Have you ever Googled your name?
If so, I suspect that you found one of the following three scenarios:
You’re the invisible woman. No “hits” on your name, no pictures – you have zero digital footprint.
There are plenty of results for you, but not ones that you particularly want people to see. Wait – what are you doing in that photo from your best friend’s hen party in 2012??
You find a results page of perfectly curated articles and photos by and about you, showing off both you and your business in the best light.
It’s definitely an interesting and important exercise to do, whether or not you run your own business (remember, recruiters nearly always check out a candidate’s online presence these days! For more on this, see my blog about making the right first impression HERE.)
You may have mixed feelings about social media. You want to be on Facebook or Instagram, but you prefer to keep it personal. You like sharing things that relate to your business or career, but you don’t want to inundate your family and friends with stuff that you think will bore them (or worse – you don’t want them to think that you’re trying to sell to them!). You want to meet new people, but you’re not confident about getting visible.
But the fact is, the internet and social media is your best friend when it comes to building your personal brand, and as an ambitious woman it’s time to embrace that and create a successful online image! (And, by the way, having a fabulous personal brand isn’t exclusive to entrepreneurs or business owners, it’s something that will reap benefits and rewards whether you’re a CEO, middle manager, or stay-at-home mom!)
Our “digital appearance” has become the first point of reference in human interactions and is something that people now consider to be important when they are trying to figure out “who you are”.
When you meet someone in person at a networking event, for example, you take their business card and promise to call/email/meet for coffee – but if you’re serious about contacting them again, what’s the first thing you do when you get home? You Google them or try to find them on social media!
Humans just love to “people watch” – we’re naturally curious! And we also form hard and fast opinions based on very little information, so what we do see is important.
You have no influence over who Googles your name. And your social media will come up in searches even if they do not have “public” settings. It’s your choice to keep your personal profile private, but if you’re in business, there’s no point in hiding yourself. In fact, the more you hide, the more suspicious it seems.
The alternative is that you learn to use social media to your advantage and embrace the endless possibilities that it gives you to expand your network, your business and your horizon.
In last week’s blog I talked about building a vision board and dreaming big - now it’s time to put your goals into practice.
How to declutter your online profiles and boost your impact
Use these tips to make the very best of both your personal and professional social media profiles.
1. Define your intentions. Get clear on what you want and what it is that makes you stand out. You don’t need to have thousands of followers to make an impact. But you do need a clean and tidy profile to make the right impression and attract your tribe.
For more on setting intentions, see HERE.
2. Decide what you want to be known for. Are you a personal chef specializing in making healthy vegetable-based meals for busy entrepreneurs? Or perhaps a graphic designer creating pretty printables for wedding organizers? Get clear on your audience and be ready to stand out when they come across your profile.
3. Declutter, declutter – and then declutter some more! Remove everything that’s not relevant to your core message. Imagine yourself as a future customer, employer or business partner stumbling upon your profile. What would they want to see? And what needs to go?
Hint: Anything embarrassing or too “funny”, drunk pictures from a girls’ night out, a photo of your pet as your profile picture. Basically, anything that’s not in line with how you want people to perceive you.
And don’t only think about images! Your status updates, the articles you share, and even the comments you make on other people’s posts all influence the impression that visitors to your profile will get of you. Delete anything and everything that’s compromising your image.
4. Refresh your profiles. Did you change your hair color? Or maybe you’ve lost weight? Have you moved to another city? Make sure that your profile picture is natural and professional and represents the real and current you. No baby pictures, no pet images and no movie characters or cartoon avatars in place of your profile image.
If you want to show that you love animals or love your kids/husband/family, use your cover image for that. However be aware that your future clients are rarely interested in your hobbies. They want to know who you are, what you stand for and what you can do for them - and get this information without putting in too much of an effort. So make sure that as many “about you” fields as possible are complete and that everything you share is up-to-date and correct.
5. Reshape your content. No matter what you did in the past, you can push the reset button any time you want. For example, if you are a lawyer turned massage therapist and want to be known as the go-to masseuse for busy lawyers, then start sharing content - both visual and written - that’s related to what you do now. People will not spend hours scrolling down years back on your profile, so if you start working on your online image today, you’ll be able to build up the “new you” in only matter of weeks.
Keep going. You won’t get visible in 24 hours. Be consistent and keep showing up even when you think that no one is watching - because you never know when you’ll be discovered…
Do you want an image that makes an impact? A personal brand that helps you to build the business of your dreams?
Well, I’m currently working on a very special product which will be easily accessible to anyone on their entrepreneurial journey - from start up to 6-figure CEO.
To be one of the first to hear about this, and of course to get an early bird discount, sign up here...
Veronika Nemeth is a Personal Branding & (Life)Style Coach, based in Milan, Italy. Her mission is to inspire and empower women to live their own truth and become the best version of themselves inside and outside.
She works with women who are ready to step into their power, break free of old limitations and create a life and an image that is true to them.