Mid-year is a great time to reflect on your progress towards your goals for 2014 – and it’s also a great time to review your online presence to ensure that your Profiles are up-to-date and on-point with your Personal Branding Strategy.
Your life and career are continuously evolving, and social and online platforms are continuously changing, so it’s important to set aside some specific time each year to do a thorough review of your online presence to ensure that it’s accurate, current and presented in the best way possible.
I typically set aside some time during the end of year holiday season to do a complete rewrite or update of my Bio and add any changes to my online profiles, but I also schedule time mid-year to check in as well.
Below are 5 Actions I plan to take to ensure that my online brand is up-to-date, consistent and informative in terms of what I do, the value I provide and what problems I can help clients solve.
Take advantage of the latest layout updates for social Profiles:
LinkedIn recently announced an enhanced layout for members with Premium Profiles, which includes a more prominent Profile Photo, Cover Photo and Title/Headline, but so far, I’ve seen very few Profiles that have taken advantage of this. I like the new look and I’m testing some updates to see if it makes a difference in engagement.
Twitter also announced an updated Profile look a few months ago, which was significant enough to make many custom backgrounds and Cover Photos no longer work. Due to current photo size dimensions, you may find that your head has now been cut off, your design or logo distorted, etc. Fix that.
Facebook seems to always be changing their layout. So check it often. I’ve found that with the latest update for Pages, the top part of the Page fades into the old Cover Photo and blurs some of the content. Not a deal-breaker, but should be fixed.
All of these updates offer new ways to get great exposure for your personal brand with photos and prime real estate (above the fold) for bios, web links and employment information, so be sure to take advantage of them.
Check out these great examples of updated Profiles:
Upload (or update) a Profile Photo (across all platforms) that represents me well as a business professional:
Profile Photos create a lasting first impression; so take advantage of this brief moment in time by including a simple headshot photo of you dressed as you would be in your workplace. Ideally, the more friendly and approachable you look, the better.
And no group photos, cut out exes, dogs, cats, corporate or team logos, etc. This is your moment to shine. Make it all about you baby.
Check out these great examples of Profile photos:
Upload (or update) a Cover Photo, where applicable, that visually promotes my Personal/Company Brand:
Although there are some restrictions, Cover Photos are a great way to enhance your brand and associate it with your company or your unique strengths.
Have some fun with them and make your Profile pop!
Check out these great examples of Cover photos:
Update or make changes to Titles or Headlines to reflect current responsibilities:
Titles and Headlines are like Profile Photos – super important for a first impression. And sometimes the way your Title or Headline appears in search results (along with hundreds of others) can be the difference in being found – or not.
Be original. Be brief. Be memorable.
Check out these great examples of well-written Titles/Headlines:
Rewrite any Summary, Bio or About sections to include specifically who I am, what I do and the value I can provide:
Challenge yourself to summarize your past experience in a meaningful and brief way. The focus should be more on what you’re currently doing and what you can do in the future than on the past.
Be sure to include plenty of appropriate keywords that people online (or in your company) would use to search for and find someone like you.
Check out these great examples of a Summary, Bio and About section:
Over the next week, I’ll be working on reviewing and updating (at a minimum) my About Page on my website, my LinkedIn Profile, my Twitter Profile and my Facebook Page Profile, since these are the sites that typically show up highest in search rankings when searching for “Jennifer McClure”.
If you have any action steps, tips or tricks that you recommend for an annual or semi-annual review to ensure your online presence is consistent and compelling, please share them in the Comments.
I’d love to learn from you!