Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

12 steps to a polished online persona


Published on

How to ensure you have a polished online persona.

Published in: Business
  • Login to see the comments

12 steps to a polished online persona

  1. 1. 12 Steps to A Polished Online Persona TAKE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE FROM ZERO TO HERO!Dana ChenDCVD Media • January 2012email: •• 1
  2. 2. 1. Take stock of your online status! 42. Start or optimize your website! 73. Commit to blogging on a regular basis! 94. Assess which social platform is best for you! 115. Set up your LinkedIn profile! 146. Set up your Twitter profile! 157. Tips for your Facebook fan page! 178. Leverage your industry’s best content! 199. Measure and track your site traffic! 2010. Mind the SEO! 2111. Plan your editorial calendar! 2212. Caring for your online persona! 24Bonus: Look at the big picture!! 26email: •• 2
  3. 3. Kicking off your online presence in 2012 in 12 steps!Happy 2012! Is this the year you’ll take your business online and fully maximize the amazingpossibilities that social media has been promising? Is this the year you’ll finally get yourwebsite up and running, your email newsletters fine-tuned, Twitter followers engaged,Facebook fans enthralled, and most importantly, see some kick ass results from all theseonline tools you’ve heard so much about?Then this guide is a great start for you.In 12 steps, this zero to hero guide gives you a list of online activities to complete insequence, to ensure that your online strategy is air-tight!email: •• 3
  4. 4. 1. Take stock of your online statusWhere are you now?BEGIN AT THE BEGINNING Wordpress, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, PicasaThe beginning of any online presence should start with your own website. In the next point,we’ll get into why that is the first and foremost task you should bust ass for, now!But website aside, let’s quickly take stock of where you are at this moment, and set someexpectations.So what are these fancy and magical social media tools that everyone keeps talking about?Before we go any further, let’s get one thing clear:Social media tools are exactly what they sound like: tools.No more, no less.Before diving into the tactics and get lost in a flurry of social media marketing activities,consider the following as they relate to your BBC (business, brand, cause): (GOALS + FOUNDATION ) x (PATIENCE + CONSISTENCY) = SUCCESS1. Goals: Your BBC should have clear goals in the short, medium, and long term, and yoursocial media activities should relate directly to those goals. Not every BBC has the same goals,so it only stands to reason that there is no one-size-fits-all social media action plans. Onceyour goals are clear, then craft the battle plan. For SOME BBC and goals, it might actuallymake sense to stay away from the more popular social media platforms like Twitter andemail: •• 4
  5. 5. Facebook, and focus on more niche ones. Your time is limited. So plan, and spend themwisely!2. Foundation: There should be a solid foundation (i.e. your business) for you to market on.No amount of marketing can make up for a lacklustre product or service. Logical, right? Andno amount of Facebook-ing and Twitter-ing can replace the need for a web site and regularblogging. Yes, blogging. Yes, website. Agreed? Good, there’s way more about that on thenext page.3. Patience: Getting results from social media is kind of like going to the gym. It takes time toexperiment and try different things and see what kind of online marketing works for yourspecific BBC, just like it takes a variety of approaches (sometimes with the help of a personaltrainer) to figure out the kind of workouts that have the desired effect on your body. Sopatience, as they say, is the game here.4. Consistency: Nobody gets a six-pack after 2 weeks of non-stop crunches. It might give youa hernia, however. On the other hand, sticking to a workout schedule will slowly, but surely(!)get you results. Being active on social media networks holds the same principle. Consistencyleads to success, clichéd but true.And just so we are clear, here’s what to (and not to) expect from social media.What social media can do for you:•Compliment your BBC goals and long-term strategies.•Give momentum to your marketing activities.•Allow you to network with business partners, customers, and peers beyond your currentnetwork.•Foster closer relationships with your clients and business partners.•Potentially give you a sustainable long-term advantages over your competitors.What social media can NOT do for you:•Magically and virally grow your BBC from one day to the next.•Grow a fan base for your BBC without you building a solid foundation underneath it. Inmost cases, this foundation is your website. Your fans need a place to land on after connectingwith you on various •• 5
  6. 6. •Replace making offline connections. The goal of making online connections, is mostly totake them offline at some point.•Dictate your business goals. The tail cannot wag the dog! Your overarching business goalsfor the short, medium, and long term should determine what your specific social mediaactivities are for the coming •• 6
