Speaking to students at Carleton University and Algonquin College recently, I noticed how many people in my audience were fact-checking and googling the sources and writers I was recommending in my presentation, all on-the-fly.
We all do this so often now that we take it for granted. It’s a great way to build a discussion and collaborate.
It’s also the first place that people go to find out more about people. That’s not just limited to speakers and the sources that they talk about in a presentation.
The space we loosely think of as “online” is everywhere now. Online is about everyone. People learn a lot more about you now, faster than ever.
What remains in your control is your material: how you shape it, how you share it and who you want to reach with it. True, some call this content. I’m not keen on that word, because it’s become synonymous with generic, commoditized writing that, of the most part, just isn’t that good.
Go beyond content
Your material is what you use to construct your platform online. What articles have you prepared? Which books or films or albums have you reviewed and talked about online? What do you tweet about? What do you like on Facebook? How do you treat people online? What do you share? How well do you express your ideas in the places where you post—even if it’s not related to your work? All these things add up to form a impression of how people see you—and of whether they want to do business with you.
Your material builds your platform. Your platform is today’s business card, portfolio and personal bio…all-in-one.