Personal v. Professional Online Branding
I got asked a very interesting question this morning, so I thought it was worth a post.
One of my twitter homies asked me if I had a personal and a professional/business handle on Twitter and SM, and more interestingly, why?
In fact I do have multiple handles–I’m on twitter under @yuspie and @pharmllc professionally, and personally as @ErinLAlbert. (I have one other twitter handle too about a personal passion that really has nothing to do with any of these other items, but it’s a secret. It’s not too hard to figure out.) I also tweet for the day job @ButlerCOPHSexed. I channel the most energy into @yuspie.
I told him I thought first and foremost I was no expert – certainly I’m just hacking my way through cyberspace like everyone else in this great online experiment. But I also second thought that it is kind of important to separate you from your brand. Thinking about it longer this morning, here’s my best explanation why.
If your brand is YOU – keep them together. Be authentic. That gets tricky, however, if you’re professional and your brand…isn’t, esp. if you have a professional day job, and your side gig brand is just that–a side gig. If you have a personal brand AND business brands, you may want to keep them separate, because one day someone might want to buy your company brand – but if you are so tied up in that brand, will you be able to segregate and separate? If not, that’s a problem–especially if you want to be out and sipping Mai-Tais on a beach somewhere after you’ve built your vast empire.
Last but not least – listen to your gut on this one. I don’t know if anyone really has any great answers here. Also, the brand pioneers I admire online I might suggest you follow – people like Cory Booker, Dan Pink, Gary Vaynerchuk, etc. There are some who are brilliant marketers that I won’t mention here, because I hate their brands….but some definitely have it figured out more than others.
Unfortunately, I’m not there, yet.
But I’m working on it!