thought leadership marketingThink again.

Every young professional in any career path has had one very specific experience. You graduate from college, ready to take on the world, but you show up at 9am to Day 1 of your first job and are immediately taken down more than a few notches. You have that one defining moment of “everyone here is smarter than me”.

Those dreams and ideas that were once so big and bright sitting under your graduation cap, now give way to fear and insecurity in everything you ever thought you knew about your field. However, although we’re all guilty of it (myself included), this is the wrong reaction. As 20-somethings, we all need to realize that we have the potential to be the thought leaders of our generation. While we may not be able to keep up with the experts, we can present our thoughts, opinions, and ideas to the people that will revere them, our peers.

So how do we get there? With Google’s authorship algorithm change, Google will be valuing authors much more highly than in the past. The way for Google to recognize your credibility as an author is through Google+.

Before you groan about the perceived lameness of Google+, try to think of it as the social media site that offers you the perfect work/life balance. As young professionals, our jobs are a big part of our lives, especially if you love what you do. You want a site that will be receptive to your professional ideas and opinions, but still allows you the personal latitude to post the things that make you, you.

Facebook and Twitter are purely social. Any young professional knows to keep personal accounts on these platforms far away from your workplace. And to the other extreme, LinkedIn is basically a static extension of your resume. Working 20-somethings secretly crave a space that they can share intelligent opinions, as well as, some silly stuff, with our different social circles.

Linking your Google+ with blogs that you author not only builds your credibility among your peers, but with your most important reader – Google. Every time you author a blog, it links directly on your Google+ page, and you can even decide with whom you want to share it. This can be great for anything from bragging to your parents, to branding yourself for an upcoming job interview.

By simply building up your professional repertoire on Google+ and posting to relevant communities, you will start collecting +1’s (Google’s response to Facebook “likes”) in no time. The best part? +1’s are the way that you are recognized as a respected author in Google’s eyes. So no matter what the subject matter, if people enjoy your posts and choose to +1 them, you’re on your way to credible authorship. As always, the name of the game is great content.

As a student of advertising, my senior seminars taught me to brand myself. You want to project a certain image of yourself to others, and especially your perspective boss. Google+ allows you thought leadership and personality all in one familiar social media platform. Give it a try and add me to your circles!

Further Reading

ContentVerve on how to use Google’s Author Rank

SEOmoz on how to handle Google’s “Portable Identity Platform,” Author Rank


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