So it’s a new year and a new you – right? Isn’t that how it goes? As it rings in, we tend to have this innate need to make resolutions. You know the ones: I’m going to be fitter than ever before, lose 'bajillions' of weight, save more, drink less, do more... and the list goes on!
As you make all these promises to the universe this new year, take a few moments to actually stop and think about brand 'You'. Now when I talk about brand You, there isn’t an error there. I’m not meaning something else; I’m talking about your own personal brand.
Have you tried to Google yourself lately? Do yourself a favour, go into Google, type in your name and see what comes up. You might actually be surprised with the results.
What you put out there on the internet will stick, no matter what the security level of your Facebook or Instagram accounts. A famous quote from that social media movie you may remember: “The internet’s not written in pencil, it’s written in ink”. That post you may put up about the weekend you’ve had or your boss or that photo of a wild night out is up there forever and can be very difficult to remove. Think of it as your digital footprint.
However, unlike footprints in the sand, it won’t wash away as easily with water. It’s a good idea to think before you hit that post button. Ask yourself if it’s something you would want your client or mum to see. Remember it could be a potential employer looking at it!
One great piece of advice I received is, “Don’t read the comments!"
You know the ones where something has been popped up by your favourite news publication and hundreds of keyboard warriors take to the battlefield throwing words and opinions around that in most cases they would never dare say to someone’s face. Worse still, you take on the stance of one of these warriors and join in the battle like a scene from Braveheart, your hands at the ready to comment.
These comments, regardless of your settings, will show up in Google searches whether you like it or not. Keep in mind before you post that what you are saying is going out to the world and there are people waiting and watching. Remember, all of this is ‘your brand’ and what the public may think of that brand is a big part of your success and the best news is it can be controlled by you.
In the past, branding has purely been to market corporations. However, let’s face it, the digital age is here and here to stay and you have two choices: ignore it and let the world create it on your behalf, or pick up the ball, run with it and create your own digital destiny.