There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
~ Edith Wharton
We live in a world of online existence.
Even if you don’t have profiles on social media, aspects of your life are readily available online for anyone searching this information. When you start your own business, it is extremely important that you are the one crafting and managing your online presence, instead of it happening by accident.
Before we get started crafting the strategy of how you can most effectively use your online presence to connect with your ideal clients, you are going to take stock of what is already online about you (or anyone with the same name as you!)
Google Your Name (Make sure you search for pictures as well)
This is what your clients would see if they googled your name at this point. Read through and make sure that there is nothing listed that could be detrimental to your new practice. If so, you may want to contact those websites and ask for the information to be changed or deleted.
Set up a Google Alert on your name and your business name (and variations)
Google alerts are customized email alerts sent to your inbox for a keyword or phrase. They let you know if anything new has been posted online about the topic/person you set up the alert on. You can opt to have alerts on whatever topic you choose.
This is a really helpful tool for passively monitoring the internet. Although for therapists it’s very, very rare that someone would ever pretend to be you online, or say negative things about you or your practice in online forums, these tools mean you don’t have to worry about not knowing if it does happen. It gives you peace of mind to know if there is anything being posted about you or your business.
Make a list of all the social media platforms you have profiles on
For example, do you have personal or business accounts on any of the following platforms: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Pintrest, YouTube? We will talk more about this in the Social Media section, but for now just take stock of what you have online from a SM perspective, and consider if you may need to clean up or hides these profiles so they are congruent with your business branding.