How to Swim in the Online Waters. (With a Lifeguard).

By Julia Viter

How is Canada treating you? It is often rated as one of the best places in the world to live, work, and start a family. Are you reaping the benefits of this great country, or do you find it a challenge to figure out how to swim in these waters?

My family moved here two decades ago with grand hopes and dreams. The challenges we had to overcome were enormous. From the language barriers to the politics,  ethics and other finer nuances of the working world, it was a struggle and for my parents, who moved with me, it still is a daily struggle. My parents never had resumes back home in Ukraine, let alone know what a LinkedIn profile was; they just did what the government told them to do and lived a very stable life.

I know of many immigrants who ran small businesses back home, went to the market from day to day, or worked for the same company all their lives. Once they moved to Canada, the world of work and business became as clear as a skyscraper on a foggy day. Thankfully, their children learned the ropes pretty fast and were able to help their parents a bit. I did the same. I learnt what I could about the Canadian system, including what a credit card is and how it is different from a line of credit. I wrote my father’s resume for several jobs, and I helped him get his first few jobs because of my connections. I trained him how to interview, how to talk to recruiters on the phone, and how to not be ashamed of where he came from.

Outside of my family, I helped many others with creating a website for their business, a professional profile on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media. I taught them how to optimize these free tools to their advantage, and how to get closer to their dreams by learning the rules of the online world. There are a lot of companies out there who will take your money, promise things, do a little something and walk away. I think differently… How can I empower my customers, teach them as much as I can, as quickly as I can, and give them the best and most suitable tools to run their small business, to get a job, or both! I personally believe that having a job and a side gig is a winning combo, at least until the side gig becomes your bread and butter. So, let me share a few tips with you, and you can find more on my blog, or just contact me on my website and share your challenge.

Tips #1: SEO is an ocean; you swim (with a lifeguard aka SEO experts) or die. I show you simple ways to use Search Engine Optimization principles everywhere – your LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Blogs, etc. It makes sense once you understand how people search for you. Use the Google Trends tool and learn what keywords to use in your profiles.

Tip #2: Your online image must have a purpose, be consistent or cohesive on all the social media you choose to use, and be clean. If you are relying on your social media to bring you business, referrals or contacts, you need to use it purposefully. Don’t litter it with drunken pictures, kittens or celebrity gossip if they are out of your professional realm. Keep your professional goals in mind, and post only relevant information and images that convey the message you want to send to potential colleagues, clients or business partners.

Tip #3: Frequency. You can decide to keep your webpage static, and update only a Facebook profile for example. The same works for your resume – it’s a relatively static document. Yet, there are strategies to have your LinkedIn become a dynamic extension of your resume, demonstrating your involvement in the industry, sharing quality posts from other reputable sources or simply sending out a regular newsletter to your website subscribers or contacts. Creating and following a strategy is key.

And whether you are still confused, or if social presence is a piece of cake to you, you can analyze your online presence rating with my online-profile-diagnostic tool and see how you fare. Are you an active executive raring to go, a timid worrywart, or someone else in between? Fully-centred on your talents and needs, I can help you grab that entry-door to professional success faster than you may realize!

Julia Viter is an online and social media branding expert who is also developing an end-to-end app for weddings that could potentially offer digital networking opportunities to wedding guests.

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