The Future of Networking: Five Tips to Enhance Your Digital Presence

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We’ve all heard the adage, “You have six seconds to make a first impression.”

In an instantaneous, we will meaningfully join with somebody or be banished to their “I never want to talk to that person again” psychological bucket.

Amazing the facility of a easy second.

But what causes these vastly completely different outcomes? Is it our hair, our garments, our smile (or lack thereof), or one thing else altogether?

Our exterior look is undoubtedly an element. Everything about us tells a narrative. Our scuffed or polished sneakers say one factor. Our pressed or wrinkled shirt says one other. Without pondering, we meet somebody and pull collectively these alerts right into a story about who the particular person is.

In addition to our exterior look, potent intangibles improve or torpedo our first impressions. Above all is how we make somebody really feel. If we make an individual really feel important, if we exude heat and positivity, if we’re engaged and genuine, we make a connection. If not, we don’t. 

These easy equations over some perception into this dynamic:

  • Bad Appearance + Poor Intangibles = No Connection
  • Good Appearance + Poor Intangibles = Bad / Subpar Experience, Limited Connection
  • Good Appearance + Good Intangibles = Sublime Connection

But what occurs when a large shift happens, and we meet extra individuals on-line than in actual life? And our digital presence takes middle stage?

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Our New (Digital) Normal

Over the previous 12 months, each new enterprise acquaintance we’ve made we’ve seen solely from the shoulders up on Zoom or merely heard their voice over the cellphone. They’re floating heads on our laptops — current for the briefest of moments throughout our name, after which — poof! They’re gone as quickly because the tab is closed.

We know our look issues from the shoulders up. We consciously give attention to exuding heat and being current, however that easy, speedy connection that usually types in a in actual life (IRL) assembly is elusive. When we try to make a reference to others, our brains have a tendency to search two very important qualities: trustworthiness and credibility. Unfortunately, establishing them after we haven’t interacted with somebody in particular person is tough. That’s simply human nature.

So to Google all of us go, as Google is the keeper of all secrets and techniques and the answerer of all questions. Who is that this particular person? Can I belief them? Should I? Are they legit? Is their enterprise? Our new contacts are consciously combing the web for details about us and subconsciously replaying moments from our interactions with them to vogue the disparate items into constellations, in hopes of understanding who we actually are and whether or not or not they’ll belief us.

Shaping Your Narrative

If somebody mentioned, “I Googled you,” how would you are feeling? Confident? Calm? Panicked? Fearful? Would an individual who does a web-based search on you discover a fastidiously curated assortment of footage, articles, and testimonials? An unpredictable smattering of regardless of the web occurred to pull collectively? Or would they discover nothing in any respect that truly relates to you?

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of our shoppers worriedly requested us, “How do we build trust with new prospects if we can’t meet them at conferences and kick back and have a chat over a meal?” We need to share with you what we informed her.

A digital presence that really represents and displays who you might be will help bridge that hole with a newfound acquaintance. That presence works tirelessly in your behalf, 24/7, answering each question Google throws at it. It could be an efficient device in constructing belief and serving to individuals get to know you.

But please don’t fear: You don’t want a large social media following, and also you don’t want to fritter your days away endlessly doom scrolling, liking, sharing, tweeting, and commenting. We’re merely speaking about defining your required digital presence and establishing a sustainable infrastructure for cultivating it.

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Five Effective Tactics

You have super alternative, actually at your fingertips, to form and improve your digital presence. We suggest beginning with these 5 approaches.

1. LinkedIn

The stage of management you might have over your LinkedIn profile makes it an particularly simple place to begin. The following are some easy methods to start sprucing your profile.

  • Select a significant banner picture. It might be an image of one thing vital to you or a graphic that represents your model / firm. Your banner picture is a delicate however highly effective manner to present context about who you might be and what you worth.
  • Update your headshot. Make positive it’s clear, skilled, and showcases you the best way you need to be perceived.
  • Revisit your title. Add some description to it so that folks can higher perceive who you might be. Remember: You’re greater than a job title.
  • Clarify and ensure your contact data. Make it simple for individuals to get a maintain of you.
  • Streamline your “about” part. A brief and snappy bio is gold.
  • Edit your expertise. Keep it concise however thorough.
  • Add (extra) private suggestions. Ask trusted individuals in your community to evaluate you or what you are promoting.
  • Customize your public profile URL.

Great examples for inspiration embrace:

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2. Crisp Content

Creating content material and publishing it on-line positions you as an professional and thought chief. This is immensely potent social foreign money that offers individuals a way of who you might be and what you assume. Consider it a long-form medium that provides deeper alternatives for partaking individuals — and one over which you might have full management, so you may form the best way others understand you, your expertise set, and your home in your trade.

