So many professionals are focused on building a personal brand online that they forget they already have an online presence. The reality is, your personal online profiles can end up affecting your professional brand, so they cannot be ignored.
Even older work profiles can create confusion once your professional brand becomes more recognized, which is why a clean-up is critical.
Anything from social media posts and old corporate profiles can affect the reputation you’re trying to build.
When cleaning up your personal brand online, consider what you want people to think and say about you. Is the information that’s available about you in line with this? Once you have an idea of what needs to be removed and updated, you can start shaping your new personal brand.
You wouldn’t think that old online content could affect your brand, but it can. A large percentage of potential employers and clients will scour the internet for information before doing business with or hiring someone new.
The Clean Up
There are two ways you can approach a personal brand clean-up in 2021. The first is to Google yourself to see what comes up. If it’s anything that could negatively impact the brand you’re trying to build, contact the relevant sites to find out about having the content removed.
Not all information needs to be deleted though. If you stumble across an old article you wrote for LinkedIn 10 years ago, leave it as is as it shows your growth as a professional.
It’s also not wise to delete all personal information either. Knowing you have a life and interests outside of your professional career helps shape your brand. You are a human being after all.
Next, it’s time to turn to a few trusted friends and colleagues.
Ask a handful of people to provide you with one sentence they feel describes you best. This is going to give you a good idea of what people think your strengths are and what kind of impression you leave.
You can now use this information to start shaping your new brand and ensure that any online profiles match what you’re trying to build. It will also help you find a voice and angle that’s different from others.
The Long-Term Strategy
Since old content and media won’t disappear overnight, it helps to start taking additional steps to push fresh content out into the world. Content that’s in line with your new personal brand and will benefit your professional career.
Start by creating a content schedule for your site and social media profiles. This will ensure you’re engaging with your audience regularly and refreshing your online presence. If you haven’t already, schedule a professional branding shoot so that you have new and exciting images to post across all touch-points.
As you continue to push out new content and make your presence known, your new personal brand will become what potential employers and clients see first.
Overall, building a new online profile requires consistency and there’s no time like the present to get going.
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