Not sure? Let me help you.
Being wishy washy is a real problem online. Whether you use the phrase “personal brand” or you prefer the less-inflated “reputation”, people want to know YOU. Who are you? What do you like and dislike? What matters to you? What will I get if I work with you?
These are the questions we ask ourselves when evaluating someone we meet in person, and they’re the questions people will ask when they encounter you online. If you don’t know the answers, no one else will either.
Crowded doesn’t even begin to describe the web, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and pretty much every social network except maybe G+ (oh snap!) But that’s ok. You are interesting. You have good information to share. You have a story to tell.
But do you know it? And are you telling it?
You don’t need to be someone you’re not to get attention online. In fact, I’d recommend against that.
But you do need to be a specific version of yourself. You need to be the decisive version. The confident version. The one who knows what she likes and dislikes and isn’t afraid to say so.
Not everyone will love you for it. But you will certainly go unnoticed unless you do it.
Here are 10 questions you should be able to answer about yourself and your online persona (and if you can’t, you don’t have one).
- Do you have a professional reason for developing an online presence?
- What is your business?
- Who is your audience?
- What traits will best serve your professional goals?
- Do you have a family and will you share information about them online?
- What do you do besides work?
- Are you funny? Sarcastic? Ironic? Kind? A health-nut? A couch potato? Know yourself and then see question 4.
- What would your real-life friends say about you and only you?
- What are 3 things about yourself that you really take pride in?
- Dog or cat? Grape jelly, or strawberry?
For fun, here are my 10 answers:
- Do you have a professional reason for developing an online presence? Yes.
- What is your business? Internet marketing and communications.
- Who is your audience? Small businesses and solopreneurs that need help writing online communications and using the internet to meet business goals.
- What traits will best serve your professional goals? General geekiness, internet marketing experience, trustworthiness, organization, writing and communication skills.
- Do you have a family and will you share information about them online? Yes, and not much.
- What do you do besides work? I volunteer with my local Democratic Town Committee, I voraciously read non-fiction and watch documentaries, and I love all things internet.
- Are you funny? Sarcastic? Ironic? Kind? A health-nut? A couch potato? Know yourself and then see question 4. I am funny, I love to quote movies, I’m very empathetic and I’m very direct.
- What would your real-life friends say makes you unique? I am kind, an animal lover, a liberal and pants-pissingly funny. And humble.
- What are 3 things about yourself that you really take pride in? I can quote movies that I love with savant-like precision. I am an outstanding mom. I won’t give up on a problem, especially a technical one, until it’s solved.
- Dog or cat? Grape jelly, or strawberry? Dog. Grape. Duh.
Can you answer these questions for yourself? If you can, are you willing to share your answers in the comments?