Thursday, March 12, 2009

Great tips for getting started on your profile

For months I have been encouraging colleagues to "jump in" and set up a profile on one of the various social media applications. There seems to be a mental block in tackling the task, and I have a couple of tips that might help those who are apprehensive get started. In this post I will address a professional profile such as LinkedIn or Konnects.

1. Create your basic profile offline. Open a word document and start with these basic headings:
  • Key words that describe your business
  • Products or services you or your business offers
  • Industry experience
  • Honors/Awards
  • Education
  • Affiliations/Professional organizations
  • Work history
  • Client description or list
  • Personal interests
Beg, borrow and steal content from your resume, company website or colleagues sites. Keep the descriptions of your company consistent with what is already out there. Put some personality in to your personal information, but use your best judgment on the photos and interests you post on professional profiles. Your profile may be your only opportunity to make an impression, provide information or set yourself apart from the competition.

2. Fill out each section to the best of your ability. Set it aside for 24 hours and re-read it from the perspective of someone visiting your profile for the first time. Eliminate jargon and abbreviations in your descriptions. Make your content clear and as timeless as possible, too much time specific information and you set your self up to be outdated or have maintenance demands. There are other features that allow you to be time specific, the basic information should be just that, basic.

3. Get online and get started. Choose a social networking application and create an account. With your Word document already prepared this will literally take minutes. Cut and paste the information in to your new or updated profile.

4. If you are ready to share your profile you can upload your contacts from Outlook, Address Book Yahoo, Gmail or other email clients and send out invitations to connect. You can also search those already using the social media application and ask to connect. Once you are up and running there are so many features to explore!

Have fun, and get started!

No comments: