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#Rocking_Your_Online_Presence_#2 ~ Your Online Profile

Photo credit: pexels-andre-furtado

Welcome to Week 2 of looking at your digital presence!

I hope you managed to follow some of the previous post's action steps and suggestions.

If you have not read the first article, you can do so HERE.

To recap:

I gave you five reasons why it is crucial to make a great impression with your online presence.

  1. Your digital presence is often someone’s first impression of you!

  2. You have a greater digital presence than you probably realise.

  3. Your online presence does provide a bunch of information to various stakeholders.

  4. If you are a job seeker today, potential employers will look you up online.

  5. The things you share online today can have long-term consequences.

This week I want to delve deeper into some of the key elements that make for a great online profile.

  1. Be clear about the message you want to portray

  2. Your profile picture needs to be current

  3. Be consistent across platforms

1. Be clear about the message you want to portray

Your profile needs to be congruent with the message that you want to portray to the world. Your online presence will attract only the audience that can relate to your brand. Unless it’s clear, you won’t attract the audience you want.

Your online presence will inform people

  • What you look like

  • Who you are and a bit about your personality

  • What your values are

  • Whether or not you are trustworthy, credible or loyal

  • Whether you are someone who adds value or someone who is only out to sell

Design your profile around:

a. the message you want to send

b. the value you want to add to your target audience

c. the pain points you can address for your target audience

Have a look at this excellent example from Nike NZ

Their message is ‘be active', fitness, energy…

It’s the exact message that Nike wants to portray.

How about this site here?

Would they attract their ideal audience?

Action steps

Work through the following steps.

(I recommend completing each step before moving on)

  1. Write down three to five words you want people to associate with your digital presence.

  2. Define the kind of person you want in your online tribe (this could be your ideal client, follower or even potential date) - ask yourself, what do they want, what do they like and where do they hang out?

  3. Choose at least three platforms and open those profiles.

  4. What are the first words that you associate with your current profile - is it congruent with the words you wrote down in step 1?

  5. Get feedback from your existing tribe - does it resonate with them?

  6. Now, look at all your other profiles through the same lens of your three to five words and your ideal tribe.

  7. Decide what needs to change and action it.

2. Your profile picture

What does your profile picture say about you?

Many people still seem to upload a photograph that was taken many years before, or they change their appearance and do not update their profile picture.

What message does an out-of-date profile picture say about you and your brand?

It is important to actually HAVE a picture on your profile, especially on a professional site such as LinkedIn. People are more likely to interact with you when they can see what you actually look like.

A question I often get asked is, "How often do you need to change your profile photo?"

There is no black-and-white rule for this, but here are some things to consider:

1. It is important that your profile picture is an ACCURATE and CURRENT representation of what you look like

2. For a professional platform such as LinkedIn, my suggestion is that you change your profile picture once a year

3. You should definitely change your profile picture if you’ve altered your appearance

if you've cut long hair short

if you've coloured your hair

if you've chosen to grow or remove facial hair

if there is a big change in weight

if you've started or stopped wearing glasses

The key is to portray yourself as you are

When people meet you face to face, they should be able to recognise you from your profile picture.

Choosing a great profile picture

  1. Based on a study done on profile pictures, the best shot is either head and shoulders or head to waist.

  2. Get your picture taken either professionally or ask a friend who’s got a good eye for it. DON’T EVER use a selfie!

  3. It needs to be an authentic representation of who you are

    1. If you don’t usually wear make-up, don’t overdo it for a photo

    2. Be authentic to the brand you represent.

  4. Show your face

    1. Good lighting is imperative - if you want an outdoor picture, then maybe have your photo taken on a cloudy day

    2. Don’t hide your eyes behind sunglasses or under a big hat

    3. Make sure your hair does not obscure your eyes - even in photos, we want to be able to make eye-contact

  5. Smile!

    1. A genuine heartfelt smile shows positivity, friendliness and happiness

    2. Do not give a one-sided smile - this sends a message of disdain or contempt

  6. Show confidence

    1. Look at the camera square on - this increases your likability and trustworthiness

    2. Avoid looking up at the camera - people will feel as if they are looking down on your picture, which results in you coming across as weak and vulnerable.

    3. Avoid looking down at the camera - this gives the impression that you looking 'down your nose' at the observer

  7. Dress to your brand. For professional photos, especially, a bit more formal is better than too casual

  8. A cluttered background is a distraction. Remember that you are the main attraction in the profile picture

3. Be consistent across platforms

Being consistent on all your profiles sends a message of congruency and credibility.

Have a look at Richard Branson for example

Here are his profile pictures and banners on some of his platforms


Next week I talk about why you should post online.

If you would like to discuss any components of your personal or company's online presence, reach out :)

Make today amazing!

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