Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tools to Discover Your Digital Identity

"Once we have connected with what we have to offer in terms of our skills & passions, then there will be people out there to receive as customers - we only need to connect with them"
Personal branding is about communicating who we are and what service we can provide in very clear ways. The purpose of this post is to list tools that you can use to check if you have a strong and meaningful online presence.

My approach to authentic personal branding includes three components:

1) Self awareness: Awareness of passions, skills, and experiences that make you unique.

2) Authentic differentiation: Clarify how you can use your personal strengths to solve problems in unique ways and different from everyone else doing what you do.

3) Effective communication: Once you have the first two figured out, then you have to find ways of communicating with customers in ways that are clear and consistent.

Here is a list of tools that I have found so far that can assist in gauging how you and your customers are faring in terms of building an online identity that is visible and what you want it to be:

1) Check your self on It is interesting to see all the information about your past and present that is there. This site does a good job of pulling out all the information that there is about you. A few things to take note of:
  • Are your pictures current?
  • Are your emails current?
  • Check your tag cloud and you can click on particular tags in the cloud to bring up info related to that term.
  • Overall what is showing up, is it conveying a meaningful and consistent picture of who you are?
2) The Online Identity Calculator is a very cool tool, which has you go through a couple of simple steps using google search and comes up with your online identity based on volume and relevance. The four categories along the two dimensions are Digitally Distinct, Digitally Dabbing, Digitally Dissed, and Digitally Disastrous.

3) If you use Twitter, the Twitter Grader is very interesting because it tells your grade based on criteria including number of followers, following, tweets, re-tweets, and the kind of people following you. It also ranks you in your location and has cool graphs to plot your progress on Twitter.

4) And then there is Identity Web 2.0 Applications and Tools that lists 35 different websites, literally, that can be used to build your online presence. I have used a few of them like TwitDir and PeekYou. I would love to hear from you if you have used any others on the list and what do they do.

5) What I also have my clients always do, is to look up their category of service in their area to see if their names or business show up in google search. For example, if you search for "marketing consultants Amherst, MA" my company's name iAM Business Consulting shows up. The idea, as if it is not obvious, is that if your potential clients are looking for a solution that you provide and they don't know about you then they will type in the problem or service for which they want a solution, so your company should show under those search words.

I would loooooove to learn from you, if you know of any tools to evaluate and even build strong personal brands.

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