Creating your virtual profile online

I like to use a common analogy to explain what a Virtual Profile is.  Remember when you applied for your first credit card, and the bank immediately turned you down despite your new job and having no debt?  Since you didn’t have a previous credit established, the bank wasn’t sure they could trust you.  A Virtual Profile is much the same—it’s your online history and it builds your personal credibility.

We live in a world where everyone is connected at all times, and the days of faxing a resume with a cover letter are over! Today, employers are jumping online, researching your virtual profile and are making decisions on whether or not to even have that initial phone interview based on what they see. Think about it like this, when you’re in the market for a new car – what’s the first thing you’re going to do? I don’t know about you, but I’m going right online and doing some research. Well, this type of thinking now dominates when it comes time to make important decisions like hiring, offering loans, or even dating.  Therefore, you need to be aware of your Virtual Profile and proactively manage it to ensure you’re reflected in a positive way.
With more than 500 million active users on Facebook (250 million of which actively access their accounts on their mobile devices every day), it’s clear that Social Networking is here to stay and shaping the way we interact with others.  Furthermore, as search engines and website management tools continue to evolve, everything you do online is “recorded” and stored under your own Virtual Profile.  While this may seem invasive and overwhelming to some, you can take some easy steps to proactively establish and manage your Virtual profile.

 

Side note: Did you know that Google and Bing both announced this year that they are indexing data from Facebook and Twitter? Did you also know that the things you “like” and “share online” help guide what search engines return to you and the people who you’re connected to online?

Before we get started, let’s do a quick example with my Virtual profile:

  • Open any browser and go to www.google.com
  • Type the following: Steven Britton seo or Steven Britton Philly

As you will see, everything that comes up on the first page is various information about me and my online activities; such as websites that I manage, in addition to various Twitter and LinkedIn activities.  This is my very own Virtual Profile!  (My intentions with this exercise were to show you visually the power of building an online reputation that you can leverage in various ways, not to show-off!)

So what can you do to get started?

LinkedIn
If you haven’t already, I highly recommend creating an account on www.linkedin.com. In terms of promoting yourself, there is no better tool online, and the more information you add to your profile, the more your name will display when employers are doing their research. Also, one of the best features on LinkedIn is Recommendations! Being able to sell yourself is one thing, but having someone else “review” you says so much more. For more information on building you LinkedIn account, you can read this quick list I put together:  Linkedin – Complete your Profile


Blogging
Now that you’re on LinkedIn, think about getting involved with some blogging – www.wordpress.com offers free web blogs, and you can really start building your Virtual Profile with a blog site, relating to your skill-set and interests. Quick tip: If you decide to create an account on WordPress be sure to put some thought into your account name as it will be part of your vanity web address (i.e., yourname.wordpress.com).


Twitter & Facebook
So, now you have a blog site and you’re writing some interesting posts. How can you spread this information in an effort to start building your online profile?  You got it! Post your links on Twitter and Facebook!

So there you have it. By doing just a few of these things and being consistent with your naming conventions (i.e., use the same account names across social networks), you will start to build a nice little virtual profile for yourself and get to learn a lot of cool things along the way. Please note that this is just the tip of the ice burg, but once you get moving, you’ll start to learn about other techniques and networks to get involved with.

Learn How to manage a Virtual Profile

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about building an online profile, web development, search engine optimization, etc.

 

6 Comments

  1. Alex Pike

    Great Post! I too just understand why more aren’t thinking this way and leveraging social media to build personal brand awareness.

    Btw, nice design with the site, I really like the layout!

    Cheers!

    Alex

    • Steven Britton

      Thanks, Alex! I will be posting a follow-up to this post real soon, so stop back.

      -Steve

  2. You have a lot of useful suggestions on this page.

  3. Book marked, I really like your blog! :)

  4. Hello, i know this is not exactly your topic “Creating your virtual profile online | Steven Britton”, but i have a blog using the wordpress platform as well and i’m having issues with my comments displaying. is there a setting i am forgetting? maybe you could help me out? thank you.

    • Steven Britton

      Well, I know that topic has been covered before, and in different ways, but I think it’s an important topic that more people should understand. Also, I will be posting a follow-up to this post within the next day or so, so please stop back and let me know what you think.

      As for your comments not displaying- WordPress, by default, will hold comments in a pending area until you, the moderator, approves the comment; this is in an effort to control spam. To view comments, simply log into your WordPress Admin section, and click on the comments area on the left-hand side.

      -Steve

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