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Mary Ellen Bates
Bates Information Services, Inc.
8494 Boulder Hills Dr.
Niwot, Colorado 80503 USA
Tel: 303.772.7095
[email protected]
Skype: Mary.Ellen.Bates
by Mary Ellen Bates
Bates Information Services
A Spa Day For Your Profile
Have you looked at your virtual self in the mirror lately? Does your Facebook profile look tired? Does your Twitter account suggest that all you do is drink beer and fish?

I recently gave a webinar for AIIP, in which I talked about 22 ways to kick-start your marketing. (The slide deck is at One of the tips resonated with a lot of the attendees and, in fact, inspired me to action as well. My tip focused on doing a one-day makeover of your online presences. In each of the social networks where your clients are likely to be, check out your profile and see if it is doing an effective job of promoting your expertise and the value your business offers to clients. To expand a bit on this thought, here are my suggestions for the three major social networks -- LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn offers a number of ways to highlight your unique services and expertise. Be sure to fill in all the available fields in your profile, using words that are likely to be used by people looking for you. Include a photo; people like to see who they are working with. Be sure that your public profile is set so that all your information is available. You can see my LinkedIn profile at

Facebook is seen by some as "merely" a social site. However, I am finding more and more clients who have Facebook pages, and I always make sure I am on networks where my prospects are likely to be. As with LinkedIn, make sure your entire profile is filled in, that you have included a photo, and you have made your profile both findable through search engines and viewable to anyone. You can change how public your profile is by going to the Privacy settings and customize who sees what. Elements that should be public include Status, Bio, and Contact Info. Ones that you may want to limit to friends only include Relationships, Religious & Political Views and Photos and Videos You're Tagged In (if you're prone to hanging out with friends who take photos of you after a night out). You can see my Facebook profile at

Twitter, often ridiculed as a waste of 140 perfectly good characters, can be an effective way to increase awareness and establish yourself as a thought-leader. Twitter isn't for pointing people to press releases or for posting what you had for lunch. Instead, retweet thoughtful posts, point to thought-provoking articles - with a short comment of your own - and distill insights into single, succinct tweets. Use hashtags as appropriate to make it easier for people to find your tweets. And, as with any other social network, include an image that will display next to your tweets, make your tweets public rather than protected, and enable searching for you by your email address. You can read my tweetstream at

Do you want a live version of Mary Ellen? I host free monthly conference calls; during these calls, we talk about everything from assigning a price to your value to memorable marketing "stories" and building your speaking skills. These phone calls, which are recorded, are available exclusively to my business coaching clients and to subscribers of Marginalia, my new subscription web resource. Email me if you'd like a sneak peek of what's inside Marginalia!

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