What is your ‘brand’?

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

Social-Media-IconsOdds 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!

Source: KRT Marketing, 2013 Jobvite poll

Source: KRT Marketing, 2013 Jobvite poll

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.

Blessings,

Jenny

 

1Source: Wikipedia “Personal Branding”

5 thoughts on “What is your ‘brand’?

  1. It is an interesting dilemma actually. You could lose a job if someone did not agree with your faith and decided to hold it against you – or perhaps were indifferent to it but it was down to two people of equal skill and they opted for the one who didn’t mention faith or vice versa.
    I think it would be cogent not to mix your personal life with your business life. In business you should be judged on your ability and somewhat on your character, but don’t give people unnecessary ammunition to unfairly judge you.

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    • I can certainly understand the wisdom of keeping your personal and business life separate, and in many ways I agree with you. While my article may be read as a challenge for Christians to be more outspoken and boldly declare their faith in all their online profiles, that was not my intent. Most certainly, there is a place for sharing some aspects of ones interests and passions that are inappropriate for another. Surely an online profile on a professional site will speak to business successes, while other profiles may speak to passions for fishing, or pottery or pole-dancing (LOL). And yet, if all my multiple online profiles were somehow overlapped, do the combined image display the cohesiveness and congruency of all the individual profiles – but perhaps in deeper / richer colors and depth? I hope so, and this is the discussion I would love to share with my readers. So what if we set aside the specific topic of Faith for a moment. Would you still answer the same? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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      • I think it’s even stevans. Some people will be as you expected of them across the board and some people might shock you with what they get up to on the other side of their personalities! The thing is if we are talking solely about getting a job, (which we do all need at some point), we never know what might turn somebody off about us in an interview.
        The aim is to get the job and progress, not by lying or covering up, but by being professional and sometimes professionally discrete.
        For example I would not give a job to someone who hunts animals. There I said it! So my answer would still be ‘yes’. Exercise caution and intelligence with what you put online.
        People may opt to buy elsewhere if they found out the grocer was an axe murderer! 🙂

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  2. Jenny,
    Great food for thought. I love the quote from David Payne, have it written down from an earlier tweet you shared. So glad you are expanding your personal brand to include the creative side of you! 🙂

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    • Thanks Deb. It is an exciting adventure you and I are on, and I look forward to finding an opportunity to collaborate with you over the summer months. Be blessed!

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