Bob Hodges: You wanna look at infographics or learn about this job?
Danny McGavin: Not yet.
Bob Hodges: Not yet.
(Two Beastie Boy quotes in a week? Well, I recently added their entire discography to my iPod, so I can’t help it.)
MANAGING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND.
Brand Management also applies on a personal level, especially if you function on a professional platform. I recently started a new job with a new role, so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to reinvent my online identity.
In late 90′s, I had a lot of screen names associated with many different emails and social sites. In 2000, I began to build a single online identity, a personal brand I wanted to be known for. My nickname became my online moniker. In my early days as an entertainment promoter, I made a lot of connections Worldwide under this name. My real life identity and my web identity were one in the same.
Over the years, I got so used to using one moniker for everything, for both work and casual content creation, that I began to tarnish my branding on a couple forums. Let’s just say there are certain team fan bases I didn’t agree with. I trash talk, joke around, repost Internet oddities; things I wouldn’t necessarily want my boss or HR to see. Like most people, there are two sides to me: my professional identity and my social identity. If you didn’t know my nickname, you didn’t know who I really was.
As time went by, my professional role evolved. I now live in a new state, got married, and I’m about to have my second child. I’m no longer the 20-something punk pulling the occasional shenanigans. I needed be more aware of my personal brand management.
When I recently decided to begin to rebuild my personal brand, I realized I should not go public with my established pseudo identity. I don’t want my professional identity to be interlaced with my private one, nor am I about to destroy a decade of disguise I spent so much time promoting. I now have two accounts on most social sites. Moving forward I plan to be “The Digital Drew” 90% of the time, but things I don’t want associated with my professional ID will remain anonymous. In this era, you need to be careful what you put out there. Content you publish online is more or less permanent.
Listen people, Facebook isn’t MySpace, your clients and co-workers don’t need to see you doing a kegstand.
If prospective clients and employers research your name, what comes up? A few years back I was tracking track down an old buddy online. When I searched with his real name, two of his social profiles appeared: His personal profile, and one dedicated to finding women who want to meet a man with a foot fetish. Letting people know you like to suck toes probably isn’t the kind of first impression you want to make when someone queries your name.
I don’t mind my identity getting exposed, in fact I want my true identity to gain as much visibility as possible. When my name or professional moniker is searched, I’ll have more control over all of the available information.
If I am on one of the sports/car/art/news forums I frequent, I don’t want a disgruntled user to trying to pull my card, that could be extremely damaging. Anonymity is the key to casual surfing. Don’t let people know your name, contact info, and especially where you work. These are valuable assets that should not be compromised.
God forbid you become the next meme and your ID gets exposed to 4chaners:
Make your personal social identity separate from your professional one. Using a pseudonym will keep your personal views out of your professional network’s grasp. Everything you do online leaves a trace: Comments you make in response to articles, questions, blogs, forums, debates, issues, jokes, religion, politics …etc.
When someone queries your real name, don’t allow private content to appear in the SERPs.
However, you shouldn’t become just an online billboard either; you don’t go to social gatherings to hand out business cards, pitch your services and then walk away, do you? To be a true professional you need to be socially proactive. Engage and interact with your peers, be personable and genuine; Consume, listen, and then respond.