Personal Branding & Managing Digital Presence: Facing the Internet the Smart Way
by: Snezana Swasti Brodjonegoro
There is no doubt that we’re now (mostly) living in the internet. Not just in the internet era, but living in it. We spend more and more time online, and most of us do most of our daily activity online – from checking emails, updating social media profiles, booking flights, keeping in touch with friends and family, and even ordering personal ojek service! Indeed, there is no way of avoiding it.
Hence, as a bunch of (smart) milennials, we decided to discuss two internet-related topics on our last Alumni Swedia gathering on May 23, 2015. Taking up the facilitators’ role in the discussion are Nena and Charlie – both of whom studied and worked closely with the internet and social media.
Nena first started the discussion by highlighting the importance of online personal branding. For young (and older) professionals, online personal branding is very crucial as more and more HR executives and headhunters are relying on the information they find online to determine whether or not a candidate is suitable for a certain position. Therefore, to make ourselves more “marketable” and to increase our personal brand, it is important to maintain our online presence.
To do that, there are several steps to follow:
- Stop & Think – Take a pause and think about how do we want others to see us?
- Analyze your idol – Take a moment to think about who your idol is and why you’re idolizing them. This will help us in determining what aspire us.
- Find your niche – It’s better to be unique than to be the best. Find your most unique and specific thing instead of to be general.
- Label your expertise – But do it in a specific manner, it will help boost your brand and your confidence, too!
- Express your opinion – Especially about topics that you feel close to, and is an expert in. This will build your brand even stronger.
- One for all – Use one username, and one photo across your social media profile to strengthen your brand.
- Audit your social media content – Google your name, and check the results. Do you see anything you don’t like, or not prefer to have associated with your name?
- Write Amazon book review – It’s one of the faster ways to get your name on top of the Google result.
- LinkedIn, LinkedIn, LinkedIn – Enough said. 🙂
Following the discussion, Charlie reminds us about the other – and darker – side of the coin: internet security. Even though internet may help increase our personal brand, and opening more opportunities for us, there are also other aspects to it. Due to its very open nature, internet – along with every information we have and have posted on it – is very susceptible to various “threats” that we must be aware of.
Hence, Charlie facilitated the discussion about managing our digital presence. Sometimes, without realizing it, we disclose so much information about our life. Where we are, what we do, what we love, what we eat, where our kids are, and many more. This information, if not managed wisely, could also do us (and our family) harm.
In order to manage our digital presence in a wiser and safer way, Charlie shared some of his tips:
- Secure it. Change your social media account settings, especially your personal information page. Keep it minimum or change it to private if necessary
- Share less. Or share what is necessary (for personal branding). Keep in mind that what you share can easily be viewed, passed along or copied by others. This can be particularly difficult for parents who have the tendency to share happy moments with their kids or for millennials who think sharing every bits of their activity is obligatory
- Hold back. Wealthy Nigerian prince looking for business opportunity? Lonely Russian blonde needs company? Virus infection warning on your device? Those common scams seem to be obsolete, many take it for granted even though they keep circling around the Internet for ages. Why? Because a few of us still got tricked, especially with modern variations of those scams. Stop clicking or responding to any of those too good to be true (or too bad to be true) stories. Verify first with a simple google search, or just simplyignore them.
Check out this FBI’s scam information: https://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud
- Your life is in your mobile. The life cycle of our mobile device can be very short, sometimes within half a year we switch to a new mobile device and sell the old one. Remember to wipe yourself (clear your data) first before selling: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-wipe-your-phone-or-tablet-before-selling/
These two topics brought up quite a lot of questions, and helped to remind us to stay focused when sharing things on the internet so that what we post / share online will be more beneficial for us – both for our personal branding and to maintain our presence well.
After the discussion, we then moved on to the more important part of the gathering: the food and the talk!
* This article has been presented at sharing session on topic “Indonesia Connected”” this article has been presented at sharing session on topic “Indonesia Connect