Online Reputation Management & Networking


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Presentation delivered at George Brown College which gives tips and examples around effectively managing an online persona and appropriate business networking

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  • The measureof yourreputation is what you do plus what others say about you. Reputation is earned. It can be managed, and can be influenced by the things we do, but it can never be designed or decided upon by its holder.
  • As such, reputation is a messy and uneven business. Like an eating competition, the internet represents a very public, very judgmental global talent pool. It’s filled with people of varying abilities. If you don’t have a presence online, it will affect your job search, your career, and your personal life. The reason for this is simple: people are already searching for you or people like you. For every time you don’t appear in a search for your name or a specific need that you want to rank high for, you lose an opportunity.
  • Fundamental error in thinking that if you don't have a website or are not involved in social media, you’re not online. It just means your voice is not being heard in a conversation about you.
  • Our friends, colleagues and families make up our most valuable social networks. It’s critical for them to understand how the web works. Their success and well-being is intrinsically linked to your own. What if you became a story? If you want to manage privacy, reputation, and your security to any extent, you have to think about those around you — especially those who are not as tech-savvy.
  • The first step in managing a reputation is knowing what there is to manage. Things can spread quickly online, so seeing what content is there on a regular basis will help you stay ahead of a potential crisis. It's also a good way to see what positive things are being said about you, which you may be able to build on.
  • The best course is to make sure that you are the first and best source of information about yourself appearing on Google and other major search engines. Social networks including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have enabled everyone to become instant publishers. As a result, the content attached to our names will continue to shape perceptions of us both professionally and personally. “Crowding out,” or pushing that embarrassing party photo down in the search rank can be achieved over time. The farther down the better, as 90% of people won't go past the first page of search results and 99% won't go past page 2, said Noah Lang, director of business development for approach is best combined with an ethos of developing a thicker skin.
  • Make use of privacy settings. Many social networking sites offer settings that allow you to keep your site private and control viewing and posting privileges. That way, if you post some edgy content, you can make sure it reaches its intended recipients -- and no one else.
  • Instead of fretting over what employers might discover about you, play a proactive role in creating your own online persona.
  • Discover your brand. Everyone should take some time to figure out how they'd describe themselves.Take stock of your strengths, particularly those that are unique to you, as well as your personal and professional goals. Having a clear personal brand that you want to communicate to the world will help you determine the most effective mechanisms for promoting yourself online. For example, if you want to distinguish yourself as a thought leader, you need to make smart contributions to the blogosphere. Exposing your interests and thought process will help you establish a virtual rapport with like-minded individuals and attract the right kind of opportunities, such as speaking engagements at conferences or invitations to networking events.
  • Now, it's not all about what you do at work. It's also what you do outside of work. If you build a powerful brand outside of work, people will know about you and you'll have that added visibility.
  • You need to be a good communicator and it helps to be a good writer because everyone is a content creator now.
  • You may feel cool because you know that FMTYEWTK stands for "far more than you ever wanted to know," but an employer won't be impressed. Write in complete sentences, don't use all lowercase or all caps, and utilize a formal, professional tone to maintain a positive online persona.
  • It's a simple step, but it can make the difference between a positive first impression and a trip to the cyber trash bin.
  • Your online branding efforts won't do any good if you don't have a good reputation in the offline world. When you behave badly in the real world, others can out your behavior, mistakes, poor decisions and bad judgment by leaving comments—often anonymous—on blogs, discussion forums, your wall, whatever. If you find someone has aired your digital dirty laundry online, attempt to get it cleaned up or removed. If you can't, add your own positive content alongside it and let readers draw their own conclusions. Responding constructively and directly to negative comments is worthwhile.Don’t hide behind a pseudonym. No one is perfect; in fact, people tend to gravitate more towards those who aren’t ashamed of their faults and display them publicly. It’s OK to mix personal and business!
  • Often a word that evokes anxiety.Networking is really a study in the human condition: what makes us what we are and who we are. Connecting with a person is first sharing your sameness, your humanity, your caring self. It's trusting them enough up-front to let them feel a genuine warmness in your voice when meeting in person so they can feel enough trust to reciprocate in like kind. Don't miss out on the realness and the humanity of the person you are meeting at a conference, a networking event, a class, or at a social engagement.Online, it’s a different story: networking is much easier from an anxiety standpoint, but we miss those visual and verbal cues which tell us whether or not we have an affinity with someone.The number one rule is not to make a mistake of focusing on just what you want, rather connect and listen to others as a true superstar networker will do.Talk about my role at SAS, what I do, how I do it.
  • Networking with other professionals in your industry is beneficial when you are looking for job or any other business opportunities. Through networking, you can meet hiring managers for companies and hear about an unadvertised position, find a better business opportunity, or get some insight into the best way to apply for a particular position.Networking takes being proactive and the readiness to maintain relationships. By effectively building and maintaining a network of colleagues, business associates and more, you are ensuring that whenever you need a new job, have reasons to develop your skills further, require a new client, you can call upon your network to help you.
  • As a job seeker, you want to stand out against the sea of other job-seekers. It goes without saying that having the right contacts can get you the job of your dream. Considering that most jobs come through personal connections, building your network should be high priority during and after a job search.It starts with your own classmates: these are mine, and I’m still in touch with almost all of them.Don’t for one moment discount your teachers as well – share story of how I ended up at SAS.
  • A blog is one of the best tools for improving your online identity. It's better than a static website because it is written in your voice. Communicating in your voice will ensure that your Web profile is unique and consistent with who you are in the physical world. A blog also provides evidence of your expertise and achievements. You can write about your work or your goals, and share your and original thought. Thus, it serves as a digital portfolio. People want to see that you are on top of the happenings in your industry, that you are well connected and have solved problems that are similar to theirs. Your blog is a long-term career management vehicle. As such, you must regularly update content to keep in touch with your target audience. It doesn't have to be daily, but you should aim to post no fewer than three times a month.
  • Participating in online discussion forums helps you to connect with and become more visible to others who share the same interests, though it's not necessarily a part of your public online identity that will show up in a search. You can find forums through Google Groups or Yahoo Groups. Online forums can be a valuable way to formulate ideas and strategies before presenting them on the public Internet.
  • Utilize social media. Believe it or not, many relationships start or flourish through social networking. With social networking sites, you can research and connect with other professionals easier than ever. While it’s true that face to face meetings solidify relationships, when it comes to networking, you cannot ignore the opportunity to carefully select who you are prepared to network with first. You can easily start by using a professional site like LinkedIn first. There you can network with people who work at the company you’re interested in.
  • Then use Twitter to micro communicate with people, Facebook to stay in touch once you get to know people.
  • Have a networking strategy. Have an elevator speech explaining who you are and what you do, and practice enough that it rolls off your tongue. Make sure that you allow yourself to consistently meet new people. By so doing, you will learn from others about your industry, profession, and the companies you’re interested in. Always think about networking as part of your career strategy. Remember your 2Fs – Friends, Family. They are the most obvious groups, these are people who probably like you because they either have to, or they just do!
  • Be proactive. Nothing happens unless we make it happen: you need to be active in your efforts and make sure you get out and meet people. You can start in bite size form by learning how to talk to some people you meet at business meetings, trainings, and conferences, networking events, even class. It helps if you have a stack of business cards ready to hand out.
  • A word of caution though – you don’t want to be the headless chicken who works the room racing to collect and hand out your cards. Always wait until you have a conversation before you exchange cards. Being genuine works, so be prepared to ask plenty of questions of others, and keep in mind that you’re trying to help them first, not the other way around.
  • Be Honest With Yourself and Your Connections.Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, or affect knowledge you don’t have. Time is precious and no one wants theirs to be wasted. If you make a commitment, follow through. If you don’t know an answer, say so, but offer another thought.
  • Keep in Touch. Stay in touch with people you meet, like and respect them genuinely even if they can’t help you immediately. Remember that it’s not cool to go to someone only when you are desperate for something.
  • Be Consistent. Follow-up and follow-through, regularly. Networking requires effort: it’s a treasure-hunt, it’s fun, but it’s a time-commitment as well.
  • Keep it positive. Staying positive makes you approachable and memorable. You have to consider each networking event an opportunity to learn something new or meet someone interesting, so leave no room for negative vibes.
  • Take advantage of opportunities. With networking opportunities about, make sure you actually take them. Networking only works if you put yourself out there and start talking to people. Let your guard down a bit, relax, smile and be aware of what your body language communicates.
  • Give and share as much as you get. Don’t just take, but be prepared to share your knowledge too. Offer help to others, you’ll find them far more open to the idea of helping you down the road. Forming relationships built on trust will help you be the person your contacts think of the next time they can find a way to help you.
  • It’s not about the quantity but the quality. Don’t judge your networking power by the number of people you connect with but by how you gain, share and give any needed knowledge and information. What are your contact doing for you and what are you able to give back. Ensure that you can also categorize your network into: mentors, sponsors, promoters, informers, advisors and experts.
  • It can be a bit scary, but just do it! I agree that for some people, it is daunting: easy to get out of your comfort zone, especially if English isn’t your first language. It’s scary to put yourself out there, but just summon the courage and do it anyway! The rewards will greatly outweigh the risk. So, try and talk to few people you don’t know everywhere you go.
  • Remember that networking takes time and relationships won’t develop overnight, so you have to be patient.But have some fun while doing all of this. Everything’s ahead of you, this is a time to be excited, not afraid.
  • Online Reputation Management & Networking

