It’s amazing how much bolder we become when obscured by a computer screen.
Have you noticed that some people’s blog comments can be venomously critical and scathing? Oftentimes, because some people think that they are anonymous online (and this is so clearly not the case. Check out my post about the myth of cyber anonymity), they have the tendency to exhibit awful behaviors that they would not normally if engaged in a face-to-face interaction. There is definitely a dark side of the internet, but it also allows you to brand yourself however you would like which is pretty cool. This is the case for a lot of bloggers who have made themselves into an authority on certain topics such as celebrity gossip (think Perez Hilton and Necole Bitchie) or tech products (Michael Arrington- founder of Tech Crunch, Larry Dignan – Editor In Chief of ZDNet.com), or celebrities like Kim Kardashian and her hangers-on. Even if you aren’t famous or aspiring to be, it is a good idea to create a public persona online.
The important things to think about when creating your personal brand online:
- Have a definite direction for your brand and be consistent. Be sure about what image you want to portray and tailor all communication towards this image.
- Control the message at all times. It is important not to communicate anything that may damage the brand you are creating.
- Treat your persona as a business. Have fun with it but always be cognizant of how it is being perceived
- Google yourself (don’t forget Google Image) and find out what is already out there about you.
- Have strategies in place to combat anything that may tarnish your image
It is also important to be aware that someone is always looking at you. That is not meant to be creepy but it’s true. Many professional recruiters troll the internet looking up potential job candidates by perusing their Facebook pages, etc. When creating your personal brand, be sure not to create a persona that is at odds with your professional goals. For example, if you want to spend your days mentoring children it is best not to brand yourself as a sexpot. I must admit that i am still trying to figure out exactly how I want to brand myself. My hobbies include all things fashion and entertainment, but how does that exactly translate into a personal brand? We shall see I guess . . .