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6 Essential Tips for Establishing a Professional Online Presence
by Dixie Somers Fri, 06/10/2016 - 10:47
Creating a professional online identity is one of the more involved tasks for the modern business person. It requires careful attention to detail to ensure that there are as few mistakes and as much information as possible.
The problem is that some steps are less obvious than others. Let's explore six essential steps to establishing a professional online presence for individuals focusing on social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
1. Decide on Your Identity
Before you register for your first account, you should decide upon the identity you wish to portray as an individual. Deciding beforehand helps to ensure that your details are as consistent as possible across multiple networking platforms.
Examples of details you should include in this step are:
- Your name
- Your usernames with some backup choices
- Your history
- Links to any websites you’ve contributed to
- Other details tied to your person
2. Use a Professional Photo
One of the first things people will notice about your networking profiles is the profile picture you use to represent yourself. This image contains countless points of information, many of which communicate how professional of an individual you are.
Choose a photo to use that has you dressed in the right type of clothes, with an appropriate background, and so on. You will want your image to be high resolution. This is because artifacts tend to appear more prominently as the image is scaled up.
3. Summarize Your Professional Values
Many social media websites have fields for small amounts of information that exist solely for you to summarize who you are as an individual. By choosing a professional tag line, you can effectively sell yourself in just a few words.
4. Use Proper English
One of the biggest mistakes people make online, especially when the person is from a country outside of the United States, is to make grammatical mistakes. Common mistakes, such as using the wrong form of “your” and “you're” can quickly out you as someone less than professional.
Proper English is something that should persist through both your online and offline ventures. It is essential that your English remains professional on everything from casual forum posts to your business profiles to your emails. Doing so will make your thoughts clear, make your words attractive to native speakers, and increase your overall perceived level of professionalism.
If you are a nonnative speaker of English, it’s especially important to practice and learn as much about it as you can. Take the TOEFL test, which companies like BestMyTest can help you prepare for. This is one of the greatest advantages you can acquire over other immigrant business owners.
5. Showcase Your Talents
Before you begin connecting with other professionals on social networks, you need to start adding value to your presence by showcasing the things that make you preferable as a professional.
This can include sharing blog posts, connecting information derived from financial reports to industry trends, publishing long-term predictions within industries connected to your own, and so on. The idea is to showcase your strengths in a way that sells yourself as a professional.
By showcasing your talents regarding business in these ways, you will both differentiate yourself from others and attract like-minded individuals to connect with your online presence through discussions, co-authoring papers, and creating joint venture business projects.
6. Network with Other Like-Minded Professionals
Setting up your online profiles is only a part of establishing your online presence. To fully create an online presence, you must make others aware of it. Start connecting to other professionals. You can follow professionals in your area or industry. The idea is to connect with professionals with whom you share common interests or goals.
By establishing an online presence with a clear set of goals and values, you will set yourself ahead of your professional peers. This can help you grow your business prospects faster and more reliably, which in turn will help you succeed when it comes to online prospects.