by Faith Monson
The information people find about you online is as much a part of your business and personal marketing as your resume or brochure. How you present yourself online can make or break a sale, a job interview, a college application or a speaking invitation. Think of it as a “Silent Seller.” Is your online presence working for you or against you—or is it working for the competition?
I’m amazed how many times is seems that an otherwise polished professional is not aware of the negative marketing message that his or her Internet presence (or lack thereof) is sending. Far too often, the in-person and online messages send conflicting signals.
When you’re planning to meet someone in person for the first time, you know the importance of a good first impression. But your potential client, editor or recruiter is likely to receive that first impression long before meeting you. He or she will go online to check out your web site and social media presence. If you don’t make a good online first impression, you may never get the chance to dazzle the prospect in person.
To make a good in-person first impression, you know to be dressed for success and full of personality. You understand the importance of making a positive emotional connection. You know how to share a message about your professional strengths as well as the benefits of your business. And you recognize how vital it is to share your great business card.
Now think about what a prospect, recruiter, editor or potential joint venture partner might find if they begin by searching for you online. Imagine that your name came up in a job search, or that a former client referred you, or even that an editor who got your name is searching online for a good story. Your name is driving the search to your 24/7 online Silent Seller. Will you get a new client, a new job or be published?
Is the Internet a “Silent Seller” for you or a “deal killer”?