Create a Social Media Profile for your Portable Career

social media icons for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Delicious, YouTube, WordPressAfter the recent post on 5 Social Media Platforms Every Expat Blogger Should Use, one reader commented that he “never really caught on to the social networking thing.”

Well, if you’re not creating a portable career, you don’t have to “get” social networking.

However, if you’ll need to support yourself overseas as a writer, blogger, photographer, life coach or in some other portable career, you have a choice: learn to use social media to attract an audience and clients, or spend a lot of money on advertising.

If you choose to learn social media, read on.

Complete Your Social Media Profile

Once you’ve created your social media account — whether it’s on LinkedIn, Twitter or any other platform — it’s important to complete your profile. That’s how you’ll make yourself visible to the audience you want to attract.

Chris Brogan, author of Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything
recently described your profile as “your business card and your first impression rolled into one.”

Your profile serves as your online resume. You want to create an inviting profile that introduces you to the reader as a likable, trustworthy person, someone they’d like to do business with.

Here are some of the common elements you’ll find in most social profiles.

Photo

Some people use logos and other graphics instead of personal pictures. That’s fine if you’re creating a social profile for a big corporation, but as an individual you should use a picture of yourself.

Choose one where you look friendly and approachable. It doesn’t have to be a formal studio portrait, but it should look professional.

Headline (or Subject or Title)

Choose a headline or a title that tells readers what you can do for them. Use words that your prospects would use in a Google search.

Summary

Again, present this brief description of what you offer using searchable keywords and offer benefits, not just features.

Be specific. Don’t just tell people you offer coaching, tell them you’re a life coach specializing in helping trailing expat spouses.

Links

Here you can link to your website or blog and other social profiles. Make sure you change the link names from the defaults (“my blog,” “my website”) to the name of your actual site.

Here are some excellent articles on completing your profiles and getting started on our five social networks.

    1. How to get Noticed on Twitter. It’s aimed at freelance writers, but the principles are the same for any portable career.
    2. LinkedIn
    3. Google Plus
    4. Facebook
    5. Pinterest

Once you’ve completed one social profile you’ll find it’s pretty easy to knock off the others in a short space of time.

And here’s one more hint — if you’re new to the whole “social networking thing,” don’t try to get involved with all five of these at once. Choose one to focus on, get to know how it works and get comfortable with it. Then add the next.

For many of us who aren’t social butterflies by nature, the place to start is with LinkedIn, where everyone’s there for business anyway.

If you’re just getting started with social media, send me a link to your profile at one of these five networks and I’ll follow, friend, circle or connect with you.

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