Thing 3: Considering personal brands

Thing 3 is about thinking about your personal brand – how people see your online brand, what brand you would like to convey, and how to match the two.

Start by Googling my name (as suggested in the cpd23 Thing 3 post): as usual, the ‘Bird Artist and Illustrator’ person has quite a prominence in the results – nope that’s not me!  There are not really many things that are me, I don’t know if this is a good or a bad thing.  Well, I suppose it’s both – there are pros to not leaving a trail all round the internet, but at the same time, if you had more of a good presence in the results it would show people that you are professionally active on the internet.

Next I tried adding ‘library’ onto the end: my Linked In at top, good.  More results: yup, worked at WCC, Google knows these things.  123people directory – shows profile pics from around web but mostly I use same one that I have on here (aha like a brand!), so they all showed up the same.  Top of second page is an article from the refurbishment of Redditch Library last year.  The 123people thing did remind me that I forgot to privatise my old myspace profile though, so corrected that (can’t quite bring self to delete).

I don’t have my surname on my Twitter profile (only in my username), so that doesn’t show up at all in search results, which I like.  My twitter isn’t private because I don’t mind people discovering me within the Twittersphere, even potential employers, and I don’t say anything untoward on there, I just sort of wanted the option of not being so easy to find.

Just had a thought, when I publish this post with my name in it, it will show in the search results..  Do I want to leave my name smattered through it, or shall I change it to say ‘people with my name’.  I think I will change it, haha.  Probably not the right answer :/

But what if an employer thinks someone with your name is you when it isn’t?

Clearly this is where it would be beneficial to appear in the search results, and where the ‘brand’ thing is useful – to maintain a consistent image and be able to portray an accurate reflection of who you are.

With those 123 or 192 directories and ‘Pipl’ that show up, a few people with my name are in Manchester, which is where I went to University, and don’t all have pictures, or they have pictures too small to tell who it is, which could be mistaken for me.  Maybe I should look into Flavors?

Which is part of the reason why I have not made my Facebook profile completely private, so that an employer can hopefully tell which is the Steph they are considering employing.  I try to present an Info page that reflects my interests and passion for the career, and shows me as an interesting person, engaged in the sector – and not only to potential employers, but other colleagues who are ‘friend of friends’, as well.  Also, I read in a few places, that a well-rounded profile can sometimes have a positive effect on an employer, as they can see more about your personality and interests and whether they would like to work with you.


I don’t really have a ‘brand’ as such, but I tend to use the same profile picture across different social networks (though it was mostly for ease of uploading, but it stuck); and my backgrounds / headers are photos I took myself and usually tend to contain coffee and book pages, as I find them aesthetically pleasing and which I feel sort of reflects my arts/libraries/museums/archives/culture interests in life.  As I have only recently set up this blog, I hadn’t really felt the need to have everything completely matching as I didn’t have a ‘base’ so to speak, but it’s something I will think about in the future as I develop professionally.

Professional/personal identity

I like to combine personal and professional tweets to show different sides of my personality, and because I do still use twitter for personal benefit, as “microblogging”.  Personally I like people who do include personal tweets as well as professional, because it allows you to know more about them and what they’re like as a person, especially useful if you did meet them in real life at a conference / networking event, and you would feel like you knew them a little bit.


How could I improve my personal brand?

The hard part…  I guess, really, I should use my name on this blog so that it appears near the top of the search results.  However I’m not sure I want to do that yet, I don’t quite know why.  Maybe it’s the Twitter surname thing again…
Also, I could try to do things in real life that will get my name in the first page of the search results with an example of doing something really good, e.g. a library event that I was particularly involved in, not just had my photo taken for.

Do any of you have any tips for improving your personal brand?

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One Response to Thing 3: Considering personal brands

  1. Megan says:

    Hi Steph, interesting point about using your surname – I’ve also struggled with that one. I started my Twitter anonymously but my username has always included my surname, so perhaps not that anonymously! I figure that anyone who wants to fine me, will, but I have to admit that when more of my colleagues joined Twitter it did make me think more carefully about what I was saying. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything offensive (I hope not!) but I’m a bit more aware that anyone could see me now. So perhaps that’s good, as I’m not under any illusions about being found? I’ve kept my Facebook completely private but I think what you have a good point about letting people find out a bit about you. In our careers service we’ve all had to add our manager in order to edit the work account, so that blurs the lines too. Interesting that your employer is already keen on social media as I do think most careers services use it now (perhaps even more than traditional libraries?), so could be it’s something we have to think about even more..? Megan

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