CPD 23 Thing 3: Consider your personal brand

Reading about all the time Jo put into preparing her blog made me smile because if I’d had time to spare I would have been even worse! For CPD 23, I’ve jumped in with a blog and tried not to worry too much about the way it looks. I know it’s really important, but I had to stop myself from thinking it was SO important that it prevented me from participating.

It took me a long time to decide on a name for the blog and the corresponding Twitter account, and I found that the name I decided on originally was too many characters to be a Twitter account name. The name relates to a book, as I wanted to include something literary and something that reflects the things I am interested in. I think the main difficulty I found is that I’m not sure what I want my online presence to be in this context, and as it is also a professional presence, I felt added pressure that it needed to be ‘right’.

I Googled myself, and found that very few of the results related to me. On the first page of results there were links to library inductions I had created in Prezi and emails where I had replied on Jisc mail threads, as well as a delegate list from Mashed Libraries in 2009. Other than links to Facebook, there was very little there that linked to my personal life. There isn’t anything there that I would be worried about a potential employer seeing. If I search for my Blog/Twitter name I’m doing well in the rankings for my blog, but not for my Twitter account.

I’m still unsure to what degree I want to link my personal and professional identities online. My Twitter account doesn’t contain my full name, for example, which was deliberate. I also need to decide on the issue of a photograph for my Twitter account, and possibly for my blog, which is another point where I will have to decide on how the real me and my online presence will interact.

It’s clear that if I want to create a personal brand, I definitely have some work to do! First job – work on ensuring my blog and Twitter page are reflective of how I want to appear online. I think, as Jo suggests, I could look at creating a visual brand and then decide how closely I want to link my real world self into that visual brand. I do like the idea of a “profersonal” approach, as I find I prefer reading blogs of people when I get a feel for them as an individual rather than just a sense of their job role.

Recommended reading – annotated bibliography

The Practical Librarian – Manage your brand as a librarian
This blog entry looks at the issue of personal branding in relation to career development and explores the idea of brand as reputation. The Practical Librarian states that ‘The line of your personal and professional reputation is blurry and if you aren’t actively aware of your “brand” or image out in library land, you could be out of luck in jobs and interviews.’ The Practical Librarian gives the following advice: ‘Let the real you out, just remember that a little lipstick and running comb through your proverbial brand wouldn’t hurt.’

Andromeda Yelton – Personal Branding for New Librarians
Andromeda stresses that personal branding takes work: ‘Your personal brand is not a static thing, but an evolving relationship you have with the world.’ I appreciated the viewpoint that “Ultimately, there’s no one right recipe for personal branding because it’s about you, and you are unique. What do you want to say about yourself?”

LibWig – What’s In A Name?
Looks at the issue of “rebranding”

Georgina Hardy – Judging a blog by its cover
I love how Georgina sums it up: “So it turns out that the hardest things about starting a new blog are cosmetic. Or they seem to be cosmetic until you start thinking about them, at which point they seem to take on epic proportions.” Her comments made me feel a lot better about my personal reactions to the issue of personal branding.

Ned Potter – You already have a brand! Here are 5 ways to influence it.
This is a Prezi from CILIP’s New Professional Day in May 2012. There’s some really practical, thought-provoking information on here and it’s also a great example of how to use some of Prezi’s features.

Dave Fleet – How to ruin (or build) your personal brand
Another Prezi containing useful ideas and suggestions.

21 June 2012

Kevin Campbell-Wright has produced a Prezi on managing your online presence which explores some of the issues addressed in Thing 23

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