Build your “platform.”
Build your “brand.”
How does one go about doing this? How much time do you have to devote to it? I know some people who have done a great job building their on-line footprint. But they work at it — spend 40 hours a week building. It is hard work. It doesn’t come easy.
I try. I don’t have the time to do it all the time. But I have found success in a focused group. I do get leads and consulting gigs from my network all the time. I enjoy it. I like to post my opinions. Do I think anyone reads? Maybe not — but that’s ok. I am building.
Some of the tools I use:
Twitter – a must for anyone on-line. I have heard many people claim it is a waste of time. I guess anything can be a waste if you don’t know how to use it. Twitter is very effective. But it takes nurturing and building. You must be on Twitter.
Facebook – everyone is on Facebook. I use it more for staying in touch with friends. I do not have a business fan page. But many do. Businesses are finding Facebook more effective than their home page. There are 400-million Facebook accounts. You must be there.
WordPress Blog – if you are reading this, then you are on my website. I don’t think everyone needs a website, but a blog is important. It can be substituted by a Facebook Fan page or Tumblr.
Tumblr – They just passed WordPress as hosting the most blogs. It is easy, clean and gaining popularity. I have three Tumblr accounts – one is personal, the other for my art and a third that I am still debating what to do.
LinkedIn – The place to put your resume and so much more. Everyone should have a page. I find it to be the best business network tool period. I drive my Tweets and Blog posts to LinkedIn. I do research. I use it as my calling card. It is very important.
Pandora – The best ‘radio’ on the web. I don’t use it a lot for posting comments, but I find it great to hear various types of music.
Flixster – I prefer this movie site over the others. It is connected with Rotten Tomatoes and one can get both critics reviews and consumer. I use the % to determine which movie I want to see. I post my reviews.
Amazon – I shop on all the various eBook sites (B&N, Kobo, Apple) but Amazon is the one with the reviews and major feedback. I try to hold back on most reviews but Amazon will give me a sense of movement re: books.
bit.ly – A tool I use to shorten URLs. Besides it being a necessity for the 140 character limit on Twitter, it is a great tool for tracking. You need to register with bit.ly and then they will track usage on your posts.
Zite – for iPad only. This is a great tool to sort and curate all the various news on subjects that are of interest to you. I use it and find info to Tweet quite a bit. It is a different way to look at the subjects that interest me.
Klout – a measure of on-line influence. Sure it has it’s bugs, but it is the best way to find out influence. Check it out.
Others that I have but don’t use often (should):
YouTube; Digg; MySpace… and many others, I am sure.
These are just a few tools that I use. There is only so much time to do everything!
The key — you must get on-line and discover this for yourself.