Personal branding as it pertains to the digital world is a concept that has taken hold more recently as the digital realm has entered every aspect of our daily life and information on anything and everything is at our fingertips. As we rely so much on operating in a digital world it is important to create and curate your personal brand. This is the window to how we are perceived in the world so we had better be the owner and not the bystander to what is available for all to see.
Take Care of Your Personal Brand
Google my name and you will find a whole host of information concerning me. I am, but should not be surprised by this. First to pop up on a search is the company in which I work along with my title. This is followed by a Canada 411 listing of my address and phone number. Already, a lot of conclusions can be drawn from this information but drill down and you can find a blog that I have posted. My Pinterest image shows a picture of me holding a fish. I do not have too many pins, the main section posted is under the title of food and wine. LinkedIn will provide my educational background and Medium helpfully has recorded highlights and stories that I have “clapped” for. The list goes on, but from what is listed here one could arrive at a fairly detailed description of who I am and what brand I am trying to portray. The trouble is as I peruse these search results, I see much that I want to change and update and some things I would like to delete. While I may be able to change and update some content, I do realize that deleting is probably not possible. Thankfully I am a Gen xer and being late to the game, haven’t done too much online, but it would have been nice to have been more savvy from the outset.
How to Manage Your Online Image
Flying V Group in the article 9 Reasons Personal Branding Matters in this Digital Age [Infographic] tells us that it takes 1/10 of a second for an impression to be formed online.1 That sums up right there why we need to be careful of what we sign up for and what we post. All the time.
There is much benefit to be realized by managing and creating your online image to grow your career or promote your views and objectives. Joshua Waldman’s Career Enlightenment site shares this helpful post of 7 Tips for Creating & Managing Your Personal Brand, tips that everyone should be aware of before beginning an online journey. Some are thought provoking such as to know what differentiates you from the rest and another advises understanding first what personal brand you are wanting to create.2 This is where I wish I had spent some time being aware of what online image I want out there for everyone to see. I am sure that I can make some changes and improve the available content but better to do this up front rather than after the fact. This will definitely be a topic to discuss with my daughter when the time comes. Other suggestions offered are more intuitive, like know that “all publicity is not good publicity” and practice what you preach.3
Take your Personal Brand to the Next Level
Further advice that Career Enlightenment shares centers around augmenting your personal brand by networking and attending events that support your brand.4 If I wish to present a brand of sustainability, then I would be wise to network with like-minded people and to post related content. My personal brand should blend with what I share and present online. Currently, with what is readily available online, you can easily conclude that I fish and like wine. While this may be true, that is not what I want to share, at least not as an initial impression.
Lastly, concerning my online personal brand, some information is outdated which also sends a certain impression. Our online personal brand should be updated on a regular basis,5 and my online persona needs immediate attention to fill in what is missing from the last two to three years. I want my audience to recognize me as a pertinent and current resource and my online brand should communicate that.
Though online personal branding may be a fairly new concept, it is here to stay and be used by all. We must take heed of how we present ourselves and definitely be careful of what we post online. Many times we don’t have control of this, as friends will post pictures or other content that includes us. The world has changed in this regard, in always needing to be aware of the image you present; an unsavory moment can come back to haunt you, long after you have forgotten the event.
- 9 Reasons Personal Branding Matters in this Digital Age; https://www.flyingvgroup.com/blog/2019/05/29/9-reasons-personal-branding-matters-in-this-digital-age/
- – 5. 7 Tips for Creating & Managing Your Personal Brand; https://careerenlightenment.com/7-tips-creating-managing-personal-brand