A great profile is necessary in any social media setting – be it for simple pleasure, or for promotional marketing. Your profile is your face to the world. It is arguably the single most important tool in your marketing arsenal. Keeping it accurate and up to date is vital. The more current and detailed the information in your profile is, the better your chances of success are in all your endears.
You are the one person in all the world who is most qualified to represent you. Be mindful of this in all you do. Think carefully about how you want to appear in the eyes of your peers, or any prospective employers, colleagues, connections, networks, and even how you will look to the competition. This applies both to your personal competition, and the competition of any person or company you may be seeking to impress.
Impression is a keyword here. First impressions are often all you get online, so be sure the information in your profile puts forth the best one it possibly can. Your profile is your most reliable way “in”, regardless of were it is you are trying to go with it. Always make sure it reflects you accurately, and in the best light possible. This will take you far in both social settings, and in business. In fact, when it comes to the online world, these two things go very much hand in hand. Your prominence in one can quickly lead to advancements in the other. It is all in how you represent yourself, and what you create and unleash into the world.
Your particular “brand”
The relative value of your profile applies whether it is a dating site profile, or a profile intended to land you the perfect opportunity in your business. How you present yourself to the world can be just as critical in either case. What you put forth in any and all profiles will be a large part of your “brand”, in that it will “brand” you as an individual, and also present your sell-able “brand” (or product, which in this case is you) to whatever market you are seeking to make an impression upon. Your brand is essentially our name, reputation, and how you are perceived by others. Good or bad, it is there once you have built it, for all the world to see.
This brand is your “selling point”, and you must nurture it as it grows, starting with all you put forth in your profile. No one will “buy into” an inaccurate portrayal, or a haphazardly thrown together presentation of you. Be sure the brand you create for yourself now is the one you will be portraying in the future before trying to sell it to anyone. You do not want any potential inaccuracies surfacing later. Take care of all these details now, while you are a fresh face in the public eye.
Misrepresentation can cause far more damage than no representation at all, so think things through carefully. Decide who you are, what you are, what you know, what you have to offer, and what aspect of yourself you are selling now. Then plot out all the details ahead of time. This is what a profile is all about. It starts with discovering the “you” you wish to present to the world. If done properly, it ends with you meeting, and perhaps even surpassing all the goals you set for yourself right now by having built a brand that you can be proud of.
Take advantage of unique qualities
Before even beginning your profile, decide what sets you apart from others on this particular site, forum, blog, etc. This may require studying other profiles beforehand, but it will be worth it in order to make yours stand out above the crowd. Use this relative uniqueness to develop your brand. Utilize it to make your mark in your chosen field. Accent the things that are your best selling points, and turn them into highly marketable qualities.
Find your particular “niche”, and promote that niche. Make it uniquely yours in some manner. Figure out how you can apply some aspect of yourself that no one else has bothered to utilize within that particular niche. Build upon that in your profile, and give people a reason to chose you above all others. You may even find you possess qualities and talents you either didn’t realize you had, or didn’t think you could use.
There is something unique in all of us. There is always some quality we each have that no one else can claim, at least not in the manner in which we do or achieve it. There are also things no one in your chosen field has yet to notice or lay claim to themselves. Search out these little details. Find out what your audience might be looking for, or what they may not have yet seen, and try to find ways you can potentially give it to them. If it happens to involve a quality you already possess, use it. If it is a quality you can legitimately develop, do so, and utilize that as well. Different is always what will get you noticed. Don’t simple copy other profiles, and be like the herd, always seek to surpass them on some level.
Social media is the marketing platform of today
These days, it is all about social media. It is how everything is shared with others. Social media is how everything is marketed, be it your dating profile, or a profile that promotes you as a writer, photographer, business person, artist, lawyer, actor, or whatever profession you may be in. It is how you sell yourself, and thus sell whatever product you may be offering as well. Either way, you are selling yourself, because we are what we create, be it an image, or an actual product. In order to promote self and/or product, you must project the proper image at all times. This almost always begins with some form of social media.
