You’re probably going to this week’s BlogWorld NY to meet people, to forge new links for your business, to put yourself “on display”, or a mix of all the above. Before you head in to the Convention Center, you’ll probably check yourself out in the mirror, making sure you’re at your best.
Have you done the same for your online presence?
Just before you get on your flight to BlogWorld, take five minutes to look over what everyone else will check out once they’ve met you. The first impression in the real world counts, but so does the first impression in the online world. Are you making the best use of that first moment?
Let’s start with your blog. If it’s not frequently updated, now is the time to put up a fresh post. My own blog is more a map to my other activities around the web, but in advance of BlogWorld, I’ve put up a short post saying that I’ll be at the conference, the best way to get in touch with me while I’m at the conference, and what I’m looking for while in New York to start the ball rolling before I even land..
It also has a recent picture of me, so people who do want to find me know what to look out for. That might not be as important to me (after all, “look for the kilt” isn’t going to turn up too many false positives)
Next up is my Twitter account, and specifically the main web page. Is the background showing what I want to show, is my avatar reflecting what I want it to reflect, and will it match with what people see after they meet me? I think it does. And is the 140 character bio still suitable?
To a certain extent the same goes for Facebook. Depending on your privacy settings you might want to keep your timeline clear of any pictures from a late night in Dusseldorf with a Maltese pop star (ask me over a pint, I might tell you then). If you’re going to be hitting the social scene at BlogWorld, keep an eye out for the tagged photo that causes mayhem. One trick you might like to employ is to create a “banner image” at the top of your profile that uses all five images to create one image (how to do this? Shane Richmond has the details). Striking and discrete at the same time.
Finally, and the one that quite a few people forget about, is LinkedIn. This is much more business-like and always feels like a “living CV” to me, but it’s one of the largest social networks out there. I’ve always got a handful of projects going at any one time, and it’s always good to make sure everything is up to date in LinkedIn with those achievements.
An event like BlogWorld for me is about making initial meetings and starting relationships – it’s one of the big reasons that I don;t mind doing a four day transatlantic trip. I want to make an impression on all fronts, and to make sure that people who want to meet me, and perhaps work with me in the future, are getting the true story no matter where they turn.
So cast an eye over your online presence – even if it’s just in the departures lounge of the airport. There’s always room for improvement!