Hoping to build your online presence? It’s crucial, after all, if you want to gain new clients and build your authority over a certain topic or niche.
One good start is to build an impressive professional online profile.
Of course, this is easier said than done. There are a lot of steps to remember and a minefield of mistakes to avoid. Fortunately, we’ve listed all the tips you need below so continue reading to learn how to build a professional profile today:
Where to Start
The first step in building a professional online profile is to build your website. Yes, it’s good to have a Facebook page or a LinkedIn bio but having a personal site allows your profile to stand out. It appears more professional and shows you care about your public image.
You don’t have to be a professional web designer to make a decent website. You can start with platforms like WordPress or Wix. Other options include Squarespace and Weebly and they offer great online profile designs to start with.
If you have the budget, hire an expert to design your website for you. This guarantees your site will look good and function without error.
Professional Online Profile Design
The visual design of your online profile can make or break its appeal.
The colors you choose for your profile, for example, can affect how people view you. Never forget the impact of color psychology and how basic colors can alter a visitor’s mood.
You want to sell yourself but don’t clutter your online profile. Leave some space and let some elements stand out. Take advantage of negative space so people can notice things like your profile picture or highlighted sections such as your employment and achievement background.
Your Profile Name and Username
As much as possible, try to stay consistent with your username and displayed name.
If you go by John Doe, for example, then your online profile should have that displayed front and center. Don’t confuse people by using your name on one page and then switching to your pen name or pseudonym on another.
Maintain this consistency on all your profiles. If you use @johndoe for your Twitter, make sure to use a similar handle for your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and personal website.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. If you became popular while using a pseudonym, it’s smarter to simply rely on it for your online profile. It’s the name people know, after all.
Photos For Profiles
Use a formal photograph for your online profile. It can look generic and bland but it’s better to present yourself in a suit than to embarrass yourself in front of the world with a rude, candid photo. If possible, hire a professional photographer to take multiple shots for you, ensuring you can pick which one looks the best.
Make it a habit to use the same photo across all your profiles. It should be the same photo people see on your personal website, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The consistency guarantees people can recognize you regardless of the platform they’re on.
Do you represent a company? This is a case where you can forego using a personal photo and instead use the company logo.
Writing Your Bio
Take your time writing your bio, even if it’s only a few words. If you’re building a professional online profile on a website or a platform like LinkedIn, you can have thousands of words at your disposal. If you’re on Twitter or other social media platforms, you’ll have to make do with only a dozen or so words.
Even though this is a professional profile, don’t hesitate to add a bit of flavor to the text. Let your personality shine through.
If you have space, tell a story and end it with a clear call to action. People need to know who you are, what you do, and how you got to where you are now. At the end of the bio, you should’ve convinced those readers to hire you.
Make it a point to let people see your contact information too. You can check out the Peter Dodge Hanover Research profile if you want a good example.
Achievements and Projects
Keep in mind that your online profile has one major job to achieve: it should sell you to potential clients. A good way to achieve this is by letting people know about your current projects and achievements.
Your portfolio and your “wall of fame” should help your profile shine. Don’t bury it in your website. Make sure that your portfolio and achievements are easy to spot and navigate through.
If possible, ask previous clients to write reviews on your site or social media accounts. Highlight the positive statements and showcase the work you’ve done before. If you’re a web designer, for example, let potential clients visit the sites you worked on.
Promoting Your Social Media Profile
Everything mentioned above also applies to your social media accounts. Take your time with your photos, fill up your bio, highlight your achievements, and stay consistent with your name. However, the next step is to promote your social media accounts to the world and start building a following.
Yes, it’s crucial to have hundreds or thousands of followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. The main purpose is to advertise your brand and services/products to as many people as possible. One post on Facebook could reach thousands in a day and that could convince many to hire you or purchase your company’s products.
One good solution is to use tools like IFTTT or HootSuite. These tools allow you to plan social media posts and share content across all your platforms with ease.
Adjusting Your Profile Privacy Settings
Remember that the whole point of making a professional online profile is to let people see you. It’s to let people know who you are and what you’ve done. You want them to see you and contact you for future projects and work.
This requires setting your privacy settings to public. People should be able to access your posts, pictures, videos, and bio. If you want to keep something private, such as your personal life, make it a point to make a separate social media account solely for personal use.
Don’t Forget Your URL
One of the worst things to forget is customizing your URL. WordPress and other website builders will build your site but the homepage and other pages may end with a random set of numbers and characters. Eliminate this randomness by customizing your URLs.
The most important URL to customize is your homepage. It should read something like www.johndoe.com or www.johncompany.com instead of johndoe.com/72938471. Even though Google wants to kill the URL, it’s important to follow these steps while it’s still relevant.
Don’t forget to do the same for your site’s blog posts. Blogs help build your profile’s visibility and your authority so it’s crucial to make it easier for people to reach them.
Keep Your Profile Active
As mentioned, you want to make your online profile visible. The best way to do this is to keep it active. Don’t build a fancy website displaying your name and achievements only for it to collect dust.
Start by launching a blog. You don’t have to post every day but it’s a good idea to follow a schedule. For example, always publish and share a new blog post every Friday.
Doing this keeps your visitors and subscribers in a regular loop. They’ll know when to expect new content from you. It also shows that your site is still alive and active.
More importantly, launching a blog helps your site rank higher on Google search. More people will be able to find you whenever they use Google’s search bar.
Have It Reviewed
Before you show your online profile to the world, have it reviewed. Let professionals check out your profile and navigate through it. Don’t take their negative comments aggressively — use their comments to adjust and improve your profile.
If you have the resources, conduct an A/B split test. This means having multiple versions of your online profile and allowing test subjects to visit and explore each one. Use their comments to adjust your profiles and then pick the strongest of the bunch.
Set Up Your Online Profile Today
What are you waiting for? Use these tips today and build a professional online profile to wow people and bring clients to the table. Build a personal site, use social media to your advantage, and don’t forget to be careful with your URL, profile photo, and bio.
Of course, setting up your profile is simply the start of a long, professional career.
You also need to learn how to build a strong digital marketing strategy and use analytics tools to keep track of your metrics. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do any of this. We’ve got a vast library of guides right here for you to read so don’t hesitate to check them out today.