Do a Google search for your name.
What shows up?
Your Facebook profile, Twitter page, LinkedIn profile. Maybe a picture of you.
Maybe someone else with the same name shows up. Maybe there aren’t any results for your name.
Whatever the case, if you aren’t online, it’s as if you don’t exist.
I’ve had many situations where people only ask about the things they’ve seen online. As if nothing else exists in my life except what I post online. You can imagine how significant your internet presence is.
Here’s an explanation of why you should take control of your online presence and 17 quick ways to do so.
You Aren’t a Celebrity. Why Should You Worry About Your Online Presence?
An online presence is necessary if you plan to:
- apply for jobs (you’re going to get Google’d)
- grow your influence
- develop credibility
- look professional
- give off the impression that you’re doing something
- be famous one day (:
Really, the goal is to look good and not look bad.
Notice I said “look professional” and “give off the impression.”
The internet is about perceptions. That doesn’t mean you’re lying, though.
When you go in for a job interview, you want to give off the impression that you’re professional, hard working and self-motivated. So you’re going to do what you can to encourage that perception.
If you’re a guy, you’re going to put on a nice suit and tie. Iron your shirt the night before. Wear polished dress shoes. Put on a shiny tie clip. Tuck in your shirt. Do your hair nicely. Sit up straight during your interview. You’re probably going to study beforehand so you know what you’re talking about–or at least look like it.
When you go on a first date, you want to give off a good impression and, assuming you like your date, you want your date to perceive you in a good light.
Take a look at my homepage.
If you don’t know me, you’d probably think I’m ambitious, influential, credible and I’m having fun doing what I do (at least that’s how I hope you see me). This is just based on the page design, text and image. If I don’t come off that way, well please let me know because I would have to change up my homepage.
You can also do a Google search for David Ly Khim to see what shows up. It’s mostly profiles I’ve made.
Growing up, I would create new profiles on any website I learned about, including Myspace, SuperFuture, Last.fm, Xanga and LiveJournal. I deleted many of those accounts. I didn’t want people finding my angsty middle school rants about my love life (I was xxAzNbOi13xx by the way).
As I got older, I continued to make accounts with more intention. I used my real name because that’s what I wanted to be known as. When it came to Tumblr and other profiles, I used my name.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I saw the value in making these profiles.
People like to call this personal branding. That’s essentially what it is. You create a brand for yourself. You create an image of yourself that you want people to see. Branding just sounds too professional for me.
You probably already do this casually. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. You upload images and post updates about the things you want people to know about. Most people won’t post about the stress about their relationships because they don’t want that publicly known (but there’s always those few people who do it anyway).
While you do image control on those social profiles, might as well take control of your entire online presence before you need a PR team. (:
Online Profiles Will Help You Conquer Your Online Presence
What will making profiles do? It’ll push out anything you don’t want to see on Google search for whatever reason. This comes down to SEO, page authority and domain authority–things I won’t get into in this blog post.
The point is that social profiles are valuable in taking control of your online presence.
This doesn’t mean that you have to become a social media marketer and spend 20 hours a week managing your online reputation. Most of it is a one time deal, but it would be wise to update your profiles from time-to-time.
It’s important to use your name for your profiles. I chose to use my full name–first, middle, last–because it’s more distinguishable. David Khim is often mistaken for David Kim. Likewise, Ly and Lee are confused. But combining all three, David Ly Khim stands out a little bit.
Likewise, you should decide what name you want to go by.
Before we begin, beware of making these new accounts. You may end up spending hours tweaking each one, adding photos and information and making them look pretty. You’d be giving yourself a false sense of productivity. Resist this temptation.
We have 17 profiles that we’ll be creating. Imagine how much time can be wasted on each one.
To avoid spending 10+ hours making profiles, I recommend spending an hour a day making 2-3 profiles. Spread it out so you don’t end up spending too much time on it.
Download this Google doc to keep track of all your accounts and to be more efficient when creating your profiles.
Let’s get down to it.