Many things stem from, or flow through social media online these days. You must remember this when creating any type of profile online, be a social media profile, or a business profile, it will still involve social media at some point, so keep this at the back of your mind at all times. Your media presence can make you, or it can break you, so be sure to put into it, and into your profiles everywhere online, as much as you hope to get back out of it in the long run. How you represent yourself here reflects on how you will be perceived elsewhere, somewhere down the line. Do it right from the onset, and you have already won half of the social media battle.
Here are some of the key elements to consider when creating a winning profile that will be highly marketable in any social media setting, and in any aspect it can be used to promote you :
1. Profile image
This is the very first portrayal of you that anyone will see. Make it count. Always have a professional looking picture that accurately represents the image you want to put forth. If you are a model, photographer, or graphic artist, you will want to reflect this in your profile image. If you are a lawyer, business professional, or firefighter, you will want your image to project a “feel” that people can associate with these things. Use the best quality, most professionally presented image you can of yourself here, regardless of what you do. Never leave this area with a painfully obvious generic silhouette that has no relation whatsoever to either you or what you are about. It is about you, make as much of a statement with your image as you do with the words that follow it.
Some people do prefer not to use actual images of themselves in certain profiles, and that can work out fine for artists, photographers, graphic designers, etc., because it can still represent them in some manner by showcasing their work. Still, it will always be preferable to have an actual image of yourself here, because people like to see who they will be meeting or working with. A tangible presence can be far more meaningful, and leave a far greater impression on your audience. It gives your profile a more personal touch, and lets people know you are a real person, with real goals in mind. Either way, keep this as current as possible, and be sure it represents you at your best. After all, a picture really can be worth a thousand words, if chosen properly. In this sense, you should endear to speak as loudly and clearly for yourself in your image choice as you do elsewhere in your profile.
The biographical information portion of any profile is extremely important. This is usually the second thing people see, right after your image. In the case of a Bio in particular, there is often a “snippet” or “teaser” of some type taken from it to display on the site elsewhere, so it should be made to impress from the very start. People are far more likely to click on your profile, and read everything about you if this Bio is properly completed, and accurately represents you as a person.
Readers seeing such snippets, along with the profile image you have chosen for yourself, will be far more likely to click on your profile to find out more about you if it is put forth in an interesting and professional manner. However, if this information is missing, they may look over you entirely. Don’t miss a single opportunity to present yourself and start building your particular brand right away.
Your Bio represents you as a person. Along with your image, it puts you in the public eye. More so than any item afterward in your profile, it must be an accurate portrayal of who and what you are, and what you have to share with the world. It should relate your primary interests, so that they might know what to expect, both from the rest of your profile, and from any work they might find from you in the future.
In some cases, especially in more professional capacities, a full resume is requested instead. Again, this should be an accurate representation of you, but a resume will obviously be far more detailed. This is something you should already have, and it should be updated often. Your biographical information comes from your resume to begin with, so keep them both as accurate and up to date as you possibly can. You never know when you may need one or both.
3. Work sample
Whatever you do, it is important to show people how well you do it. You should always have at least one example of your best work here. If you are a writer, this might be a sample of your writing, or a photo if you are a photographer. Any other kind of work you do can be represented here as well, through either an image, or in thoroughly describing it, or “painting a picture with words”. You should really try to showcase your special version of what you do here.
If you are a model, an artist, or if you make and/or sell a particular product, you can add a modeling sample, or an image of your artwork or product here. If you do not have an image, you can be very descriptive about what you do. What makes it different from anything else out there? Why is your the one they should choose? You could even include brief testimonials or references from others about you and your work or product along with your samples.
This is where you are selling whatever it is you are, do, or make, so be creative and inventive, and let your work at this speak for itself. Your best work will always shine, no matter what you do, or are representing here, so use it to your full advantage, and put your most appealing work in this spotlight.
