Bet the name Rick Mahn doesn’t mean much to you…yet.
But Google the 39 year-old IT consultant and you’ll get page upon page mentioning him.
Welcome to the new world of personal branding where anyone with an online connection, some personal smarts and dedication can be an Internet star.
Mahn, a self-described “tech geek,” who claims abstract thinking to be a new skill, has become an expert in getting himself known online. He blogs, “twitters,” “linkedins” — and if he has his way he will soon be doing online video.
“I had thought self-promotion was very egotistical,” says Mahn. “But then it dawned on me that on one will know about me unless I talk about myself.”
Mahn’s online conversation has not only paid off with reams of Internet pages talking him up. Online personal branding has begun to change Mahn’s life. Recruiters call him about job offers. Microsoft wanted his take on some pre-production and just-shipped products. And reporters at publications like the Wall Street Journal Online want his ear.
He’s also met many other bloggers that have become part of his online network. “It’s opened up a whole other level of professional interaction and peer networking,” Mahn says. This from a guy whose prior interests began and ended with concrete tasks like figuring out how something works by disassembling and reconfiguring it.
Mahn says if he can make the transition from tech geek to online personality, anyone can. His advice for those of us who are still waiting for online lightning to strike:
Blog. Have a blog and have your own domain name point to it. Use real names, not a handle.
Opine. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Otherwise what you write is meaningless.
Network. Leverage social networking sites like Twitter and YouTube.
Techno edge. Use as much new technology services as you can. Only by trying many of the new ideas that are being developed will you find the right ones that can help promote yourself.
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