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How You Appear to Others

Often when established users of Google+ come across someone new (such as yourself, perhaps), the first view they have is of Figure 5-1.

Figure 5-1

Figure 5-1. Brief user information in Google+.

Now, when people see this, they can decide a few things. “Hmmm, I’ve never heard of Chris, nor have I heard of Human Business Works, so maybe I won’t circle him.” Or they might think, “Well, he runs a company of some kind, so maybe that means something to me.” But because they see that information, they have just a little bit more to go on before deciding in a split second whether they want to add you back to a circle of their choosing.

This is just the first part of the importance of making sure your profile is in good working order. There are more steps, but initially people make choices.

Other things to consider, obviously, while looking at the previous picture and text is whether your avatar profile is helpful to people deciding whether to add you to one of their circles. If you have a cute, fluffy kitty, it’s less likely that you represent some business of significance to the people viewing you—unless you’re fortunate enough to be in the cute, fluffy kitty business.

That preview of your profile is people’s first view of you—their first inkling into whether they should consider connecting with you. That’s a great reason to give it some attention.

Danie Ware’s profile is succinct but gives you a sense that she’s creative, artistic, multi-faceted, and definitely not your typical person to connect with (see Figure 5-2). The beauty in this is that when you stand out in the crowd, you get more opportunity. Danie’s clearly a “Plate-Spinner Extraordinaire.”

Figure 5.2

Figure 5-2. Danie Ware. Courtesy of Danie Ware, http://danieware.com.

David B. Thomas used to work with me, and we’ve known each other for a few years now. He gives you insight into what matters most by leading with being a dad and husband (see Figure 5-3). In his business section, he starts with his new book with links right to where one can purchase it. And then Dave finishes with his work history and a link to his professional site. What I like is that his profile is well rounded.

Figure 5.3

Figure 5-3. David B. Thomas.

Nick Bilton’s profile is brief, but in there are so many interesting bits that one simply needs to learn more (see Figure 5-4). He writes for the New York Times, but that’s not nearly as cool as the fact he cofounded NYCResistor and that he’s “jumped out of 50 perfectly good airplanes.” I admire the brevity, plus the ability to get to know about the man behind the column.

Figure 5.4

Figure 5-4. Nick Bilton.

Rick Klau makes good use of links, both in his introduction and in the sidebar of his profile (see Figure 5-5). He leads with his CV, giving one the sense of his capabilities, plus a hint of what you could do with him professionally. Rick also uses the “scrapbook” photos above his profile to good effect, leading you in to want to learn more.

Figure 5.5

Figure 5-5. Rick Klau.

Scott McCloud’s scrapbook photos to the right of his profile are the best part (see Figure 5-6). His clever use of an eye plus time equals a comic’s progression is the perfect shorthand for his most well-known work, the book Understanding Comics. Scott’s also done a lot to use appropriate anchor text (the text that shows up in blue to indicate a link), so that he can use Google+ to try to boost his ranking for the terms “online comics” and “public speaking and teaching.”

Figure 5.6

Figure 5-6. Scott McCloud. (Top right graphic copyright Chris Ware.)

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