Who is THAT?

Last week I met with Ross Anderson, Regional General Manager for Duke’s Waikiki Restaurants. During our talk, he called over his marketing team to introduce them to me. As he started the introductions, they interrupted him to say “We know April. She is one of our Twitter friends.”‘

April M. Williams

Here is one of April M. Williams profile photos

This instant recognition happened because they viewed my picture within Twitter messages over many months. Through multiple interactions, they felt they knew me.

Why is this so valuable? Because people buy from those they know, like and trust. “Buy” can mean purchasing products, services, referrals or hiring you as an employee.

I can share many similar stories like this where people commented on how easily they recognized me based on my online profile photos. Including a picture in your LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other online networking sites helps others develop a bond with you before you meet in person.

I can also share stories of people who are surprised when they meet someone in person who looks very different from their online photo. Sometimes the pictures are several years old, several pounds ago or from back when they had a full head of hair.

A red flag seems to go up when the real person does not match their photo. Take a look at your online photos. If they are more than a year old, consider giving your online look an update.

Make a Difference Day October 24 2009

Tomorrow is Make a Difference Day. Take this opportunity to share your talents, skills and passions with others. Feel good about yourself while making a difference in someone else’s life.

Volunteering can give you a chance to explore career options, sharpen abilities or gain new skills. Look for chances to mentor other or learned from a seasoned pro.

I work with several career centers in my area year round to provide job search advice and motivation. In return, I am rewarded with success stories from clients and even new business. It keeps me in the loop on the latest in the area.

Follow your passion. Volunteer to clean up an outdoor park. Read a story to a group of children. Put in a few hours at a non profit. As Nike says, “Just Do It”.

You can learn more about Make a Difference Day here.

Tweet up with Chris Pirillo

This week, I was invited to meet up with Chris Pirillo tech writer for CNN.com, Traci Toguchi, Ryan Ozawa, Vern Brown and other Hawaii friends.

I write for Vern’s Insider’s Guide to Hawaii travel website 808Talk.com.

We met at Tiki’s Grill overlooking Waikiki Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Chris Pirillo set up a Ustream live feed and you can watch some of the video below. Many other Hawaii social networking friends were there and it was fun to see them in real life.

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