The web is an excellent tool for personal and professional promotion, particularly social media sites and open forums. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that they are high traffic. The easier it is to connect with people on a platform, the more people are usually engaged in using that service. Making a page for you or your business on these types of websites allow you to engage in the larger social discussion as it pertains to business services and skill sets. This is a level of connection with potential customers that we have never seen before in the history of advertising not just in this country, not just in our culture, but in the history of human development. Not being involved with the Internet will only serve to limit your customer base.
The web is often used to engage in live debate on social topics, negotiating complex issues in a variety of different topics – living sustainably, environmental concerns, inequality in areas of race, sexuality and gender, etc. – and business plays a huge role in that discussion. Sources of economic wealth and growth are integral to any discussion about change and activism in a capitalist, consumerist society, where power comes from material wealth. The question of how to ethically live in this context continues to be addressed on the web with passion, and like minded people are always banding together searching for alternatives to current unsatisfying conditions. The idea of free trade stickers, denoting which fruits and coffees have been picked and produced in an environment where workers are paid equitably for their labor, is just one of the ways that business and social change work together. The Internet is the first place most people go when learning about something new, or when looking for information about something they have been newly exposed to.
By using the Internet for professional and personal promotion, you are taking control and exerting power in the construction of your own image. This is important for a business but also for an employee. Freedom of speech and the use of the Internet in order to have access to the opinions of other people – and to share your own opinion is to enter it into the larger social discourse on the role of the individual and business within an emerging, more mindful online community. Many sites are specifically engineered with this kind of conversation in mind, making them excellent environments for business owners, individuals offering services that are skill based but not specifically tied to one business(artists of all kinds fall under this category as well as freelance landscapers, among others) to connect not only with potential customers but with others of their craft. Gone are the days of ubiquitous guilds, where one could go in order to seek out other members of their craft and trade tips. However, the ability to connect, discuss, improve, and share lives on through another forum – the worldwide web – and it’s ability to affect the world in very real, very practical ways cannot be underestimated.
Kaelyn Kelly-Colon is an SEO writer that has covered a variety of topics, including personal and professional promotion on sites such as http://www.tawkers.com