  7. 7. 2. Start or optimize your websiteGive all your social media activities a home to go toGO WORDPRESS!Before you consider trying out any of the cool social media bells and whistles of the month,consider one thing first: how is your website?I hear all the time from small businesses and solopreneurs that they don’t have a website, orthey have a website but it’s unfortunately under construction, or that they are not happy withthe website they currently have, so that they don’t want to spend too much time on socialmedia anyway - because without a respectable looking website, where are they gonna directtheir customers to anyway?Make the Jump In 2012, your number one goal should be to become the true MASTER of your domain, yes, web domain! And making your website really doesn’t have to be difficult. With Wordpress, you have a FREE tool that is both powerful and easy to implement. Did you know that 13% of the Internet, including some of the biggest sites in the world, run on Wordpress? If you think anything to do with making websites istoo complicated for you, consider the alternative: 1) no website, 2) a website that costs tons ofmoney, or 3) most likely, a website that costs a lot of money and one you can’t ever edit orconfigure without waiting for days, if not weeks, for your webmaster to answer your email.Wordpress is truly one of the easiest platforms to learn to use and run for yourself. [Ashameless plug here, throughout Jan-Feb of 2012, I’ll be running a series of FREE webinarson how you can set up your own Wordpress website from scratch. For detailed schedulinginfo, go to for the sign-up link!]email: •• 7
  8. 8. Make the SwitchIf you are on a system that’s currently giving you a lot of headaches when it comes to pagesand posts updating, and your content never gets found by Google because it’s not searchengine optimized, then perhaps it’s time to consider a switch to Wordpress.What I love most about Wordpress, aside from how FREE it is, is how flexible it can be. Witha little bit of customization, a Wordpress site can look so incredibly professional andpersonalized, most of your customers and partners won’t believe you set it up yourself!email: •• 8
  9. 9. 3. Commit to blogging on a regular basisThe best way to drive free and sustainable traffic to your siteSTEADY AND CONSISTENT WINS THE RACEOnce you have your dream site up and running, it’s time to start blogging! Why blog you say?Is it not good enough to throw up my contact and about pages, and forget about it?No ....Or let me put it another way, why would you want to forego the opportunity for freeadvertising?There are so many benefits to blogging, let me count the ways.1. Blogging makes you stand out: When was the last time you checked out the website of your massage therapist, hairdresser, or dog walker? Don’t you click all around their (many times badly constructed) websites, wishing you could just get a glimpse of what they are about? And more often than not, the more information they give out about themselves, the more inclined you feel to check them out. And once you step your foot into their stores, all that goodwill you have built up from knowing them from online comes to fruition, and you pull out your wallet!email: •• 9
  10. 10. Or some version of that, you know what I mean. Bottom line is, we do business with people.Having a website says “wave, I’m here”. Keeping up a blog says, “I’m here and I want to knowabout you - my customers. Here’s a little about me first.”You know what happens when you don’t stand out? You win on the lowest price. And thelowest price is rarely a sustainable competitive advantage.2. Blogging gives you credibility. If you are an interior designer, show me what you’ve got! And don’t just snap pictures and post them on your blog like it’s Flickr, talk to me about them. Talk me through your style, your thought process, talk about what makes you unique. It’s a great way for your customers to check you out, but it’s also a great way for your customers to self select. If your style matches what they are looking for, they come to you already, half-sold!3. Blogging makes you more searchable in Google! Google’s algorithm loves frequently updated websites. And what’s a better way of updating your website than blogging regularly? Blogging once a week on subjects that your customers are already looking for is a great way to get found!4. Blogging provides you with the content you can share on social media (ah-ha!), which leads your customers and partners back to your command central a.k.a. website. Credibility established, bond strengthened, and if followed up the right way, leads gained!So what are you waiting for, get blogging!P.S. With online media expanding the way it is, the concept of blogging is no longer limited tojust writing, but also video blogging, and photo-blogging. So if writing is just not your cup oftea, then pick up a camera or a video recorder, and get busy that way!email: •• 10
