Last month I shared a vision for what this personal marketing page will cover over the coming months on Job-Hunt. If you missed that introduction, you can read it here: Personal Marketing Plan: An Introduction.
In the Introduction, I introduced a five-step process to create your own personal marketing plan. Whether you are an active job seeker or someone wanting to build a plan now for the future.
Today we get into the details with step one: build a personal marketing hub.
So what is it?
A personal marketing hub is a single location online where you can send everyone you know and meet. A place where you can largely control the message. And create a gathering point for content and people you care about.
It is not a temporary online resume during job search. Although it can play that role when you need it to.
Rather, it is a portal into your life and career that allows others to enter, meet you, and perhaps employ you in some fashion.
An ideal hub is a website or blog. Allowing you to control the functions and features that make sense.
But if you never see yourself doing that (even though you should), you could use your LinkedIn profile, page on Facebook or your Twitter account as your hub.
Everything you do - and the main link on your marketing materials (resume, business card, bio) - goes to your hub.
So what are the characteristics of a good hub?
In online terms, a hub or site is sticky if people “stick around” for a bit. Why do people stick around? Well good content helps. If you can write, include a blog or free downloadable white papers that share your bigger view of the industry you know or role that you play. It also helps if the content is original. You wrote it, drew it, or said in some way. What’s on your hub to keep people there for a few minutes?
Modern Design –
If you create a hub via a blog platform like Wordpress, Tumblr, or TypePad, you can easily create a site that looks professional. There are easy-to-implement templates. Some are free, and some are available to purchase at a reasonable price. But if you really want to grab someone’s attention and get instant visual credibility, spend a few dollars and get your site designed with your personal brand in mind. It will deliver that great first impression. The rest is up to you!
Clear and Friendly Messaging –
Don’t try to impress people with your authoritative, graduate-level writing style. Instead have a little bit of fun, don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t be silly, but find a way to get your brand communicated your way. People prefer to read at a 6th grade level anyway. So write in your voice. Not in the one you think people might expect (resume-speak). Use fewer words and lots of great formatting so that people can quickly scan your hub and find what they need without too much pain.
Consistently Updated –
Your hub and personal brand are only as good as your most recent update. And active updating is an important social media strategy. Why? Well, if I come to your hub once and get good information, I might come back. But if I do come back and nothing has changed, I might not see any value in visiting your hub in the future. So, while you may not be able to blog every week or create a new monthly download, there are other things you can do. Like adding your Twitter feed to your hub or other content that changes automatically.
So here’s a mistake that is commonly made: you don’t pick a focus for your hub. You’re not familiar enough with your own brand so you write, create, or share in a very general way. When people come to your hub they don’t get what you are about. So they leave. Another trap is the "too personal" trap. An example is writing about your family trip to the Grand Canyon. You share photos of your kids and fail to bring any context to your content. You’ll lose me there too.
Linked To Social Media –
So your hub is the place you’d like people to start. It is your home base. But it isn’t the end of the road. From your hub, you want to send people to other places around the web where they can find you and interact with you. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, You Tube, and StumbleUpon are all great satellites to create around your hub. While you don’t want to divert people away from the hub, you also have to realize that your audience is already networking in these satellite locations. And once established there, you can use the satellites to drive traffic to your hub. Closing the loop.
I hope that helps you think about your own hub and how to build one successfully. How am I doing?
Next month: Learning how to with engage people. (hint: it’s really important)
© Copyright Tim Tyrell-Smith, 2011. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
Tim Tyrell-Smith is an emerging thinker in careers, personal development and social networking. A veteran marketing executive and professional speaker, Tim is now helping people effectively market their brands and businesses. You can read his career and personal development blog, and follow him on Twitter (@TimsStrategy).
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