My online brand. Will I be judged?

Question: Will my potential customers judge me by what I write online?

Answer: The answer is short and neat: Yes, they will judge you by what you say on online.

Before anyone does business with you they check out your credibility online and they will Google your name and your brand name. What you write and say about yourself will help them to make up their mind about you, who you are and if they like you.

We tend to choose to work with people we like when we meet them, and if their online messages connect with us then it’s even easier to make up our minds. We want to work with people we can trust, who come across as authentic and competent.

We all have an OBD—an Online Bullshit Detector. We can see immediately if anyone shares something online and doesn’t mean it. You are better off showing who you are, with your flaws, and keep being authentic to your values.
(From my book ‘Digital Leadership’)

Google rank Twitter high and will show off your Twitter account among the first results when someone searches for your brand, so Twitter is very important. All content that is shared on websites and blogs with high credibility will be ranked higher. Here is a page rank checker.

Audience

Doing well in your digital branding is not about having thousands or even millions of followers, it’s more about connecting with the right people who want to connect and listen to you. So go out and find them.

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What you need to know:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do they want to hear from you?
  • Where is your audience online?

When you know more about who your audience is you can compose a better message and use the right channels.

Humour

Humour is a funny topic. It can be great in the right context with people who understand your humour, and it can be a disaster if people don’t. What kind of humour content works depends on who you have in your network.

Being cynical and ironic in a rude way will most likely not impress your social media network, but friends who have known your for years might understand you perfectly. So it’s depending on where online you share your ideas – in public or private networks.

Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression is an interesting one. What does that really mean? Can I use my voice on the internet in the way I want to? Will it be safe – for myself and others? While you are finding your voice online you must check in with yourself on a regular basis and make sure that your words are not insulting anyone else, you want to use social media to build relationship and not ruin them.

If you are at a party with someone you would probably not try to start an argument just because you can. On social media we have similar rules, if you would like to keep the respect of others you need to manoeuvre your tone of voice in a good way.

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The safety filter

When you are engaging online you must engage your safety filter before you post, comment or reply. Here is a quick safety list:
1) Will people understand what you are saying?
2) Will you insult someone? If your message is unclear or you risk insulting someone you must change your message. You want to build friendships, right?
3) Never feed an aggressive discussions, ever! Trolls need no more food. Better starve them.

For some people it’s only important to win the battle and you might be left feeling hurt. If you feel like it you can chat with them privately and it will not effect your other relationships online. You don’t want your Twitter wall to be filled up by a draining discussion.

Be yourself

Don’t try to sound like someone else when you share your ideas online. It’s better to be innovative and use your own voice. You can borrow ideas from others, but you will always come across better if you use your own language and expressions.

It’s very easy to share other people’s content and thoughts. We all have seen far too many inspirational quotes online and it’s not feeling that up-lifting. If you are trying to develop your own voice you should immediately stop using other people’s quotes and expressions. Your own voice will only develop if you are using it.

All people have ideas, thoughts, knowledge and experience worth sharing, and your message might inspire others.

Social media is a gift and should be used wisely.

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