Even if you don’t have children, you’ve probably noticed the back-to-school sales and first day of school pictures on your Facebook feed. Summer is winding down. Days are getting shorter. Nights are getting cooler. Well, not where I live in Northern Virginia, but I hear that in some parts of the country nights are getting cooler and fall is coming.

While I’m not in school currently and I don’t have children of my own, I still find that the back-to-school season is a great time to reassess and refresh. We talked recently about this being a great time of year to set goals.

It is also a great time to clean and purge both your physical space and your online space.

We recommend taking a look at your social media profiles three to four times per year to make sure that everything is up-to-date. What does that mean in practice? Here are a few areas to focus on:

1. Your Profile Photo:

Be honest – is your profile photo an accurate representation of who you are now? If your profile photo is from 15 years ago, it might be time to get a new headshot. If a professional photographer is beyond your means, chances are a friend or teenager you know can at least take a picture that is professional and clean.

If you want to take it a step further, a service such as Photo Feeler will allow you to upload several photos and get unbiased ratings on what your profile photo conveys about you.

2. Your Cover or Header Photos:

After you look at your profile photo, be sure to check out your cover photo. Is the photo still an accurate representation of you, your brand, or your product? If you’ve had the same header photo for over a year, it may be time to update to make your profile more fresh and appealing.

If you aren’t using a cover photo, why not add one? The cover photo or header is a great way to add more visual appeal and content to your profile. The right cover photo can also make you look more professional and help brand you.

3. Your Bio Section:

Once you’ve looked at the photos, it’s time to take a look at the language on your biographical information for each social channel. Is it up-to-date? Do you need to update any work or contact information? Are there any new publications, projects, or awards you want to add?

On LinkedIn, this process is a bit more intensive. Look at each work experience to make sure it accurately represents how you are trying to position yourself. Are there any new accomplishments you can add to your current position? Have you taken any classes or started any volunteer work? Be sure to add any new information and take off anything that is no longer relevant.

This three-step process shouldn’t take long. However, making sure your online profiles are up-to-date will go a long way in helping to establish you as a thought leader. tweet this

If you’d like more tips on leveraging LinkedIn to increase your thought leadership, download our free e-book!


Image credit: yupiramos / 123RF Stock Photo