by Faith Monson
Last week I talked about the Internet being your “Silent Seller” because it represents you, your reputation, your brand, and your image around the clock and around the world. I challenged you to look at how you are representing yourself online through the eyes of a prospective client, employer or joint venture partner and decide whether your Silent Seller is helping or hurting you.
I’d like to go a little deeper now and ask you some questions about your online presence. Think of it as a Silent Seller Checklist. The bullets may seem basic but when I’m looking for people online I find many/most people need to update, add and professionalize their online Silent Seller.
- Are you easy to find?
- Is it clear what you do?
- Is the info about you accurate and up to date?
- Is it easy to contact you?
- Is there a professional headshot?
- Do you have a bio?
- Do you have a website?
- Are you on LinkedIn, Facebook/Business? Is your profile complete and current?
- Does your online image reflect the current success of your business?
- Do you stand out from the competition with a clear statement of benefits and value?
- Are there examples of your work, case studies or testimonials?
- How do you compare/look next to your competitors?
- Does your info do a good job of qualifying people before they contact you?
- If your name or company name is similar to someone else’s, can a prospect easily find the right information about you?
Whether or not you have thought about your Silent Seller, information that impacts your professional image is already on the Internet. And if there is nothing at all about you, that’s even worse, since a lack of online presence can make you seem behind-the-times and not serious about business.
Try this: research yourself as if you are a prospect who was referred or an editor looking for an expert to quote or someone who met you at an event and wanted to look you up as a potential designer. Did you find yourself? (Being invisible is not a good thing.) If you found yourself, did the information reflect well on you as a professional? How did the information compare with the checklist above? Do this exercise every few months, and make changes to your online information as necessary.
In today’s online marketplace, you don’t have the option to be offline. It’s essential for you to actively manage your online reputation to convey yourself at your professional best. Take ownership of your online presence and control how your web site and social media sites portray you to make your Silent Seller accurate and professional.