factor, and people will see through this if you do, so this isn’t recommended, but activities that demonstrate your truth and you are proud of deserve to be shared!
Authenticity is important across all platforms and forms a consistent digital footprint. Whilst you are entitled to a private life and it’s encouraged that you lock down your privacy settings, you need to be the same person in every forum. It doesn’t work to have a clean living, professional or worse, judgemental profile in one social media platform, and then completely contradict yourself in another, to the point where it confuses those who follow or interact in more than one area, and waters down or even damages your reputation.
From time to time, you want to type your name into a search engine and check what others will find when they do the same. If you don’t like what you see, you might consider creating content or changing your strategies (or privacy settings!) to correct this.
Why not start by creating an outstanding LinkedIn profile? Capture the right attention in the right place. You need to stand behind and be proud of anything you share online, now and into the future. Once online, forever online!