17 Social Profiles to Conquer Your Online Presence
You may not use Google+, but it’s huge because well, it’s Google. Don’t worry, you don’t have to leave Facebook for Google+, but add a profile picture and fill out your personal informational like your bio, location, work info, etc. Add 25 people to your circles and post something every now and then.
If you’re anywhere between the ages of 17-30 and you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. Whether or not you’re looking for a job, a LinkedIn profile will do wonders for growing your professional relationships, meeting people and learning what other companies are doing.
Fill out your basic information, upload a photo and add your work history. Make your profile visible to the public. If you’re searching for a job, remember that potential employers will look you up. You don’t want to hide. Also add links to your other social media profiles and your website (we’ll get to this later).
Pick a custom URL–use your name.
You saw this coming. Yes, Facebook is important. The main thing to do is to claim your custom vanity URL, just like with LinkedIn. Again, use your name so you’re easier to find. Add some info to your about page and, if you’re looking for employment, make sure your photo isn’t too unprofessional.
Use your actual name, or whatever alias you’re going by, as your handle i.e. @davidlykhim. Again, use your real name for your profile. You might notice that we’re trying to keep our name consistent among our profiles. This is important to avoid confusing people. Add an interesting Twitter bio. Easier said than done.
Tweet at least once, even if it’s just to say you aren’t active. If you want to post more often, BufferApp helps with scheduling posts.
Videos are huge. Look at all the videos uploaded to Vimeo and Youtube. These websites have high domain authority so it’s in your best interest to create an account with them. Use your name for your account, enter a short bio, add links to your other social profiles and set your location. Claim your customer URL and add some featured videos if you’d like.
Do you already have a Tumblr? Is your username your name? No? Just make a new one for professional purposes. You can keep your old username(s). The minimum you need to do is add a bio page with basic information. There’s no need to become Tumblr famous.
However, it’s important to note that people use Tumblr as their portfolio for graphic design and other creative work. If you’re in any creative field, I suggest using Tumblr as a platform to show off your work. You might get a few gigs.
Quora has become a large hub for information. You can develop credibility by answering questions and helping others. However, in the mean time, let’s just focus on creating a simple profile. Fill in your bio and answer a few questions if you’d like.
Think of this profile as your online business card. You can link to all your other profiles on this one page and make it look as professional and as creative as your desire. Upload a nice background photo–I suggest a photo of yourself–connect your profiles and add some links. You used your name as the URL, right?
Again fill in your basic info and use your name for the URL. No need to upload photos.
Getting a little repetitive, right? Don’t worry, we’re almost done.
You don’t have to go Pinterest crazy. Fill in your bio. Use your name as your URL. Link to other social networks.
Fill in your info and connect all your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts.
You probably already have an Instagram. No? Make one.
When you get active, there are various other websites such as Webstagram and Iconosquare that will archive your profile for your username. This means more web presence.
AngelList is like LinkedIn but for startups. That means people are on their looking to hire. Fill out your basic info and work history.
Again, fill in your profile. Take a break and watch some videos while you’re at it.
Better yet, here’s a blast from my past:
I don’t teach anymore, but I might make an exception if you’re interested. (:
Treat Seelio like your LinkedIn page. It’s a professional website where you can showcase your work and experiences and any projects you may have going on.
(Btw, you should use your name for the URL).
Ah the biggest one of all. A personal website. There’s no need to get fancy with this. In most cases, all you’ll need is one page with a picture of yourself, basic information and links to your other profiles.
A good place to start is Squarespace which has a monthly cost. WordPress is free and for $15 a year you can have your own URL. Tumblr is also a great choice. It really doesn’t matter which platform you use.
Just remember to use your name as the URL, include your bio and add some work experience if you’d like. Link to all your social media profiles using widgets. This is your online hub. Put up everything you want people to see. Consider blogging if you want to develop credibility or have a side project.
Again, with all these profiles, it’s a good idea to update them every now and then. Here’s the Google doc you can download to help you keep track of your profiles.
You don’t have to become a social media marketer to polish up your online presence. Creating these profiles will push you onto the top of Google in no time. (:
Give Google a week or two to catch up with all the new profiles. Then do a Google search for your name to see how much has changed.
Congrats, you’re many steps closer to conquering your online presence!