Thursday, June 13, 2013

Reputation Management Lesson 1: The Professional Picture

When it comes to online reputation, no matter the medium, you'll often be leading with some kind of profile image or logo; yet this is often one of easiest aspects to overlook--to just grab something off of your desktop and think "I'll get a better one later."

No more! Spoke wants to put you on the offensive. Whether you already have Spoke pages built with images, or you haven't added your page yet (by using the big Orange "Add Page" button on

Selecting the right image (for a person or company page,) is all about 3 things:

1. What level of professionalism are you trying to convey?

This seems like a no-brainer, but in reality, people often don't take that extra minute to really question what their current image says about them as a professional. Are you an undefeated trial lawyer? A no-nonsense corporate accountant? Chances are you're professional persona will benefit greater from a serious portrait in a business suit, while someone in the marketing/creative or service industry will want to find ways to inject a bit of warmth or even quirkiness.

2. Is there a uniqueness or special sauce

Think about how you can personify your competitive advantage, as a person or as a company. One of the best examples of this is Apple. Their guiding principle in hardware and software design is simplicity--design so complex and so intuitive, that the end result is something simple and beautiful. And their entire corporate brand could not be better suited: a beautiful neutral-colored apple. No fireworks, no flashy colors, no crazy fonts, etc; just an elegant piece of fruit.

3. Technical attributes: dimensions, good focal point, and color contrast

Think of these as things to check off, once you've selected an image. Does your image fit the dimension requirements for the location you are posting it? Some websites will want your image to be a perfect square (such as Spoke,) while others allow for elongated images in either orientation. Next, is the most important part of your image the sole focus of it? Don't use a busy image for a professional application--either your logo or your face should be front and center. And finally, does that focul point blend into the background of the image or the webpage itself; or rather, do the colors pop out and draw the eye?

Give yourself and your company a quick visual audit. A great way to start is by visiting your Spoke pages and applying these criteria, or creating new ones.

And Look for more lessons in Reputation Management in the coming weeks!

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