In many cases, a first impression on the Internet may proceed a face-to-face introduction. Internet searchers are sophisticated and know how to research a company and the executives in order to drill down to the facts. And in most cases, a sales lead or potential business relationship will rely heavily on your digital first impression.
Master Your Digital First Impression
Your online ID is what is more relied upon by prospective clients and customers and for this reason, it is important that your digital resume is consistent with the flesh-and-bones version of you! When making predictions about happiness or convenience, people often focus on notable differences, excluding those that are less conspicuous. It’s important that your digital first impression is accurate and professional.
When making decisions, people rely on first impressions
The phenomena of anchoring refers to the human tendency to rely on the first piece of information offered—the anchor. This phenomena occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments.
What causes anchoring?
Several theories have been put forth to explain what causes anchoring. Although some explanations are more popular than others, there is no consensus as to which is best. But one thing that we do know… anchoring plays a big part upon first impressions. Once an anchor is set, people adjust away from it to get to their final answer; however, they adjust insufficiently, resulting in their final guess being closer to the anchor than it would be otherwise.
Why is your digital first impression important?
If you are selling a car, for example, the initial price offered for it sets the standard for the rest of the negotiations. So, in other words, first impressions are crucial in the business world. Your digital first impression is a large part of your anchor and can play a big part of closing a sale or building a long-lasting partnership.
Master your online ID
Because your potential customers are active Internet users, they know how to search! They are sophisticated and know how to drill down to the facts. Get your digital ID in order. People are sophisticated searchers and will add a word or two to their search in order to filter out the other results. Know what your business’ relevant keywords are and use them multiple times in everything you post on the web. A press release, a Linked In profile, a comment, a status update. All digital content is relevant and every time you contribute to a discussion online, think of it as a possibility. Use all your online comments as a tool and include your relevant keywords (don’t be excessive). Use your digital ID to to build a credible reputation for your personal name or your business name.
How to Build a Professional First Impression:
Buy your domain name
Even if you already have your own professional website, buy your domain name. If you don’t care to use it now, secure it in case you want to use it later. When someone searches your name, if you own the domain name associated with your name, it will most likely show up at the very top of Google results. You can use this domain to redirect visitors to your Linked In profile or elsewhere, like a page with your contact information or resume. The point is—control your own name by owning the domain associated with it.
Invest in a professional head shot
Get professional headshots taken. A business setting is best. Hence, wear a nice business suit should at the photo shoot. Don’t use a head shot from your high school yearbook. Be sure that the head shot you use online is is professional and that your face takes up most of the frame. Avoid full body shots, selfies or using something other than a pic of you as your head shot. We humans want to be able to connect a face with a name and this is your opportunity to own your digital identity. Your headshot is a big part of your digital ID so take the opportunity to present yourself in a professional lite.
Build a professional and authentic LinkedIn profile
Your Linked In profile is among the most important places to define your digital identity. Your LinkedIn profile is a big asset. So, manage it wisely. Your LinkedIn profile may show up at the top of the page. The web may be the first place we go to learn about someone and Linked In is the most important site for most of us.
Create a compelling headline instead of just using your job title. Include a summary that tells people not only what you have done, but who you are. Encourage people that look at your profile to have a conversation with you! You can do this by using first person in your copy. Get your Linked In profile in order.
A short video is the fastest way for people to learn about you. If you don’t want to hire an expensive developer to create your video, you can build one with PowToon. Videos can engage, educate, convince, improve your website rankings and increase sales. After you have an engaging video, add it to your website or online profile.
Setup a Google alert for your name (alerts.google.com) and remain vigilant. Managing your digital reputation is not a one-time event. Keep your digital profile up-to-date so it remains a relevant and compelling impression that will spur people to want to meet you in the real world.
People remember a first impression, so own yours!