Creating your image and/or brand

I was reading on Adam Struve’s blog about having an image (in terms of a brand) online that you should watch out for and protect. Reading this prompted to me to create this post in regards to your own online identity and how your image is portrayed and ultimately received by others.

We all hear these stories about being careful with what you post online because once it’s there it’s nearly impossible to remove. This is so true and in today’s online world that we sometimes forget the things we do in life make there way back to sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Sometimes we’re doing the posting and sometimes other people are.

There’s truly no way to escape some form of getting your “15 minutes of fame”. I suppose there’s those of you who thrive on this kind of attention and have decided to post every last detail of your life for everyone to see.

But what about when you’re trying to start a business online or maybe delve into an online venture such as blogging or selling products? Do you intend to cross-publicize your personal life with your business life? If so, does it matter?

To me, it does. Not only am I super cautious about what I post online (as well as monitoring things that others post), but I’m even more cautious about expressing my own personal views while pitching a product to a customer. I’ve always learned in the workplace to keep your personal opinions to yourself and why should it be any different online?

All of this is especially true when you’re creating a brand image for your company and/or blog. Imagine you go through all the trouble of creating your website, posting content to it, spend time getting links, conversing with other bloggers out there, making a great logo, etc., etc. and then your image is tarnished forever because of some unruly Facebook photos!

Consider the brands above; how would you feel about spokespeople from these companies spreading their personal opinions about politics, religion and money? You might start to get the feeling that the company as a whole also shares those thoughts.

We can all agree that it’s not fair for people to judge one another, but let’s face it–it happens and we all do it. For the same reasons you would not go to a job interview dressed in sweats and sandals, you would not want to your mix personal life (and opinions) with business.

As Adam said on his blog, “Your brand follows you.” Think about this when creating your brand. If needs be, simply create a second Facebook account and use it only to promote the business side of you.

I’ve also talked about trademarking and copyrighting efforts to further increase your brand’s image.

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