Standing Out in the Digital Mudslide

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There are enough words written on Twitter daily to fill a 10-million-page book. Facebook boasts more than a billion users, and Pinterest fans spend over an hour each time they browse the site. No matter how we slice it, our online presence matters. Personally and professionally, our digital footprints make a vital component of who we are and what we stand for. As you trudge through the “world 2.0,” what do your digital footprints say about you? Is your content lost in an arbitrary mudslide of pointless words, or do you stand out with a purpose?

An online presence should be built to reflect your goals and message — both personally and professionally. You don’t have to make every tidbit of content that you share be perfect, but your overall additions to the web should carry weight that builds the brand called you.

Forbes reputation expert Davia Temin instructs us not to “eat and tell,” which applies to more than just what you had for lunch and who you had it with. Many companies and people do this, and it doesn’t serve a purpose. Personal information should be shared via email or text. Social media were constructed to share intellectual capital, not to show people you went to high school or what you made for dinner (unless you’re an aspiring chef/food blogger).

Don’t Be a Cliché Here

Separate your emotions and actions from your objective point, and don’t steal other people’s. Successful online personalities have engaging, unique points of view. The frequent, unintentional overshare causes many social media fiends to flounder without relevancy. Learn to exercise self-control, it’s a cornerstone of success and time management. Your headache doesn’t need to be shared, neither does the traffic jam you’re stuck in. Social media aren’t your diary, nor is it your hamper. It’s a place to add value and inspire.

Sowing Seeds

What’s Your Theme? In addition to causing psychological damage, according to Professor Joanne Davila from Stony Brook University, oversharing and too much stream-of-conscious blabber online can cause excessive anxiety. Your online reputation needs a followable, yet adjustable outline to work from. If you find yourself tweeting about cats all the time when you should be tweeting about tax season for other interested professionals, that’s a problem.

Achieving your goal requires cultivating your overall message, then following up with actions. Do you dream about becoming the best cupcake maker in Maine? That’s great, now start following your favorite bakeries online. Tweet your favorite recipes, start a blog, share your articles with other blogs instead of writing a post about your breakup. See a pattern?

Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare

Michael Fertik, CEO of, remarks on LinkedIn that the best advice he ever got was the Talmudic saying “You are not required to finish your work, yet neither are you permitted to desist from it.” Apply this principle to social media management. Remember that building the reputation you want and generating buzz doesn’t happen overnight.

If you want to build yourself the reputation you desire, you must keep at it consistently. You don’t have to follow through on every good idea, but you do have to try consistently to avoid getting swept up by the rest of the mudslide.

Author: Jessica Murray
Jessica is an entrepreneur and a CPA. She is currently working on creating a software product that demystifies the tax filing process. She’s close, but not there yet.

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