Some news, views and comments about everything and anything, relevant and irreverent.
Are you among the professionals paying four-figure sums to have your online profile curated by an agency? Maybe you’re not, but there’s plenty you can do right now to spruce up your profile and present the right impression.
How many times have you done a quick search engine survey on a new business contact? Probably more than once, and you probably found some unexpected items in the profile area. If you don’t want the hassle of an online supervisor, reluctantly coming over to check out your own profile shopping basket, maybe it’s time to do for yourself as you would do for others - and have a look at the impression you make online.
With the lines blurring between social media, professional networking, bespoke profiles, chat apps and file sharing, there’s never been a better time to have a quick review, and say how do you do … to yourself.
Amazingly, less than ten percent of us actually have ourselves as our most frequently visited online profile. Actually, that’s a made up statistic, but we suspect less than ten percent of us can actually remember when we last looked at our own profiles. Egotists: look away now.
At Springfords, we do our best to keep our bespoke team profiles current. If you visit Our Teams at springfords.co.uk, you’ll get up an up to date low down on the high-flyers who look after your tax and business affairs. It’s good to know us a little bit better.
Our number one tip would have to be: make sure that any profiles on your own websites are up to date. Promotions, new partners, and new responsibilities: they’re all worth updating. It’s good business practice, creates a good impression, and it’s a great reason to keep in touch with your clients and contacts too. Many sites will automatically raise a message, or can easily be configured to do so whenever you feel the need. Just don’t forget to switch off the function afterwards.
Activity will also boost you up the search rankings, no matter what browser searches for you. Improve your own profile by doing a search for yourself, or your company. Call it an online-audit if you want: anyone charging you for the service will call it something like that. Search for yourself online in various search engines - and go beyond the first page of results - you may be surprised how often you show up.
It’s also worth checking for common misspellings of your name: Wilton/Walton; Preeti/Pretti; MacLaughlin/McLoughlin. Correct any errors you find, or contact the site in question for wrong names, wrong addresses, things that are just wrong. Don’t forget public platforms like Wikipedia, where enthusiasts may mention you too, and may just be a bit more enthusiastic than accurate.
On your own entries, make yourself more presentable by checking how well your online profile reads, and reflects the business persona you want to be. There’s plenty of advice out there, but the important thing to remember is that you should be comfortable with what’s written about you. Remember, it’s a reflection, not an alter-ego.
Treat your business profiles like a business meeting, and your social media sites like a night out on the town - but the twain shall never meet - unless informal social gatherings in breweries is your stock in trade.
Say what you want to say about your business and professional position in professional forums, and do your social stuff in social spaces. Before you post, we’d suggest you ask yourself if that's appropriate for the boardroom or the pub’s back room. Remember social media is there to smile and engage - not to shock and awe.
It’s not a bad idea to use different pictures for profiles on different platforms. Go for something business like for your business sites. Often, potential clients will find your profiles before they find your company, so remember who’s looking before you post. It could be a winning first impression if you play your profile right.
No matter what, use good photography for profile pictures, and don’t use the same picture across different platforms. You don’t have to be good looking to be looking good. The latter is definitely important, whether you’re out to win friends socially, or influence people professionally.
You might think it’s worth your while getting someone to look after your online presence for you. That’s a decision for you to make. No matter who pens your picture, it doesn’t take long to check out how you appear online, every now and again. It’s easy, worthwhile and, dare we say so, just a little bit fun as well. That ten percent stat just got a bit bigger.