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‘What five words describe your personal brand?’

Cattle branding ironsLast week, a woman I know only professionally, asked me this fantastic question out of nowhere.

She asked me to consider people who only knew me through social media, people who might not really know me personally. She asked:

What five words might they use to describe your personal brand?

I challenge you to answer this quickly. Think only of your Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Google+/Linkedin feeds… what words would they use to describe you?

Of course, always the argumentative one, I slyly answered (and yes I was attempting to buy time) that I was giving her a list of words I hoped  people would use to describe me. Here’s my list:

  • Integrity
  • Honest
  • Curious
  • Informative
  • Fun

I’ve no idea if this is the right answer, but I suspect there isn’t a right answer. But it made me think of some of the people I follow on social media – and don’t know personally – and for a few of them, I made up my own list of words that describe how I see them. I’ll bet they included words they wouldn’t want to see on that list.

It’s something to consider when posting to social media. Personal brands, like corporate brands, are created over time. Whether you want them to be or not. If you want to have a brand that has a specific set of lists and ideals, you need to construct your posts to support that brand.

(You’re kidding yourself if you don’t think the biggest brands out there aren’t already doing this)

I remind my students to think of their personal brands before posting that photo of themselves dancing on the keg at that end-of-year party.

After all, potential clients and employers can make their own lists too.