How’s your LinkedIn profile picture?
Part of starting the year out fresh means cleaning out your old emails and cleaning up your outdated social media profiles. Dyn Content and Marketing Manager Josh Nason and professional organizer Lorraine Falcone offered The Hippo some tips for updating your online persona in 2014. Their secrets? A little maintenance, a bit of pruning and a dash of character.
Overwhelmed with email?
There’s no need to feel embarrassed.
“People can absolutely feel overwhelmed while looking at their email,” Falcone said in a phone interview. Especially, she said, if their inboxes are cluttered with things like unnecessary promotional messages and unread, outdated newsletters.
The first step, she said, is to eliminate the clutter.
“Everything you’re not using should be eliminated. All of the newsletters you’ve subscribed to, the store promotions -- just unsubscribe,” she said.“The best way to stay organized is to stop the clutter from entering your space, whether it be your home or your inbox. … If you consider yourself overwhelmed with email, look and see where they’re coming from and determine systematically what you will never read and eliminate those, and then, what you read, and put them in a folder, so you know exactly where to go when you have time,” Falcone said.
A great way to start out the new year fresh, she said, is to create a 2013 folder to put all of your old emails in. Or, if you want to separate your worlds completely -- personal, business, store promotions -- create separate accounts.
Time management is also important when facing clutter.
“I’ve talked with some people who have tendencies to sit on Facebook or on the web while hours have gone by. … Try keeping up with your emails regularly, but not obsessively,” she said.
Equally important, give yourself time to not only check but to respond to your email.
“Browsing is wasted time. … Remember, your inbox is not a storeage box. You should take action on the items in there and delete the original when you’re done.”
The effect of a healthy inbox? “It’s just a weight off your shoulders. You don’t have the stresses of knowing they’re there, the feeling of, ‘What have I forgotten?’” Falcone said. “Your friends will also appreciate that they won’t have to remind you of the messages they sent you.”
Overwhelmed with social media?
If you’re going to have one social media account, Dyn Content Marketing Manager Josh Nason says it should be LinkedIn.
“LinkedIn is like Facebook for professionals,” Nason said. “You include on it your work history, but also the things you’re interested in doing, your areas of expertise. If you’re learning things on the side, if you have hobbies, you can list all of that there, too.”
The profile summary is kind of like an online resume, but Nason said it’s important that it not read like one.
“People love to consume content in different ways. … Make it interesting, talk about yourself so that people can get a sense of who you are and what you do,” Nason said.
Also, be sure to add a great profile picture. The accounts without them, Nason said, appear impersonal; profiles with pictures tend to get more followers because it’s a basic human touchpoint.
As for the rest — keep it simple but flavorful.
“Don’t try to build an elaborate profile the first time out. Think of it as an elevator pitch. In a few minutes, what should someone know about you? Write it in a way that someone could read it, consume it, and move on or go to a different section in 30 seconds.”
If you are interested in other forms of social media, he points to the other two of “the big three” in social networking: Facebook and Twitter. (There are many other forms of social networking sites — etsy, pinterest, Google+ — but he pointed to these three because they’re the most used.)
“I think of it as a Venn diagram. One circle contains Facebook, which is more personal; the other circle is LinkedIn, which is more professional. Where they intersect is Twitter, which can be a great balance of both,” he said.
As such, he advises you use the privacy settings on your Facebook.
“I always think of Facebook as being a pretty personal thing for people,” he said.
Many young professionals, he noted, are looking to make separate, more professional Facebook accounts in their Facebook “makeovers,” but he doesn’t think it’s really necessary. If anything, just enhance your privacy settings and keep your friends limited to the ones closest to you.
“From a professional standpoint, I wouldn’t friend every single person in your company on Facebook. … From there, it’s about who you choose to be friends with from a professional level. Invite coworkers in, but remember, what you put out there is a reflection of yourself,” he said.
Nason said it’s of value to utilize social media because lots of companies really do use it in their hiring process, Dyn included. (So keep your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts public.)
“When we hire, we never judge on social profiles alone, unless we see warning signs there. … But at a conference, the chief marketing officer at Hubspot basically said he doesn’t look at paper resumes anymore. … There are a lot of companies in the tech spectre doing that,” he said.
As seen in the January 9th, 2014 issue of The Hippo