My brother-in-law recently just started out in real estate and is looking to (obviously) sell properties and get his business going.  If you are starting a business like he is, you should consider enhancing your business and personal brand by getting online.

The first thing you should do is register your name as a domain name.  Use a domain registrar like GoDaddy to do a search for your name.  Try the search for your name without hyphens.  For instance, I cannot register because it is already taken, so I registered  There are plenty of other endings, so consider names with .us, .me, .info, etc.  You should also consider purchasing privacy protection services with your domain.  When you purchase a domain, your information is made publicly available to anyone, including spammers.  Privacy protection hides your information, and anyone contacting you through the domain registry information must go through the service.

Create a website or blog to provide information to viewers.  Be sure to use the domain name you registered above.  It will likely be easier to remember than .  If you have a website already, as often is the case for real estate agents, you can forward the domain to that website.

Join LinkedIn and participate in the various groups available.  LinkedIn is a professional networking site that, if used properly, can lead to a new job, new business opportunities, and bring you a lot of chances to network with others in your profession and community.

Use Facebook, and use it wisely.  Start by posting an actual picture of yourself, then ensure that your privacy settings are set up properly.  For instance, you should only make some information available to the public, some available to friends, still another set of information to business associates/co-workers.  If you are operating a business, consider creating a Facebook Fan page for your business.  This will allow you to build the online image of your business separate from your personal page.

Sign up for Twitter.  Like LinkedIn or Facebook, Twitter is a great way to network.  You should have a personal account with tweets protected that you can use for family and close friends and a business account where anyone can see your tweets.  The business account should provide useful/interesting information to your audience while promoting your products/services.

Enhancing your personal brand by getting online will improve your ability to network and generate new business and career leads.  Consider getting online today!

For more information about how to use social networking throughout your career, check out Social NetworkIng Throughout Your Career: What’s All the Buzz About? by April M. Williams.  It’s also available in the Kindle Edition!

For assistance in any of these areas, please contact me.  I offer technology webinars and can assist you in improving your online presence.