Does Your Online Presence Suck?
Stop Losing Work Because Your Online Presence Sucks
A recent client of mine came to me desperate to update her online presence. She had been turned down for speaking gigs that she happened to be ultra-qualified for, but she was told, “You don’t have an online presence to backup your experience.” So they passed her up.
Sound familiar? Is your online presence made up of a ten-year-old headshot on a social media platform you haven’t opened in years? You’re not alone.
My client could have EASILY landed a $10K speaking opportunity, but her online presence was in the dark ages. Six- or seven-figure corporate success is no longer enough to sustain a successful career. You’ve got to show up online as an expert in your field.
Here are five steps you can take to make a good impression online and land your next dream job.
Book a Personal Branding Photoshoot
A picture is worth 1000 words. And a picture of you—looking fabulous—is priceless. People connect with photos of us so much faster and stronger than they do with our words. A personal branding photoshoot will give you a fresh set of photos that show you as you want to be seen. Find a photographer who is experienced at making people feel comfortable in front of the camera, and who has a portfolio of amazing shots of people who look like they’re at the top of their game. These photos will form the backbone of your online presence.
Create a Website
Business cards are out, websites are in. You don’t need a fancy website with all the bells and whistles (unless that’s what you want!), but you DO need a website that helps people get to know you and your work. You might think that a social media presence is enough, but your most valuable online asset is your email list, which you can only get by having a website. If Facebook or LinkedIn shut down tomorrow, all those contacts you’ve made are gone. It’s worth the time and effort to create a simple website and get people signing up to receive emails from you. (And now that you have those fantastic photos, you have a great place to use them!)
Get on Social Media
You still need to use social media, however. That’s where everyone is *hanging out* these days. (And that’s where you’ll find people to send back to your website.) Choose two or three social media outlets where you know you can find your ideal clients or customers. Don’t sign up for every social media platform—you’ll burn out quickly. Instead, focus on showing up as your best self on a select few. If you’re coming from the corporate world, LinkedIn is a no-brainer. (And it’s not the same place it was ten years ago. LinkedIn has come a long way, baby.)
Show Your Work
Now that you’ve figured out WHERE to show up online, you’ve got to decide HOW to show up. This requires discovering WHY you want to show up online. What’s your goal? Do you want to find new clients for your service-based business? Then it might help to showcase your work. As a personal branding photographer, that’s easy for me. I post photos from recent photoshoots. And I create content that helps people make an impression with their online presence. Do you have a product to sell? Then you’ll want to show the impact your product makes in the lives of your customers. Tell stories and create images that make your customers want to hit the buy button.
Before you freak out about all the THINGS you have to do to create an online presence, know that if you relax a little—and have FUN—everything will come together. You make the rules. You run the show. Go easy on yourself. If you’re not having some fun along the way, your audience will feel it.