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Maintaining a Professional Online Presence

November 24, 2014

There are a plethora of social networking sites out there. I’m sure most of you have a page on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and maybe even Instagram and Vine. Some of these sites, like Facebook and Instagram, are for personal pages to interact with your friends. Although they do have options to create professional pages, the majority of people use them for interacting with friends and family. It’s the professional pages that I’m interested in talking about today.

If you are a professional, whether it’s an actor, writer, or salesperson, you want to have a professional looking page. In order to come across to people viewing your page as a professional there are some things you should take into consideration. First and foremost you want to make sure you do not have any grammatical errors or typos on your page, especially if you’re a writer. Nothing says amateur like misspelled words and incorrect grammar. If you’re unsure of a word, look it up. Make sure you’re using it correctly. The people you want to impress won’t read past the second mistake.

You should also have a professional-looking picture of yourself on your page. A selfie or, heaven forbid, a picture of you half dressed (unless you’re a model) does not tell the viewer that you are serious about your craft. This picture should represent you as if you were walking into an interview. Present yourself the way you wish to be seen. If you’re unsure of how your picture represents you, take a poll. Ask strangers to tell you what they think your picture conveys about you.

Lastly, I want to talk about bios. If you want to come across professionally your bio should be written in third person. You can write it in first person, but it usually comes across as pretentious and bragging. If you aren’t good at writing your own bio (if you’re a writer, you’d better be good at it), then get someone to write one for you. Just make sure it’s free of typos and grammatical errors.

None of these tips are guaranteed to get you noticed, but they will keep people on your page longer. The longer on your page, the more likely they are to be interested. And isn’t that what we’re trying to accomplish, generating interest, a following? The most important thing is to represent yourself the way you want others to see you.

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