If you are still with me :-) last week's post was about finding yourself on the Internet. Because if you can't be found there - and with a positive glow to your reputation - then increasingly you don't exist.
This week we (you) are going to do three things to set the foundation for your mastery of the Internet Universe.
1. Get a decent photograph taken of yourself and put it on every social media profile you have. This should not be a passport picture - remembering the joke that if you look like your passport picture you are probably too sick to travel. Make the picture of you. Resist the temptation to include extraneous objects - whether animate or inanimate. Pay a decent photographer to take your pic. And - as a leading brand might say - just post it.
There are some 540+ members of an organisation I am a member of who have bothered to put their profiles up on the organisation's website. But, nearly 65% of them (based on a sample analysis) have not bothered to post a profile picture. Would you do business with people who don't post their picture? I wouldn't. Before I accept a friend request on a social media site I apply four criteria. Have they posted their picture? Do they already have more than 50 friends? Are there at least one or two people that are their friends that are already my friends? Are we likely to have any synergy? If people fail this four-question test then I generally ignore their request. I may not be typical of the people you want to do business with but not posting your picture with your profile is going to impact on you (IMHO).
2. Create a LinkedIn profile, or double check your existing LinkedIn profile. If you don't have one then create it. It's free. If you do have one make sure you have completed the profile 100%. If you view yourself as a business professional and you don't have a LinkedIn profile then you are handicapping yourself. The first place I - and I suspect many other people - look when they are interested in exploring business possibilities with someone they meet is at their LinkedIn profile. In the absence of one I raise a small red flag and look for them on another - family, friends and fun-type - website. And wonder how serious they are.
3. Once you have got your LinkedIn profile sorted then get over to whoswho.co.za and create a profile for yourself. It's free; it's credible; it allows you to copy/port your LinkedIn profile across to speed up completing your entry; it comes up well on searches. For example my profile on their site comes up 5th if you search for my name on Google and it shows on the first page of the Google search. And in doing this it's competing with twitter and LinkedIn. It also has a fun element in that it ranks you in your city, country, industry and overall. And lets you earn badges that raise your profile further.
Well that's it for this week. Remember - if you don't manage your profile the Internet will do it for you - with unpredictable results. See you - virtually - somewhere in the Internet Universe.