Maintaining Offline and Online Consistency

This week, Derek and I chatted about some experiences we’verecently had involving our online content and activity surfacing in conversations with friends, family and professionals.

We share those stories in this video, but we realized a common theme–what you do online should be a direct representation of who you are offline. You can’t think of “offline” and “online” as two separate worlds–you’re one person, and you reflect that in your day-to-day interactions through social media and on your blog.

We talk about all of this in this week’s Student Branding TV video, but here’s a quick list of things to keep in mind:

  • You are everything to everyone. When you’re in class, you’re a student first. When you’re at work, that job is most important. When you’re with friends, it’s important to be social and have fun. But 24/7- every day, all the time- you are one person made up of all of these little parts. If you try to play a different role all the time, you’ll exhaust yourself. Find a way to make all that you do work together, and present yourself in a holistic way. Find your mission and work it.
  • It’s not awkward if someone brings up Facebook in person. If you post work you’ve done on Twitter, add a new job to your profile on LinkedIn, or chat about a recent experience on your Facebook wall, don’t be surprised when someone brings it up in person. In fact, expect it! Imagine that whatever you’re posting online, everyone that you’re friends with/that follows you/that you link up with will read- all of it. You’d be surprised at whose eyes land where, and when someone brings up a past accomplishment that you’ve written or vlogged about online, don’t be embarrassed–be ready to talk about it!
  • Know more about the people you know. Keep up to date with all of the people in your life through a service like Gist, which allows you to aggregate all of your emails, messages and interactions with different people, as well as all of their online activity (RSS, Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Before meeting up with someone in person, take a quick look at everything they’ve been doing online lately- you might find some fantastic topics for conversation, or learn some things you’ll want to hear more about!
  • Select carefully- but remember you can’t always be selective. When you use a site like or create your own Web site, you select what content you implement and you present yourself however you want to be presented. So choose with caution- do the best you can to make yourself look as best you can! Remember that everything you’ve ever done online also probably still Google-able, and keep track. You can put a Google Alert on your name to let you know every time your name shows up online.

Above all, remember that your personal brand is all about you- it should be easy to be authentic, genuine and consistent if you’re honest and true to yourself!

As always, you can send us questions or comments about personal branding at we’re happy to hear from you!

You can also follow us on Twitter and send us questions that way- @EricaZucco and @DerekMerdinyan.


-Erica and Derek


Erica is a senior convergence journalism major at the University of Missouri getting ready to take the “next step” and is excited to share her experiences with you along the way. She spends most of her time reporting for local NBC affiliate KOMU 8 News, researching and experimenting solutions for the future of mobile media production for VeriCorder Technology, and exploring new ways journalists can tell stories and connect with readers, viewers and visitors.

Derek is a serial entrepreneur and author of the book “Owning Y.O.U. The Personal Branding Action Guide.” About to graduate from the University of Washington, Derek majored in Entrepreneurial Ecommerce. Currently, Derek is the creative director at Wisdom N’ Treachery, a digital communication and branding consultancy. Derek resides in Seattle, Washington.

Related posts:

  1. Student Branding TV #21: Maintaining Consistency Online and Offline
  2. A Light at the End of the Bad Economy Tunnel
  3. Consistency and Transparency

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