Managing your own brand

Some thoughts about managing your online profile

I had an interesting experience recently. I was sitting with a new client that we had nurtured and they had invested in Oracle Marketing Cloud Eloqua. I was delivering some coaching and I invited them to join our Eloqua user Group. As the client was filling in the form and then received her confirmation email, she laughed.

You see, it dawned on her that the Derek Bell delivering the monthly webinar she’d been attending for the past 12 month was the same guy delivering their Marketing Automation coaching. 

Managing our own brand.

Long before social media and the manufactured personas some people choose to present, all we had was our reputation. There were no “Likes”, just people’s perceptions of you based on your own physical behaviour or comments made by others, about you.

I wondered how long ago I created my Linkedin profile, I had to google that as a question to get the answer. Linkedin is probably the best gauge I have to indicate when I started the process of managing my online profile. I joined Facebook a few years after joining Linkedin. I was working at Siebel Systems Inc. at the time and everyone in the technology sector was joining Linkedin.

LINKEDIN When did I join Linkdin

Taking care to manage what can’t be seen

Today teenagers are warned to be careful about what they build and add to their social profiles. Their antics will be visible for years to come. Those of my vintage are generally grateful that the social media wasn’t around during our teenage years.

It’s clear to me though, as I’m sure it is to you, that people are watching your online beahviour, the comments you make, the posts you share and perhaps the blogs that you author.

What can’t be seen?

I mean your reputation, that one attribute you have control over but is never something you can frame and hang on a wall. You can’t package it and deliver it, but it’s your constant companion.

“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavour to be what you desire to appear.”


Socrates Photo by Felipe Pérez Lamana on Unsplash

My personal approach to managing my online profile

I’m sure there will be those who disagree with the following, but I’m simply sharing with you what I do.

  • I generally don’t accept Linkedin invitations to connect unless I’ve physically met the person. I’m happy to respond to people via Linkedin messenger if it doesn’t feel like spam.
  • Linkedin is for work related content, I avoid whimsical posts that are not related to my line of work. I will engage in a “feel good” post that is supportive of minority groups or that encourages diversity in the workplace.
  • I never accept friend requests on facebook/Instagram from people I work with or who are customers. Once the professional relationship has passed i.e. one of us moves on from our current employment, I’ll revisit that friend request.
  • I manage seperate facebook accounts for work, personal and for an NFP I volunteer with. There is no mixing of profiles.
BOOK COVER How to win friends and influence people

One of the best books I’ve read with possibly the worst title.

I first read this book in my late teens and have read it a few more times over the years. First published in 1936 and with more than 15 million copies sold, there is much to be gained from reading this treasure.

The premise of this book, I think, is aligned to the quote above from Socrates.

Shop around for a copy, you’ll find it for AU$10 – AU$15.

In Summary

Given current global circumstances, we all have a little extra time to work on certain projects, previously considered time consuming.

  • Revisit each of your social profiles, you could almost think of it as a “Social Profile Audit”
  • Do these profiles accurately reflect who you are, do they reflect your “Personal Brand”?
  • Consider your profile photos. As a general rule, I’m not that interested in engaging with anyone on Linkedin if there’s no profile photo. My first thought is it’s a fake account.