Once upon a time, things were simpler. Business owners only had to worry about their finances, customers and the product or service they were selling (well, in a nutshell anyway). These days with the evolution of the Internet and the advancements in technology that have evolved since (yes, we’re looking at you Facebook!), business owners are now faced with another set of challenges to navigate their way through. One of those challenges is knowing how to brand yourself online.

With such a large portion of the world’s population online, it is common for potential clients, customers or prospective employers to search for you on Google to find out more about you. Once thought as being a little ‘stalker-y’, consulting Google is now common practice when looking to learn more about someone. So, what does your online identity say about you?

Think about the last photo you posted on Instagram, or what you pinned on Pinterest over the weekend. Now think about the pages you ‘like’ on Facebook. By now you should start to see your online identity formulating… How does it look?

The way we post, pin, snap, tweet, blog and even email is a reflection of who we are and essentially is how we craft our very own personal brand. If you’re a business owner, you also probably want your personal identity to be inline with your business identity to ensure consistency for your customers or clients. If you’re a health and fitness coach, your personal identity should demonstrate that you are interested in healthy eating, exercise and general wellbeing, for example.

So how can you create the perfect online identity? Take a look at these tips:

– Ensure your usernames/URLs are consistent so you can be found easily

– Have a profile picture that you’re proud of that shows your friendly face (but maybe not a-few-tequila-shots-down-on-a–Saturday-night friendly face…)

– On that note, never put something you’re not comfortable with the whole world knowing about online… It can come back to bite you later!

– Be consistent with your visual branding i.e. use the same cover photo and ‘About Me’ description across all of your social media accounts

– Include links to your other social media accounts, blog or website because different platforms are useful for different reasons

– Be authentic. It’s important for your followers to know that you’re real and what you post is a reliable and trustworthy source

Take a look at this article called “You Are What You Tweet’ by The New Yorker for further insight into online personas: http://www.newyorker.com/currency-tag/you-are-what-you-tweet and this article for an extensive list of tips to help you create your personal online identity: http://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/04/30/26-tips-for-creating-a-powerful-personal-brand-online/