Is It Time For A Rebrand?
By Maria Hill
When was the last time you Googled yourself? In today’s world everyone from blind dates to potential employers are taking to their browser to get a better idea of who you are as a person. Not only are they checking out your LinkedIn profile they are combing through tweets, status updates, and your #TBT Instagram photos.
If you have any social media accounts you are cultivating a personal brand, so what is yours saying?
Go ahead, search yourself I’ll wait….
Good? Ok, what did you see? Is your online presence reflecting what you want? If the answer is no then it might be time to consider a rebrand. A rebrand doesn’t mean changing who you are as person, it just means controlling the messaging of your online persona. Having a clear vision of your personal brand helps you set professional goals, create new opportunities for networking, and keep you from wasting energy on activities that do not aligned with your brand.
I have four easy steps that will help you create a personal brand that presents the best version of yourself to anyone who types your name into their web browser.
Craft A Personal Branding Statement
What does this mean? I think about it like this: When someone is explaining who I am to a person that has never met me, what do I want them to say? To get started have a brainstorming session where you write down words that describe your personality and get specific: marathon runner, business owner, painter, hiker, Mom, writer, accountant, cupcake addict, etc. After you have brain dumped go back through the list and select 5-10 words that are the best representation of the personality you want to share online. Use these words to form a personal branding statement that can be pasted into an Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile.
Reflect your branding statement in all of your online activities. If you call yourself a dog lover post pics of your pup or updates about adoption opportunities at local shelters. Calling yourself a wine connoisseur? Check in at your favorite vino spots (just don’t post any drunk pics!). Passionate about going green? Post tips on recycling and composting. You get the point – walk the walk. If you ever question whether or not you should post something online go back and review your branding statement, if it doesn’t align don’t post it (text it to your BFF instead).
Join the Conversation
Interacting with people who have similar interests is a great way to create new networking opportunities (read as potential new jobs). Share relevant content (articles/pictures/funny memes) that align with your personal brand. When you see other people post content you are interested in comment, ask questions, get engaged. Putting yourself out there will attract other people with similar interests and next thing you know you will have a whole network! Resist the urge to be an oversharer – a couple posts a day on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter should do it, no one wants to be flooded with your status updates. Also avoid using any of your social channels as a personal diary – that is what your best friend, partner and mom are for.
You Do You
For your personal brand to be the most effective it needs to be authentic. Creating a personal brand should only be work in the beginning when you are hashing out a branding statement. After that it is easy because you are just managing the content you post, not an entire made up persona (we do not want to get into Catfish type territory) hyper link for catfish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catfish:_The_TV_Show
In life there are very few opportunities to control a first impression. Managing your personal brand online is a powerful way to ensure that others perceive you the way YOU want to be seen.