Keep Your Networking Profiles Consistent

One of the biggest problems across the boards of social media is how people inconsistently portray  themselves…I know preaching to the choir.

From job search profiles to how you tweet, it’s important to show your network the same person. And it all starts with discovering your niche.

So let’s go back to an old article I wrote:

One of the most important things to find is your niche. What do you like to do? What are you good at? I just realized mine is Dating/Career (topic wise). It may seem like these two don’t go together, but they have more in common then you would think.”

Are you starting to see why it is so important to establish this first? Finding your niche (okay now I’m over using the word…but I kind of like it so suck it.) will not only make you more likely to progress in networking, but it will also put you ahead of the game. Normally the things you like/find interesting, are the ones you know more about.

The hardest part after discovering what it is you want to be known for, is keeping it consistent. Once you have created this digital identity for yourself, you need to stick to it so you can 1. gain a following and 2. create credibility for yourself.

“A Digital identity is basically an electronic representation of you. The difference being it’s availability to way more people. When you think of how many people you interact with on a normal basis, just walking to class it’s most 50. Online it’s more like 50,000. Because of the popularity is social networking sites, and the instant access it provides more people are turning to sites like Facebook or twitter to find potential employees.” Don’t Be a Rebecca Black 

Once you’ve done all the hard work and have joined social networks galore it’s time to make sure you keep your profile consistent. Talk about the same general things, back up your experience with articles, and surround yourself with people in the same area of expertise.

Here is an example of someone with bi polar social networks:

On Twitter this person talks about weather reports, and updates their followers with the latest storm watches.

But on LinkedIn, it says that they are a hiring manager for Borders.

While it is okay to have interests in the weather, but by just tweeting about it like that you would lead people to believe that it has something to do with your career. It would become something you would be known for on Twitter, but lack mentioning on BeKnown, LinkedIn or Facebook.

This inconsistency would lead people to doubt your credentials in all areas. Although it is definitely important to share your interests with the world, it’s equally important to keep all profiles consistent. So if we go back to our bi-polar network friend we can add into each profile his interest in weather, and by even copying over other information from his networks. He can craft a profile based on all of his previous ones, then use just that one.

In the long run having one persona that you are known for is a lot less work than maintaining multiple identities. So stick to one, and create a brand for yourself.


How To: Effectively Use Professional (social) Networks

Joining the website, i.e. Twitter, Google + and LinkedIn etc.. isn’t the hard part. The hard part is figuring out what to do once you’re on it.

I am not ashamed to say it’s taken me a little over two years to grasp Twitter, LinkedIn still being a work in progress. It’s a little terrifying to put yourself out on the Internet, especially on a platform where future employers are watching. 

It used to take me hours to construct the perfect tweet, that I would then not send because I was too afraid that something would be wrong or someone might not understand the joke I had attempted to make. It was endless, I was a year in and had only sent 100 tweets.

After awhile, and some pushing from professors I started caring less about how frequently I was putting out content, and more about the quality of the content.

One of the most important things to find is your niche. What do you like to do? What are you good at? I just realized mine is Dating/Career (topic wise). It may seem like these two don’t go together, but they have more in common then you would think.

The next stop is to start connecting with people who are bigwigs in your area(s) of expertise (or at least the areas you want to be a leader in). You can do this by googling who is influential. For me it would be googling top 100 influential career blogs, and then finding the founders on LinkedIn and BeKnown.

Once you find the people you want to connect with it is important to send a personal message about why you would like to network with them. Keep it short and sweet: ” Hi, my name is Courtney and I’m interested in learning about career coaching. I would love to chat about how you got into the business if you have any free time.”  Short and to the point, a lot of professionals aren’t going to have time to read some long-winded message about how much you idolize them. And please don’t feel offended if you don’t get a response back, just move on to the next one.

The point of networks like BeKnown, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + is to magnify ones ability to network. So instead of sticking with your inner circle, why not take a leap out of it and find people who will help you get ahead? Just a suggestion.

Facebook Defriended

Can you be Facebook friends with someone who doesn’t share the same feelings as you? In the world of social media, what are the rules for kicking the guys who you screw out of your life?

Say I had been seeing this particular guy, who happened to say all of those perfect things that make you actually like him…weird, right? So, then you start to fall, you ask him what he was looking for and he answers “Casual Sex.” Say I might have been a little hurt by that, say I might have gone on two dates with two different guys that weekend. Say I then started sleeping with said causal sex guy. Worst part? It wasn’t even on my terms.

Why is it that when everything goes down it’s not “P.C.” to defriend someone on Facebook? Um, I’m sorry but I don’t want to see that you are dating someone else, or just “nailed some hot chick.” I know real classy. I’m all set with not ever seeing another update via Marky Z’s network about you.

So what does that say about me? Does it mean I’m immature because I don’t want to be public friends with a twit? Or does it mean that I’m immature because now I know he has no way of reading this blog post about him. I mean, if he was real.

I guess that leaves the question, can you defriend someone on Facebook without it coming back to haunt you?