Beyond PR

Dec 10, 2010

Optimizing your Online Profile and Showcase Your Expertise

Most business people have online and expert profiles scattered across the web.  These are very powerful ways to get noticed, yet most of us don’t even give them a second thought – let alone filling them out completely.  However, if you took the time to create a truly optimized profile you might be amazed at how much more engaged you can be in your area of expertise- which can lead to more visibility, increased sales,  speaking engagement and who knows maybe even that corner office that you have been eyeing.

The trouble is that most people don’t know where to start, or don’t feel that the it has a positive return on investment.  I can assure that just few simple tips and tricks can help you get what you want out of your profile without taking up too much time.  The first question to ask yourself is what are you trying to get out of the profile?  Are you trying to build up trust in an area of expertise?  Do you want to get leads for your business?  Are you hoping to snag more speaking engagements?  The answer to the first question will help you with the rest, but it is like anything else you need to have a plan to succeed!  Knowing what you want to accomplish will shape the rest of the way you craft your profile.

When crafting always think through the lens or what makes me credible to achieve the goal I have outlined and make sure that it is reflected in your profile. Regardless of the goal of your profile, the following tips and tricks should help you get what you want out of your optimized profile.


  • It is okay (in fact recommended) to have more than one profile.  You could have LinkedIn for business, Facebook for friends, ProfNet Connect for the media and Google Profiles for those that might find you via the search engine.  Make sure that your profile matches the vibe of the network.
  • To keep them up to date put a note in your calendar to check them once a month and make sure that they are all updated
  • Research the keywords to make sure that they are relevant, and favorable search placement is obtainable

SEO and your profiles

Do a search on the site for the keywords you were thinking of and see if they are “already taken” or whether you need to adjust.  As an example you might want to be recognized for the term “SEO” but that term could be crowded and may be too general, would something such “Social Media SEO” be a better fit, and make high rankings more obtainable?  Other tips for building the SEO of your profiles include:

  • Don’t forget to use those keywords in your status updates!
  • Make sure that your profiles are complete.  Partially filled profiles can be worse than no profile at all in some instances.
  • Use a professional photo, an informal one may be appropriate for your personal profile, but keep it a headshot for your professional profiles
  • Have all of the appropriate contact information available and don’t forget to include your Twitter handle to help improve your following on Twitter
  • Embed other assets, such as presentations on SlideShare, that help build establish your authority
  • Pick a vanity URL that will help with search, either your name or your area of expertise
  • Include a link to your profile in your email signature file and any relevant blog posts you create

What tips do you use to stand out from the crowd?  Feel free to share them below.

Authored by Ted Skinner, vice president, data intelligence, PR Newswire.

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