GUEST OPINION: Every single one of us has a digital profile, even if we do not see ourselves as particularly digitally minded. In short, a digital profile is a footprint we leave behind in the digital world even when we are not online.
This can include our email address, either for work purposes or personal, as well as social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and LinkedIn. It can also include messaging platforms like Messenger, Viber, Telegram, and WhatsApp. Last but not least, it has our websites, be they our websites or those for the businesses and initiatives we run.
This profile, along with information gathered for each one, creates a unique overview of us that remains on the internet for all to see. Even in cases where we lock down our security and take control over who knows what about us, we still have a digital profile. You can understand this profile by simply using Google or another search engine to search for your name and see what comes up. You will likely be very surprised at the number of accounts, pages, and profiles that pop up, including your picture and a vast amount of information about you.
But digital profiles do not just apply to the individual, every business also has a digital profile. This includes the company website, corporate social media accounts, profiles on business directories, review sites, eCommerce listings and pages, and even in the media through contributions and coverage. Like a personal profile, the digital profile of a company should also be carefully managed to ensure it promotes the right message and is locked down so that it cannot be tampered with in any way.
When working in the web development and front-end development sector, you must have a good, solid, and secure digital profile. But why?
Web and front-end development is a highly competitive sector. You have competing companies from small startups, one-person (or woman) shows, and large international companies all offering the same services at differing prices.
Your digital profile will reflect everything about you and demonstrate your ability, reputation, skills, and competencies to any current or potential client. It is your face to the world, and it will directly influence how people perceive you, and ultimately, it will play a big part in their decision to work with you or not.
A robust digital profile across multiple platforms is crucial for your visibility. Most customers will want to do an internet search for your web development company before they work with you. If they do so and find nothing, or very little, it does not fill them with confidence. Having a strong website, social media sites, and other online presence will help you be more visible to more people in more places. This will help you stand out among the competition and bring more clients and revenue to your business.
In a competitive sector such as web development, reputation is really key to your success. Much business is done by word of mouth, but others will want to see whether you have had glowing reviews from other customers in the past. Some sites do reviews of web development companies, forums, and, of course, Google reviews.
All of these contribute to your digital profile. In short, anywhere your name is mentioned about good or bad service will become a part of this profile. Therefore managing it while always ensuring customer service is at the front of your priorities will help ensure this remains solid.
If you don’t have a good website or an up-to-date social media presence, it leads to a lack of consumer trust. They may even go as far as not to work with you as they may be concerned that you are not legitimate or are more likely to offer poor or inadequate service. The more platforms you have a presence on and the more curated and carefully crafted this presence is, the more trust they will have in you. This translates into more customers for your company.
Lastly, another benefit of having a solid digital profile as a web and front-end developer is that it will serve as another form of advertising. With good SEO, your website will bring more customers to your site. Social media platforms will enable you to reach out to people who may not have known about you.
Articles, reviews, and other forms of digital mentions will all help to reinforce your brand in multiple ways as another form of advertising. Do not underestimate the importance of using various free digital tools to improve the image and reach of your web design company.
But there are some pitfalls when it comes to your digital profile. None of these should prevent you from developing one for your web development company, but they should be things you consider and try to mitigate as best you can.
Any company operating a website, whether yours as a web developer or one you develop for your clients, is at risk of fraudulent activity. This can come from hacking, spam emails and comments, and fraudulent traffic. One big bugbear for site operators is spam emails and comments that can overwhelm your site and cause a big nuisance for those charged with maintaining them.
Unfortunately, when you have a digital profile and presence through a website, this is challenging to manage. But there are tools you can avail yourself that can help ensure traffic and those signing up and commenting are legit. This software guide for email verification will guide you through some of the key players in the field, offering views on which could be suitable for you. The tool is indispensable if you have a site and intend people to visit it or if you are designing one for your clients. Spam traffic and fraud cost businesses hundreds of millions of dollars every single year, if you can take steps to prevent it, then why not?
When you have a digital profile, you want to share your success, ideas, and profits with the world. This is great as it piques clients’ interests and increases the chance they will want to work with you. But it also comes with the risk that competition will analyse what you are doing and try to take your ideas, or at least become influenced by them.
There is no natural way around this, and the only thing you can do is maintain your presence and get inspired by them as well. Check out what they are doing, their clients, and what they offer, and determine the gaps. Then you can plug them yourself with new ideas and services!
Last but not least, you risk bad reviews if you leave Google reviews open, Facebook reviews, and comment sections. Sometimes these can be legitimate or come from trolls or competitors. A single bad review has the power to damage your business significantly. You can take some steps, such as improving customer service and having a staff member whose duty is to check the digital profile to ensure reviews and comments are moderated. They can also check for adverse media and comments outside their platforms to see when intervention is necessary.
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