• Your On-line Image… Is it working for or against you?

    Posted by in Impression Management, Your Authentic Brand, Your Professional Image With | No Comments

    When we want to learn more about a person or business, most of us will look to Google for the answers. If you're searching the internet for information, you can bet that at some point, another person has carried out a search with the desire to learn more about you.

    Public figures, business owners, authors, and speakers will usually have results when their name is entered into a search box. But what if your name doesn't appear?  Are you looking for a job, hoping for a board appointment or looking for a date? Do the search results about you strengthen your credibility and expertise or question it?    

    Everything that is associated with us sends out bits and bytes of information about who we are as a person. From the social sites that have profiles posted to the PDFs that pop up listing the names of volunteers and contributors, it all gives the outside world a sense of what's important to us. There are numerous things you can do to manage your on-line image.

    For starters, check out your Google results.  Next, take the time to analyze what shows up and where it's posted. Ask yourself if it positively represents who you are and if it's consistent with what you want others to know about you. If the photos of you posted by a friend at a recent party don't flatter you, ask them to be removed or un-tag yourself.

    A few more ideas:

    1. Own your own domain www.firstnamelastname.com. It's like owning prime real estate. Hold onto it even if you're not ready to build a web site or blog.

    2. When building your on-line presence, things like your bio and summaries need to communicate the value you bring and give viewers a sense of the experience they will have when interacting with you.

    3. You benefit when your articles, blog posts, and comments are consistent with your thought leadership.

    4. People believe what they see, so a professionally taken head shot will give visitors an opportunity to put a face with the content, and help them to mentally file away their overall impression.

    Lastly, be strategic about how you use the internet. Which sites will represent you professionally, how personal do you get on public forums, what organizations and activities do you want to be associated with.

    It's important that what others find on-line is consistent with how they experience you in person. When it positively does, your visibility and credibility increases.

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    Diana Jennings
    Diana Jennings is the founder of Brand You Image – a personal branding and image management company based in Southern California. A specialist in non-verbal communication, she brings a sophisticated understanding of people and a passion for growth to those working to reach their personal and professional goals. Typical engagements involve the development of high potential individuals and senior level management in personal brand discovery, image management, social and business behavior, and body language for better communication and interaction with others.

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