Three ways to make a compelling digital first impression


If the coronavirus pandemic taught us one thing, it is that digitization is the way business is done and it will stay that way. We know that most employees want the opportunity to stay remote even after a pandemic. A study by Robert Half found that one in three teleworkers could quit their job if they have to return to the office full-time.

It is clear that working remotely offers many opportunities and benefits. It also brings with it some challenges. At the top: How do you make an unforgettable first impression in the two-dimensional online world? While it’s true that your online brand will never be as visceral and engaging as your personal YOU, there are things you can do to make meaningful connection in the virtual world. To do this, focus on these three actions.

1. Bring order to your Google house.

If people want to know more about you, they’ll probably put your name on Google and see what the result is. According to Intergrowth, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engine results. And that’s good news. That means you only need to focus on about ten results to make your first impression. So egosurf (that’s what you call it when you google it yourself) and ask yourself this question: If someone looked at these results from page 1, what would they think of me? If your answer is different from your real person and how you want to be known, make an effort to balance those results with your authentic personal brand.

2. Use LinkedIn to fascinate.

When people review you for work, they might skip Google and go straight to LinkedIn. After all, it’s where professionals tell their story – the world’s largest ongoing networking event. And LinkedIn is full of profile features to help you introduce yourself and tell that story in a rich and engaging way. The three elements of your profile that are critical to creating a fascinating first impression are heading, headshot and about.

  • Headline: Your headline shows that you are relevant. It lets people know what you are doing. Well-written headlines also say a little more, e.g. B. how you do what you do or what happens when you do what you do. Use all 200 characters to set the scene.
  • Headshot: Your headshot shows that you are real. It makes you more accessible and allows people to connect with you. This is an especially important part of your profile when you are unable to connect with people in person. LinkedIn studies show that just having a picture is 14 times more likely to get your profile viewed by others.
  • Above: Your about shows that you are both believable and personable. For most professionals, it will be the most influential version of their biography. A fascinating about begins with a fascinating statement to grab attention and then weaves together your human traits – values, passions, references, and awards, all of which are selected to show how your accomplishments make you different. This alchemy provides an authentic and interesting 3D narrative that will get people to know more about you.

3. Take advantage of what comes closest to you: video.

Google results and a written bio (or LinkedIn About) can only go so far in building an emotional connection. Use videos to really influence your audience. Complete communication includes words, body language, and tone of voice – all part of a video. The best ways to use videos:

Tell your LinkedIn cover story. This is a short (30 seconds or so) clip that sits behind your headshot and allows you to introduce yourself in a much more dynamic and engaging way than just words can. This new feature is just getting started so keep an eye out for it and create your cover story as soon as it becomes available.

Create thought leadership videos. To demonstrate your expertise while expressing your point of view, share your valuable insights in short 1-3 minute videos. Not only does this give viewers a chance to see you, but it also helps them show their perspective on what is important to you. Post your videos on YouTube. Doing this will make them more likely to show up on the first page of Google results when people search for your name (which makes those results more interesting). You can also add these videos to your LinkedIn Featured section, turning your wordy profile into a multimedia portfolio.

Set accents in meetings. Sometimes your first impression isn’t your LinkedIn profile or the results of a Google search for your name. You can also make a first impression in an online video meeting. That means you have to master this ubiquitous medium and avoid these big mistakes. When you have a background that doesn’t distract, your shot properly frames your face, you’re looking at the camera, and your tone is crisp, crisp, and free from ambient noise, you have the conditions that allow you to have a huge impact on it the ones you meet for the first time through pixels.

Remember, digital precedes real. Your first impression is made online. So make an effort to make sure that when people meet you in the virtual world, you are as close to their reality as possible.

William Arruda is a keynote speaker, author, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of the LinkedIn Profile Type Indicator (LPTI), which measures the likelihood and credibility of your LinkedIn profile.

MORE FROM FORBESThe Super Easy Guide to Maximizing LinkedIn for Your Career

William Arruda is a keynote speaker, author, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of the LinkedIn Profile Type Indicator (LPTI), which measures the likelihood and credibility of your LinkedIn profile.

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