How to Hone Your Online Image

If you use social media to promote yourself or to attract and engage prospective customers, your blog posts and status updates gives friends and prospects a glimpse of what kind of professional you might be if they were to hire you.  So every post should be well thought-out and critically evaluated before you press that enter button.

Readers have a limited amount of time and because there’s so much content online, they have to pick and choose.  Why should they follow you rather than someone else?

Therefore, before you post, consider the following:

Value.  Is this message important?  Does it impart value to the reader? Does it answer a question or solve a problem for them?  Does it give them information they don’t already have?  Better yet, does it give them information they can’t get anywhere else?  Does it make them want to comment or answer back?  Does it make them want to save your message or share it with someone else?  By reading it, will they see you as someone who adds genuine value and is worth doing business with?

Viewpoint.  Let’s face it, everything you post is not meant to be a learning experience.  Sometimes your status updates will be insightful or personal.  So the question is, do you present a unique point of view?  Will friends and followers relish your posts for your good humor or your unusual take on the day’s topic?  Do you possess an outlook that sets you apart?  Are your messages worth reading because each contains a special little bit of you?

Verve.  Finally, are you exciting, energetic, entertaining?  Do you move people emotionally or spiritually?  Do your messages uplift?  Do they make people laugh or at least smile?  Do they make people think?  Does the information on your site or its very design convey something that grabs people? Will this post make people want to read more? Will readers feel like they’re missing out if they don’t subscribe or check back another time?  What is it about this post that will make readers want to come back again and again?

Certainly, everything you post is not going to meet all of these criteria every single time.  Your aim, however, should be to gradually, through a series of posts, shape the image your readers have of you.

Keep in mind that the words and images you post become you, especially for people who’ve never met you.  So craft your online image with care.

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