  11. 11. 4. Assess which social platform is best for youLinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and beyond?PICK AND CHOOSE LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, DeviantArtYes, we are all focused on the big three (or four) social networks when it comes to marketingour BBC (business, brand, or cause) online. Namely, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn (somewould also add Youtube in here).  But for most small businesses, time is perhaps the biggestconstraint. Most advice you get nowadays tells you regular engagement through your socialnetworks is essential for social media success. But with limited time – you do have a businessto run after all, which ones should you focus on?!The short answer?It really depends on your business.When to focus on FacebookHere’s a couple of cases where it makes sense to focus on Facebook first, if you haven’talready:1. You are an offline business that already has a small but loyal following. In which case,engaging with this already warm crowd is great on Facebook. Your message will go straightinto their home feeds and is integrated into their existing Facebook experience. And thebarrier to them “liking” you is way lower than a completely cold prospect, when yourpotential fans already know about your •• 11
  12. 12. 2. You are a one-person business, but the nature of your business is very visual. If you are aphotographer, videographer, graphic designer, etc, then Facebook is a pretty good mediumfor you to grow a following from. People love pictures and videos more than anything onFacebook, so start there!When to focus on TwitterIf you are a one-person business that trades mostly on content that is not visual, then stickwith Twitter first. The “start-up” time on Facebook is more – it simply takes more effort andtime to build up your fan page on Facebook properly.Some other ideas for your unique businessEvery business is different, so here are some ideas for you, if you feel like you’re not quitefinding your niche on the more popular networks.Flickr/Instagram/Pinterest/DeviantArtFor the artists, graphic designers, photographers, or any businesses that have that visualelement to it. Each community tends to like, or focus on different aspects of this visualmedium. For example, Flickr has been around the longest, DeviantArt is arguably the edgiest,Instagram the hipster-est and Pinterest the yuppiest. Find out where your customers are andwhat pushes their buttons.Youtube/Vimeo/LivestreamIf you are the talking kind, or if your business is the kind that does best when shown versustalked about, then using a video medium is a GREAT way to stand out from the crowd. A lot ofpeople prefer the speaking/moving medium vis-a-vis the reading kind.SlideshareA great tool if your work is heavily text or presentation based. Slideshare gives you a greatplatform to showcase your “expertise” in the form of slides!QuoraIf you have a very specific subject expertise, Quora is a great place to answer some of thosequestions and display your expertise in a very effective way: by answering real life questionsposed by real people. It is also a place to ask questions and get some great, in depth answers!email: •• 12
  13. 13. SoundcloudMaybe you own a record store, are a musician, or aspiring stand-up comic, Soundcloud is agreat place to post clips of your audio files online.FourSquareFourSquare is a good option if you have a business with a physical location. With check-ins,you can see whom your biggest customers are (you might know that already, but this is a greatway to find out which one of those customers are cheering for you the most in cyberspace,which may be even more valuable in attracting new customers for you in the longer run).Reward your fans, involve them in your growth and success!And the other big oneGoogle+A relative newcomer to the scene, but growing at a seriously rapid speed, loved by techies andearly adopters. If your business is technology-focused in some ways or another, Google+might be a good place to check out and gain some devoted •• 13
  14. 14. 5. Set up your LinkedIn profileBest way to show the world you are serious about business!LINK ME UP SCOTTY!LinkedIn is the primary business network in the world. While Twitter and Facebook’sbusiness values were dubious for the longest time when they first started, there was never anydoubt that LinkedIn meant business!With that in mind, it makes sense to “link” to a much more select group of professionallyaffiliated people through LinkedIn, than any other networks.Filling out your profileFilling out your profile fully and making it publicly available on LinkedIn has several benefits.One, it makes you easier to find. We are on LinkedIn to connect professionally with our past,present and future colleagues or business partners, so display your affiliations!Two, LinkedIn makes recommendations for you based on your existing profile content.Sometimes it’s people you can connect with, other times it’s jobs. Jobs, like projectopportunities you can follow up on!Three, legitimacy. We all leave some form of digital footprint. And if it has to be anywhere, itmight as well be on LinkedIn, the most grown-up of all social •• 14
