This guest post is provided by the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the organization that manages the .CA domain name registry in Canada. CIRA helps small businesses, entrepreneurs and startups get their businesses online.

If you're a business owner, freelancer or consultant in the digital era, establishing a strong online presence is important to manage your reputation and personal brand. When someone searches your name or goes directly to your website, there are steps you can take to help you achieve objectives like standing out to customers, growing your network, or sharing your expertise with people in your industry.

Step 1 — Review your social media presence

It's a good idea to take a look at your privacy settings for each social media platform you're active on and make sure private content (like beach vacation photos) is kept private, while public content, or anything that shows off your skills or experience is searchable by people you aren't connected to or 'friends' with.

Many people are active on LinkedIn, a dedicated professional networking platform. If you decide to use LinkedIn, make sure to regularly review the information on your profile and make sure everything is accurate and up-to-date.

Step 2 — Create your own website or blog

You no longer need to be an expert in HTML to create your own website or blog. It can be very quick, easy, and inexpensive to get started and can focus on any topic. It could outline the professional services you can offer to clients, be home to a more interactive resume than LinkedIn can offer, or show off custom jewelry that you make and sell.

If you're interested in creating a website or blog, it's a good idea to start by registering the domain name — the digital address where it will live. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that oversees the operations of .CA domains, has some tips on what you can do with your domain and how to register one.

Step 3 — Guest blog

You can also lend your expertise by being a guest author for established blogs in your industry. This is a great way to get your name out there and have a presence on appropriate sites online — where the people in your network already are.

Ready to begin building your professional online presence? Get started today with your very own .CA domain name.