Friday, 1 July 2011

23 Things for Professional Development: Thing #3

I have to admit, I had thought a little bit about my personal brand before approaching this particular Thing. I've had a personal online brand for a while, so knew I wanted to use elements of that whilst ensuring my professional presence online was kept separate. I'm happy for people to know that my personal and professional self are one and the same, but also want people to have the ability to keep the two separate.

So, taking the points from the Consider your personal brand post in order:

1. Name: I like my name! It's easy to remember, easy to spell and easy to say! All my blogs are branded as "Anna's xxx", so hopefully that helps people to know it's me. 

2. Photograph: As you may have noticed, my profile doesn't use a photo of me; it uses a drawing. It is me, and does look like me - but probably won't help you recognise me face-to-face. I'm not 100% convinced that photos achieve this either though - it's incredibly rare I can recognise somebody from a photo I've seen of them online (especially a small one). The reason I use the image I do is primarily to do with point 4 - visual brand. The drawing is definitely unique, and appears basically everywhere I'm online. Admittedly I don't have a business card, but if I did I'd likely include that image on it.

3. Personal/ professional identity: As mentioned above, I try to keep the two separate - but have no problems with people realising it's the same person if they come across one of my personal blogs, as well as my professional one.

4. Visual brand: Other than the picture I use for my profile, all my blogs are a similar colour - they all have a browny/ yellow theme. I have to admit I was originally pretty lazy with the background to this blog - I picked the obvious "books in the background" feature from blogger. That's something I've now changed to make the blog look a bit more individual (well, as individual as blogger allows without me messing around too much)! I realise it might look odd at first to those who are used to seeing the book background, but I much prefer the map theme and I'm not intending upon significantly changing it again in the near future.  

Having done a search for myself on Google in the past (yes, I was vain even before I started Thing 3), I don't appear at all on the first page. You'll find an academic at the top, or an actress if you look a bit further down. Neither are me (although a career as an actress, now that sounds interesting...). 

However, if I add "library" to the search a number of the top ten links ARE me. Two are UWE Research, Business and Innovation pages referring to me (in my view this is good as they're not library pages - meaning I'm more widely known around the university, which is important). One links to my name on the Kultur Group page (a group set up to attract arts and humanities researchers to repositories, of which I'm a part), and another links to this blog. I'm fairly happy with that! "Anna Lawson UWE" also comes up with some pretty good results - similar to the above but the top six are all me. Perhaps unsurprisingly they are mostly links to UWE pages.

If anyone has comments on what they think this blog says about my personal brand, I'd be happy to hear them. I don't currently have many thoughts on how I'd want to improve it (other than, as I have now done, improving the blogs background), but am very open to suggestions!


  1. I googled myself and I was shocked to see how much people can find out about me. None of it is shocking or bad but it has made me think about being more careful.
    I thought that the bit on the cpd23 blog about using the same photo and background on all your internet profiles is a useful suggestion.

  2. Yes, it can be quite scary when you first Google yourself and discover how much about you there is online. I'm quite glad I've always been relatively careful so don't think there's too much bad stuff out there about me!