Personal Branding and Online Presence

I have a blog. I’ve had one for quite a few years now. One of the biggest problems with having a blog, for me, was trying to pinpoint it down to just one subject – which I have never been able to do. Little did I realize until fairly recently that another thing I need to focus on is the actual branding aspect of it. Then it occurred to me. Anyone who has any sort of an online presence has to focus on their own personal branding.

That last line is something I’ve always sort of realized. Just in the sense of controlling how you want to be perceived. Yet I never really considered it to be a type of “branding” until nowish. And with so many social networking outlets that are all pretty much connected in some way, there’s plenty of opportunity to create an online presence… and plenty of opportunity to screw it up.

So starting with Facebook. The people you’re friends with will see you a certain way based on how you use Facebook. What type of statuses you post: personal, news release, entertainment, gossip, complain, etc. How open or private your Facebook is also influences the type of statuses you may post. Twitter is typically more open and public so what you post on Twitter may differ from Facebook. Then of course there is Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, WordPress, and a bunch of others. The question now is: how connected do you want each of these to be?

Each method of social media serves a different purpose, both in how we present ourselves and in how we use it to interact with other people. But I think there still should probably be some level of connection between them all. LinkedIn is meant to be the most professional of the social networking sites, since that’s what its primary purpose is. But if someone goes from your LinkedIn account to your Twitter to your blog to your Facebook and gradually sees a huge change in presentation between them, it will likely lead to some confusion. How authentic is this person and which profile is more true to the type of person they are?

I guess the point of all of this comes down to whether we want or should put more effort into personal branding across our entire spectrum of social networking and online presence. For me, that has included interconnectivity between the different sites which all lead to or from my website but beyond that, it could also mean things like images and colours, photos, whether I want to create some sort of a logo, and probably most importantly, content.