By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach, Blossoming Brands

Deciding to leap into the online space can be a bit overwhelming for some. Of course, some take to it like a duck to water, but if you’re struggling to decide where to focus your energy a good place to start is to work out WHO you want to be engaging with. This goes back to WHY you’re doing this, and what you want to achieve out of doing this. Once you’ve worked these two things out, it will be much easier for you to identify the WHO.

If you are building your digital presence because you want to find work, then you will want to raise your profile among your peer group and the decision makers who can give you a job. If this is the case, then it will be important to find out where your peers and the decision makers are spending their time online. Are they active on Twitter? Do they spend a lot of time engaging in LinkedIn groups posting questions and answers? Or maybe there is another social network that is more industry specific that you should have a presence in. A good place to start is to hunt these people out and observe what they’re doing and where they’re spending their time.

As an employee, you’ll need to be mindful of what you’re posting online and how that may be perceived by your employer. It is always worth checking the company social media policy if they have one as some companies have very strict guidelines in terms of what you can and can’t do online.

If you’re seeking to raise your profile to help drive business, then there needs to be fine balance struck between establishing your credibility among your peers and building your presence among your target customers. These may be very distinct groups. Your peers may in fact be competitors and they might do stuff that’s very similar to you, but they could also be the source of referrals and recommendations. As business owners, understanding who your target customers is crucial and never more so that deciding where to spend your time and energy online.

Once you’ve identified who you want to be engaging with and found out where they can be found, your next stop is to figure out HOW you’re going to engage with them. Read more on this in my next article: Where are you going to focus your energy?

Next article: Going online: Where are you going to focus your energy?

Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com and www.headtrash.co.uk And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands

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