Your Social Media Avatar
Moving my blog to the website, and browsing through the last months’ pages, I was clicking on my followers who “liked” the articles I wrote. This leads to their avatar. What I saw made me sad: Less than 10% showed a professional presence. Either a portrait image was missing, or there were no links to author pages, websites, blog or Social Media follow links. It is a pity that these – otherwise great – authors are not able to reach out to their followers and not successfully expose their work. It does not cost anything and an appealing avatar is created in minutes!
What is an avatar? By registering with a social network, it is one of the first things you will be asked to upload: a picture of yourself. Yet, surprisingly many still do not do this. Twitter for example shows lots of eggs instead of profiles. But people don’t want to talk to eggs…
Not having a suitable picture is not really an excuse either, and taking a “selfie” is not the best idea. Almost every large grocery shop or mall offers pass photos for a very low price, if you don’t want to go to a professional photographer. Decide how you want to be seen by the world and that you can choose for all your Social Media, web and blog avatars.
Don’t Use a Selfie
Choosing the right image is a vital piece of your branding and identity in the modern online world. Developing your own unique identity is an important part of being online – which we don’t always appreciate when we first start setting up our online accounts. Having the one online identity across all your accounts makes it easier for others to connect and relate to you.
Best idea would be to register with Gravatar, a free online widget that will ensure that the same profile picture will be pulled in when you comment on others’ posts on certain platforms. This video explains it in detail. Most social networks are also offering editing tools for your avatar.
There is More Than Just Your Image:
To introduce yourself on the web or on Social Media, prepare a short text including links to your website or blog, the major Social Media accounts you have, such as Google+, Twitter, Goodreads, Linkedin etc. and a link to your author page on Amazon, where all your books are listed. Here is a good example from Fiza Pathan.
Difference Between Avatar and Gravatar
A Gravatar is basically just a subset of avatars. Globally Recognized AVATARS = Gravatars. It’s sort of the avatar equivalent of a bathroom sign, for the most part you can tell where the bathroom is no matter where you go around the world. Generally they are used for default avatars on sites that allow reader comments / posts, e.g. on blogs.
Set Up Once – You Can Use it Everywhere
Set-up your bio with a studio portrait, the same you use in your book(s) and create an inviting avatar. Use keywords that will attract the type of people that you want to connect with. Your short bio (or an avatar, or “about me”) can be used for all your presences, for your Amazon website, your blog etc. Same as with your photo portrait: once established you can use it everywhere, even if you have to decrease it on some places, such as on Twitter. Use lots of keywords and add abbreviated links to your web site or Amazon page. And choose your username wisely!
Many publishers and literary agents, as well as journalists, editors and book bloggers have a Social Media presence too. They are using Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Goodreads or LinkedIn and mingle on these sites with authors famous and unknown. If you like to get a name in the world of books and establish a successful career with your self-published work: create a professional online presence everywhere.
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