Many of us still consider ourselves employees, individuals who work for a larger organization. But the Internet—and especially social media—turned us all into publishers, and thus into brands.
Have you ever looked up someone’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile before meeting them for the first time? I’m guessing you have. And that you drew some conclusions from their online brand that shaped your interaction.
Here are a few reasons to make time in your busy schedule to manage your digital brand:
In the 21st century, your digital brand is like your credit score—even if you ignore it, it still exists and affects the way that other people make decisions about you. Everyone from potential employers to future spouses is exposed to your online brand before they ever meet you. And they judge you based on what they see. Your digital brand has real-life consequences that you ignore at your personal and professional peril.
Your brand is an investment. If properly managed, it will pay dividends in terms of social and professional stature. And much like savings, the earlier you get started, the sooner you’ll start to benefit from digital equivalent of compounding interest.
A strong brand attracts others. From employers to associates, everyone wants to be associated with a great brand.
You are affected by others’ brands. You need to monitor more than just your personal online presence. You also need to be aware of your employer’s, clients’, and associates’ brands. Their digital presence affects your brand, especially if you are closely identified with them.
It saves you time and effort in the long run. Being thoughtful and deliberate in how you shape your brand pays off. Knowing where you stand, what you’re trying to accomplish, and how you’re progressing is much more easily done on a day-to-day basis, as opposed to trying to establish (or re-create) a brand when you really need it to shine.
It’s easy. In fact, whenever you post anything on Facebook, you’re managing your brand.
Your online brand is shaped by your website, social media posts … and by what other people are saying about you. So failing to actively monitor and shape it can cost you time, money, and the digital standing that would allow you to heighten your impact on the world.