I ask a variation of this question a lot, because it’s a great place to start.
“If a stranger were to look at your social media profiles, the things you posted, shared, commented on and liked… What would they say you are all about?
If they had to sum up your personality, character and value based only on that small snap-shot and window into your life… Would you be happy with what they came up with?”
For some people, they are happy having an online and offline identity and reputation that are polar opposite or at least very different, and that’s ok.
But if you’re unclear or unhappy about what you think they’ll say, great, it’s time to start making some decisions and taking steps to build the positive reputation and identity you deserve, that represents you, online.
The great thing about your online reputation, or ‘what you are known for’ is that you get to control that. You decide how you present yourself.
So where do you start? Well… what are your interests? What are your passions, your values? What do you want to be known for…
Sometimes it’s difficult to communicate and explain your character, values and personality online, but for both individuals and organisations, thinking about some key areas of interest, can help get the ball rolling.
It might be one word, or a full sentence, as specific or broad as you like. For example; ‘Leadership’, ‘Family’, ‘Community, ‘Teamwork’, ‘Australian’ or ‘Someone who is a good listener’, ‘The world’s best guitar player’ or ‘Collingwood Supporter’.
There are really no wrong answers, but starting here should help clarify your ideal reputation.
List ten things you want to be known for. Go on, now, in your phone, on your laptop, or notepad, it’s quick and easy! Next, rank them from 1-10 in order of their importance to you. From there, think about every piece of content you share, interaction you have, content liked, shared, retweeted or followed going forward and try to relate it to your list of ten, and especially your ‘top five’.
I’d love to hear some of the words or phrases you listed as being key to your ideal identity! Leave them in the comments here, on Facebook, or email me firstname.lastname@example.org!
I recently ran this exercise with a group of Australian and International students as part of Melbourne University’s ‘Trinity College – Young Leaders Program’. It was a lot of fun and created some great discussion! See pic below!
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