Often clients come to me and ask how soon is too soon for them to focus on having a social media presence. They’re worried that having just a few small credits—that their résumé isn't enough.
So often we get in our own way—waiting for things to be perfect, comparing ourselves to others, worrying what others will think, etc., etc., etc.
But we need to stop the self-sabotage and perfection paralysis! Everyone has to start from somewhere. If you have the courage to put yourself out there—professionally packaging, presenting, and promoting yourself to the best of your abilities—it’s so much better than having or doing nothing at all!
While you really only get one first impression, something is better than nothing.
It’s OK if you’re just starting out! Having a website or active social media presence allows you to control the impression you give off—the brand, type, first or ongoing reputation others see of you.
In the same way that you research a restaurant, new show, or purchase decision online, many different kinds of people are going to Google to research you! (Should we hire this person in? Should I go on a date with this person? Who is that??)
Therefore, it’s important that you share your best and truest self consistently. This is one of my social media “filters.” I don’t believe in rules or cookie-cutter systems.
Always make yourself look as professional as possible. Most of the time, your online presence is something you can completely control from moment to moment (editing, filtering, deleting, or replacing).
Your channels are just as important as your content. Remember to answer these three questions for your audience when designing your website and social profiles:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- How can I contact you?
And don’t forget to get creative. This doesn’t mean lie about your résumé. However, just like you work to replace beginning credits on your offline résumé with larger professional achievements, you need to do that online!
If you need to make your résumé look better, you can also do some clever marketing. “Selected Credits” implies you have more to share. “Featured Dancer” reads better than “Ensemble” in the same way "Founder + CEO" reads better than "Owner". Even the way you order your credits is important!
Finally, remember that you're way more than your résumé!
Share who you are and what you're about. Share your talent (and résumé) through media—photos, videos, and audio.
You can totally create your own success and make things happen.
Perhaps the only person standing in the way is you?
Is it ever too late for an online presence? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.