Our Top Story This Week: Facebook Could Be the New LinkedIn

If you’re one of the people who has recently lost a job you may be considering doing some freelancing while you look for a new position. And if you get busy enough – you may just discover that freelancing is a lot more fun and rewarding than going to “work.”

I remember people used the term “Hang out your shingle.”? While that may be a romantic notion — it doesn’t really work that way. Today, there is no excuse for NOT having a professional looking presence – if not for building your business – then for getting that next big job.

Be Yourself – Give yourself a descriptive title

Remember the “What I Learned in Kindergarten” book where Robert Fulgham says that people should have titles based on what they really do well and not what their professional positions are. This is the way to go!? What should people call you for? Consider using titles like “Really Good Technical Writer.”? Imagine that your target audience is going to search for you on Google – what would they type in to get you?

Start collecting candid pictures of yourself. Today’s personal brand is all about being authentic and natural. Get out that pictres box and go through your digital files — the crop tool is your friend!? You want to create headshots that are natural and fun.

Build a personal business card around your talent. Be bold around the business card that you create. There are so many tools. A really great one-stop source for that is HP’s Creative site: http://www.hp.com/hho/smb_hp_create/Here you can find templates and ideas that will help you pull together a really professional brand.

Get Online

Getting a web site is no longer a major production. Use WordPress.com and get a free blog space. Create a static page, a blog page, an About page. Throw up some articles. There you’re all set.

Use LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) or Facebook profiles as a home page. For professional use – I prefer LinkedIn. Both LinkedIn and Facebook offer a custom URL that you can use. Here’s the thing to do with that. Purchase your name as a domain name then forward it to either your blog, LinkedIn or Facebook profile.

What are your pointers for launching a personal brand when you’re out of work?