Going out on a first date? Chances are your date has already Googled your name. Have an upcoming job interview? Your prospective employer has probably researched you online. Fair or not, it’s important to monitor what’s being said about you online and to always put your best virtual foot forward in cyberspace and beyond.
How can you enhance your personal brand and maintain the gleaming image you deserve? Here are some thoughts to help you keep your virtual foot out of your mouth and maintain your great reputation.
You know yourself better than anyone but you still need to define your personal brand. Get behind the keyboard of your laptop or grab a pen and write out the key attributes that represent you. Are you honest, hard-working, resourceful, innovative and creative? What are your interests, hobbies and professional goals? Put all of this on a page and use it as your foundation. It’s OK to be aspirational. Describe the brand you want to see. Your ambitions for your personal brand will serve as a compass for everything you do.
Start by doing what anyone else would do to learn more about you – conduct an online search for your name. What are you finding? How are you being portrayed? If you are coming across outdated information, follow the link to the site where this data originates and request the site owner update or delete it. Sites like brandyourself.com can help you clean up your image on social media. Also, be sure to set up a Google alert so that when your name is mentioned online, you can instantly review the reference and correct any inaccuracies.
Once you put something into cyberspace, assume that it will be there forever. How often do you see someone famous send out a tweet in the heat of the moment only to delete it ... but not before countless users have captured screenshots and reposted them. Always keep your personal brand in mind when sharing or posting anything online. Be mindful of what you say and how you say it.
People seem to get more passionate when they’re behind the keyboard. Fights break out on online media sites all the time – choose not to participate. Remember what you write and how you act will be permanently out there for all to see and can negatively affect your personal brand. When in doubt, be kind or say nothing at all. It always pays to take the high road.
We know you’re excited about that brand new motorcycle but you’ve already written two blogs, five tweets and 10 Instagram posts about it. But not everyone needs to see everything you are doing and you never want to come across as arrogant or insensitive. Remember, how you are perceived online is how people will think of you in the real world. And that really matters.
Even if you don’t own a business, you have a personal brand. Create a website so when people search for you online, you control the narrative and tell your own story. Create a blog page and regularly update it with your thoughts, feelings and opinions. Talk about your hobbies, travels and passions. Be active on social media and participate in online forums. Get a professional email account so you can easily and credibly communicate with those around you. Build an online network that builds your personal brand.
Your personal brand is highly important in our digital age. Control your own narrative by following these personal branding guidelines and grow your reputation while enhancing your personal and professional life. Register.com is here to support your efforts in any way we can. Let’s build your personal brand together.