Your digital brand matters more than ever.
A favorite 2015 post, Women Your Brand Matters, detailed how women need to rethink their image and consider themselves in light of their career, expertise and future livelihood. As the Wall Street Journal’s Nandini D’Souza Wolfe writes in her article, The New Look of Work, “The mind-set is simple and direct: You visually represent your business, and what you wear can say as much about you as your LinkedIn profile. It all comes together online and in-person.”
I know many women who are stunning; beautifully dressed, always pulled together and have taken that style and extended it to their LinkedIn profiles, website, and other social channels. They are as comfortable online as they are in-person. They are fresh and authentic; a real person living a real life, both professionally and personally. I also know women who haven’t given their presence online a thought. Ahhh, it’s such a missed opportunity for them.
They don’t need it, (you or they might say) — they are at the top of their field, they own the business, they serve on several corporate boards, they are focused on philanthropy. Even with all of those things being true, if they want to be relevant moving forward, they should reconsider how they are seen publicly and online. People go online to check other people out. Period. End of story. If people use Google to research a vacuum, a hotel, a restaurant, a car, I certainly believe someone will go online to vet you before adding you to a board, offering you a position or writing you a check for a cause (if they don’t know you).
Perhaps you are private. Google your name to be sure you won’t be surprised by what comes up. A CEO of an insurance company mentioned that he was very private. When I googled his name, he was mortified to find that the number one result in Google was an article detailing a party he threw for his wife. It mentioned every member of his family including their names, ages and where they lived. There was nothing else there to explain or provide context for who he was professionally. Yes, in fact, it was enough to persuade him to reconsider his digital footprint.
As I begin to prepare for my presentation at an upcoming women’s leadership conference, I am reminded of the importance of this topic and how many women continue to let this fall to the bottom of their never-ending to-do list. In the spirit of better understanding how women think about themselves online, a.k.a. their personal brands, I would like to invite the women reading this to participate in a quick survey (about a minute, two at the most). If you can also share this with a woman you know, all the better.