What to include and how, for a powerful online presence

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When less is more for the modern professional.


Photo by gabrielle cole on Unsplash

In today’s world, the words “online presence” get thrown around in different contexts and can mean a variety of things — how active you are across social channels, how many profiles you have, what kind of reputation you have online, and the list goes on.

At about.me, we like to think of your online presence as the way you present yourself online.

“How does someone perceive me based on what they find about me online?”
If a potential employer were to read through your tweets, would they have a good impression of you?

If a prospective client were to see your latest Facebook post, would they have a good understanding of who you are and be compelled to work with you? You can control that perception by pulling all of the fragmented versions of you from your different social profiles and tying it all together on a single web page — your personal source of truth. When you highlight the different aspects that you want to share in one place, you control that perception.

With that in mind, it’s easy to want to share everything and believe that everything is important. After all, if a lot of different people are looking at your page, what if the one thing you left off was the one thing that would’ve sold the viewer on working with you? This is a common mistake — too much information is overwhelming and more frequently produces fewer results than a simple, focused page.

Your web presence needs to be simple to navigate and easy to understand. On that note, it’s also not enough to just compile everything together. Think of this as the difference between throwing different items into a basket vs. organizing them on a shelf. It’s important to highlight certain things as they fit into your desired perception.

Remember, the more succinct and simple your online presence is, the better.

What to include in your online presence:

Who you are - 

  • What’s your name?
    Even if you have a business, introduce yourself with your personal name. People will better connect with a personal online presence. If you have a nickname you’d prefer to be called, use that. Make it personal.
  • What do you look like?
    Include a photo that presents yourself as you’d like to be presented — professional, outdoorsy, quirky, approachable. Use a photo that creates the perception you’d like to share. Put a face to your name.
  • Where are you based?
    When you first meet someone, the question “Where are you from?” almost always comes up. Your location is a way for people to relate to you and get a better sense of the culture that you’re plugged into. After all, we are a product of our environment.

What you do - 

  • What’s your professional title?
    Think about what you get paid to do. This gives a person insight into your validated skills and shows how you add value to an organization.

  • What’s a recent notable achievement?
     Credibility is key. By sharing the specifics of a recent achievement, you show that you’re actively contributing value to something and that you excel at what you do. This adds credibility to what you have to offer as a professional.

  • What does your work look like?
    Capturing what you do in a visual way will add power to your claims. If you have samples of your work or photos of you in action, show them off. After all, seeing is believing.

  • Why do you do what you do?
    Knowing why someone does what they do creates a sense of authenticity. It creates the opportunity to highlight motivations that sit at the core of all human beings. The reason — a cause, a person, an outcome, a curiosity, whatever it is — will make your entire online presence more intentional.

  • Your current focused goal
    What do you want someone viewing your online presence to do? Think about the one important thing you want from the person viewing your online presence. This will change as your goals change, so it’s important to keep your online presence updated with your current goal. If you’re having a hard time choosing just one, I’d recommend writing out all of the possibilities, and then prioritizing in order of what will create the most impact for you. Choose whatever floats to the top of your list. Make this your call to action.

  • What other people are saying
    What do other people say about who you are and what you do? Testimonials are a shortcut to creating a cohesive perception of you by allowing someone else’s words to speak for the viewer. If you can get a testimonial or endorsement, add it to your online presence! Just make sure it passes this test.

Tie it all together - 

The basics above should come together to present yourself — your single source of truth — on one simple page.

Make the various elements above visually appealing in a clean and simple way, while making your focused goal stand out. You want it to be clear what your goal is so that everything included in your online presence supports that.

But what about all those other definitions of an online presence? How do you still show people that you’re active on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, or beyond?

Depending on who your online presence is presenting to, one or more of those may not be relevant. So to add full context and manage that perception of you, give people the option to connect with you in the way that they want to. Add social icons that click out to the social platforms you’re active on. That way, once they get a wholesome perception of who you are online, they have the option of checking out your social presence.

Less is more - 
Your online presence is a crucial part of your personal marketing strategy. In the world of business marketing, simple websites have higher conversion rates. The same goes for your personal marketing.

How do you make your personal webpage simple?

For starters, don’t crowd your page with a bunch of tabs and pages. They create distractions, overwhelm your prospects, and are simply not necessary.

Instead, pick the highlights mentioned above and add them to a single page.

If you’re looking for a quick solution and don’t want to worry about designing or coding a webpage for yourself, check out about.me. We’ve taken care of the complicated work so that your online presence can be simple, clean, and effective.

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