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Seven tips for building your online profile

Tuesday, 23 July 2013 | By Lauren Ridgway

These days it’s not enough to just have a social media presence, building your profile to position yourself as an expert is the next stop on the social media journey.


This takes some work and dedication, but if you follow these tips you will be well on your way to thought-leader status.


1. Google yourself


Yes, I know it sounds incredibly narcissistic, but the ability to control and build your online profile first rests on knowing how it looks.


Do the search results that display represent the professional profile you want to be discovered? Do any search results even appear for you?


Also check what results come up in image search, you may find some photos you might want to work on getting removed.


2. Create and optimise your LinkedIn profile


LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for growing your online profile and networking with relevant people. Ensure your profile is 100% complete – this means adding a photo, filling out a background summary and going into detail in the experience section.


LinkedIn profiles are indexed by Google search and the information displayed here is controlled by you – so it’s a great, simple way to boost your digital rankings.


3. Share content on social


Establish yourself as a thought leader in your field of expertise by sharing interesting, relevant and thought-provoking content via your social channels. Curate content on a daily basis through a service such as Feedly or Flipboard, and post with your thoughts/opinion annotated to LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and, more sparingly, Facebook.


4. Create content


Curating content is the first half of the content-sharing challenge, but to take your online profile to the max you need to be creating content as well.


This might take the form of your own blog, eBook, whitepaper, infographic, or guest blogging role on another site. It’s one thing to be able to share someone else’s content but you’ll truly be recognised as an expert if you are able to share your own content as well.


5. Secure domain names and vanity URLs


As time goes on the number of domain names and vanity URLs for social sites are starting to dwindle when it comes to our first choice. But there are still plenty available if you get creative.


If you have a common name, chances are your domain name has been taken but it’s always worth a try. I own laurenridgway.com – there’s nothing there at the moment, but I pay for it each year so that I control the website.


6. Ensure your company website is up-to-date and maintained


It’s one thing to create a website for your business, but it’s even more important to keep it current. An out-of-date website will create an unprofessional perception and look like you have a lack of attention to detail. Something as seemingly insignificant as this can really negatively impact on your online profile.


7. Review your privacy settings


If you enjoy having a personal space for your family photos and off-the-cuff statements, such as Facebook, make sure you’re happy with your privacy settings.


Facebook is renowned for regularly updating and changing its privacy rules, so it’s important to keep informed about who can see what on your profile. But it’s best practice to not share a photo or update on any social channel if you think it could somehow come back to bite you, even if you do have tight privacy settings!