Starting a weblog is a good way to share your content material with the world and to show your worth. You can even put up articles with a number of pictures or video instantly to LinkedIn.


3. Videos

Videos are a medium to talk your information, join with individuals, and supply worth in a novel manner. They supply a richer, extra dynamic expertise by which individuals can get to know and study from you. They are extremely efficient builders of belief as a result of psychologically seeing your character and physique language influences an individual’s impression of you. People can get the affirmation they want to consider you’re the professional you say you might be. Videos additionally enable you to venture one thing that might in any other case solely be attainable in an in-person assembly: sincerity.


  • Louis Lehot is a lawyer and entrepreneur based mostly in Palo Alto, CA, who produces the YouTube sequence #askasiliconvalleylawyer.
  • Lukas Dietzsch is an actual property investor based mostly in Philadelphia, who produces the YouTube sequence #thelukasshow about investing in US actual property for German buyers.
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4. Personal Website

Personal web sites can showcase the actual you: You make all of the design and content material choices your self and subsequently decide how the positioning represents you. You can embrace something you are feeling is important data, out of your volunteer or neighborhood involvement, to your skilled life, household particulars, articles you’ve authored, and many others. This provides individuals an opportunity to dive into your world and get to know you.


5. Images

Pictures are highly effective as a result of they’ll inform a compelling story, with none phrases in any respect. What would a Google Image search reveal about you? Would it showcase pictures you’re proud of, which might be consultant of your character and values? Or wouldn’t it generate a random smattering of pictures that had been posted by others, and not using a clear connecting narrative? To begin, think about using a novel photograph each time you might have a bio or reference level for your self on the web. Google’s picture recognition expertise truly is aware of when you’re sporting a distinct shirt and avoids populating duplicative pictures the place attainable.

Favorite Tools for Enriching One’s Digital Presence

You don’t want to be a software program ninja to begin managing and bettering your digital presence. Lots of user-friendly apps are on the market that may make it easier to simply create visually pleasing and professional-looking digital property. Strengthen your private model by leveraging these instruments.

Video: Even newbies can study to edit video seamlessly with the next functions.

• Adobe Premiere Pro

• Apple Final Cut Pro X

Graphic Design/Photo Editing:

• Canva (Even the free model can ship spectacular outcomes.)

Website: Learning one of these easy, block-based web site creators is properly value your time.

• WordPress + Beaver Builder Page Builder

• Squarespace

Content / Grammar: We all know that typos and grammatical errors don’t contribute to a great first impression, however fortunately, a great AI assistant will help you keep away from widespread missteps.

• Grammarly

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The Power of Perception

In 2021, would you belief somebody who had no digital footprint? Would you rent an organization that has zero opinions? In at present’s world, your digital presence is a essential half of your private model, and consciously curating it might be one of the best networking transfer you make this 12 months.

Your digital presence can play an incredible function in fortifying your community and assist make up for any in-person networking alternatives you might need misplaced out on in the course of the pandemic. Don’t depart the standard of your on-line presence up to likelihood.

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All posts are the opinion of the writer. As such, they shouldn’t be construed as funding recommendation, nor do the opinions expressed essentially mirror the views of CFA Institute or the writer’s employer.

Image credit score: ©Getty Images / Alistair Berg

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Sameer S. Somal, CFA

Sameer S. Somal, CFA, is the CEO and cofounder of Blue Ocean Global Technology. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on on-line fame administration, fintech, SEO, relationship capital, networking, and ethics. Fundamental to his work at Blue Ocean Global Technology, Sameer leads collaboration with an unique group of PR, regulation, digital advertising, and web-development company companions. He helps shoppers construct, monitor, and restore their digital presence. Somal is a printed author and web defamation material professional witness. In collaboration with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, he authors persevering with authorized schooling (CLE) applications. Somal proudly serves on the board of the CFA Institute Seminar for Global Investors, College Possible, and the R.J. Leonard Foundation, a corporation devoted to educating, initiating careers, and personally mentoring younger adults who’re getting older out of the foster care system. Somal was named an Iconic Leader Creating a Better World for All by the All Ladies League and Women Economic Forum. He can also be a cofounder of Girl Power Talk.

Melanie McKelvey

Melanie McKelvey is the founder and CEO of Crisp Content. She helps shoppers improve and optimize their digital advertising and captivate their viewers with finely crafted content material. McKelvey proudly volunteers with Philadelphia Futures, a corporation that helps low-income, first-generation-to-college college students with the instruments, sources, and alternatives vital for school success.

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