In today’s world, it’s common to Google someone before deciding whether to work with them, sell to them, or enter the market as their competitor. Employers, potential clients, and marketing experts are checking you out online all the time. What does this mean for your personal brand? It means that you must align your online presence with your offline personal brand to tell a consistent story across all of the major platforms.
Leverage Your Profiles to Work For You
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms can work for you or against you – depending on a few critical choices that you make. How you look and act offline should resonate with how you look and act online. Here is a list of Dos and Don’ts to help you align your real-world personal brand with your digital persona.
- Have an updated photo: Use the same photo across all platforms and make sure that it’s a professional picture and not a selfie. If you can’t afford a professional photographer, ask a friend with a great camera to take some shots of you. Use a neutral backdrop and make sure you’re dressed appropriately – don’t wear anything seductive or racy.
- Put your title in your profile: Whether you’re an Executive VP of Sales or a CEO or the Head of HR, put your title in your profile. If you don’t have a corporate title, consider what you do and how you’d like to communicate that to the world. Be creative!
- Add your credentials: Where did you go to school? What degrees do you have? Have you won any awards? Even if you’re just starting out, you’ve already accomplished something worth mentioning on your profile.
- Include your interests: People connect for many different reasons. Your credentials could be precisely the same as the next person, but a hiring manager might find it interesting that you’re an avid golfer, hiker, or home cook. People like to know that you have a life outside of work.
- Be Consistent: Most corporations will likely only check out your LinkedIn and Facebook pages, so at least make sure that those two platforms present a consistent picture. If you’re Mr. Perfect on Linked in and Mr. Life of the Party on Facebook, you’ll confuse the people who are looking to make a connection.
- Keep your political and religious views to yourself: Sex, politics, and religion are no-nos in the corporate world. Comment politely or don’t comment at all
- Be overly sexual: Never post sexually suggestive or explicit photos or make sexual comments on your social platforms. If you wouldn’t do it in public, don’t do it online.
- Use profanity or comment: Dropping the F word never makes you look good.
- Comment about drug or alcohol use: Additionally, never post pictures of yourself in which you are noticeably intoxicated, drinking, or using drugs.
- Complain about work: This is a big turn-off to potential employers. It could also get you into serious trouble at your current job. Share your concerns offline with people you trust.
- Post while you’re working: It’s very easy now for people to see when you’re online. Save your posting for after work hours and focus on what you’re paid to accomplish from nine to five.
- Reveal company secrets: If you’re not sure whether a piece of information is confidential, err on the side of caution and keep it to yourself.
- Use improper grammar: People will judge you on your writing skills. Proof-read and spell-check your posts before you hit submit.
Remember, just because you’re on a specific career path today, doesn’t mean you’ll still be on it five years from now. People don’t stay at the same company – or even in the same industry – for thirty or forty years anymore. Companies downsize regularly, and corporate cultures shift. But your reputation follows you everywhere you go. If you have any doubts about your online presence, the best thing to do is Google yourself. Find out what other people see and ask yourself, “Am I showing up the way I want to?”
Are you ready to align your online personal presence with your offline personal brand? Contact me today to discuss how I can help.