Friday, September 3, 2010

Brand X - Personal Branding for Social Media

The term personal branding is being flung around a lot as of late. You may even be asking yourself, "what is the difference between branding for business and branding as a person?"
No matter your career or calling, you are a brand. Your footprint online is your advertisement for that brand. This doesn't mean you have to completely sterilize your online experience but you should make sure it paints you in the best light.

1) Google Yourself: What comes up first? It's the norm for potential employers (and most people) to Google your full name or email address to see what and who exactly they are dealing with. If you search my name for example you'll see the first entry (after Twitter results) is my website. This is a perfect fit for me and my branding. You can see what I'm up to at the moment. The next link is my LinkedIn profile where you can see what I've done in the past. Links that follow are for various articles, events and sites I've participated in.

After searching decide if you like the results. If you do great; keep doing what you're doing. If you feel you require more of a presence or want to change your current presence read on...

2) Set up a Homebase Online: It can be as simple as a LinkedIn or Facebook profile page or get as in depth as a personal portfolio page; it's up to you. Personally, I have become a fan of It's simple to set up a clean professional looking site for free or for $20 a year you get more options and statistical information on your site. It's a way to link to all of your Social Links/Sites you want people to see upfront. For me that means my Blog and Twitter. Another great site to do this with is Also, you should consider buying the URL of some sort of variation of your name (my last name can be tricky so I went with my first name, last initial) and routing your homebase to it. I would suggest setting up a LinkedIn page no matter your level of commitment to Branding yourself as an online resume, you never know what could come of it.

3) Monitor Yourself: Personally a large part of my brand is my life so there isn't much which can be posted about me that can really cause harm. However if you are a face or the face of your company, you may need to monitor things a bit differently. Make sure your Facebook privacy settings are up to date and only sharing what you want. You can read more about how to navigate them via this article. If you use Twitter make sure you are comfortable with everything you tweet showing up in a web search (because it does) or lock your account for an additional layer of security (but don't genuinely count on it, if it's that sensitive send a text). Take a look at what photos/videos are tagged of you on various networks. Also be aware that if you comment on sites using Facebook Connect it can show up in searches as well.

4) Be the Person or the Brand: Or understand what it means to be both. Many people are running businesses by themselves and the first thing I typically tell clients is; personal Branding and Branding for your business are typically two different animals. If you are shooting out personal information on a business account -- stop it. I'm not saying don't inject personality, authenticity or humor into your social branding for your business, but the messages about standing in an epic line or "yum, just had a cupcake" don't really do much to build unless you are a professional line stander or selling cupcakes. Same goes for the reverse; temper the business info in your personal accounts. Not everyone needs to know that you are so over being at work and are purposely making an office supply run last twice the time needed. It's silly and could very well come back to bite you in the ass.

5) Grow and Maintain: Like I said; if you are happy with what you find when you search your name, stay the course of what you were already doing online. If you are working on having new results once you get some sort of Homebase set up, participation is the key to growth. Jump into the LinkedIn questions area and ask or answer a few questions. Find a message board or forum for your field and sign up with your first initial, last name and participate -- be it as someone offering answers or if you are still growing; asking clear straightforward questions. Take a look at your email signature. Does it give a clear way to contact you besides hitting reply on your email? I love the idea of dancing like no one is watching as much as the next person, but it's more important you include a link to your Homebase and a contact number (Google Voice) is fine if you don't want your main number flying around the web) than a clever quote. As an added measure you can add a link to your most recent article, press clipping, accomplishment etc., depending on your field.

1 comment:

Dusty Rose Vintage said...

So glad I found your blog. I got an email blast and noticed that you included a piece by Farah from A Peace Treaty. I think this company is amazing and hope to feature them in our blog soon, so keep an eye out!

I think the concept of LL is so great and I'm always soooo happy to see things like this in the world of business and fashion. Hats off to you!