As a follow up to my last post “9 Great Online Credibility Builders,” I felt it was important to point out the flipside: credibility killers. In many ways credibility killers are even more important because it only takes being guilty of one cred killer and all your hard earned credibility could be out the window.
So, let’s begin:
1.) Poor LinkedIn Profile: When checking out a person’s professional background and cred online, LinkedIn is often the first stop for me. It amazes me how little effort some people invest in it. To have good cred your profile has to present you in the best possible light. That means in needs to be filled out completely and accurately.
Many folks simply don’t know about all the bells and whistles (like videos, Slideshares, etc.) that they can use to spice up a profile. It also helps to have more than one or two testimonials. Need more? Then try giving more. And please, make sure your information is accurate, grammatically correct, and devoid of typos.
2.) Bad Website: When I say a “bad website” I mean a website that’s unprofessional. That means broken links, bad grammar, a lack of design, etc. One of the worst things you can do is point out the fact that you don’t have your act together with a lame, “Sorry, our new site is under construction. Come back soon.”
3.) Inactive Blog: Many folks start a blog with the best intentions only to lose steam after a year or two. So, when it’s the middle of summer and your last post talks about building a snowman, you’re gonna look bad. In fact, you’ll look bad even if the only obvious thing is that you haven’t posted in a few months.
Blogs are like plants, they need to be watered. If they aren’t, they’ll look bad and make you look bad.
4.) No Facebook Business Page: Yea, I know they screwed up on their IPO, but that’s not a reason to ignore the power and influence of Facebook. The fact is that if you have a business, product, service, organization, etc. and you don’t have a dedicated page for it on Facebook – you just killed your credibility. Not only should you have a page, but it should be as cool, engaging and informative as possible.
5.) Unprofessional Behavior: Unprofessional behavior can take many forms online, from an embarrassing rant on a blog post, to an Anthony Weiner moment on Twitter. Be smart about what you do and say.
Remember, the Web is an exciting place. It’s also unforgiving. Be sure you learn the rules of engagement for every online platform you use and always keep your professional image in mind.