Personal Brand: Do You Love the ‘You’ You Find Online?

By Gina Carroll

Do you love your personal brand? Or does your online presence leave you feeling disingenuous or not authentic? All of the work you’ve put in—tending to how you appear online—has been important, for sure. But in the quest to create a brand, have you lost yourself? Perhaps now is the time to step back and make sure that who you are online is really who you are.

The truth is, as we endeavor to reach our target audiences—customers, readers, colleagues—we may be leaving some valuable parts of ourselves out. Under the guise of a personal brand, have we settled for shallow shells of ourselves? Even worse, are our online brands not even us at all? Another truth: as online audiences become more sophisticated, experienced, and discerning, many can spot a fake a mile away—a fluffy resume, a stagnant website, a boring obligatory “business blog” (insert collective cringe here). Even the most die-hard personal brand proponents will tell you that shallow shells don’t sell. (Say that ten time fast!)

Yes, we already know that our online presence should be a top priority in our business marketing plans. In today’s business climate, all of the marketing rules that we know about branding—like the importance of tending to first impressions and perception, telling our story well, and defining our market and niche with precision—apply to our personal brand. But behind all of that must be a real person who does something well.

Is your online presence more than just a shell of an image?

Does the real you shine through?

If not, take an inventory of your websites, blogs, and social media, and give your online self a makeover. Even if you already love it, your personal brand should never be static—your online you is always a work in progress. Check out these links for helpful hints and useful perspectives:

Chris Curtis Managing Your Reputation Online

Kyle Lacy Ten Truths about Powerful Personal Brands

Olivier Blanchard R.I.P. Personal Branding

2011 Texas Conference for Women speaker Gina Carroll began writing, blogging, and speaking after leaving a large corporate law practice to became a stay at home mom, raising her five children. She is now nationally recognized for her coverage of the parenting and family landscape, including relationships, digital fluency, parenting adolescents, and getting into college. She is a passionate spokesperson and blogger for MomsCleanAirForce.org. On her sites, Tortured By Teenagers, ThinkActParent.com and ThinkActEat.com, Gina also advocates for literacy, dropout prevention and the importance of the family meal. She is a graduate of Stanford University and U.C.L.A. Law School.