As you can see creating and promoting your professional brand is hard work. Anything you work hard to create is worth protecting. Protecting your brand requires you to make sure you know – How your story is being told; Who is telling your story; Who is receiving your brand message.
You do not ever want to walk into an interview or other meeting where the other people in the room know things about you, true or false, that you are not prepared to explain, defend, or confirm. To stay abreast of what others are saying about you:
Check Google Often – Start today. Google your name. Look at the results that come up in all of the categories (Videos, Web, Images, News, etc.) You may discover reviews you have written, blog comments you have posted, articles about your achievements, etc. Make sure you know what is out there representing you. Setup a Google Alert so you are notified whenever anything new in your name is added online.
Keep Your Personal and Professional Personas Separate – If you use Social Media to post or blog from your personal perspective and you do not want these things merged with your professional brand, be sure to keep them separate. Keep professional profiles like LinkedIn clean and up to date. If you use profiles like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter be sure not to post anything that will be harmful to your professional brand or career. Monitor the settings that you have on these accounts so you can be aware of who can see you and what they can see. Control what posts are visible on your timeline. Sometimes, it is not just what you personally are posting online that you need to filter, but also what others are posting on your timeline and / or the content they are tagging you in on their timelines.
Use Caution When Commenting On Controversial Matters – When you engage in discussions anywhere online, remember that many sites and services are searchable and content that exists on the Internet never dies. Therefore, what ever you say may be found for years to come. Keeping that in mind, it is recommended that you refrain from engaging in debates on controversial issues that could compromise your brand or your image. Controversial topics include: Politics, Religion, Sexual Expression /Orientation, etc. Your opinions regarding these matters should be kept personal, as it is your personal expression.
Brand protection requires you to be more selective in what you do and say in the public eye, which in turns helps you to consistently “Live YOUR Story”.
Are there other services or tools that you use besides Google Alerts to monitor and protect your brand story? If so, post them in the comments below.