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12+ Ways to Look Better to Freelance Prospects by Cleaning Up Your Online Social Media Presence

by Laura Spencer

on June 9, 2014

in Social Media

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What do prospective clients do first when they are considering you for a freelancing gig?

One of the first things a prospective client will do is review your social media accounts. They want to know whether you’re reliable and trustworthy before they take a chance on using you for their freelancing project.

For freelancers whose social media accounts were set up before their professional career, this kind of scrutiny can be a problem. Imagine your prospective client finding an old photo of you drunk with your college buddies. Or perhaps they happen across the angry rant you posted years ago when you broke up with your high school sweetheart.

How embarrassing!

Teens and young adults often don’t think about the future consequences of what they share on social media. And sometimes those social shares come back to haunt them even after they’ve matured and grown into a responsible adult.

You can’t guarantee that what you once posted online will be gone forever. After all, there are Internet archives and someone could have saved an image or share on their computer. Also, the social media site may keep its own archive. However, you can take steps to make sure that what others see on your social media accounts today represents who you are now and not who you were as an immature teenager.

In this post, I’ll explain how you can clean up some common social media accounts. If you liked this post, you may also like 10 Reasons Why Clients Don’t Want to Hire You.

Note: Social media platforms change all the time. These tips worked when I wrote this post, but they may work differently in the future.

How to Clean Up Your Social Media Presence

Is it time to clean up your social media accounts? Do you know what to do to make your social media accounts more professional? Here are over twelve tips:

  1. Edit old Facebook posts. Go to your timeline and use the drop-down menu that displays when you click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the post. (Move your cursor over the right corner of the post to see the arrow.)
  2. Delete old Facebook posts. Go to your timeline and use the drop-down menu that displays when you click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the post.
  3. Remove old Facebook photos or change the tags. Use the Options drop-down menu.
  4. Remove tags from Facebook posts shared by others. Use the Edit option that displays when you move your cursor over the upper right corner of the post to remove tags.
  5. Hide Facebook photos from your timeline. This option displays beneath the name of the person who shared the photo when the photo is open.
  6. Control who sees (or doesn’t see) your future Facebook posts. Use the custom privacy setting under the Privacy shortcuts.
  7. Remove recently tweeted mistakes from Twitter. As long as you can still see the tweet from your account, you can use the trash can icon (next to Reply) in the lower right corner of the tweet to remove it.
  8. Remove really old tweets by accessing the Twitter archive. Chris Crosby does a good job of describing the process in the post, Give Your Twitter Account a Good Spring Cleaning on The Online Privacy Blog.
  9. Delete Google+ posts. Use the Options drop-down menu when you click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the post. (Move your cursor over the right corner of the post to see the arrow.)
  10. Edit Google+ posts. Use the Options drop-down menu when you click on the arrow in the upper right corner of the post.
  11. Delete unwanted photos on Google+. As you are looking at a photo, click Select. Use the Delete option that displays at the top of the screen.
  12. Delete a LinkedIn share. Use the Delete option that appears in the upper right corner of each share.
  13. Review all your social media profiles including your profile bios and your profile image to make sure that they are professional.

A Few Final Words

From now on, think carefully about your social media shares. One rule of thumb that many social media specialists share is to imagine that your mom is looking at your social media account. If your social share would upset Mom, maybe you shouldn’t post it.

You know what they say. The best defense is a good offense. It’s easier to keep from publishing embarrassing posts than it is to try to clean them up afterwards.

Your Turn

Do you have any other tips for managing your social media presence? Share them in the comments below.

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About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Lauraâ??s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.