Paper business cards are becoming a thing of the past. Most of us still hand them out as well as receive them, but where do they go? Do you enter all of those details into your contact lists, or do those cards end up in a stack with others that will never see the light of day again? The truth is that many people do not refer to them after meeting someone new. Frequently these cards even end up in the trash before the day is over.
Now it has become increasingly important to provide a simple method to give your new contacts a way to find your information without digging through that dusty stack hidden in their desks. LinkedIn is still one of the best ways for professionals to keep track of fellow business associates, but there must be more than one way to find each other online.
What if you had a simple online business card that represents your experience and value without all the issues when we meet someone new? about.me has the answer. This site is a free way to meet these needs without all the hassle. about.me allows you to provide your details in a single page that can become your online business card.
In a matter of minutes, anyone can create an about.me page. It can communicate your value as well as a bit of your personality which really sets you apart from others. The site also allows you to build a custom about.me page that can even include your name as part of the web address (like mine for instance: about.me/AndrewBates). And, since I built my page a few years ago, I’ve found that other business professionals can find my page and details with a quick search in Google.
Some quick tips to get the most out of your about.me page:
Keep it simple – That is the point. Less is more. This differentiates about.me from all other personal websites. Include only the amount of text required to show your value.
Show some personality – You can add any image as your background, much like the wallpaper on your desktop. Using a picture of yourself will help others remember you, and it is a great opportunity to set yourself apart from the crowd. LinkedIn is the right environment for all of your professional details; about.me gives you the opportunity to be less formal.
Link it to your other profiles and sites – about.me features include the ability to link your page to other URLs including your website, twitter and LinkedIn. This can help others find any and all of your profiles. “Social SEO” / social media optimization builds a web of your profiles online allowing others to find you more easily.
Promote your profile – Get it out there. Mention it to your new contacts. Put the link in your email signature. Make sure your about.me URL is prominent on all of your other social profiles as well.
About.me is free, easy and fun. There a number of examples on the site that can give you inspiration. Please let me know what you think. Comment on this post and include the link to your new profile!
This post was written on August, 1 2012 by Andrew Bates, the director of online marketing at Hinge Marketing in Reston, Va. He is responsible for managing all of Hinge’s digital marketing strategies and services. These services include search engine optimization, social media, paid search and media advertising, email lead generation as well as comprehensive web analytics. Bates has developed custom online marketing and social media programs for organizations that include Chevron, the American Cancer Society, DuPont and Rosetta Stone. A self-described super geek entrepreneur, Bates helped create and lead two Washington, D.C. area design and marketing firms, both acquired by industry giants. He has been an active member of NVTC for 10 years, serving on multiple committees.