If you’re going back to school, you’re going to need a few things: paper, pencils, a few binders. Oh, and a strong online presence.
Surprised? Well, you should be. One of the major tools you need to succeed in your educational and professional careers — a digital presence — is probably not what you’re being taught in school.
To find out why students should start building their brand now, I interviewed Drew Wilde, Bluehost’s marketing program manager, and got the scoop on how the web hosting provider is making getting online easier than ever.
You think everyone should have an online presence. Why?
Most people are passive consumers of the internet; they’re not harnessing it as a tool to enhance their education or launch their professional career. Everyone should become digitally literate with the web so they can empower themselves to succeed when doing the big important things they want to do.
When should students start building their online brand?
When you’re in school is the ideal time to learn to use the internet in a more active way. Even new freshmen should begin learning to leverage the web to further their goals and set themselves apart. That means building a personal brand through a website with a good domain name and professional contact information.
Why can’t students just use social media?
When you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you don’t really own it. That means social media isn’t a smartest place to invest your resources. When you have your own web presence on a hosted server, however, you own the data. If you use a grown-up web presence tool like Bluehost, you can put time, energy, and resources into your website with full control.
So what is Bluehost doing to help students get online?
We’ve put together a student education package that features domain privacy, portfolio building services, and more. We’re trying to get it into the hands of students early in their college careers so they can have a better educational experience and be more likely to succeed moving forward.
You’re obviously passionate about education. Where does that come from?
Bluehost was originally founded by students, so it’s close to home for us. We believe in education and think the best tool to empower students is the internet.
Kasee Bailey is a freelance writer who draws on her experience working at one of the nation’s top b-schools to report on education, savvy startups, and the latest business trends.