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Building A Personal Online Brand
By: Ryan Stoldt
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Organizations are increasingly looking toward the Internet while looking at potential employees. Because of this, people are looking for ways to create coherent individual brand images. By doing this, people are able to tell their story to an employee and share their potential value in a variety of ways before ever meeting them. A lot of consideration needs to go into your online presence because it can easily separate you from the competition. A lack of thought can easily devastate your career.
 
One of the most important aspects of creating an online brand is being consistently transparent. Be straightforward with who you are across all media outlets. If a person stumbles across your online portfolio, they should not go to your Facebook and be surprised by the content they see. Yes, tones can change across different platforms, but don’t be afraid to show who you are. You want to be a person that people remember without a physical meeting.
 
Since you want congruency across the person you portray yourself as online, it is easy to impress people by creating crossover between platforms. The easiest way to do this is to link networks together. Unfortunately, that’s not going to “wow” anyone. It is a good, transparent idea to incorporate into your brand though. The real way to impress people is to have consistent brand design. Take elements such as color, tone, and images to heart. Take your logo and color scheme found on your website and incorporate it into your print portfolio. Wear a pocket square or a pair of shoes that matches. Be subtle, but carrying over elements allows every element of your work to join into a strong personal brand.
 
Lastly, take what you’ve learned from marketing and apply it to your online brand. Keep your messages positive and show your good work. If your online portfolio highlights your best work and an employer visits your twitter, the employer won’t be impressed by tweets about failing a test or complaints about what’s going wrong in your life. Instead, try and see what people praise brands for online. Incorporate those elements into your personal profile. Once you see that transparency, brand messaging, and setting tones and trends are the key aspects of brands’ online presences, use their ideas to impress in your personal brand.


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About the Author
Ryan Stoldt is a digital strategist with a B.A. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Wichita State University. Find him online here
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