“You, Online: Managing Your Personal Brand”

Stanton Chase-San Francisco recently partnered with prominent local institutions to present an executive briefing on: “You, Online: Managing Your Personal Brand”. Paul Herrerias, Managing Director of Stanton Chase-San Francisco, created partnerships between The CEO Club (which Paul founded in 2003), Dominican University’s Institute for Leadership Studies (Paul teaches at night with Dr. Denise Lucy, Director Leadership Institute), and The North Bay Leadership Council (Cynthia Murray, CEO) for the Business Edge: Breakfast Briefings to host this event.

The event, held on the bucolic urban campus of Dominican University of California, received a great turn out and generated much discussion before and after the breakfast.  The panel of experts included:

• Jay Randy Gordon, Program Chair and Moderator, Marketing Consultant and Executive

• Michele “Mikey” Kelly, Owner and Chief Creative Officer @ The Kelly-Fogelman Group Brand Reputation Development Firm

• Dr. Dan Gaylinn, Executive Consultant @ Media Research Associates

• Munir Haddad, Founder and CEO of Kiosk Creative

• Marta Daglow, President of Daglow Consulting Group

• Charleston Pierce, Founder & CEO of Charleston Pierce Presents                          

How Online Branding can help you:

Randy Gordon kicked off the morning’s discussion by displaying photos of famous people, and asking the audience for a few key words that come to mind for each person. This way he got us thinking about personal brands, and the benefit of branding to each of these people.

Charleston Pierce explained that he has learned that your brand is what you like about yourself. Find out what that is and promote it. If you love who you are then your brand will last!

Dr. Dan Gaylinn shared his perspective on online branding from his background in psychology. He explained that our online brand is the “persona” that we want to present to the outside world and to be wary because while we never lie, we all know people who do, but online, this could get us in big trouble.

According to Michele Kelly the most important thing to remember is to only post what you want your most important people to see, “or what could be repeated in the San Francisco Chronicle”. Use online Branding as cheap advertising: Post videos online and target your desired company by finding, reposting, commenting, and sharing quotes.

Marta Daglow explained that there are three important things recruiters can learn from your online brand: Skills, Passion and Culture Fit. These can tell employers whether you will be a good fit for their company and their team. Creating and refining your online brand is important because it shows your “hard and soft skills” or rather, the person behind the resume.

How Online Branding can hurt you:

Our online brand can also get us into trouble as a Jeffery Neely, a GSA Executive, recently discovered when his wife posted their vacation photos. Soon thereafter he found himself in front of a Congressional Ethics committee for flagrant spending violations.

Damage Control:

Munir Haddad explained that there is a lot of information about you and/or your business online and sometimes damage control is necessary.  There are right and wrong ways to do damage control.  While sites like Yelp can be helpful to your business, one angry comment can make a lasting impression, unless you deal with it correctly.  While you should never attack the commenter, it can be difficult to know just how to respond.  Often it’s best to stick to apologizing and let them know what steps you are taking to resolve the complaint.

Learn to use the privacy settings on Facebook, these can make a huge difference in controlling what people see. But be forewarned, because once posted there is always the chance the friend of a friend of a friend will see it.

This event was a great educational experience for everyone who attended, and the Q&A lasted well after the breakfast ended.  The most important lesson taught by our entire panel was on “Authenticity”. Always be your authentic self and your online brand will shine through.

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