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What does your online profile say about you?

Posted on 20 October 2021

What does your online profile say about you?

​5-minute read


Every minute, millions around the world pour onto the internet to send 16 million text messages; 452,000 tweets; 1.8 million Snapchats and upload 46,200 images to Instagram (Lori Lewis and Chadd Callahan, 2017).

We blindly argue with others, posting controversial content without little thought about what our online footprint is actually saying about us, not just to our friends and family but to our employers future and present, potential investors and business partners.

Although we believe that the majority of this content can either be deleted or simply ‘lost’, time and time again are we confronted with the harsh reality of what impact an outburst or simple comment online can have later on in our personal lives and careers, be it Phil Neville’s sexist tweets towards women, years before being appointed England’s women’s team football manager or Kenneth L. Storey being fired from the University of Tampa for posting an inappropriate tweet shortly after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. 

One thing is for certain, everything we contribute online is building a persona for us, whether we like it or not. Taking responsibility for this persona and deciding how it grows is incredibly important, we have the ability to shape how others portray us through the internet and with more organisations using social media research during interview processes, a positive online persona is important more so now than ever before.


Who are you?

This is an important question to constantly ask yourself. Who are you? What message do you want to send to others?

Are you someone who is forward-thinking in your field? Someone who contributes to the community and distributes relevant content? Someone who is participating on the speaking circuit? Or maybe someone others can look up to?

Without clearly identifying to yourself, how you want to be portrayed online and in person, you will struggle to build any meaningful engaging audience. Be true to yourself and build the persona you want others to recognise you by.

Whatever actions you take online, personal or professional, maintain this persona with the utmost precision. Your online presence on all platforms should echo each other. A follower should be able to move from Twitter to LinkedIn to Facebook and see continuity in your writing and content, you are building a brand for yourself and this brand must remain accurate at all times.


What do you post?

Once you identify the person you want to put across online, support this with relevant and useful content for your niche. The content you post should advance your brand, it should reach out to others similar to yourself and resonate with them in some way, thus growing your network.

Post regularly and only post content that will elevate how people see you. It can be very hard at times to take the high ground if someone is lashing out at you, focus on channelling any negative energy into something positive or simply step away from the device and leave your digital self for a moment or two.


Live and breathe your brand.

Your brand is you. Live and breathe everything you write, comment and act upon. Truly believe in what you are putting out into this world, do not fall down the rabbit hole of a few buzzwords or a fancy slogan, soon enough you will be caught out and you owe your audience more than that. Share the wisdom you accumulate with others and truly become a source of knowledge, content and general positivity within your area.


Refine yourself.

Building a brand takes time and energy, you have to be willing to put in the hard work to reap the rewards later in life. Take time when growing your brand, nurture your audience and look to offer them something that others cannot. Learn from the feedback they give you and constantly push yourself to be your best version, refine your brand over and over until you have it perfect, when you think it is perfect, look again.

Be cautious with your online presence, we live in an unforgiving age sometimes and the tiniest of mistakes could have catastrophic consequences, be mindful of every like, share and comment you act on as you never know when someone might bring it up. Feel free to share this with your network if you believe it is something they could learn from, and it aligns with what you want to put out into the world.

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