Libraries, the universe and everything

Thing 3 – My personal brand
July 18, 2011, 12:26
Filed under: cpd23

As it happens, when I first started doing the social media thing I created something like a brand for myself without realising it. My first forays into Twitter and blogging began between my engagement and marriage, and as I hadn’t decided whether or not I was changing my name I wanted to pick something which was reasonably unique and could remain consistent whatever I chose to do, hence el399. I also wanted something slightly anonymous to begin with whilst I found my feet.

Overall I’m not a big fan of anonymity, so I now use my full name and the same picture of myself across Twitter, my blog and LinkedIn, and provide a few details of my personal interests as well as professional information. I’ve had several people come up to me at events as a result of having recognised me from my picture, which I think is great, and I don’t really understand why anyone chooses to shut themself off from this. Like many people, I’m not a great fan of having my photo taken and it took a while before I chose a picture I was happy to share, but I believe it was very much worth the effort.

Apart from the photo, I hadn’t really considered the visual aspect of my brand before this. I spent a while choosing backgrounds/themes for my Twitter account and blog, but this was more about using colours I liked rather than creating a specific identity. I can completely see how visual branding is important for companies, but am less convinced with it in this context – like many people, I tend to use Twitter via another application (Seesmic) and read blogs through Google reader, and in this environment textual identities become much more important than visual ones.

In terms of the tone I take I generally try to be myself, or at least the version of myself which I present at work or in work-related situations. This means that I try to present myself as organised and competent, but with some non-work related content, humour and random asides thrown in from time to time, and with a note of grouchy impatience when something vexes me. I would be very interested if this is actually how I come across, so do please let me know in the comments! I’m careful not to write anything which I wouldn’t be happy to say in public and I also take time to read and re-read anything I write (whether full blog posts, comments or tweets) as I hate it when typos or other inaccuracies slip through.

Searching just with my name on both Google and Bing I was pleased to see that Google picked up my twitter feed, but I don’t appear in the 1st page of Bing results. Searching on “Emma Davidson library” was much better on both search engines – my LinkedIn profile was top of the list for both, with links to my blog (though different posts, interestingly) a little further down the page. All good professional stuff, and as I had no idea what to expect I’m quite gratified that I’m visible with a fairly straightforward search! My Facebook is an entirely personal space so I keep that locked down and away from my professional sphere (not that there’s anything on there I’d be ashamed to admit to!), so I was quite pleased that it didn’t seem to make an appearance, though I expect it would be findable with some more digging.

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