Years ago, your first contact with potential clients may have been at social events or by word-of-mouth. While you may still meet most people that way, the number of consumers you connect with for the first time through the Internet has probably increased in recent years. While we may believe consumers mostly learn about us through our websites, brochures, and certainly at meetings, the likelihood that they instead get a sense of who we are, what we do, and how we do it through a profile you have posted at FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or ActiveRain, Pinterest or through search engines, is quite high. Have you used Google.com to search for information about yourself recently? If you’re on any of the most popular social networks, that’s probably the result that comes up first in searches through Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine. Particularly LinkedIn seems to be the first result when I search for individuals and companies at Google. The result of your search for your name is the same consumers will find when they look up your name as well. The question is: would that first look at your online profile accurately depict who you are? Would your profile accurately portray your business, any particular niche you may have, and any kind of particular target group you serve? Today’s blog post aims at highlighting the importance of how we come across online. More specifically, I thought I’d take this opportunity to stress the importance of treating every social network profile as your first handshake with a potential client. I suggest you go over each of your social media platforms, your website, blog and any other place information about you is posted. Is your contact information easily accessible on all those platforms? Do you share your value statement everywhere? Are you providing links to all platforms at all platforms? Do you offer visuals such as photos and videos of the work you previously have done – on every platform? Do you share that you are an ASP everywhere, and information about what that means for real estate agents and their clients? There are also definitely some risks involved with increased use of the web, which is important to know as we do more things online. Every activity online, including any comments you make, pictures and links you share at Twitter, and all the activity you engage in at your FaceBook profile, not to mention comments you make at the walls of other Facebook users, add to the image you, voluntarily or involuntarily, build. While each of those particular activities may lead to an increased appreciation for you among some groups, it may alienate those who simply don’t have the same interests or opinions as you do. While consumers certainly may get to know you through meetings, conversations and any materials you provide them, equally as important is to make sure the perception and image you want to build about your business is carefully displayed on any social network you may choose to join. The web has no doubt given us a tremendous marketing resources and the ability to connect with people all over the world in the blink of the eye. As you work to attract real estate clients, not the least important the attention of real estate agents, make sure to treat every social media platform profile as your first handshake with a potential customer.