I know, you’re already thinking — ‘Professional Image? But I run an online business and no one sees me all day.’ Regardless if you don’t physically come into contact with another human life form throughout your workday, you still need to maintain and compile an online image that consumers can easily recognize and feel comfortable trusting.
Therefore, if you’re running a social media company let’s say, picking a teddy bear as your mascot probably isn’t going to convey what it is you do to your clients in the clearest way. Take the time from the beginning and design an image that reverberates your brand in the minds of your clients.
Here are four tips for building a professional image for your business:
Which takes us to why having professional pictures of yourself is the way to go. If you are your brand, then please don’t lower everyone's expectations right off the bat by offering us a picture you took yourself on your iPhone next to your shower. Just because you’re smiling in the picture doesn’t make it a professional image.
Enlist the help of either a friend who can take professional quality pictures or find a professional photographer who can. The last thing your potential clients want to have representing them when they’re debating whether or not to hire you is a Polaroid your mom took when you were 25. Update yourself and your company by presenting professional photos along with a professionally designed logo and you’ll be halfway to hire-able.
2. Marketing Materials
Professional images don’t end with a photograph. Everything you put your hands on and mind into is a supplement to your online company. This includes, but is not limited to, email signatures, letterhead, business cards, and your website. All should clearly portray your company’s logo, tagline, and contact information. Customers should be able to easily get in touch with you if they need to. You’re apt to lose interested candidates if they have to dig to find your email address or phone number. Easily assessable means easily hire-able — remember that.
3. Dress for Success
If online meetings play into your schedule, then dress yourself up. I don’t expect to Skype with anyone in a baseball hat unless it’s my brother or Jason Varitek. Take a shower and shave, put some gel in your hair and get ready for the virtual meeting as if it were a regular in-person one. You’re attempting to gather more capital for your brand, coming across as professional is of the utmost importance. Portray yourself as ready and able and you just might persuade your client to open their wallet more for you.
4. Home Office
Your home office should reflect all of the aforementioned points as well. You can’t possibly feel professional in a cluttered and scattered office. So, if you’re not savvy at organizing things, then hire someone who is or ask a friend to help you gain control over your workspace.
Every aspect of yourself and your online business should be well balanced if you want to grow in monies. In order to be taken seriously, you should present your empire and all that it entails within the light of competency. Your image is everything, even when it comes to the virtual world.
What tips do you have for maintaining a professional image when you work online? Drop us a note; we'd love to hear from you!
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Danielle Buffardi is an award-winning freelance blogger, freelance writer, virtual assistant, and social media manager specializing in the areas of small business, virtual companies, family, pregnancy, and entrepreneurship. To learn more about Danielle and the services she offers, please visit her on the web at www.PenPointEditorial.com.