The cool thing about the web is that it has no borders. We are free to roam as we choose. And we never know what might be around the next corner.
With a simple Google search, we can find out more than we need to know about any subject, any issue, any person.
But for the owner of an online business, or any business, those Google results—and their consistency—matter. To say nothing about the branding issues it brings up.
It hit me this week as I was editing a piece for a guest post, an article that contained advice from industry leaders on various marketing and sales topics. The quotes were from podcasts and live interviews across the web. I was just looking for the right title or position to follow the person’s name.
Now these are busy people and many of them have been featured in dozens, if not hundreds, of blog posts and other online content. My problem reared its head when I encountered various different job titles attributed to the same person. I admit I was on deadline and didn’t have the time to email each person separately and ask what they would like to be called.
Of course, it can’t be helped when Google turns up an old article and that person has since moved on to a new job. But it gets confusing when several recent sources listed a different title for the same person.
3 Tips for Making Your Online Brand Consistent
Your job title
There is nothing wrong with a company creating their own job titles (“Evangelist,” “Content Wrangler,” “Chief Amazement Officer”). And if you own your own business, you can call yourself whatever you want. But a Google search that comes up with different descriptors depending on the source, will only confuse people.
Your goal is to make your brand consistent across the web. How to do that?
At the minimum:
• Give the same title to everyone who interviews you.
• Ask to see a blog post that is written about you before it publishes so you can correct any errors.
• Go in and clean up your social media bios to make them consistent. And don’t forget your own blog or website’s about page.
For those of us who skew toward the visual (hint: that’s most of us), images stay in our minds much longer than audio. You don’t have to use the same photo of yourself for eternity. (And you shouldn’t, unless you are forever young— except for that picture of you aging in the closet. Sorry, couldn’t resist the obscure reference to Dorian Gray).
Just make sure that when you change it, you change it everywhere: on social media, when you give it to someone else to use, when people find it on your own site.
Same thing here. You will probably have both long and short forms of your bio. On your own site (and accounts like Twitter and Facebook), stick with the same bio as much as you can.
An exception? When you have written something for a niche site or for someone outside your own industry and you want to pull in things that relate more to the content and flavor of the site you are writing for or were interviewed for.
That’s it. Just a few thoughts to share about the consistency of your online messaging.