This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

March 8, 2010

Using the web to promote your professional business

One of the very best things that you as a professional can do is to promote yourself on the web. That means having a web page, using email, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and blogging.

As a professional, you may have seen many instances of these things used in a goofy and unprofessional way. "Tweeting" what are you having for lunch, a web site that looks ridiculous, Facebook babbling, etc. But rest assured that there is a more "grown up" way to approach promoting yourself on the web and it uses the same vehicles.

Doing professional promotion on the web can be a wonderfully subtle, dignified and effective way of communicating to potential and existing clients. This is image-building advertising, which is my specialty. That's making you look as good on the web as you are in real life. When I started my career, it was "making you look as good on paper..." but it's the same thing today on the web.

My advice to professionals starting out on this is avoid the temptation to do it yourself. If you have a good image "in real life", you run the risk of messing it up on the web. Hire me to set up your web page, consult on how to use Twitter, etc. There are lots of people like me who can do this. If you don't get help from me, please, get help somewhere.

If you must try it on your own (sigh), I guess you must. Here's the easiest way

• Go set up a simple "click and build" site on GoDaddy or similar. Most web host providers do this. This will give you a domain name, an email address and instructions on how to create a web site based on templates. If you have some computer skills, this is kind of fun.

• Create a simple Facebook page for yourself, then create a Fan Page for your business. The instructions on how to do this are all on Facebook.

• Set up a Twitter page and start tweeting.

• And for your blog I recommend the site you are at right now.

Done well, this will help establish you as a professional. In the not-too-distant-future, the lack of this type of presence on the web will hurt you. But right now nothing is better than something bad. Post with care.

Cartoon illustration by Brad Hall - "Forget Luck" copyright Joel Weldon and Associates. I did Joel's web site, too. Talk about a guy who looks great and professional in real life AND on the web!

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