Whether you like it or not, people are judging you online.
Do they think you are likable?
Are you a business professional they could trust?
It’s a whole lot easier to be successful in life if people know, like, and trust you.
Your online brand must make it clear that you are indeed a trustworthy business professional.
For better or worse, you are either helping your professional life or you are harming it with every online interaction. Every day that you don’t have a well-established online brand, you’re doing the latter.
The starting point on this is having your bio filled out on the social media platforms. Do you have a professional image for your profile picture? Do you have your work history listed? Can people ascertain in an instant that you are a person they should know?
You want to attend a certain networking event where you are going to be meeting people who could further your career and help you achieve your goals.
But once you get there, you refuse to introduce yourself beyond your name (maybe you even have a fake name).
You don’t divulge who you work for or what you currently do for a living.
You do share a couple of minor facts, such as your love for sunsets and beaches, or your favorite movie, but nothing about your career and who you help and serve.
Guess how successful this event will be for you? Not very.
But this is what way too many organization professionals do online.
They will request access to a closed Facebook or LinkedIn group where their colleagues are networking and growing their careers. But when the moderator of the group goes to approve or reject their membership, they discover they can’t quickly and easily find pertinent information on the applicant.
This happens all the time in the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Facebook Group. A dozen different people a day will request access and we can’t approve the vast majority of them because they haven’t filled out their bios fully. They might be chamber professionals or maybe not. We can’t easily tell. So, they are denied access.
This also happens daily on Twitter and LinkedIn. People will follow or connect, and you want to reciprocate, but you aren’t going to connect with some random person.
If the bio doesn’t plainly spell out that you are a business professional in your industry, people are going to assume you are not.
Know this: It’s not on your new online contacts, future business partners, or leads to go out of their way to research you to discover who you are and how you serve others.
If you want to be successful, if you want people to know, like, and trust you, if you want others to be able to help you, invest the time and energy in building up your online brand. It’s on you to introduce yourself fully and completely online.
Start by filling out your online bios today.
Frank J. Kenny is an internationally recognized author, professional speaker, and consultant. He is on the faculty of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management (IOM). He has taught social media, digital marketing, and technology strategies to business audiences from around the world.