You want to be a “thought leader”?
Have people “follow” you?
Take this with a grain of salt, but I am really tired of looking through profiles that are ridiculous. Profiles are your life now. Read anyone of thousands great articles on how to optimize your professional profile, and please, please do not make these mistakes:
PICTURE: Let’s start with the obvious. And this is a dual whammy for sure. Using clipart images, or your logo, or a flower for your photo, well, are you that horrid looking that we wouldn’t want to know who the hell you are? We are searching for information, not a life partner. Get a picture.
DESCRIPTION: Your quirky, hip tagline is so “hip” that no one understands what you are saying. Nike already has the best one, so write out something and then ask a Layman before posting.
CELEBRITY: Ok, so you are a published author, or something else super cool, and you think we all know you…yeah, all 400 billion of us know your book! Duh, come down to earth and write just a few more words about yourself other than the title of a book we never read.
TITLE: Let me be clear here—it is not what you do that interests me super-cool dude and dudette—it why and how you do it that matters to readers. (oh, look, another author…)
SELLING: In profiles, whether it’s your twitter handle or a “title” promoting your book or website….a little foreplay would be nice.
ADJECTIVES: “Award Winning”, “World Renowned”, “Expert”….How about “Totally Egotistical”? Yeah, that works for me, next!
TMI: Which means, Too Much Information. 2 Categories here: 1. Waaay Too Personal Stuff. No, we don’t want to know your “ew” stuff. Or 2. Every single title you have crammed in that small space? Pick one. If you can’t, we won’t either.
AWARD WINNER: Thank you, for thanking us, for encouraging you, to do anything in your profile. “You really like me!” No. No, we don’t.
CROSS DRESSER: And I don’t mean clothing here people. I am talking about the folks who start out being all professional listing their titles and jobs, blogs, and books and then say, “…and eat English muffins.” First off, TMI, and second, pick your lane.
“HAS BEEN”: New trend—squeeze in the “now I do this…” then throw in “has been that.” Resume in 120 characters is really tough. We are impressed with your ability to squeeze and minimize. Who the heck are you today? That is what we are looking for! (FYI: includes “former”)
NAME ONLY: Got it. You are so famous and recognizable that we must know who you are, who wouldn’t? 400 billion of us are just waiting to follow YOU. And I know, it could be the total opposite– you are anxious or shy. Well, one says buffoon and the other is just sad. Get off the internet.
LACK OF CONFIDENCE: You are the ones—who explain your title, why you chose that avatar over a photo….Seriously? Get a profile photo and write a description for heaven’s sake. We will like you, someone will like you. Trust me, have I told you yet there are 400 billion of us out here?
TITLE ENVY: When you make it so complicated with acronyms and “@” signs, even throw in a cute quotation tagline, well, you got it bad sister. Title Envy. Size doesn’t matter. Passion does.
OFF TOPIC: This might just be a case of website confusion. “I love my dogs, am funny, eat sushi…” Do you think you are on ChristianMingle.com? We don’t want to date you. We want to read content, relevant content and your love of dogs has nothing to do with motivational writing.
THE VISIONARY: I am not saying that a vision for a better future is not appropriate for your profile description, but when you use “head-in-the-clouds speak” without telling us what you do, how do we really know you are “the one?”
KISS: To the extreme of Keep It Simple Stupid. “Hi, I make nice things and I blog.” Ok. Cool. Right on. When you come down off your cloud, would you mind writing a description of those things you make? I didn’t get the memo.
YOUR PROFILE PIC:
- You and you alone.
- Your face please, not your left ear.
- Unless you drew it, not a comic character.
- Biting anything is just disgusting.
- Looking disinterested is not a way to endear the masses. Moody sociopaths maybe…
- Surprised? Hysterical? Exaggerated expressions work for drama students and escorts. Be real for once.
- Casablanca revisited might be creative, but it doesn’t really work in a small, very small, low-resolution space. That black and white, distant glance with you sipping, no smoking, no…what is that you are doing? Are you picking your nose?
So there you have it. The Good, Bad and the Ugly.
Bottom line? Be real. Be who you are and we will find you. Maybe not all 400 billion of us, but enough to make your world happy.
Maria Bereket is a social media and branding strategist. Find me here, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @mbear88. Email me too: firstname.lastname@example.org I can help you change your profile!