Join our Newsletter!
Get in Touch!

Tips for Polishing your Internet Persona

29 Aug 2009 1:24 PM | Working Women (Administrator)

Since this is the inaugural blog, I feel a bit of an introduction of myself is in order: my name is Megan Daniel.  If you want to know more about me, you can check my Facebook, MySpace, twitter, or LinkedIn pages for more detailed info.  If you really want to stalk me, you can also view my ridiculously boring photos on flikr, or even check out what kind of cheesy B movies I enjoy on Netflix.

Sound familiar?  You probably also have a presence on one or more of the above websites.  If you are a professional woman looking to increase your product or company’s exposure, the internet is a fantastic place to do it.  It is also a great way to market yourself for free.  However, unlike getting yourself all gussied up and putting a polish on your resume to pitch yourself to clients, your web presence is on public display 24/7, and is accessible to a huge number of people worldwide.  You should treat your online persona with the same attention to detail and mindfulness of the impression you want to make as you would on potential clients (or employers) in person.    

Try these tactics to make sure your online information is an accurate, sparkling and polished representation of yourself:

You probably already know about Google-ing yourself, but don’t forget to try other search engines like Yahoo or the new search engine Bing, to cover all the proverbial bases.  Also search the name of your business, to see if anyone has perhaps started a “gripe site” against you.  Remember that on sites like Yahoo, people can leave comments or give ratings under your yellow pages listing.  You can also use these sites to check what people are saying about your competitors, which could give you a strategic edge.  If you have a very common name, or have trouble finding anything at all, try searching deeper:  you can get information that might be in the metadata of web pages by clicking on “advanced search” at the top of the search engine’s page.  Some pages will also let you use signals, which are punctuation marks used to refine your search.  For example, using parenthesis around multiple words will return results only for that particular phrase.  Also be sure to run searches for any usernames or handles you have used in the past, as this may produce long forgotten posts to message boards or comments on websites you might not want to have floating around out on the net anymore.  Usually you can’t delete past posted items, but if you scroll to the bottom of the page, click “contact the webmaster,” and you can send them an email asking to delete the undesirable text. 

Remember that even if you have your privacy or security settings set up on your social networking pages, there are some things that people will always be able to see.  Try checking your pages at a computer where you are not logged on to see what is accessible to the public.  It is wise to have almost everything set to “only friends.”  Be sure to tweak what you are a fan of on Facebook:  no matter how high you crank up the privacy settings, everyone can see what you are a fan of, so use discretion.  Set your profile picture to the most professional looking one you can find.  Recently, Facebook added a new security setting in response to complaints that pictures left on “public” were being dubiously heisted and used by advertisers.  You certainly wouldn’t want a photo of you attached to some inappropriate product or service, so make sure you lock down your photos.  Make sure no one tags you in a photo you find unprofessional.  Un-tag yourself, and politely ask the friend to refrain from tagging you in the future without your authorization.  If they do it again, un-friend them: they are not worth the bad PR.  It’s also worth mentioning that you should be very observant of undesirable things, people, or activities that may be going on in the background of any photos you post.  If possible, check for privacy settings on any sites used for managing photos such as flikr.  If you still have a MySpace page, you might want to consider minimizing it or even shutting it down entirely.  Many people these days view MySpace as a chaotic hangout for teenagers and lonely singles, which may not be the right forum for you or your business.  If you are a Twitter user, you may want to start posting positive messages that reflect the professional, dynamic, creative person that you are.  If you don’t have a LinkedIn page yet, you should consider setting one up.  This site is more geared to the exchange of professional information via a repository of resumes. 

Your email address is something else to keep in mind. If your email address begins with something like “lovestoparty” or “sexyvampress,” you will want to change it. This is a surprisingly common faux pas that is easily remedied using free email services such as Gmail.  My best advice is to set up an additional email account using your name, or something that relates to your business. You can then use the POP3 settings on your main account to forward all your emails to one convenient place. 

After you’ve done your “online” housekeeping, sit back, relax, and relish in your newfound e-confidence. You might want to link your pages to one another, which gives the impression of openness and honesty. Another benefit is that potential clients will feel that they have a deeper connection to you as a person, and will be making a more informed decision when doing business with you.  Don’t be afraid to list links to your sites on your business cards. This will demonstrate how techno-savvy you are.  Be proud of your digital self!


Working WomenHome | About | Events | Join Us | Sponsors | Blog | Connect | Site Map
1-888-WW-UNITE •
Copyright 2020 Working Women of Tampa Bay  |  3030 N. Rocky Point Dr. | Suite 150 | Tampa, FL 33607
Design Integration by The ARRC™

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software