Having a "stealth" social media profile could get you noticed for the wrong reasons. There is but one time to make a first impression, right? May I suggest that you join social networks (intentionally) with a running start that a profile at least offers good strong basics about you? And from there expand - with humble candor, color and authenticity - upon yourself and what you are best at being: a solution or a resource.
For as I say a lot, “Authentic Writing Provokes.”
Don't you want to be found because you are the just-in-time solution not an unknown quantity?
For over the past year I have been holding a weekly gathering that is consistently attended by two dozen, many now core and returning participants. And one of my practices is to check to see who is coming, who they are and if they have an existing blog or what it is they share about themselves on their website, if they have one. And I truly like to take the time to see who is coming and what they are pre-promoting about themselves. It makes for a quicker connection when we connect and they join the dialogue. And it allows me to match-make with others I know are coming.
And then there are those who will “surprise” me, for there is no “preview” of them to be found. We, the core of the Writers Group refer to this as having a “stealth” profile. And the fact is we wish that all members of the online community we are part of was anything but stealth. I want to know who is coming to “my party” that I can greet them more personally for the best of reasons.
In an age where you can create an online profile as easily as you can start an email account, it makes sense to me to populate your new profile with some basics--at the very least.
Ideally, your online profile tells a wonderful story about you, making it that much easier for me and others to match-make on your professional behalf. If I know who you are before you get to my event and my room, I assure you I will create opportunities for you connect with others I know are coming.
The other day I made an introduction to a first time guest, who oversees a blog all about dogs that needs contributors, that she might be interested in knowing the writer/illustrator/artist in our circle, who is also a storyteller, creator of toys and who does custom dog portraits that are very cool! They struck me as a good a match because I knew what each did for their livelihoods. I enjoy connecting people with each other and especially when business grows out of it.
There could be a grand synergy between any two people if each knows what the other is and does and needs.
If you are seeking that next perfect client or a full-time position, doesn’t it make sense to make the effort to share the really good stuff about who you are, what you seek, what you have accomplished and give us a strong picture that is current and lets us spot you quickly at an event we are both attending?
So many seem to initiate an account, barely start a profile, promise themselves to come back to it, and never do. There is a solution to this scenario, but it involves some in depth critical work initially and gentle maintenance thereafter.
As I see it, the key is to develop your full professional profile from the ground up, fill in the stories behind your accomplishments, commit to maintaining it and then get back to working on your business, out in the world. Would you not rather be meeting new contacts online and at events that might know who you are before you get there and seek you out? Or would you just as soon tell the same story over 10+ times to those attending?
If I could ask every member of this community to do but one thing in the next week it would be:
Check your online profile for its “greatness” and a story that reflects who you are. Does it tell your story clearly, engagingly, authentically?
And if you find your canvas is pretty blank (no picture, no summary, no promotion, no involvement in discussions) there is no time like the present to make it happen. And if your profile needs a dust-off and some fresh new content be it your image or logo or links to associations and your contact information, by all means, take that on!
Who will thank you? Who is the winner? I will as one of your community members who looks forward to knowing you should our paths collide online or in person at an event. The future client who can now identify you is another. And what about the referral partners that are in abundance that you don’t yet know. We all win when community member profiles are current, interesting, multi-dimensional reflections of who we are and what we do and what we seek and offer.
If you need a little guidance on how to go about creating a vibrant profile that showcases you, I can wholeheartedly recommend a book originally written for jobseekers. Résumés that Resume Careers by Don Burrows puts one systematically through a discovery process that yields a great final piece on Brand and Company You. Or you can repurpose your profile content for your website, your blog, or to launch article ideas or seek work if that is your goal. It may take you weeks to complete, but it is worth the sweat equity.
As I see it and experience it, Biznik as a community is a stellar example of the hybrid use of online and in-person opportunities to connect and help each other and ourselves.
Are you making it easy for us to do so?