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It’s Time to Manage Your Online Personal Brand

It’s Time to Manage Your Online Personal Brand


    If you’re reading this, then you probably have an online personal brand.

    Your brand consists of all the communities you participate in, and just about any piece of content that holds your name, face, or both. A new study by Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that 46% of online adults have created their own profile on a social networking site, which is an increase of 20% from 2006.

    The internet is the global talent pool. If you don’t have a presence online, it will affect your job search, your career, your business, and your personal life. The reason for this is simple: people are already searching for you or people like you. For every time you don’t appear in a search for your name or a specific need that you want to rank high for, you lose an opportunity.

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    Global paranoia and your brand

    General

    When was the last time you did a search for your name on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Technorati? 57% of people use search engines to find out information about themselves online. Why are they interested in seeing what appears? What appears first in a search for your name is people’s first

      impression of you, so if it’s not the result you want people to see, then you have to change it through starting a website, joining social networks, getting press, and writing articles for websites.

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      Work-related

      I’m sure there’s been a time when you were interested in finding out more information about your co-workers, but were afraid to ask. Well, I’m sure most of you reviewing their online brand to gain a better idea of their backgrounds. 31% of workers have searched for information about co-workers. One of the major problems people have, especially with Facebook, is separating their personal and professional lives. The transparent internet, and Facebook’s privacy controls have confused people, so sometimes those explicit pictures and come back to haunt you in the workplace. For instance, if you have pictures of yourself in a bikini online, even if they’re old, it will come off as unprofessional to your fellow cubicle or office dwellers.

      Dating

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      There are no more blind dates anymore because you can learn a lot about your date in advance, without leaving your home. People want to be extra careful before they go on a date, and by viewing public profiles, you know what you’re in for. Once you’re dating someone, you will naturally pay attention to their updates on social networks or dating sites. 16% of people have looked online for more information about someone they are dating or in a relationship with. Among those who use online dating sites, 34% go online to check up on their dates. Be careful with how you represent yourself personally, or you might not just get that second date!

      Safeguarding your brand

        Press the delete button

        It might be time to become picky when it comes to keeping friends and contacts on social networks. If you don’t know someone, how valuable could they be to you? They might even spam your Facebook wall! In fact, 56% of people have unfriended contacts in their network, and 52% of blocked them from their social updates. Identify who your current audience is on your social networks, and then configure settings so that your updates are seen by the people you want. For example, if your family, friends, and co-workers are connected to you on Facebook and you’re going to post an update on how you skipped work to take a road trip, then you want to target your social update to everyone except for your co-workers.

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        Review your privacy settings

        Being private isn’t a bad thing and in most cases it can really save you from a reputation blunder. The best way to look at privacy is that there is no privacy on the internet. This way, you will be more careful on what you post because it does reflect who you are. 65% of people have changed the privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing something, then don’t do it. Call or email the person instead.

        Image: d’n’c’

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        More by this author

        Dan Schawbel

        Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for young professionals.

        Personal Branding Basics You Need to Know for Career Success 3 Areas You Must Invest in During an Economic Recession Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results Command and Control Your Google Results 5 Things to Do Before You Build Your Personal Brand

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        Last Updated on August 4, 2020

        The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

        The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

        No!

        It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

        But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

        What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

        But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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        1. Value Your Time

        Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

        2. Know Your Priorities

        Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

        For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

        3. Practice Saying No

        Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

        4. Don’t Apologize

        A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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        5. Stop Being Nice

        Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

        Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

        6. Say No to Your Boss

        Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

        But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

        7. Pre-Empting

        It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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        “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

        8. Get Back to You

        Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

        “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

        At least you gave it some consideration.

        9. Maybe Later

        If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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        “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

        Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

        10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

        This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

        Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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        Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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