What is the first thing you do when you connect with someone new (at least when they are out of sight)?
Google them? Look them up on Linked In?
And what do you feel if they have no online presence?
A bit suspicious?
Yes – especially if they are a potential client, a potential supplier or a potentially important collaborator.
Nowadays, people without a footprint in the online world are seen as behind the curve, old-fashioned, potentially dodgy, or even non-existent.
And don’t think dancing cat videos and blurry holiday snaps on Facebook are what I mean by an online footprint.
I mean a decent website, or a bio on their company website, a decent Linked In profile with a reasonable number of connections and recommendations, potentially an active Twitter stream (though not necessarily essential), and preferably some published articles, white papers and blogs to showcase their expertise.
These are now the hallmarks of credibility. Without them you will lose authority, you will be an also-ran, you will lose connections and business. You may also miss out on your dream job: recruiters are now checking people’s online social influence – their Klout scores – before taking them on.
That doesn’t mean you have to tweet your every move … telling the world that your train is late again, that you’re at your desk, that you’ve had sushi for lunch.
After all, who cares.
It does however, mean sharing interesting and meaningful information, “content” in today’s terms, whether it has been created by you or others and using the different online and social media channels available to build your brand and establish your credentials.
For example, last month Rough House spent a week media training in Geneva. Of itself, my providing updates on social media that we were now on our second, or third, or fourth day wasn’t interesting to anyone but my husband and son. Or that I was writing feedback about those on that days’ media training course.
But sharing those updates builds our credibility and showcases our expertise. It highlights that a major international organisations are using Rough House as their media trainer of choice and provides a little insight into the service we provide – that we write individual feedback for each of our trainees.
All of which helps to build our brand and establish the fact that we are good at our job.
Social media is the new business card. To engage with it is essential.
Please contact us either by calling on 020 8332 6200 or emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.