Is there ever an excuse to not have an online personal brand or presence………….well maybe if you are nomadic recluse, hiding from prying eyes. If you are not in this category then you need to have a personal presence.
Building an online personal presence helps people to find you, understand you and find common cause. It helps to identify what is important to you and gives people insight into how they should relate with you. It also helps you to grow as an individual. This is probably the strongest reason for having a presence. Personal growth can be accomplished through many avenues, but increasingly the ease of access to information means that people are spending vast amounts of time online.
Building a personal presence, is building a brand. Successfully building a personal brand takes time and effort. Surprisingly though, many people are not aware that they are already doing this. Very few people do not already have a personal brand, whether they like it or not. They have social media presence, they have been mentioned in articles, they are mentioned by others in status updates and finally they are dropping cookies at every site they visit.
If you already have an online presence, be sure that you are in control of it. If you are not controlling it other people may well be. Be careful of what you do and how much of yourself you make available, but make yourself available.
If you don’t have a presence, don’t rush out an open up every account out there. Spend some time in voyeuristic intent. This may mean that you have to open an account, but there is nothing stopping you from shutting down the channel if it does not suite your needs. Check out all of the available channels and find the one or ones that fit your style. You may find yourself developing a personal (friends and family only channel) a business/professional channel or a hybrid of both.
Once you have selected the channel or channels understand that you need to work at them. You need to keep them updated so that when you are happened upon that people immediately find relevance.
Having an online personal brand in the most part is an enabler, it opens up channels that allow you to consume, interact and grow. It provides the opportunity to connect with others, find common causes and enhance the world around you. It can be abused and even hijacked by others, but if you are a regular user you will be able to limit this.