If you are serious about developing a career as a freelancer then you have to mine your online image. The truth is that every time you reply to a job posting or create a profile on a freelance site you can be sure that your prospective clients will check you out.
Obviously prospective clients are going to
check out your website, blog, and any work samples you have sent as part of your application. However, it is often other information they find out about you that helps them decide to pick up the phone or reply to your inquiry.
The first thing most prospective clients will often do is Google you. They want to find out as much information as possible about you professionally and personally. Therefore, it is vital that you take the time to ensure there is nothing online that could put a potential
project in jeopardy.
If you have taken the time like many freelancers to build your online presence, then a simple Google search for your name should bring up a number of results.
In addition to typical results such as your website and blog, expect additional results for:
- Social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +
- Images you have been tagged in
- Reviews and comments
- Articles you have posted on articles directories such as Ezine
- Ads you have posted on site like Craigslist and Kijiji
- Sites where you have created a freelance profile such as elance, and skillpages
- Business profiles on Internet directories such as manta and Yahoo
- Any other site where you have linked to your personal brand
What people find out about you can be a deciding factor in their decision to hire you. Therefore, freelancers need to take the time to remove anything they think could negatively affect their ability to attract new clients.
Take the necessary precautions to remove unflattering photos, personal rants and restrict access to your private social media accounts. It is best to err on the side of caution than risk losing business over a Google search result that is hurting your image as a professional freelance