JSB Talks Digital Transformation | Managing Your Personal Brand Online

Managing Your Personal Brand Online

JSB Talks Digital is a weekly digital marketing and social media podcast hosted by author, strategist, consultant, speaker and trainer Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Each Friday Joanne shares her digital marketing and social media insights from her work as CEO of Digital Training Institute. 

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This special series of podcasts takes a forensic look at how individuals and organizations are embracing digital transformation.

In this, the seventh in a series of special shows on Digital Transformation, I look at how Senior Executives should be managing their personal brand online. In today’s episode:

  • I have a digital transformation conversation with Kerry Manning Colson, Personal Branding Expert.
  • In shout-outs: Three personal branding examples worth taking note of!
  • In JSB’s column – Can you separate personal and professional when it comes to personal branding online? And,
  • Find out what tool you should be using to monitor your personal brand on the Internet.


Interview with Kerry Manning Colson | Personal Branding Expert

Kerry Manning Colson

I am delighted to be joined on today’s show by Kerry Manning Colson.

Kerry Manning is a personal branding specialist and a passionate marketer.

People buy from people which means that we need to distill our own brand and then work it!

Kerry has worked in marketing for over 30 years as an entrepreneur and in the corporate world.  She is also a professional speaker, a blogger and the founder of the international Fabulous Woman Group on Facebook.

Be sure to tune in if you want to hear Kerry answer my questions:

Q1: I’m going to open our interview Kerry, with a quote from you: You say:

I believe that brand is the core of the apple when it comes to marketing.  Getting the brand right is the first step in product development and this needs to be applied to ourselves.’

When people think of branding they often think of companies or products but not themselves. How important is personal branding in the professional world even if you work for a large organization?

Q2: Social media has given us a remarkable opportunity to amplify our personal brands, but not everyone is a natural brand ambassador for themselves online are they? Often they make rookie mistakes? What are some of the mistakes you see?

Q3: So let’s talk about what you should be doing online to promote and get added value for your personal brand. What are your top tips?

Q4: Let’s talk about the thin blue line of personal V professional branding and how that might overlap online. I work with companies where very senior executives have social networks and of course their work features quite prominently. So does that mean that they shouldn’t talk about personal stuff because they are managing their online reputation in terms of their job?

Q5: What impact do you think social and live video can have on personal branding for senior executives? Do you think they should go front of screen and embrace it and show their human side? 

Q6: Personal branding also has a lot to do with our passion or work interest – people perceived us based on what we do or what we know. Can we exploit social media to highlight that part of us on our personal social networks?

Q7: Finally Kerry, do you think organisations should have strict policies in place when it comes to advising staff on their use of social and how they connect the company their work for in their own social storytelling?

If you are a fabulous woman like me then I’d really encourage you to join her closed Facebook Group Fabulous Woman.


JSB’s Column | Can you separate personal and professional when it comes to personal branding online?

In today’s column, I pose the question: can you separate personal and professional when it comes to online branding?

The short answer is yes, you can. However, this comes with a health warning.

  • You must ask your employer if they have guidelines or a policy in place when it comes to discussing your role, or company business, on your social networks.
  • Some organisations own the accounts – for example, the CEO of a company’s Twitter account, might belong to the company and if the current CEO moves on, it might be handed over to the incoming guy or lady.
  • Proprietary, sensitive or confidential information should never be shared online even if your workplace has a liberal policy. Common sense should prevail at all times.
  • If you are embarking on a personal branding strategy online be sure to keep the same name, profile, pic, imagery, and look across your social profiles.
  • Your bio is extremely important and if we are thinking about making our mark on Google then we must also think about SEO – so consider keywords when writing your heading, descriptor and long form content on LinkedIn relating to your current role.
  • Visual branding must be taken seriously. Use the same headshot (please don’t used a cropped photo taken at a wedding!) across all platforms and make sure your design is consistent. Hire a designer and get a brand identity audit or if you have one in-house at your company, maybe consult him or her.
  • Remember your brand should reflect your personality –don’t build up something online that does not reflect you offline. In fact, there is no such thing as offline V online in my view – they are one in the same thing in the Digital Age.

