According to Entrepreneur Magazine, “the sum of all your social-media activity is truly a reflection of your collective brand, so manage it all with purpose. Your behavior on social media becomes your brand and builds your reputation. While the digital world is your platform, use it with care because there is a fine line between productive and destructive behavior.”
You’re branding even when you don’t know it. You can either have a positive brand with a great reputation or not. If you don’t have a positive, productive, and reputable professional internet persona then you’re in for trouble. Clean up your social networks and remember that diligence is the key to reputation management. Admit it, you don’t want your Facebook profile privacy settings open for your new boss to see you wasted and doing body-shots off some co-ed last month do you?
One of the key tenets of personal branding is the need to be consistent throughout all aspects of your life. If you’re not consistent, no one will be able to rely on you and you won’t be able to live the brand you’ve created. This may seem obvious, but it’s more challenging than you might think.
Cheryl Connor of Forbes spoke with Don Sorensen, president of Big Blue Robot, who has been working with companies and executives for the past 10 years to improve their online reputations. The article is geared more toward the fallout to executives when their companies are under-fire, but it outlines the dangers in allowing your reputation to go unmonitored.
ConfidentBrand has a Basic Guide to Online Reputation Management that can save you a bit of time. However, Pronto has an article that really addresses the issue in a more in depth way in their article Reputation Management – 5 ways to build your brand and 5 ways to avoid destroying it.
Forbes recommends the following:
- Search for yourself (and do it regularly)
- Buy your domain name
- Put all of your content in one place
- Join social networks
- Optimize your presence on those sites
Seriously, clean it up and lock it down. Here are some sites to help: