You, online

Guess which online information about you affects peoples’ opinion of you?

Everything.

Every last photo that pops up (sure, on your Facebook page, but also your Twitter feed and even the picture of you on Skype).  Each snippet is a little piece of you.

Yes we’d love to hear from you every day through your blog, which you can set up in about three minutes.  And yes it’s a good thing to have some personality.

If that feels like too much, why not put up a homepage (like Frank’s or James’)?  You could spend one day (one day!) doing this and making it better than 99% of what’s out there.  If a properly hosted page seems like too much, how about an About.me profile.  And yes, you should be on LinkedIn too.

And since you have at least one friend who has a nice camera and likes to take pictures, ask her to take headshots of you on a simple white background and buy her dinner to thank her.  Heck, invite some friends over.  Best $50 you’ve ever spent (OK maybe more if drinks are involved).

You don’t have forever to stand out from the crowd, but right now it’s still pretty easy to distinguish yourself online.  What are you waiting for?

Hurry.

About you

Take a moment and google yourself.  C’mon, I know you’ve done it before, so go do it again, and then come back.

Do you like what you discovered?  Do you like what people who don’t know you see when they google you? (because they are doing it, or they will).

That online identity is the first impression you make.

It takes less than 10 minutes to create an About.me page (I literally did this one in less than 10 minutes).  So why not claim yours today, because it can’t hurt?  You can just as easily claim a WordPress blog, a personal URL, even a personalized URL for Facebook, Twitter account, you name it.

The catch is that none of this changes what the world sees when they type your name into “the Google.”  No, to change that you have to produce stuff that others write about, link to, share…which sounds incredibly intimidating and insurmountable until you consider that there are zillions of groups (volunteer and otherwise), MeetUps, blogs, get-togethers, coffee klatches, and groups-waiting-to-be-organized-and-or-have-you-jump-into-the-fray-and-make-a-name-for-yourself out there.

Jump in not BECAUSE of the Google search results, but because there’s a chance, today, to make a mark, a connection, and yes, a name for yourself, within our outside of your day job.

Starting small is still starting.