Since I posted about this last year (see previous post) I have done a bit of work on tidying up my online brand. In particular I have created a bit more of a divide between personal and professional.
I started with the decision to make Facebook for personal use only and I have unfriended most of my colleagues so now only my family and friends can see my holiday photos!
I already had two Twitter accounts, one for personal use and one for professional use. I haven’t done much more with the professional account except to be a bit more careful with tone and content of what I post.
The biggest change since last year is the creation of this blog. I have styled it to match my professional twitter account, they have the same background and link to each other. I still maintain my previous blog but it’s entirely for personal use.
I beefed up my LinkedIn profile a little, though some further work on this wouldn’t go amiss especially as we are being strongly encouraged at work to use LinkedIn more. I link to my professional Twitter account and this blog from LinkedIn so things are all a bit more tied together now.
As suggested I searched for myself on the internet; I have a very common name so searching just that didn’t find me in the first few results pages, however adding librarian or library and bingo, my LinkedIn profile is number one hit and number two is to a mention on the CILIP website.
Last year my intention was to take the lessons learnt in this exercise into real life, this is much more difficult to do and I am only making slow progress. I think crazy, angry librarian from 2011 has made far fewer appearances so that’s a good start!
Thing 3 is about personal branding, this is what I had to say on the subject in 2011 –
This is the “thing” I feel I need to work on most, I am really bad at it.
Online I have too many, very different identities; for a start this blog doesn’t know whether it is personal or professional! Then there is LinkedIn which is definitely professional and at the other extreme Facebook where I have deliberately decided not to say where I work but I have many colleagues and ex-colleagues as friends; is it OK for them to see the drunk photos? On Twitter I have two accounts, one is personal and the other which also feeds through to LinkedIn more professional. But again I have got muddled and some followers follow both accounts. Also I sometimes tweet to the wrong account leading to a scramble to delete tweets and LinkedIn updates.
My aim is to tidy the above up and create something more coherent for a professional brand. This may include some name and avatar changes and a change of style on this blog. In the process I may have to cull some Twitter followers (or encourage them to move accounts) and Facebook friends. Though I am still now sure how successful splitting the personal and professional can be?
And perhaps even more important I need to take the lessons and decisions from this task into my real professional life and stamp my brand on what I do in the office. I have been reading Susie Kay’s book, “The ABC of Professionalism”, there are many ideas to take from it into this task. A professional of her definition would not have allowed a situation to get quite as heated in the office as I did this morning. Crazy, angry librarian is not the brand I want!
For me this is a really challenging “thing” and I suspect that the decisions may take me more than just this week, so watch out for a Thing 3 part 2 post sometime in the future. I look forward to reading how others have managed to solve these problems.
Note: I never did come back to this and write part 2!