How to Refine Your Online Image and Improve Your Reputation
Everyday, whether we want to or not, most of us contribute to a growing portrait of who we are online; a portrait that is probably much more public than most of us realize. So, no matter what you do online it's important for you to be aware of what kind of digital footprint you are creating and what the possible effects can be, good or bad.
Here are 9 reminders to help you make sure your online image is enhancing your reputation and success.
Monitor Your Brand: Your brand’s online reputation is constantly evolving and re-defined by every social media comment, review, and blog post. When someone discovers your business, they make judgments and buying decisions based on this content. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, you need to proactively manage your brand and online reputation.
Be Respectful: Everyone has different feelings and opinions and it is important to respect this online. You may wish to comment on something someone has shared but always remember that behind every account is a real person. If you wouldn’t say it to someone's face, don't say it online either.
Use Smart and Thoughtful Subject Headers: Something like "hello" won't get you much attention; in fact, it may doom your email to a junk or spam folder. Take the time to write thoughtful, specific email subject lines. And remember, don't use all caps to get attention. That's the equivalent of shouting.
Think About Who Can See What You Have Shared: Privacy settings are a simple way to restrict who can see what you are sharing, but even so, nothing is ever truly private online. Make sure you keep as much of your personal information off the internet as possible and never share anything inappropriate that may get you into trouble.
Think Before You Hit Send: Job prospects have been torpedoed by sending incomplete, or poorly written emails. Don't hit send until you're sure you're ready. Spell-check and proofread your emails. Keep things simple: Avoid smiley faces, fancy fonts and rainbow colors.
Be Careful When Posting to Online Forums Blogs, message boards, forums and other online venues provide great ways to connect. Just watch what you say, as your words will likely be there forever. Carefully re-read blog posts for grammar and spelling before you upload them.
Keep Your Personal Information Current: If you have a personal website or blog or other personal information stored at publicly accessible places online, be sure to keep it up-to-date. Especially with blogs and web pages, outdated information may convey the impression that you start projects and don't complete them.
Don't Be Too Familiar: Email may seem informal by nature, but you should still exercise discretion and courtesy. Determine the level of formality required before communicating online and always follow the rules of grammar and style for business communications.
Don't Get Hooked In A Comment War: Your online image should portray you as a professional, positive person. Unless the topic is in your area of expertise, it is not advisable to get involved in comment wars or disputes.