A Picture is Worth 1K Words

The classic saying says “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. Your online brand includes your picture, avatar or graphic representation. What does your profile picture say about you?

When you post on a blog or website, your picture helps to enforce your message. Do you want to project a professional image? Choose an avatar that complements your message in a professional manner.

You can create your own unique Gravatar image to follow you around from website to website appearing beside your name when you write a comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?

Gravatar pluggins are available for WordPress blogs and other websites. You can learn more at the Gravatar website.

You can select different avatars to appear for each email address. Just log into Gravatar and set up your free account. Add each email address you use and confirm by clicking on the email you receive in that account. Log into Gravatar to upload your pictures and images. Select the image you choose for each email account you registered.

Post a comment here and let us see your Gravatar.

Myself
Creative Commons License photo credit: erikpaterson

Chicago Blackhawks Tweet

According to a Daily Herald report this week, Chicago’s Blackhawks pro hockey team are tweeting to their fan base. Over 30,000 followers to the @NHLblackhawks use the site to keep up with the latest news. The Blackhawks team is owned by the Wirtz family which turned to Twitter and Facebook as a way of connecting with their younger fans. Their current Facebook fans number over 200,000 and continue to grow.

Rocky Wirtz heads up the organization, infusing new techniques his father William shied away from. The Blackhawks social networking presence connects them with new fans and increases interest in the club.

The Hawks could learn a few things from other Chicago Sports teams. Ozzie Guillen, White Sox manager uses Twitter to communicate. Recent posts include updates on his trip to Six Flags and a remembrance of a good friend who passed away. He tweets to followers in both English and Spanish.

Duplicate LinkedIn Profiles

Duplicate LinkedIn profiles are common. This can happen when you create a LinkedIn profile using one address then you receive another LinkedIn invitation to join through a different address. When you click on the link to the LinkedIn website, it does not recognize your email address and you are encouraged to create a profile.
ivan-walsh-linkedin-profile
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ivan Walsh

Why is this a problem? When you build connections and recommendations they are tied to a single profile. Currently, there is no way to merge two different profiles. They are each stand alone entities independent of one another.

Think of a customer or client who looks for you on LinkedIn. If they see two separate profiles, how will they know which one to connect with? The only way to resolve this is to delete one profile. When you do this, you will lose all your connections and recommendations on the deleted profile.

You can prevent this from occurring by updating your LinkedIn profile with all the email addresses you use.

Social Networking Etiquette

There is etiquette in social networking. Yes, the typing short cuts are GR8 and punctuation is optional. Despite this fact, there are rules in the online world. FInd out how you can make the most of your online time and present the best side of you.

Social Networking is about relationships. You’re building a community. As with any other group, there are standards of etiquette that will keep you in good standing with the people and groups with whom you connect. Find out the “dos” and “don’ts” to make the best impression. These powerful tools are free to use and can differentiate your brand. Stand out head and shoulders above the crowd without standing out like a sore thumb.

Social Networking Etiquette Report from CyberLife Tutors

Learn how to put your best face forward when you are online in this Social Networking Etiquette Report from CyberLife Tutors. Invest in yourself and learn how to effectively use social networking etiquette.

5 Reasons to Join LinkedIn Groups

Do you need more reasons to join a LinkedIn group?

For those who say they do not have time to network, here are some interesting statistics I read:

  • Percentage of elite professionals (those earning more than $200,000 per year) who say networking impacts income, according to a study from Upwardly Mobile Inc. with the assistance of the Graziadio School of Business Management at Pepperdine University: 80%
  • Percentage who believe a skilled networker could see up to a 100 percent increase in income: 58%
  • Percentage of respondents who said networking is how they found their current job: 40%

Source: uexpress.com/figurativelyspeaking

LinkedIn members, know they can connect directly with other individuals. LinkedIn groups enable collective connections with others to engage in group dialog.

Here are five reasons to join a LinkedIn group:

  • Learn from having rich discussions with others in your field, industry, geographic area, etc.
  • Identify partnership opportunities
  • Share best practices with other like-minded networkers
  • Post job openings
  • Build relationships to benefit from future employment or sales opportunities

To choose a LinkedIn group to join, search the ‘groups’ directory. You can choose from corporate, professional, industry, alumni, or geographic groups.

Join LinkedIn groups and network with others who are serious about managing their careers. You will learn and share ideas with industry experts. Members understand networking is not something you do for a short time to land a job. Networking is for life.

Post a question, offer your perspective, link to a career article or let us know about job openings. Send a note to the group and introduce yourself. What you put into the group will come back to you again and again.

Richmond Spring Grove Chamber LinkedIn Class

Watch for information on the upcoming Richmond Spring Grove Chamber Mixer dinner and LinkedIn training event.

Thank you to the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber of Commerce for inviting me in to talk about using social networking in your business and community. We had a full house for the event overlooking the scenic country club. It was fun to connect up with the owners of businesses I have visited through the years.

Many of you asked for a follow up session and we listened. We are planning a June dinner with hands on LinkedIn training co-sponsored by the Richmond Spring Grove Chamber and the Shah Center in McHenry, Illinois. The event will include dinner, networking and hands on training in the computer lab. Before the session, create a free LinkedIn profile then bring your user ID and password to the class.

Contact the Chamber at 815.678.7742 for more information or to register.

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.

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