In this week’s Ask a Trainer guest post, Hannah Morgan offers insight into how trainers can build a strong online brand.
I work as a trainer at a large financial services organization. I’m happy in my role and don’t have any immediate plans to leave, but I also don’t think this is a job I’ll have for the rest of my career. I want to make sure that I have a strong online brand, so I won’t be starting from square one whenever I decide to start job-hunting. Do you have any advice on how trainers can cultivate a strong online brand?
I get so excited when I think about the possibilities for people when it comes to personal branding because every day, there seems to be a new kind of opportunity. People need to think of themselves as their own business. You want to make sure that you’ve got your story set and decide what you want people to know about you.
I’m a resume hater. I hate resumes because people don’t write in real terms when they are writing their resumes. They use garbled language or buzz words like “work well independently” or “team player.” What we really want to do is be able to tell our stories. There are so many ways to do that. For example, you could create your own independent one-minute video that tells people about an accomplishment of yours or a story that exemplifies who you are. There are so many platforms you could use to do this—Clubhouse, Twitter, and others. The question to ask yourself is, “What do I want to be known for?”
You want to make sure that people outside your organization know about all your wonderful talents, skills, and accomplishments. That makes your organization look good too. See if you can find opportunities, like being a guest on a podcast or a live stream show.
You should also make sure that your LinkedIn profile does a good job representing you. A lot of times, we set it and forget it. LinkedIn has lots of free resources online that you can use to help you figure out what to put in your profile. It’s not enough just to have a profile. You’ve got to interact with people.
It’s also important to find your community within the training and development world who can help to support you and amplify your voice and vice versa. There are so many different subcultures and subspecialties within training and development, so you aren’t going to be in direct competition with others. That allows you to support and amplify each other so that you all have a chance to shine.
People are worried that they must sell themselves on social media, and that’s such an uncomfortable thing. Nobody likes selling themselves. They post information that’s all about what they’re doing, what they’re working on, and no one really cares. Instead, you want to ask questions. You can draw people to you because you have something interesting, beneficial, or educational to share with them. Attract people to you because you’re smart and have interesting things to say, rather than just promoting how great you are.
People are also all over the map when it comes to an online brand. I was working with one client who worked in finance, but everything he posted was either leadership or changes in the economy that had nothing to do with his role in finance. If I were to look at his profile and what he was saying and doing, I wouldn’t know what kind of job he was looking for. When you send mixed messages, people don’t know how to help you with your search.
Learn more from Hannah about job hunting and interviewing on the Accidental Trainer podcast. Her episode airs on June 16, 2021.
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