You have your Fan Page on Facebook humming away portraying you as the world’s BEST graphic designer, interior designer, business consultant, what be it. People naturally will be curious about what’s going on in your personal life. So let’s talk about your Personal Facebook and Social Media sites and your online persona. I personally believe you should allow your unique style, quirks and attitude to shine, as that typically will attract the best possible fit in your client base. People tend to flock towards others like them. Birds of a feather, well you know what they say. Although just because you may be a free spirit, doesn’t mean you and a Type A personality may not make beautiful business music together.
That being said, you don’t necessarily want a potential client seeing you in a negative light. Let’s face it, eventually you will be tagged in a photo from your college days, doing a keg stand and it turning off a potential client. I know, I know…it was a College Phase and you and I both know you are a hardworking, upstanding citizen and take your work seriously. Though going back to the psychological aspect of things, that single picture could make or break a relationship.
I encourage you to take a quick peek at your Personal Social Media Settings and make sure they are locked up tightly. We will touch on the settings together, as they seem to change quite frequently.
1) Personal Facebook – Privacy settings have actually improved recently, make sure your posts are set to “Friends” or you can even create “Custom” lists. I have a few separate custom lists on my personal page.
2) Instagram – You uploaded the picture last night at your friends Cinco de Mayo party not realizing a potential client just Googled your name! Yipes! Go there right now, Click “Edit Your Profile” and slide “Posts are Private” to the ON position. This way, no one sees your photos unless you’ve approved them as a friend. Remember this is for your personal Instagram page, if you have one for your business, that one should be public.
3) Be Careful what you Tweet, there’s really not much safeguard to see who sees your tweets. A sent tweet is a sent tweet. Anyone can screenshot those and recent media stories have illustrated the ramifications. If you mis-tweet and delete it later, people will really start to question why you took it down. So, think before you tweet!
4) Google your own name, see if you have a digital footprint and if that is positive or negative. Set up Google Alerts for you name so you can better monitor this information. You can do this simply by entering your name at www.google.com/alerts
People want to know who they are working with, and in the digital age we live in, it makes it so easy for others to get a glimpse into your personal life. The balance is to be yourself and let your personality shine, while still maintaining a level of professionalism online. After all, this will many times be the first impression people will have of you and your brand. So make it count! What do you think? Do you keep everything locked up or let your true colors shine through in all their glory?