Episode 120: March 4, 2011
by Lisa B. Marshall and Whitney Punchak
Today we’ll pick up with part-two of our series on how to create a successful online presence. If you haven’t read part one yet, you might want to do that first.
The podcast edition of this article was sponsored by Audible. You can get a free audiobook to keep when you sign up for a free 14-day trial at audiblepodcast.com/lisa (It’s really a great service.)
How to Create a Successful Online Presence
In the first part of this episode I covered the fundamentals of a solid online presence: keeping it clean, having good spelling and grammar, and keeping the content professional. Today’s we’ll pick up from there with nine more ways to help you rock your online presence (and keep you from getting stoned!)
Tip #1: Be Specific With Your Accomplishments
Are your accomplishment adjectives specific? Or have you written you have “extensive experience”? Or that you are “motivated,” “results oriented,” or “dynamic”? Unfortunately, those words don’t make you unique or stand out. And according to LinkedIn Analytics (which recently released a report), those phrases are the most overused.
Instead of using vague adjectives that leave your online presence under-powered, try to be more specific. Choose words that inform and describe your skills, experiences, and accomplishments more accurately. If you are “innovative,” explain why; if you are “dynamic,” explain how.
To do this, think about your accomplishments--did you create a new innovative system? Then explain the details as an example. Did you act appropriately in an emergency situation? Explain how to shows responsibility and level-headedness. Elaborate about your experiences to add context and concrete evidence of your talents. But don’t include all your stories; you’ll want only include one or two of your best to inspire interest in you. Save the rest of your stories for in-person meetings.
Tip #2: Quantify Your Results
Have you quantified your results? Think about what your chosen words actually mean. The most overused LinkedIn term is “extensive experience.” How extensive? And in what?
Instead try to quantify your experience and accomplishments. Did you increase customer service measures by 25%? Did you increase revenue by 6%? Did you decrease errors by 5%? Quantifying your experience puts it in context. Most good accomplishments increase revenue, decrease costs, or increase customer service.
Tip #3: Review your Key Words
Are your keywords up to date? If you want your content to be found, you’ll need to review the keywords that you have sprinkled throughout your work. Use the Google Keywords Tool to determine which terms are the most commonly used search terms. Have any terms fallen out of favor for newer, fresher words? If so, add in additional subheadings that include the new key words.
Tip #4: Update Your Links
When is the last time you updated your links? As you’ve been adding new content, have you remembered to go back to older content and link to the new content? For example, when this part 2 episode is posted, we’ll need to go back into the part 1 and post the link to this new article. Again, the idea is to increase your chances of your work being found by maintaining and updating your links.
Tip #5: Be Aware of Cultural Meanings
Are you aware of what your word choices mean? Remember, the Web is international. Be wary of certain words because of the meanings they carry. For example, in Brazil, India, and Spain, the word “dynamic” means enthusiastic. However, in the U.S. it means active and adaptable. Cultural misunderstandings can have a huge downside. It is important to be culturally aware of the different meaning certain words can have.
Tip #6: Get Recommendations
Do you have recent recommendations on your professional profiles? Request good recommendations from past colleagues, employees, managers and employers. Reviews should reinforce your good qualities and highlight your breadth of accomplishments. Having numerous up-to-date recommendations from peers, employees, and bosses provides tremendous credibility.
Tip #7: Don’t Forget to Say Hi!
Next, are you engaging in dialogue? The whole point of social media is dialogue--NOT monologue. If you’re only using social media networks to display yourself, you’re really not using it to its full potential. It’s important to reach out to others in order to build trust. Comment on blogs, consider guest blog posts, and perhaps even participate in LinkedIn discussions and polls. And if you need a place to start, why not drop me a line or comment on my blog? You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and of course, LinkedIn.
Tip #8: Upgrade your Photo
When was the last time you looked at your profile photos? Are you using a consistent photo or group of photos? When is the last time your photo was taken? Does your picture appear dated? Is it a good photo? If you’re not sure, I wrote an episode how to choose better profile pictures.
Tip #9: Update Your Social Media Goals
With time, we are all learning how to better communicate using social media. We’re also learning how to effectively expand our businesses. As we see more and more success on the Web, it is important for each of us to think about how we might grow our business even more through better communication. These nine tips are just a start to creating a successful online presence. In the comments or on The Public Speaker fan page, I’d love to hear what you are doing to manage your online presence.
This is, The Public Speaker, Lisa B. Marshall, passionate about communication, your success is my business.
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