Master an Online Reputation
(without starting a blog)
“ I don’t really have time for blogging. What do I do to get myself a recognizable online ID?” — Winston Churchill
Though I always recommend blogging to everybody (for many reasons), the truth is that blogging is not for everybody. I understand a CEO risks showing himself as a complete lout when his writing is not good enough — but that’s what editors are for, so this should be no excuse. I understand a CEO might not have time to write in a more or less regular schedule — don’t you dare think about ghostwriting! I even understand that you (who are not a CEO) don’t particularly enjoy writing, to the point that the mere thought of sitting in front of a blank screen makes you shiver.
However, we both know a digital identity (or an online personal brand) doesn’t happen by spontaneous generation. It takes a huge effort to build a consistent brand online.
Yet, apart from blogging, there are lots of other things you can do online to show your skills. Remember: the internet is a showcase, so don’t be shy.
Yep, why Twitter and not Facebook or Google+? Well, because Twitter is where everybody that’s important to your business is. Period. There are politicians, journalists, celebrities, and yes, other CEOs as busy as you are. You don’t need to be on Twitter all the time. Open your stream, follow whoever is interesting to you, follow a hashtag, and share what you like — news, pictures, quotations, whatever. And, oh yeah… don’t forget to interact with someone from time to time! Be smart, do what others are doing. You can’t get lost. That’s what Twitter is all about.
Blogging requires consistency. Consistency implies time. You might not have time on a daily basis, but you might have some spare time once in a while, so a guest post in a well-known blog, or in an online mag, could be a good idea. These publications usually have submission requirements, in terms of theme, quality, formatting, etc. Pay attention to these things before you start receiving no’s for answers.
Respond others’ publications
Another interesting option is commenting on other people’s articles. I’m sure you read a lot. And I’m sure you find interesting pieces among your daily reads. Go on! Agree, disagree, say something! Good, inspiring responses to posts are always appreciated. There are even times when some responses are better than the posts they are commenting on. Your responses can also lead others to respond, generating an interesting flow. There are even responses-dedicated blogs.
LinkedIn is also very promising. Because, of course, you already have a profile at LinkedIn, don’t you? Pulse (their publication’s platform) doesn’t require a daily update for your articles to be shown to all your contacts. So if you already have a large group of contacts on this network, maybe posting from time to time on Pulse is a good idea for you. Of course, you always have the option of commenting on others’ publications, or in groups.
You might be asking, “why not Facebook?” its being the most popular network bla, bla, bla. And that’s true. However, Facebook is a more ‘amateur’ network, as it were. Interactions happen between people who already know each other in some way, or between people and corporate brands. Engagement requires — once again — an effort, because Facebook’s algorithm wants you inside it and interacting with everything at all times. Facebook has updated its Notes app to look like Medium because they are aware of the importance of content, yet it’s still so new that its results are yet to be proven.
Mastering an online reputation will take time and a minimum effort. You will read pieces here and there promising you the moon and the stars “in just three months,” or a spectacular growth in your audience with just ten minutes a day. If these things were true, everybody would be a super-guru “in just three months.” But if you want to build your online identity, you need to do some of these things, once in a while.