This is a site about online marketing, so why do I talk about offline? Because offline marketing is one of the most important parts of your job lure!
If you’re only active and visible in the community via LinkedIn or Twitter, you’re 2-dimensional. You have to demonstrate that you’re a real person, that you really are an expert in the subject areas you speak about, and frankly, you need to build personal rapport and relationships.
People will go out of their way to help friends and people who help them.
They won’t go as far to help a stranger they’ve only seen online.
What does this mean to me?
First off, kick ass at your current job if you have one, or when volunteering if you don’t.
The place where you do the most to support (or counteract) your online reputation is where you spend the most time with colleagues. If nothing else, the people who work with you should see how awesome you are. By being awesome, you are executing an offline marketing campaign to demonstrate your skills to people.
Coworkers might leave for another company one day. You want them to remember you!
Secondly, get involved with a interest group in your subject. If there isn’t one, create one! If there’s one already, this is vitally important: either get on the leadership team, or create another one.
Why is it critical that you’re a leader in the group? If you aren’t a leader of a local organization, and you aren’t a director or leader at your job, it’s going to be hard for people to see you as a leader.
Create a group for the suburb you happen to live in. Create an unconference (see BarCamp) if it’s too pricey to get involved with the official group. Do whatever you have to do, to be seen as a leader!
Be known for it. In my case, I’m known as the organizer of ProductCamp Atlanta, and this has by far been the most effective thing I’ve done to boost my visibility.
At the end of the day, your brand is defined by what you do at work and what you do as a volunteer. That should be supported by the content you put online. Make sure they’re coherent and consistent, and they reinforce each other!
TL;DR: Get involved!
Image from Stock Xchng.