    1. 1. Marketing YourselfE-Reputation Management & Business Networking Tips From An Unrepentant Social Media Addict
    2. 2. Agenda• Who Am I?• E-Reputation – What it is – Why it matters – How to optimize yours• Networking – Top 10 Tips & Tricks• Questions
    3. 3. Who Am I?• National Communities Manager, SAS Canada• 20+ User Groups• 25+ Online Communities• Public Speaker• George Brown Graduate! (B409)
    4. 4. Reputation
    5. 5. A Perfect Example of Reputation Management
    6. 6. How to Protect Yourself
    7. 7. Friends…. Or Unintentional Foes?
    8. 8. Understand Where (or if) Fires Need to be Controlled
    9. 9. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
    10. 10. Figure Out Who You Are, What You Do, and Get Affirmation
    11. 11. Communicating Appropriately
    12. 12. Spellcheck. Please.
    13. 13. Be Transparent
    14. 14. Networking
    15. 15. Whither Content?
    16. 16. Keep Learning… Always.
    17. 17. Top 10 Tips & Tricks
    18. 18. Have A Networking Strategy
    19. 19. Be Proactive
    20. 20. Be Honest With Yourself and Your Connections
    21. 21. Keep In Touch
    22. 22. Be Consistent
    23. 23. Keep it Positive
    24. 24. Take Advantage of Opportunities
    25. 25. Give & Share As Much As You Get
    26. 26. It’s About Quality, Not Quantity
    27. 27. Just Do It
    28. 28. Have Fun
    29. 29. Contact Info•• Blog – Musings From An Outlier: The SAS Users Blog• Twitter - @Malchew• LinkedIn – Matt Malczewski