Our digital world has completely changed the way that we interact with each other, personally and professionally. Is there such a thing as a separation of work and personal life online anymore? Can you have that completely private social media account where you complain about a job you hate, while simultaneously representing your love of that industry on LinkedIn? I would answer no. When applying for a position, chances are that the potential employer will be Googling you, looking you up on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social network that they can think of.
This leads me to the question of personal brand. When working with new marketing and public relations clients, we must first establish a clear brand for them and use this to guide the rest of the work that we do for them. This begs the question, have you considered your own personal brand?
Your personal brand should tie common voice, values and themes across multiple platforms. Let’s use an example of someone searching for a position in the marketing field:
Posts: Your posts should represent you as someone who is not only interested in the field but could be considered an expert. Write a blog and post your entries to your LinkedIn account. Link your Facebook posts to articles that you find interesting and offer your own thoughts.
Pictures: Use consistent pictures across all platforms. Choose a picture that again shows that you value the marketing field. Use a picture at a marketing conference or professional group that you belong to. Take a picture of yourself reading a marketing article or book. When adding new pictures, make sure that they represent your brand. Instagram yourself at a new professional marketing networking event, not what you had for lunch that day.
Connect: Connect with others in the field that you are after. Follow marketing experts on Twitter, then comment on and retweet leaders in the field. Check-in when you are at a professional event. Use related hashtags. In a perfect world, one may take note of your activity and offer you some mentoring.
Audit: Don’t forget to go through your current pictures and posts and edit. All of those frat party pictures you thought were so cool when you were in college? Not so cool anymore. While things cannot be completely deleted from the online world, you can make them harder to find, specifically by deleting them where you have control, your own profiles.
For more ideas, check out this article on Mashable, “The lazy person’s guide to personal branding.”