My first instinct was to reject the idea: What do I need it for? How many things will I have to manage on an ongoing basis? It just seems like such a hassle … These were the thoughts swirling in my head as I pondered creating my Instagram account a few years ago. Fortunately, I decided to move forward with it, and it’s led me to some great professional connections in the career development field.
Today, nearly everyone has some form of digital presence. Your digital profile is made up of your cumulative online presence, including social media accounts, videos, email marketing and blog posts.
When you’re crafting a digital presence as a career professional, the key is to be intentional about how your services and expertise can help your audience (e.g. developing job search, interviewing or career management skills). With a comprehensive digital profile, your professional visibility skyrockets, which can result in benefits such as securing new clients and speaking gigs, and having more freedom to craft the type of working life you want.
Here are some key elements to build an excellent digital profile.
Consistency, in my opinion, can be quite tough to execute. For instance, the drive to consistently post on Instagram and continuously produce value can be tough. Scheduling posts on a regular basis takes some technical know-how and planning. But it does pay off. Maintaining consistent digital posting when I launched my one-on-one coaching helped garner interest and led to new meetings.
“When you’re crafting a digital presence as a career professional, the key is to be intentional about how your services and expertise can help your audience.”
You may find it helpful to create a schedule around different types of content, such as “how-tos,” “myths” and “FAQs,” for instance. With consistency, you just have to find the schedule that works for you – and then keep doing it!
What’s your style of writing? Is your tone conversational? More formal? I’ve found it best to write like you talk, and we all speak in different hues. Infuse your profile with your being; people appreciate this. Your authenticity is attractive to your audience.
I’ve come across some excerpts from other people’s digital profiles, and I know it’s them based on how they write. For example, Barbara Corcoran’s LinkedIn content has a sometimes playful and honest tone to it. This is her flair, which you would quickly notice once you hear her speak.
This runs deep. We all seek to connect to one another, and your digital profile should be able to connect to people in a way they find valuable. So, how do we know if our content is landing? Engagement metrics, which are available across the various platforms we engage in, can help. Be willing to explore various software to get this right. For instance, there is ActiveCampaign for email marketing, because email is always relevant. (Yes! I said it!) Find out what your audience loves in your content and replicate that across your digital profile. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to experiment; people expect a fresh perspective from you every now and then.
My awesome business coach, Stef Joanne, recommends that we establish the “Know Like Trust (KLT)” factor with our audience. This is especially important for your relationship with your audience as they would mostly do business with people they trust and feel comfortable with.
In creating your themes, observe your daily life and how you interact with your current following and clients. Are there common issues being mentioned in the comments (e.g. annoying interview questions, writing the proper resume format, etc.). Your Instagram could be a combination of your daily life and career tips, while your LinkedIn posts and articles could be more instructive and professional.
Your themes will take shape as you create content for your various channels. You can also mix things up, because there may be people who will only interact with your Twitter feed and ignore the rest. Take your time to get into the groove of this.
Offline biases are carried online as well. In fact, these biases are more disjointed and enlarged online. People largely do not understand that what is on your digital profile represents a few facets of you. We are quick to judge, discredit and shame others online as much as we strive to lift up, serve and praise others. Understandably, some people’s digital profiles are for entertainment purposes, but if you want to use yours for business or professional goals, then be very mindful of what you put out. The internet has a long memory and slip-ups are increasingly being revealed in embarrassingly HD quality.
There are multiple perspectives with which one can assess their digital profile. This is just one and I hope you can take something away from it. What other lenses do you use to evaluate your online presence? Share your ideas in the comments below or connect with me to chat about it.