If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that digital business is the way to do it and it is here to stay. We know that most workers want the opportunity to stay away even after a pandemic. A Robert Half study found that one in three teleworkers could quit their jobs if they had to return to the office full time.
It is clear that teleworking offers many opportunities and benefits. It also brings some challenges. At their forefront: How do you make a memorable first impression in a two-dimensional online world? While it’s true that your online brand will never be as visceral and engaging as you are, you can do things to create a meaningful connection to the virtual world. You can do this by focusing on these three functions.
1. Organize your Google house.
When people want to learn about you, they’ll probably type your name into Google and see what comes up. According to Intergrowth, 75% people never scroll past the first page of search engine results. And that’s good news. That means you only need to focus on about ten results to get your first impression. So egosurf (it’s called when you google yourself) and ask yourself this question: If someone were to look at these page 1 results, what would they think of me? If your answer is different from who you really are and how you want to become known, try to combine these results with your genuine personal brand.
2. Take advantage of LinkedIn.
When people review you professionally, they can bypass Google and go directly to LinkedIn. After all, it’s a place where professionals tell their stories – the world’s largest ongoing networking event. And LinkedIn is packed with profile features to help you introduce yourself and tell your story in a rich and engaging way. The three elements of your profile that play a key role in creating a compelling first impression are the title, the main image, and About.
- Title: Your title indicates that you are relevant. It helps people know what you are doing. Well-written headlines also have something else, like how you do what you do or what happens when you do what you do. Use all 200 characters to set the view.
- Head shot: Your main picture shows that you are serious. It makes you more approachable and lets people connect with you. It’s a particularly important part of your profile when you can’t connect with people in person. LinkedIn research indicates that taking a picture alone makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.
- About: The information shows that you are both believable and lovable. For most professionals, it is the most influential version of their bio. Enchanting Information begins with a fascinating statement that attracts attention, and then combines human qualities — values, passions, credentials, and recognitions — all chosen to show how your accomplishments set you apart. This alchemy provides an authentic and interesting 3D narrative that makes people want to know more about you.
3. Take advantage of the closest thing out there: Video.
Google results and a written bio (or LinkedIn About) can only go so far in building an emotional connection. If you really want to influence your audience, use video. Perfect communication includes words, body language, and audio – they are all part of the video. The best way to use video:
Tell us your LinkedIn cover story. This is a short (about 30 seconds) clip that sits behind the capture of your head, allowing you to present yourself in a much more dynamic and engaging way than just words. This new feature is only available at the time of release, so be careful and create a cover story as soon as it becomes available.
Create videos that lead to thoughts. Demonstrate your expertise while expressing your views by sharing your valuable insights in short 1-3 minute videos. This will not only allow viewers to see you, but will help you show your vision of what is important to you. Upload your video to YouTube. When you do that, the likelihood that they will appear on the first page of Google search results when people search on your name (makes those results more interesting). You can also add these videos to the LinkedIn demo section — turn your downloaded profile into a multimedia portfolio.
Make your mark in meetings. Sometimes your first impression is not the results of a Google search of your LinkedIn profile or name. You can also make a first impression in an online video conference. This means that you need to master this permeable tool and avoid these big mistakes. When your background isn’t disturbed, your shots frame your face properly, you look at the camera and the sound is sharp, clear and without ambient noise, you have the conditions to make a significant impact on those who encounter you for the first time through pixels.
Remember that digital precedes reality. Your first impression is made online, so try to make sure that when people meet you in the virtual world, you’re as close to yourself as possible.