I have been cognisant of building my personal brand for over a decade now and I can safely say it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made. My personal brand has proved valuable in securing me speaking opportunities, consulting jobs as well as valuable online visibility.

JSB and the red shoes have become synonymous with me now and it helps show a little bit of my quirky personality!

If you want to have a Digital Transformation conversation with me. Simply drop me an email to [email protected]. Everything starts with a story or a conversation.


Shoutouts | Personal Branding Case Studies

In this part of the show I give shout-outs to brands, organizations and individuals whose work online is worth talking about. In today’s show I’m sharing three excellent personal branding case studies with you, so you can get ideas about how you might approach your own strategy.


Emeric Ernoult

Emeric Ernoult is the CEO of AgoraPulse but has done a remarkable job of building his personal brand and in my opinion successfully marries professional and personal online.

He is very open when discussing his company and in fact blogs frequently about it. His most recent blog posts shared the company’s monthly recurring revenue figures, the tools he and his team use to perform daily operational, sales and marketing tasks and he also blogged about his approach to people management and how he has built a global remote office with staff dotted all over the world.

This open and friendly approach works very well and we get a real sense of the man fronting the company.

Follow Emeric on Medium where he blogs.

Also if you are in the market for a social media management and monitoring tool have a look at Agorapulse.com


Mari Smith

If you are a social media nerd like me then you will know Mari Smith. You will know her distinctive Scottish accent and her quirky and friendly livecasts.

But what you might not know is that Mari runs a hugely successful social media agency and works with clients across the globe.

I saw Mari present on stage at last year’s Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego and she tells the story of how she built her personal brand in the late noughties when Facebook was in its infancy. Now she is one of the world’s leading voices on Facebook Marketing.

Find out more about Mari and her work at https://www.marismith.com/


Mark Schaefer’s Book, Known

Digital marketing influencer Mark Schaefer has a new book out called Known. I’ve ordered my own copy and can’t wait for it to arrive.

The book is described as the handbook for building and unleashing your personal brand in the digital age.

In today’s world, there is a permanent advantage to becoming known in your field. Those who are known get the customers, the better jobs, and the invitations to exclusive opportunities.

But can anybody become known? In his path-finding book, Mark provides a step-by-step plan followed by the most successful people in diverse careers like banking, education, real estate, construction, fashion, and more. With amazing case studies, dozens of exercises, and inspiring stories, Known is the first book its kind, providing a path to personal business success in the digital age.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

If you are a senior executive holding a key role in an organization, don’t be afraid to develop your own personal branding strategy. You should also have a conversation with the leadership team about the company’s approach to this and see if there is a parallel strategy they are rolling out.

If you want to know more about personal branding for the workplace don’t hesitate to drop me an email to [email protected]


Social Media Tool of the Week: Google!

Google Logo

The social media tool that will save your personal brand online is Google!

Yes the God of search engines, Google is the most important place to monitor our personal brand.

Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average (visualize them here), which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.

First things first, if you have never Googled yourself, then make it the first thing you do after you finish listening to this podcast.

Did you know that the content shared on most social networks is indexed on Google, even if you haven’t posted content about yourself, third party information from social networks and other sites will link back to you.

However, if you don’t like what the Internet is saying about you, you can take action and change it. 87% of the information the Internet has on us, we have put it there through our online activity.

It’s a good idea to do a search on yourself incognito. This means that you log out of all Google accounts. This will give you a better indication of what others see when they Google you.

Incognito mode opens a new window where you can browse the Internet in private without Chrome saving the sites you visit. You can switch between an Incognito window and any regular Chrome browsing windows you have open. You’ll only be in Incognito mode when you’re using the Incognito window.

So off you go to Google.com and see what the Internet says about you!


I love feedback

I’d love to know what you think about this episode. So please get in touch by commenting below or tweet me @tweetsbyJSB or send me a snap to jsbsnaps.

Review JSB Talks Digital on iTunes


Listen: JSB Talks Digital | Episode #39

I would like to thank Eoghan Murphy aka The Galway Gamer for producing my podcast series and to Flirt FM on the campus of NUI, Galway where I am based for the use of their studio.

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