4. Educational Background
This portion should be as complete as possible. It should include all of your education, especially that beyond high school. It should detail any and all degrees obtained. If you took a class in a given course of study, even if it was online, or some other type of correspondence course, that information belongs here. If you trained privately, or had a tutor of some type, this applies here as well. Even little things can mean a great deal.
Your educational background should also include any addition certificates, awards, or achievements you have obtained through any course of study. If you have no formal education, but have spend years of personal study and experimentation in a given area, this should be included as well. Even an honorary degree or volunteer recognition of some type could apply here if it is relevant. Anything you have done to further your education in any aspect falls under this category. This are the credentials on which people will judge whether or not you are worthy of any opportunities they may have to offer. Leave no stones of potential wisdom upturned.
5. Work History
Any work you have done that is in any way relevant to what you are currently marketing should be included here. If you have held many jobs, include only those that pertain to the goals you have in mind for this profile, or for your marketing purposes in general. A flooded work history can make you look undependable, and too many unrelated jobs can make you look unqualified. If you have a long and varied work history, choice the ones you include here very carefully.
On the other hand, if you have not held a great deal of jobs, and this area seems a bit sparse, you should include all of your work history here. Any experience will always be better than none at all. If you can find a way to make it relevant, be sure to do so. For example, if you are seeking to market yourself as an editor, but only have background as a writer or proofreader, include this as work history. It is relevant to editing. Similarly, if you are an actor with a background in modeling, a model with background in photography, a musician with a background in sound engineering, and so forth. All related fields are a plus to your work history.
6. Other interests, hobbies, etc.
This will not be present on all profiles, but if it is, try once again to include those interests that apply most directly to your goals. Even a hobby that involves something of seemingly trivial significance can apply to your goals, or to the way you want to represent yourself. For instance, a Writer will certainly want to mention that research is a favored hobby, and an actor will want to include the volunteer work they did in costuming for the children’s theater during the summer, even though that was just for fun.
6. Update often, as needed
If you have completed all these fields on your profile, but it has been a while, you should update all of this information to make it as current as possible. If your image is several years old, it is time to update it. If your Bio no longer represents you, change it. Be sure it reflects your current goals. If you have new work experience, or education that qualifies, add it. You should endear to update all profiles at least once a month, even on sites you don’t use very often, because in the world of social media, and online presentation in general, you never know who may run across it and contact you.
Add any new accomplishment, jobs, or education you have garnered since you first completed your profile. You may even want to add new insights or interests you have gained since it was first made. All these things will help you grow your brand/name in whatever social circles you apply it to, and make you a more marketable entity, regardless of what your purpose in promotion may be. It all boils down to the value of your reputation, and as that reputation grows, you must update your profile so that it reflects this. No one will notices the improvements you have made, or the lengths to which you have gone in reaching your goals thus far, if you do not keep these things up to date with any and all relevant information.
You are what you consistently put forth into the world, especially on the internet. Your profile puts you front and center, right in the public eye. Whatever the purpose for your profile, you can make it the best selling point in your marketing arsenal, or you can make it the worst. It is all about what you are trying to achieve, and you effort you choice to put towards these goals. Be consistent, accurate, detailed, and set yourself apart from the crowd. You are far more likely to have knowledge of your accomplishment shared over many social media platforms if you do these things.
Present your highest achievements, your loftiest goals, and your most solid credentials to the online community, and whatever you seek will come to you. Your profile is your first step in marketing “you”, and it will be the tool you utilize in marketing yourself elsewhere. A good profile goes a long way, and with a bit of hard work now, and a touch of updating as needed down the road, it can continue to represent you in the future for years to come. Even if your particular brand changes, morphs, and grows, the profile you start with now can grow with it, and always be your go to method of saying, “This is me, world. Come and see what I have to offer you!”
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