The opportunity to influence others before they even meet you in person has never been greater thanks to social media, but getting started can be a challenge.
Here are the basic steps to get started:
1. Google Yourself
What is the very first result to show up? Are the links that show up an accurate representation of who you are as a ministry leader? Are there any you can fix or update to make them more representative of who you are? Perhaps it’s an old website that you can update, or a YouTube account that has outdated information. Remember this information is often creates the first impression for those you are seeking to influence, not the speaking bio from a conference website.
2. Set Up Your Facebook Username
Login to facebook.
Then type in www.facebook.com/username
Follow the instructions for setting up your username from there.
3. Set Up a Website that Includes Your First and Last Name
The easiest way to improve the results that show up on a Google search for your name is to create and regularly update a website that includes your first and last name. Search engines such as Google and Bing will rank websites higher based on how close the url is to the search phrase, as well as how often the page is updated.
For the quickest set-up go to www.wordpress.com, click “Get Started Here,” and set up a blog that includes your first and last name (www.firstnamelastname.wordpress.com)
The next step would be to create an “About” page on your website with information about who you are, and what you do. Keep it no more than 6 sentences and include a large picture. Click here to read how to create a page on WordPress.
After that try to update your website once a week–this can be as simple as one large picture and 2-4 sentences. This may not feel like it’s having an effect but over time you will be surprised by how quickly your website will move to the top of Google’s search results for your name.
4. Create a LinkedIn Account
LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to add a relevant link to the first page of Google or Bing’s search engine results.
Go to www.linkedin.com and create an account. Once you have done that, you can create a personalized name by going to Account & Settings> Edit my Public Profile> Your Public Profile URL > and click EDIT.
5. Create or Update Your Google Profile
If people are using Google to search for you chances are your Google Profile will be one of the top results. Go to www.profiles.google.com and either edit or update the information. Google + may be foreign to you and you may never want to use the service–that’s okay but simply creating a profile will significantly help provide context to those searching for you online.