Everything you post online is a reflection of who you are. If you’re concerned about your personal and professional reputation (and you should be), your online presence matters.
By learning how strangers can perceive your personality based on what you post, you can learn how to practice appropriate Internet etiquette when you’re online.
Let’s get into what you need to know!
Get to Know Your Own Self
In general, your online presence should just be an extension of who you are. You don’t need to be perfect or forced or fake. It should be authentic and genuine, and if it is, it will shine through to your audience.
Take time to get to know yourself and define the persona you want to emulate for your audience.
If you already have a blog, think about the voice that you use. Does it reflect you accurately? Or, you feel like it’s somewhat contrived? Remember this: knowing yourself and your voice can take some time.
Be patient with the process- the truth will come out and reveal itself in the ways it needs to. Both your images and writings should accurately feel like you and nothing more or less.
Be Intentional With Your Posting
One of the biggest mistakes with your online presence? Haphazardly posting and commenting and sharing without giving it a second thought.
Whether you’re trying to establish yourself as a profile or just trying to write a killer “about me” section for a dating website, it’s critical that you pause and take some time before just writing the first thing that comes to mind.
Remember, what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet, and you don’t want certain photos or comments to come back and haunt you later on.
This intentionality rule is especially important when it comes to photos. You already know that it’s inappropriate to post drunken sorority photos when you’re in the middle of a job hunt. But, think about it this way: if you would feel embarrassed if your current boss or grandma saw the picture, don’t post it.
When you run a quick Google search of your name, what comes up? Is it your involvement in a bunch of professional organizations? Your personal website?
Or does nothing come up at all? That can also be a problem, especially if you’re trying to build your reputation and credibility. Some people simply won’t trust someone who doesn’t have any online footprints.
Your online presence is most important in a Google search. That’s where your potential employers, romantic partners, and random friends will search your name. You need to know exactly what they will find.
After all, if you’re looking to land your dream job, you don’t want any incriminating or humiliating information coming up. That certainly won’t be a pleasant conversation to have in a job interview, right?
If you have a common name, you may need to venture through several search pages to find yourself. Also consider using modifiers, like your city, job title, the name of your college, or company you work for.
Also, be sure to check out what images post through Google’s Image search. You may find yourself surprised with some of the results.
Finally, be sure to sign up for Google Alerts. This convenient tool will notify you when your name or other chosen information shows up online. You can watch your own reputation grow.
Stay On Top of Your Privacy Settings
Are you one of the 81% of Americans with an active social media profile? Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat, it’s important to know what privacy controls you have set for each.
If you want to have a public online presence, you will want to set all your accounts to “public,” meaning that anyone can view your content. If you do this, you will absolutely need to be diligent with what you choose (and don’t choose) to post.
If you want to have a more selective online presence, there are features on each platform that allow you to modify who can and cannot see your postings. Many professionals find that setting their controls to “private” allows them to safely connect with friends and family without worrying about what’s being shown to the public eye.
Pictures Still Tell A Thousand Words
Did you know that employers are far more likely to click on your Linkedin profile if you have a picture? Your photo can also make or break whether potential suitors reach out to you on dating websites, like Match or Eharmony.
With that in mind, you don’t want to just put up any old, candid picture. In fact, the wrong picture can actually cause more harm than no picture at all.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to consider professional head and body shots. A seasoned photographer will know how to help you look your very best, and he or she will also know all the right positions and lighting to make for a perfect photo.
Want to make a great impression with your online presence? Invest in quality photos. Don’t just commission your friend and roommate. And, don’t even think about just sticking up a mindless selfie!
Final Thoughts on Your Online Presence
In today’s expanding digital age, your online presence is more important than ever before. That’s why it’s so essential to leave a lasting impression on everyone who comes across your information!
At Online Profile Pros, we’re passionate about boosting your online presence through the highest quality photos. Book now for top-notch pictures – guaranteed!