For me answering the question “Do I want a global personal brand” is an obvious yes. The more important question is just how much of myself do I want to reveal through that brand, and how much of my privacy am I willing to risk?
Even if I didn’t want to promote myself through a global brand both my past experiences and my future aspirations would still practically necessitate one. In this day and age our online personas are a crucial part of the brand we display we consciously (or un-consciously) portray to people all over the globe. Having previously lived abroad social media like facebook, twitter, xbox live, and even spotify are key to me maintaining my personal networks with people in other countries. However communication through these online networks comes at the cost of information.
To some extent we can control how much information we’re willing to give up, but there are often marketed advantages to giving more. Having an extensive social media brand easy allow us to display both the personal (facebook, and instagram) and professional (linkedin) aspects of our lives, as well as up to the minute happenings (twitter). Showing all of this information gives a wide variety of tools to shape the way that people look at us. Communicating information about ourselves to people anywhere in the world has become easy, the trick now is deciding how much to share and curating that information safely.
In the future I want to work in public affairs for the state department or a prominent Non-Governmental Organization. For both of these jobs maintaining a network of people around the globe is highly important. This global network is important for finding work as well as how you represent the organization you work for. Having a public profile means that you can be held accountable personally or professionally for the things you post. Doing the wrong thing online can sour people’s perception of you, or even worse, cost you a job.
So if acting irresponsibly on social media is one danger of having a global brand what are the others? The risks involved with social media range widely in their effects and severity. Communicating the wrong things or communicating too much can ruin people’s opinions of you. Social media is also requires constant vigilance to not say or display the wrong thing. This can lead to people showing an incredibly whitewashed, impersonal version of themselves online.
More social media also means more information to steal. Social media sites like facebook or twitter still have to defend their data against countless attacks, and users are always at some risk of scams and malware. Internet identity theft also remains an issue. And Overcommunicating your plans online can even act as a signal for criminals to break into your house. This is all without even mentioning overzealous government spying on many social media platforms. We never really know who might be monitoring our global brands.
Despite these risks I think that the benefits of having a personal global brand will come to more and more outweigh the dangers. Globalization is a force that we must recognize. This means more interaction with people from different locations and cultures. And with the power of the internet less of this interaction will be face to face.
If we want to portray ourselves as globally minded leaders then having a brand that is easily recognized and utilized across the globe is highly important. A personal brand allows you to share your ideas, values, experiences, and insights with people from anywhere that you may not even know. For a global leader a well curated brand on social media projects themselves positively to anyone in the world for only a modest amount of effort.