  15. 15. 6. Set up your Twitter profileTake advantage of the best networking toolLET THE BIRD TWEETHow do you use Twitter?It seems a moot question to ask at this point, and the simplest answer might just be that “cuzeveryone else is on Twitter!”. But giving this question some careful thought before you diveinto the land of Twitter (or if you are already on Twitter and the experience so far has beenkinda disappointing) will let you ride the Twitter bullet train to its maximum speed!Are you using Twitter as a conversation medium with your friends, family, orwhomever you come across on and offline?Then your use of Twitter is pretty passive – you make yourself available, but not much else.There’s room for improvement.Are you using Twitter primarily to gather information for your business,hobbies, or just general news?For example, if you are a graphic artist in City X, then one of your primary goals with Twitteris to track what your peers are saying, watch out for offline meet ups, industry events, and beaware of when big clients are up for grabs.In that case, here are some must-dos:•Have lists set up that track local as well as international •• 15
  16. 16. •Set up keyword searches and alert tags for people and subjects you are tracking.Are you a curator, disseminator of information? If you use Twitter to establishand display your expertise in a specialized area, then here are must-dos:•Curate and follow lists of news feeds in your area of specialty.•Only tweet what has passed your quality bar, i.e. only tweet what you have read and“approve of”.•Use tools like or BufferApp to space out your tweets, so you are not flooding thetweet stream of your followers every time you share half a dozen articles.•Measure how many people read, comment, and retweets you by plugging into yourtweeting platform of choice.Are you a networker on Twitter? Wonderful! That is one of the things thatTwitter is turbo-charged for. Here are some must-dos:•Make lists, segment them based on geography, subject, those you want to partner up with ordo business with, and engage!•Measures you progress by tracking how well you are doing by linking up to see yourclick statistics, or checking out your Klout or PeerIndex scores.•Making Twitter lists for events participants is a great way to network online before an offlineevent.•Take time out to maintain your lists (more at number 12).email: •• 16
  17. 17. 7. Tips for your Facebook fan pageWhat to do once you’ve created a page?TIPS TO FANDOM!1. Give your Facebook a human touch. Did you know that you can add a Profile page onFacebook, and list your Administrator(s) behind the page? Its great to see their faces and bioon Facebook. After all, these are the people talking through the wall!2. Give your Facebook updates a human touch. We know there’s someone typing out thesemessages, so sign them! It doesn’t matter that there’s multiple personalities behind a Brand,let them all shine through!3. Let your fans promote themselves through your Wall. First and foremost, there should besome guidelines as to what is, or is not allowed - i.e. paying programs or services cannotadvertise on your wall, but fans should definitely be encouraged to say hi, and showcase theirown Facebook page if they have one. Giving your members the chance to show off (their FBpage, their projects), means they’ll most likely “share” that post on their own wall, whichmeans their friends can see your page too. Also, the more your Facebook “Edgerank” scoregoes up, the more people look at and interact with your postings. Just saying, morepostings=usually all good.4. Preface your posting with an intro. We often post blog, or external content directly inFacebook with no context or reference. But you will see that there’s way more interaction ifyou preface that piece of content with a bit of your own witty commentary. A short intro isalways useful in connecting the content to your community. But you know what’s better? Aquestion. Nothing gets people talking and interacting like •• 17
  18. 18. 5. If you post offers, discounts, events, off-line meetings, for example, always make it veryeasy for people to sign up from the post. Don’t just tell people about the offer and leave it atthat, we are lazy, so unless we are spoon-fed the link, many won’t make the effort to find it.And make sure any links you add is not membership or password protected. There’s nothingmore annoying than clicking on a link, only to see that you are restricted from the content.6. Recognize your fans! Fans beget fans. Keeping your biggest fans happy is a no-brainer ingrowing your fan base for the long-run. Many FB communities recognize fans by picking “fanof the week” and featuring them on the wall. That’s all fine and dandy, but it’s always moreeffective to find out what your fans want recognition for, and rewarding them that way. For acollaborative working community, for example, it might be more important to the members tobe recognized for their achievement, or their current project, since the connections andinfluence that gives them supersedes the need for just having their picture featured. So thebottom line is, find out what fans want to be recognized for, and give that to those that supportyou the most.7. Event calendar. It is possible to have an Event tab added to your Facebook page, whichmakes it a pretty handy tool for members to get updated on events.8. Post educational and relevant content. Posting content that support your fans works andlifestyles will get the most amount of reads and engagement. As long as the contentconsistently adds value to their lives, they will keep coming back. But be aware that buildingup your fan base is kind of like going to the gym - nobody gets a six-pack in a week, but a fewmonths down the road, the results will be hard to ignore!9. Post entertaining content. This is the 80/20 rule of Facebook postings. Eighty percent ofthe content should be consistently on the topic that the community is dedicated to, and theother twenty percent can be anything fun! This is especially great on a Wednesday or Friday,to perk up your community from the week’s work fatigue. Everyone wants to laugh. Makethem laugh!10. Ask questions. There are so many questions you can ask your community on Facebook.Statistics have shown that Fridays and Sundays are the best days to get feedback, Saturdaysthe worst. It’s also well-known that questions that get answered the most are those that ask forone-word, or one-sentence, answers. Questions like: Describe how you are feeling this week,one word, go! Describe the one attribute you love the most in your customers. What’s the onething you are looking forward to do in Amsterdam this winter. You get the •• 18
  19. 19. 8. Leverage your industry’s best contentSupplement your own content with other people’s contentBECOME THE CURATORYou are probably thinking: That’s all well and good, my own website is up, my social mediaprofiles up and running, but how can I possibly find enough “stuff” to talk about with mycommunity to keep them interested?Ah, that’s the million euro/dollar question! You are a small business owner, with emphasis on“business”, so it’s no wonder you don’t have time to sit around and pound out blog postsevery day.So why not curate content by other heavy-hitters in your industry, and share your excellenttaste with your followers?Billing yourself as the expert in your industryBecause you are, right? You know the ins and outs of your industry, you have an opinion onwhat works and what doesn’t, you can direct your customers to the best resources out there.So why not curate and channel the best resources that you come across, and share them withyour followers?After all, isn’t that the best way to foster a sense of community and loyalty amongst your fansand followers? To constantly add value to their businesses and give them a reason to comeback to you, time after time?email: •• 19
  20. 20. 9. Measure and track your site trafficWho’s coming, and from where?GOOGLE ANALYTICSMeasuring whom and where your visitors come from gives you a sense of clarity when it comesto the online component of your business. Knowing which one of your online activitiesproduces real results (remember, all activities should serve the end goal of driving traffic toyour website, and with website, comes the opportunity to showcase your products andservices to your potential customers), gives you the peace of mind that you are doing the rightthing for your business, at all times!The best way to track your website performance is through Google Analytics. To do that, youneed to set up a Google Analytics account, and copy and paste part of your ID into a file inyour website. [Again, this is something we will have covered in one of our Jan-Feb WordPresswebinars, more information at]Tracking and measuring traffic and your website performance is a pretty important part ofyour digital master plan, not only to feedback on how you are currently doing, but serves as areminder of where you would like to go. If one part of your online activities just isn’tproducing the kind of results you want, then it’s good to know ASAP!email: •• 20
  21. 21. 10. Mind the SEOGet found by the right people!KEYWORDS UNITESEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a term that describes the process of makingyour website easier for Google (or any other search engine) to find.The factors that determine how easily a website is found, is the subject of many, many books,workshops, not to mention blog posts.While many people disagree on the specifics, the general consensus is this:1) Google likes a frequently updated website. The more regular your site is refreshed with information, the more likely it will be found, when someone types in ....2) Keywords! People type in their questions all the time on the Google search, and if what they are looking for matches that one (or more) piece of content on your website, then your site has a chance of showing up on the first page or two.A lot of people go to great length peppering the content of their website with all kinds ofkeywords, so they show up higher on the search rank when Googled. This is not reallynecessary. Google is smart to know when it’s been manipulated. And plus, you really want tomake sure that the content you produce from your site connects with your customers,business partners, and well, just people. People don’t like reading keywords-laden copywriting, they want information delivered in an entertaining manner from, you!email: •• 21
