You need to make your own online profile because -Whoa buddy!- you do NOT want the internet to do it for you. Here’s how you can take control of your online profile in 3 easy steps to master the mystery of: How To Best Represent Yourself Online
Be consistent with your name.
Be clear about your message.
Be sure to match your appearance with your perception.
When I chose to go into radio & take a job on-air instead of pursuing TV News, I thought I would never be in front of a camera. I was so wrong.
I’m still shocked by the amount of on-camera work I had to be able to do as a Radio DJ. Hosting a morning show meant we traveled all over. We shot video promos on-location. We shot green-screen in our studios. I booked commercials that required a Digital Overlay (that’s when you open a web page and a tiny person walks onto your screen and starts talking to you). We taped Christmas Specials for local TV stations. We were constantly joining our Morning TV News “sister station” to cross promote. I did a ton of in-person events, appearances, and “Van Hits”. I found myself on stage at Nokia Theatre and LA Live, to Valley View Casino and Caesars Palace. And all of that was just my persona #IRL.
In Real Life.
There is also an entirely different “digital persona” too. My Social Media persona, and everybody has one. You have one, whether you know it or not.
At first my online presence was specifically to enhance my Love Songs Radio Show in San Diego. It was a great way to interact in real-time with listeners who had stories to share and dedications to make. But as everything was going digital, including the way radio played music, we had to embrace bigger roles as personalities online.
Did you know most entertainers are contractually obligated to achieve a certain level of social media activity? It’s all part of the job now. Many are given bonuses for reaching certain goals. Get so many retweets and get a bonus. Get so many followers and get a bonus. Get higher numbers and become more valuable. You get it.
I learned how important my online presence was while I was learning -as we all were- how to promote myself & my persona, online. It’s a vital part of being in media, no matter at what level you are operating. Just remember this: Everybody always Googles everybody.
The Moms In Media Practical Guide: How To Handle Your Online Presence #LikeABoss
#1 Be consistent with your name.
Believe me, I should know. (My close friends are laughing right now.) Let me recommend to you: Pick a name and stick with it.
It’s hard for some people. If you don’t struggle with this then you probably think we are crazy. How hard can it be to settle on a name? My name has changed so many times that my friends have me in their contacts lists under “Kris” or “Kristin” followed by any number of name combinations.
When I came to LA on the radio, my name changed again, & it was the last time. Done. I’m Kristin Cruz on ALL social media platforms & email. If your name is not on your business email, please create one now. Drop the UnicornBunny365@Hotmail.com email addy, please. If you have a goofy hard-to-remember name on Instagram, please change it. Your name is your brand. Make it good. And make it stick.
“If you‘re going to work that hard, it should be for something with your name on it.” –Rachel Ray
#2 Be clear about your message.
What’s your message? What do you want to say? What’s your personal One-Liner that sums things up your work. Your thang. What is it? Figure that our. (Know that it can change, pivot & grow as you go.) Please pick a focus & own it. Then be an expert in it. And now you make it better than anything else out there because it has your unique stamp on it. You’ve become synonymous with that vibe, that logo, that energy. And if you are clear about it, then the right people will know how to find you, & believe me THEY WILL.
“If you build it, they will come.” -Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams
#3 Be sure to match your appearance with your perception.
Ever heard the line “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have?” Or how about “Look the part.”? That’s about projecting the image you want others to recognize you by. Your best food forward (there’s another memorable line!), is your visual representation that pops up on all the screens all over the planet when your name is typed into a computer. With that said; It had better look good!
Chose a look & have a professional picture taken. Be comfortable. Be you. And have great lighting 😉
You can’t lose by going to a pro for this & it doesn’t have to break the bank. You’ve seen my new pictures for 2017. I took these at BLINK Inc which is a modern photo studio built for busy people. I like to update my pics often. I know how important my image is. I’ve had many shoots in my life-It’s been a part of my job. I remember one fancy photo session that was paid for by a big company who employed me, & it was in Hollywood with makeup artists & swanky digs. The pics ended up to be fine, but didn’t look anything like me! The vibe didn’t represent our show at all. My bosses threw them all in the trash. And they paid a pretty penny for that whole thing.
I’m a believer that YOU are the most important part of your pictures. They need to look like you & give off the right vibe. (Yes, you have a “vibe”.) Just like an actor needs a headshot that looks like her when she arrives for that commercial audition, you need a “headshot” that looks like you when you meet your clients, or fans, or new friends from online to real life. Never misrepresent yourself. It just makes for trouble down the line. I have seen some crazy things in my time. I always play by this rule & it has served me well.
BLINK Inc is a recommend because it’s fast, good, and affordable. I booked my sessions entirely online, from my kitchen while making breakfast for the kids. For this latest shoot I brought the whole family, except the dog. But they told me that they actually do shoot pets too! Next time I am so brining my Chihuahua. How fun will those pics be?!
I love my Woodland Hills location because it’s in the Westfield Topangamall (*Mom does the happy dance*). The session only took 2o minutes. The photog made us all feel comfortable. And yes, we totally ate at the Food Court when we were through (& of course I took a stroll through Nordstrom). It doesn’t get easier than that. The price is right. I was very pleased because I have personally paid hundreds of dollars for headshot photographers in the past. After the Blink Inc shoot I don;t have to schedule another appointment to meet with the photog to go over the proof sheets. Instead, all of the proofs are instantly available online. I review & only pay for the photos you want.
“How you first meet the public is how the industry sees you..” -Meryl Streep
Good luck & have FUN! That is the most important part. If you are having a good time, everybody can see it on your face. Post below your success story, or tips. We want to see your new headshots too!