Why it’s important to have an online presence, even if you’re not working in Social Media (right now)

Googling yourself is associated with a lot of bad prejudices and in the general opinion often means that this person is very egocentric and only cares about himself. In my opinion this is a bullshit. In this day and age it has never been more vital to check and control the content that is out there for everyone to find. And the easiest method to check literally is a google search of your name.

The online presence that represents you

Or course this doesn’t mean you have to be a daily user of Facebook, whack out 50 tweets a day or constantly publish 1000+ likes photos on Instagram. I’m really only talking about the most basic online presence that represents you as a person the best.

But what does this really mean?

If you’re working in a business that is at least somewhat associated with (online) marketing or even tech in general it is vital to have an online presence. When meeting another person, be it virtual or in real life, on of the first things I will do is to google them.

And of course I’m not the only one. Over the years, I’ve lost count on how many people connected with me after visiting my website/blog or my various profiles in social media after meeting them. Some good friendships, important connections and business opportunities have resulted from this.

Talking with other people, this seems to be common practice in my field of work, that anyone who doesn’t at least have some basic online presence is met with some suspicion and scrutiny.

Don’t make the same mistake. Take charge of your online presence and control how others see you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to set your Facebook profile to public or use Instagram with your real name. Only use the tools you personally feel comfortable with and use them well. Even a totally simple webpage with a blog you occasionally write an article or two is better than having your old soccer clubs’ game reports or your high school’s math club team list be the only valid Google results for your name.

You may be in luck and your current employer lists you by name on their webpage. Sure, that is nice to have, but ultimately it won’t help you with your job hunt in 5 years if you get the boot.

My advice:

  • secure yourself a domain. This is the key to everything: a nice looking mail address, you own space to publish articles, photos, videos or anything you are proud of
  • set up a blog/small website. You don’t need to overthink this. Just start and let time show how often you want to publish new stuff. No pressure: you always have control over everything
  • even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, it doesn’t hurt to sign up for LinkedIn or XING and connect with the people you know. Especially if you possess a skill set that not everybody can compete with, you will almost immediately get contacted by recruiters. And you’d be surprised how personalized and interesting most of these offers are..