How’s your online personal brand doing? Or what we can learn from Tiger Woods.

This train wreck that’s been happening on all the gossip sites, new channels, and sports outlets should be driving two things home to everyone who lives in the digital age. There is no privacy and can’t control your personal brand.

So what if you’re not Tiger Woods with millions of dollars of endorsements to worry about? You have a potential employer, neighbor, girlfriend, or relative that will Google you and what comes up should be good. Also there several search engines created just to pull up all the good and bad about you.

So what’s a person living in the digital age to do? Fortunately, you can use some of the same strategies we advise companies to use every day that will help you give your personal brand the guiding influence it needs.

Monitor everything. It’s easy to set up a Google Alert on your name right now.

Create your own content instead of leaving it all up to others. That means:

  • Start a professional blog. It isn’t as hard a you might think.
  • Create account profiles even if you don’t use them often on Yahoo and Google and anywhere else you can think of that will reflect well on you.
  • Tweet. It’s even easier than blogging.
  • Create a profile on Linkedin. Everybody’s doing it and they search pretty well.
  • Get active on social networks and tweak your privacy settings so what you want people to see is visible and what you don’t isn’t. I have mine set on Facebook so that anyone can find me but only friends can see personal information and updates, and so that search engines will not index my information. Most importantly, I set my photo settings so only I can see photos tagged of me (hey, I went to college before the digital camera revolution.) For all other networks, I limit my conversation to what would be appropriate discussion with clients and colleagues. For me, that’s probably broader than others.

Don’t discuss politics or religion online unless it’s your profession – meaning a political columnist or a minister. Why give someone a reason not to like you before they get to know you?

Attempt to correct any misinformation out there or at least ask to add your side of the story.

Stay up to date. If you got married, it be a good idea to remove that profile on a dating site, lest you looking like a cheater.

Oh, and don’t forget to be good. It’s hard to keep a secret these days, so you might as well not take any chances.

Posted on: December 15, 2009, by :