  22. 22. 11. Plan your editorial calendarLighten the load by making up your content calendarGET AHEAD OF THE GAMEIt all sounds like so much work, doesn’t it! All that website building, traffic tracking, SEOoptimizing, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook updating, blah blah blah, when would you actuallyhave time to run your business?But fear not. Setting up your profiles on various networks take a bit of time, so does buildingup your website (although not as much as you would think!). This is a one-time deal, thencomes the long-haul work.Before we get into the details on how you can care for your online persona (next point!),heres an idea that will make all this content creation madness sound more manageable: Makeup your own editorial calendar on a weekly or monthly basis!Newspapers and magazines do this all the time. They fill in their editorial agenda with storiesand content waaaaaaaay ahead of time, leaving only a small amount of space for breaking news.If you are blogging regularly as a way of marketing your business and reaching out to yourexisting and potential customers, then its a great idea to employ the same method as the bigguns!email: •• 22
  23. 23. So how do you do this?For blogging, the easiest thing to do is to just carve out half an hour of your time, once aquarter, shut yourself off from distractions, and brainstorm as many blog posts as possible.You are the master of your domain, and you know your customers best, so tell them what theywant to know!Once you are done, place one post per week on your calendar, and you are set for at least aquarter of editorial content, if not more!On Twitter and Facebook, you can do the same in pre-writing some of your tweets and statusupdates on a weekly basis. As as the week progresses, you can always add in the more"breaking news" •• 23
  24. 24. 12. Caring for your online personaRegular maintenance neededHOW GOOGLE SEES YOUSocial media profiles beg to be updated and maintained. There’s nothing worse than makingthe leap towards having a social media presence, and then not keeping up with it.The same principle applies to all aspects of your digital activities: from blogging regularly, toupdating your LinkedIn profile, to maintaining your Facebook fan page, and of course, toworking consistently on your Twitter account.Here’s an example of the type of regular house cleaning I think you should put some back intofrom time to time. If you go through the below list at least once a month, then you’ll alreadycome out way ahead of your competitors!An example of Twitter maintenance1. Clean house. Get rid of accounts that are spammy, too robotic, too off the paths that you areinterested in. Also, make lists to separate people if necessary. If someone tweets too much,but still a good person to follow and check up on from time to time, then put them on a “heavycontent” list on Twitter. For people that tweet on a specific subject you follow, but don’t needto see the content showing up in your timeline all the time, put them on a special subject list.All in all, spending half an hour sorting through your existing list of Twitter following is wellworth the effort for the sake of your long-term Twitter sanity.2. Follow up on new off-line connections. If there’s people you’ve met offline since your lasttune-up, and haven’t followed up with them on Twitter, this is the time to connect again withthem online.3. Go through your existing following to find new people to follow. If you have a solid list ofpeople that you are following already, then it’s not hard to discover new people by clicking onthe list of people they follow. I also always find cool new people to follow just by browsingthrough some of my favourite tweeple’s timeline.4. Look for new people to follow. Start with Listorious, which can give you a huge number ofpeople and lists to cover for any given topic. From there, check out their bios and timelines tosee if someone is worth following. I wouldn’t worry too much about over-following people. Ifemail: •• 24
  25. 25. they are not the conversationalists you were hoping for, you can always take them off yourfollow the next time around.5. Once you’ve checked off all four of the above (and bravo to you!) and still want more, thenit’s always good to do a search for top blogs in your area of interest, and follow those bloggers.Google does a good job returning endless lists of “top 10 photography blogs” or “top 10architecture blogs”. It’s pretty rare nowadays to not have a Twitter handle if you are a regularblogger. So if the blog content is good, than the blogger might very well be worth following onTwitter as well.So there you have it, some quick tips on Twitter maintenance to make it more fun for thedigital you to hang out in!email: •• 25
  26. 26. Bonus: Look at the big picture!Always relate your business goals to your online activitiesPUTTING IT ALTOGETHERSometimes, in the midst of this organizational frenzy, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.Remember step 1, when we talked about how important it is to match your goals to youractivities?Never lose sight of that!A periodic assessment of how you are spending your time, and whether they are having thedesired impact on your business, is a great housekeeping habit! Plan for your activities, butnever let your day-to-day activities overwhelm your overall business goals. Remember, the taildoesn’t wag the dog!So here it is, all 12+ steps for you to form a sophisticated online persona for a successful 2012!If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions on how I can make this guide better,please email me at, or Twitter me @investoralist.To your online success in 2012, and talk soon!Dana Chenemail: •• 26