Instead of talking broadly about her own brand, today’s presenter Marisa Lather spoke about a very specific topic: digital integrity in personal branding. In other words, she talked about how to keep from ruining yourself in the eyes of future employers. Even though it sounds like a concept that has been beaten into our heads since we realized this whole social media thing was here to stay, Marisa was able to bring up some valid points that will help us with our own personal brands.
Building Your Online Portfolio: AKA The First Week of PBandJTerm
As business-y as it sounds, our “online portfolio” is simply the different social media outlets and other content we have shared online. Within this category, Marisa had specific advice for us, such as:
- Choosing a good username
- Writing a professional (and on-brand!) bio
- Add your website to your other social media sites
- Use a professional headshot/logo as your profile pictures
- Add your name into the title of photos
Thankfully, this class has given us the opportunity to ensure the first two items on this list. Once I have enough experience, my acting website will be up, running and ready to promote on my social media profiles.
Even though it feels too stuffy to put my professional headshots on Twitter or Pinterest, I’d like to do some professional looking photos to put as my profile while still showing my personality. Looks like I have yet another reason to be like Jess Leitch and make friends with some photographers. I found the last piece of advice extremely helpful, especially as a person that gets barely any recognition on Google, let alone Google Images.
This image is literally this small on Google Images and doesn’t even link to my Facebook profile.
Don’t Post Just to Post
This piece of advice is something that I have been following for a while. One of the main reasons why I couldn’t justify signing up for Twitter was the stigma it had of being there for people to post endlessly about their day. However, as time has gone on I’ve realized how valuable Twitter can be to share your brand with others.
Apply the Grandma Filter
Another way this can be taken is watching what you post. This is the stuff that high schools are now warning their students about posting, as future employers will see it. Basic common sense will tell you what kinds of pictures not to post (basically no illegal or inappropriate behavior). In other words, if you wouldn’t want your grandma to see it, don’t put it online.
If these pictures are already on your Facebook, she suggests making another, more professional Facebook profile and making your original account private and impossible to search. Another, less obvious way we should be watching what we post is in terms of status updates and website comments. The last thing you want is for employers (or anyone willing to search for it) to see a tirade of posts calling Obama (or any public figure for that matter) the devil or any number of insulting things. A good rule of thumb is to not post something if it looks like it’ll get a ton of backlash from others.
Help Your Friends Out
Throughout the presentation, we kept hearing snippets about her own fashion blogging, which is more evident in her Pinterest and Twitter. When prompted she talked about it more in detail, saying that it was a goal of hers to turn it into more of a brand. She has been helping this by viewing and commenting on other friend’s content and having them return the favor. This way, she is able to help others while allowing bigger companies to just see the viewers that they get.
Diversify Your Content
This is something that I have been trying to apply to my own blog posts. I figure it’s a lot more interesting to look at some entertaining and relevant pictures while reading. It’s also helpful in choosing different social media outlets, as it’s hard to tell which you will become popular in. Marisa decided to start fashion blogging when she realized that she got a lot of likes and comments on Instagram when she took pictures of her outfits.
Marisa recommended the website Influenstir for the many aspiring fashion bloggers in the class. It is meant for you to share your opinion on certain trends and products while getting a wider audience in return. To see how much influence our social media persona had she recommended Klout.