I’m a big believer in the power of  personal branding. Maybe it is because of my public relations background but I have always be mindful  of cultivating and promoting my personal brand on the Internet.

Does that sound “over the top” to you? Or maybe even ridiculously unnecessary?  Because, well, I’m just a mom blogger, right?

WRONG.

Yes, I am a mom blogger. AND  a professional.  AND a wife, friend, daughter, relative, community activist and volunteer.  And because I live out loud and on line, I would be wise to control of my personal brand.  And so should YOU be.  The repercussions could be staggering.

The modern concept of personal branding is essentially a summation of how you are presenting yourself online.  Your personal brand is made up of all of the messaging sent out online via status reports, news, blog posts & comments, profiles on social networks, images, videos and personal websites.  Essentially, it is content of ANY KIND that connects to you.

Guard your brand carefully.  Be intentional about how you are presenting yourself in the world.

Your social messages reveal to the word the reality of your character, your  intentions, your wants,  thoughts, and  needs.  You must  make sure the messages you are sending are the ones you want. Cyber footprints never go away. Only put out “there” messages that you would be happy for the world to receive.  (Would your mother wash your mouth out with soap if she saw that Tweet?)

Now, you might be vehemently disagreeing with me right now. I know many of us use Twitter and Facebook to vent and “let loose.”  I’m not suggesting that you loose your personality or that you to censor yourself as if the Pope were watching, I’m just suggesting that you keep in mind future opportunities:

  • That business that you would like to sponsor you for a conference one day.
  • That company looking for a brand representative.
  • That audience hoping to find a blog where they can relate.
  • That future employer silently monitoring cyberspace.
  • That school official approving your volunteer application.

Don’t turn them off with careless messaging.

Each of us is our own brand.  So, what kind of a brand are YOU? Do you work well with others or are you complicated and cranky?  Do you bring your drama with you?

Image is unavoidable, gang. If you have an online presence, people are making assumptions and forming opinions about you. It is that simple.  They are putting you into categories. That is life.  The conclusion they reach from these opinions constitutes your image, whether you like it or not.

So next time you sit down to fire off that nasty tweet, give it a quick thought before you hit “send.”  Is it consistent with what you want the world to know about you?