Guest Blog Post by Charlene Burke, CEO, Search By Burke
If you are starting your own web development business or are a new account manager for a web development company, managing your online reputation is essential to success in networking. Prospects and new connections will more than likely research who you are online either before that big meeting or after.
If you are questioning how to protect your professional online reputation, follow these simple tips:
Complete and Optimize your LinkedIn professional networking profile
Some people have the misconception that LinkedIn is Facebook for professionals. You should not approach this social network with a “the one who has the most connections wins” frame of mind. Although many people think it is, LinkedIn is also not your online resume. Think of LinkedIn as a round-the-clock professional networking event. What web development sales executive wouldn’t give an arm and a leg to be in a room of thousands of qualified prospects? THAT is what LinkedIn can be! Of course, you still need to identify who you want to connect with and cultivate the relationships, but LinkedIn makes the process easier by providing the information you need in the professional profile. Please ensure you are also being a good agent of online networking by filling out your own LinkedIn profile as completely as possible. Don’t forget to use targeted keywords in your headline and summary so your prospects can find you easily on LinkedIn. Also, include a recent professional photo. You want those new connections to see who they are networking with on and offline.
Don’t mix business and personal social media
A helpful hint: Professionals really don’t want to see your personal status updates, no matter how much you may think it rounds you out as a web developer. Practice good reputation management skills by keeping your personal and business social media profiles separate. Seeing personal check-in posts or tweets from professional connections, says you don’t care about your online reputation. We understand that you are a human being and want to kick back on the weekend, but other professionals DO NOT want to see photos or read about how hung over you were.
Perform an internet search on yourself
Some of the most disturbing things we’ve found online when researching clients are listings with the same name as theirs. It is helpful to know if someone sharing your name has been arrested or may have a past they aren’t proud of. Understand that when networking online, new connections may not be able to discern who they are reading about isn’t you if the name and location match. What will help you in these situations is simply knowing what information exists. Then, when your online reputation is questioned, you’ll be able to laugh about it and explain it with facts. This situation actually comes up more often than you think. Just ask your local Human Resources manager.
For the web development professional, information posted to the world-wide-web will have an effect on your online reputation. Before you find yourself in a reputation management crisis, take some time to put the above recommendations into action. Both your web development company and YOU will be proud of the virtual reflection.