BernieBorges.com Blog: Social Media and Web Marketing
2 Ways to Separate Your Professional and Private Life in Your Personal Brand
Build Your Personal Brand According to Your Goals
If you’re a financial analyst Monday through Friday and a surfing fanatic on the weekend, how do you keep your work life separate from your personal life while you build your personal brand? There isn’t one simple answer to this question. So, I’m offering two suggestions as guidelines. Remember, these are just guidelines to consider. In the end, you have to do what suits you.
What are your personal brand building goals?
If your goals in building your personal brand are more aligned with individual goals pertaining to a hobby or non-work related topics, then you should consider building your personal brand around those topics. Your Twitter handle might be something like @surfingdave if you’re into surfing. In this scenario, your Twitter feed should be mostly about surfing stuff even if you are a financial analyst.
Staying with this example, if surfing is purely a hobby and you have no professional aspirations about this hobby, you can build your personal brand nicely around this topic and build social influence around this topic too. It is unlikely that it will help you in your career as a financial analyst (in this example). But, if you are extremely passionate about surfing and you build an awesome personal brand around it, you may one day get asked to write guest articles for a surfing magazine. That could lead to a speaking engagement or two, or three at sports conferences that include surfing. That could lead to being approached by a guy or gal who recognizes your passion and expertise in surfing and offers to help fund a start up in the surfing industry leveraging your personal brand and his or her business acumen. That could lead to a successful business venture. And, you may end up resigning your job as a financial analyst even though you never dreamed that would happen a few years prior.
Are you willing to maintain separate social profiles?
If your goal is to build your personal brand in your industry to build social influence in your industry and advance your career, and you want to keep your private life private, consider these suggestions.
Say nothing about your private life in everything you do online. Keep your privacy settings at the highest level on Facebook, or consider not even being on Facebook. If you build any level of professional social influence online, complete strangers will approach you on Facebook. You may allow them to subscribe to your feed, but you don’t have to become Facebook friends. Keep your Facebook activity focused on your circle of friends and family. Even though Facebook now allows you to build lists to segment your friends, it’s not as simple as it sounds. If you want total separation from your work life in Facebook, the best approach is to draw a line in the sand and only connect to people in your personal life.
It’s much easier to deal with this in Twitter because you can maintain more than one Twitter profile. You can have a profile such as @surfingdave and a Twitter profile in your real name or even something like @financialdave if you want to tweet about financial analysis stuff.
Likewise, it’s easy to separate your work and personal life in LinkedIn because your personal life isn’t even on display. LinkedIn is the social networking site for professionals. Therefore, my advice is to consider devoting much of your online personal branding efforts to LinkedIn where you can join industry relevant groups and participate in Answers on relevant topics. Here you can build your personal brand around financial analysis quite effectively with no private life exposure.
You can likewise use the same approach on Google+. If you’re not on Google+ yet and you want to build your professional personal brand, consider launching your Google+ profile focused exclusively on your industry. You can focus your connections and your content on Google+ around your industry.
Separating your private life and professional life in your social networking and personal brand building efforts starts with your goals. Beyond that, understand how you can use each of the social media channels to engage with others and build social influence on the topics around which you want to build your personal brand.
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