This is a very important topic in the context of personal branding and, as I have said before, particularly with the advent of social media.
It has been on my mind quite a bit recently, in the light of some personal experiences. I am sometimes, in Winnie-the-Pooh terminology, a “bear of very little brain” – something has to happen more than once before I get the message!
Well, I saw three people in relatively quick succession at the request of people in my network, so these were all first or “exploratory” meetings. In each case what struck me was that the person I met face-to-face was different somehow from the person I had encountered on the internet, via their website, LinkedIn or Twitter. And this difference was not necessarily restricted to photo versus reality – although that did apply in one of the three cases.
What struck me most was that the person I met did not live up to the person I had seen on the internet; in other words they talked a better fight in the online world than they did in the flesh. I then started thinking about my reaction to this, and it dawned on me that I already had reservations about these people i.e. did I want to do business with them?
I guess in the old world it’s a bit like falsifying or “over-egging” your CV – a dangerous game to play as sooner or later the mask slips and you see the real person, or at least get glimpses of them. Needless to say, my reservations were such that I have not seen any of the three a second time.
I think there are some strong ties between your personal goals, your business goals and the way you behave to achieve both. One of the factors which binds these ties together is your self-awareness, and how that translates into a consistent manifestation of your personal brand. With that consistency comes authenticity, rapport and trust.
So, do take a little time out to check whether you really have one face to the market in what you write, what you say and what you do.
Next time we will take a look at networking – one of my favourite topics! Until then, do feel free to get in touch anytime for more advice, or even if you just have a question you need answering.