Personal Branding is a relatively new term, but the practice is as old as time itself. In its simplest terms, it is the condensed representation of your personhood; character, interests, values, image. In short, it is your reputation (online and offline). And now a days, carrying forward a unified brand from one social media platform to another can make, or break, your career.
Today, added emphasis is placed on Personal Branding, especially in the online world. Employers are now increasingly using social media tools in order to vet applicants – even before offering them interviews. Such techniques range from searching the applicants Facebook or Twitter feed to conducting large background checks using search engines and other tools (for example, IP addresses).” 1
“Potential doesn’t just come out, it’s got to be challenged and drawn out.” ~Bill Winston
Odds are you have multiple online profiles, each one representing a certain aspect of your life or area of specialty. You might have a Facebook profile so that you can share photos, interests and life events with friends and family.
Chances are you also have a profile on LinkedIn or Plaxo to share your professional contact information and maintain an online presence before industry influencers, prospective and current customers, or recruiters. And let us not forget about Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flikr, Tumlblr ,… and the list goes on.
“Your daily life is the platform your faith is lived on.” ~David Payne, Lifesong Church (Sutton MA)
Your Personal Brand is a compilation of all those profiles, complimented by the character and personality portrayed in your posts, photos, etc. But what about your spiritual brand?
Or said another way, does your Personal Brand reflect who you are spiritually?
That question really began to sit heavy on me about three years ago. Not that I was managing multiple personalities or anything … you know, church lady on Sunday’s, business woman on Monday’s, party animal on Friday night’s. No, that’s not my style! But I did tend to be very discrete about my faith during the weekdays, and my business profile was shallow and one-dimensional compared to my Facebook profile which so clearly evidenced my faith. And thus began my journey of exploration, of how to approach Personal Branding from a “holistic perspective”, one that allowed me to represent myself across multiple social media platforms in a way that was true to who I am professionally, personally, and spiritually. And quite frankly, it was not an easy topic.
Have you ever tried online dating? What about online Christian dating? Well if you have, regardless of service provider, you’ve probably seen ‘them’.
“Them?” you ask.
Yes, ‘them’. Those genuinely passionate for God people who put way too much into their personal profiles, and come off sounding rather …. well, shall we just say ‘a bit over the top?’
If "JESUSFREAKY59" ever reads this, I'm sorry it didn't work out for us. Maybe another time. (not)
Or what about that neighborhood kid down the street, the one who dresses like an angel on Sunday mornings, and makes even the devil blush on Friday and Saturday nights. Oh my!
Uh huh. Yes, ma’am. You know exactly what I mean. I’d hate to see what comes up on a Social Media search for some of those folks. And needless to say – that is not the kind of imagery I want associated with my Personal Brand. But how do you accurately portray your varied passions and interests, in a congruent way, across all your social media platforms? And how do you appropriately represent who you are spiritually in a business profile, without alienating yourself from people who may not share the same views? It can be a bit tricky, to say the least.
Born out of my own experiences and passion for helping others, I have put together a “HOPE-FILLED” Workshop primarily geared towards churches, non-profit organizations, and faith-based groups that frequently include stories from my own experiences leading up to the launch of my own small business in 2014, giving you the tools to build a Personal Brand that accurately represents who you are professionally, personally, and even spiritually.
I don’t claim to have figured it all out, but I do think I’ve learned a lot over the last few years, and have now successfully developed a Personal Brand over multiple social media platforms that truly does represent who I am … all of me … with integrity and consistency. And for me, that’s important.
1Source: Wikipedia “Personal Branding”