Digital Presence – My Top Seven Killer Tips for Job-Seekers and Solopreneurs
Sign saying "Kiosk" - the best kiosk in town, best is replaced by "most expensive", many colors.

Here’s the thing with social media. Everyone keeps telling you that you must be on social media to develop your brand, but what nobody is telling you when you are a newbie is how much work it actually takes to develop a personal brand on social media. I’m not talking about being featured on posts that your employer (and their big marketing team and budget) developed to attract more clients. I’m talking about you and me as human beings. We thought about your struggle and came up with the Social Media Newbie Series for Global Nomads to help you understand LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, but we got stuck in the detail ourselves and I realized from the questions you are asking that you might still wonder: 

What for? 

Is it worth my time and money? 

So, I thought that today we should take a step back and revisit why it is worth having a digital media presence and share with you my top seven killer tips for job seekers and solopreneurs (and those of you who share my vision of becoming digital global nomads).

As a Career Coach, I have encountered job seekers and freelancers, who still believe that they can thrive in today’s world without a digital presence. In short, they refuse social and professional networking as they feel they will be stalked or annoyed by others. I started with online networking on XING in 2004. Before that “networking” for me meant only person-to-person (or IRL – in real life if you are my age and don’t know what IRL means). 

I would regularly have lunch with different internal and external colleagues to find out about what is going on in their line of work. In the early Millenium, the lunch date roster was your “dance card” and showed how popular you were.

It was almost embarrassing to lunch alone and if you were booked for several weeks this meant you had made it. It was part of the culture of that organization, but networking helped me to understand background stories, to build trust, and get support on a variety of topics. I still prefer lunch dates over any type of online interaction, but as a creator, I have more influence and a bigger circle to reach out to if I leverage my online network too.

Remember that in Germany, Switzerland, and other “Coconut” cultures we tend to be very task-focused and have to invest in building relationships. (Yes, it takes us a lot of energy to get out of that Coconut-Face.)

If I look back, I also pulled my team members, trainers, providers, and friends from my network. The network expanded to external contacts and it got harder to maintain when I left Frankfurt for Zurich, but I started to build a new network, which helped me to build and maintain a start-up in a rather difficult economic environment. If I was looking for a full-time role now, I would certainly try and source it through my network. If I am looking to hire an intern, designer, or specialist I am going to rely on my network. We are teaching the idea of leveraging your network to find a job in Switzerland rather than only applying online in our HireMeExpress program.

I know that you might be afraid to put yourself out there and have people laughing at you or trolling you or giving you negative feedback and comments. How do you even deal with that when you are already fragile and full of self-doubt on a daily basis?

Would it help you if I told you that I still go through the same fear and anxiety? Would it help you if I said: Yes, there are weird people on the Internet and many of them just want your money…but what if 10% of those following you, reading you, hearing you need to hear exactly what you have to say? What if there is one person out there who like me lost half of their family in a tragic accident and thought they would never, ever recover from that? What if one woman that you speak to just lost her child or her husband and needs to hear that it will be okay and that you are there for her? What if there is one person listening to you who is about to commit suicide because they are so desperate and you tell them that they are loved and they hear that and they reconsider.

What if what you have to say is important for one person only?

Don’t you think it’s worth it?

Don’t you think it is worth half an hour of your time?

Remember that you are loved, you are safe, and you are among friends here. 

1) Focus on Your Followers

In all likelihood, you will meet most of your followers on LinkedIn if you are in a professional field like banking, accounting, or human resources. If you are a creative writer, you might want to focus on Twitter because this is where readers will gather their information. On the other hand, if you provide makeup tips in short videos you should focus on Instagram or Youtube. Try not to overwhelm yourself by joining all platforms at once. 

2) Develop A Digital Home

In times of social media, it is hard to understand why you need to have your digital home. Imagine it this way: When you are on Twitter it is like you are attending a huge networking event where you exchange information with colleagues and potential clients. If you want them to look at the information (“content”) that you produce you have to invite them to your “home”. And when you host a party at your place you have to give people directions on how to find you and a good reason to party with you. When you go to a party you don’t expect to be asked to buy something or pay for your beer, right? So, when you start out you would probably provide some of your content for free until you have a followership. Then you can move to a membership model. A membership model guru is Stu McLaren.

3) Build Trust First

The Internet is full of offers and scams. Before anyone wants to give you their email ID and bank details you will need to have their trust. You can develop trust by being a helpful source of information and by solving people’s problems. You can also build trust by being personable and by avoiding any sales touch in your content and copywriting. You can provide helpful advice and invite people to join your party, but you need to remember that building trust online is step-by-step process that takes mastery. You can follow Amy Porterfield and Ash Ambirge for further advice.

4) Reduce Self-Promotion

Instead of promoting yourself, you should promote other people’s work. If you help others you will not come across as a big-headed egomaniac, but as someone who cares about people. There is a point where you can also show your own work, but it needs to be in the context of solving a problem for your followers. For example, they might need a checklist or a how-to guide that you can provide when you often hear them ask you the same questions. I read that there is an 80/20-rule where 80% of the posts should be valuable content, and 20% you should promote your brand. So, in the case of your personal brand, you should talk about your work, what you have achieved, and other stuff related to your greatness for max. 20% of your posts.

5) Curate Content

A retweet does not always mean that you endorse the opinion of the tweeter, but at least you can verify that the information is genuine and up-to-date and that links are actually working. If you are like me, you probably don’t read everything you would like to read, but you know where to find trusted sources and where to be skeptical.

6) Encourage Others to Have a Voice

I know many people who suffer from “imposter syndrome” and who are modest. It helps once in a while when you tell others that their work is helpful and that you are actually reading their updates or their input. Instead of expecting others to support you, you can do a lot more to support others. Be a giver on social media. Learn why this is important by reading and following Adam M. Grant.

7) Charge Your Purpose Batteries

A Digital Presence is great. If people deal with you in real life or on a call, they should be positively surprised by your genuine interest in them. One of the reasons for the lack of trust nowadays is that everyone is putting their own interest in front. Many people have a hard time accepting support because they are not used to free help. They are used to being cheated and pulled over the table and you want to stand out. Charge your purpose batteries and get very clear on your purpose, and one-sentence mission, and become a real giver.

Kind regards

Angie Weinberger

PS: If this intrigues you and you would like to know more about it, please join our free workshop series in April 2023:

Workshop No. 1:  Partnering Masters – Building Effective Relationships

Workshop No. 2: Powerful Missions – Having a Voice in a Sea of Noise

Workshop No. 3: Persisting Mindsets – Designing Work to Support a Global Lifestyle
All dates and updates will be shared if you sign up on our HireMeExpress list. #HireMeExpress



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