Everything we do shapes our personal brand, no matter what your station in life is: professional, CEO, entrepreneur, stay at home mom and dad…With social media life has changed.
I recently gave a talk about how your personal brand shapes how others see you. This basically comes down to your social media. If you don’t’ make your posts private and you have a web site – you’re out there. Everything you post, write, take pictures of says something about you. It’s even more true for your teenagers who have their whole lives in front of them. You probably hope and pray they won’t post something stupid or strange – that is somewhere on the Cloud for years to come.
So, what does that mean for you? While I could take this discussion several directions, I am going to concentrate on what to think about if you are a professional who works for someone else or who has a business – long term or now.
Think twice about what you post on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While President Trump isn’t exactly a role model I’d like to focus on, he is someone who tweets quite a bit. What he tweets might make you smile or infuriate you, but it’s an example of communication that reinforces who he is. He likes to think he’s a maverick and unafraid of what his communication says or how it’s perceived. We would agree – he does live up to that.
If I were in the corporate setting now –I worked in it for nearly 25 years—I would make my Facebook posts private. I would not want people from work to be “friends” with me. I think it’s too risky. Then I feel I could be freer to voice political opinions, etc. But beware – you always need to be careful what you post.
Second, keep your business and social sites separate. I have always done this, and only recently did I even say what my business was on my private Facebook. I really like to keep business separate from the rest of my life.
Know when you have appeared on your work social media sites. If you don’t like the post or believe it is an unfair or unattractive photo, don’t hesitate to ask a coworker to remove the image. Case in point: I worked with a client who was a victim of someone’s very unflattering photo of her. She ended up working with me – it was mandatory – and I think in the end she benefitted, but nonetheless, what the colleague did was not fair. It’s mean to post a photo of someone in an unflattering light. That’s just the way it is.
Take the time to Google yourself and see what comes up. Then you can decide how to deal with it. Or, at least you wouldn’t be surprised.
If you know you’re in a work situation where you might be photographed, think about what you’re wearing. This is the time to wear the jacket, the nice “office” dress, etc. Keep a neutral color blazer on a hanger in your office or near your work area.
Try not to be photographed with a big drink in your hand—even if you’re the only one. Or try not to overeat or hover near the buffet table. Work dinner meetings are never about enjoying the Swordfish, are they?
Need some help in shaping your professional image – either in your wardrobe or overall presence? Contact Beth Divine Style for more help! I have worked with several executives.
I will be exploring this topic in other blogs…
Keep it sassy!
Beth Divine, MA
AICI Certified Image Consultant