Owning your name: the importance of an online presence

owning your name Now more than ever it is critical that individuals have some presence online. An online presence, be it on social media platforms, a personal website, or an online portfolio, allows individuals to identify and integrate others into their personal learning network. Below are three tips you can use to learn more about your current online presence and ways in which you can build your digital footprint.

  1. Google yourself
    • When you Google yourself, what do you find. Ideally you should make up the entire first page of results; however, if you have perhaps a more common name that may not be the case. A simple way to increase your visibility online is to not only have a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, but to also make those platforms public. Additionally, utilizing resources such as About.me, Squarespace, or Wordpress are great ways of producing your own unique website and generate content to tell your story.
  2. Consistency is key
    • Consistence in your own personal brand is a huge piece of your digital story. You want to remain authentic but also recognizable across all platforms. For me, a way that I do this is ensure my brief bio on various platforms is similar and that my photo is the same across platform. In doing so, when people search my name or find me one any platform they see a recognizable photo and bio. In addition to visible consistency, consistence in voice or messaging is also critical. While you may utilize various platforms for different purposes, a consistency in voice is important to bring your personality to these otherwise emotionless platforms.
  3. Connections = currency
    • The real power of creating and maintaining an online presence is the connections you can make. The ability to connect with an individual without ever meeting them is incredible! Take, for example, my recent encounter with the Niche Movement’s very own, Kevin O’Connell. Just about two weeks ago a colleague I’ve met in real life but initially became connected to through twitter, Amma Marfo, shared a photo of her copy of the Niche Movement. I looked into the book and it peaked my interest so I bought a copy. After reading the first few chapters I found out that the Niche Movement team is actually based out of D.C. Working in D.C. myself, I thought to reach out to Kevin on Twitter and he subsequently followed up with an email inviting me to meet up. We met up for coffee and had a great conversation about the work each of us were doing.  It’s this type of action, taking online connections offline, that exemplify the power of an online presence.

It’s no longer acceptable to say that you “don’t do social media”  - that’s not an excuse. If you’re hesitant about how you would use it, read some blog post or reach out to friends you know who are online to get advice! Owning your name and having a presence can have a profound impact on your career search. Reaching out to recruiters or companies directly through social media can lead to opportunies you never knew existed; however, companies won’t invest in you if you don’t have a proven history of online presence and a clear story to tell.


Owning your name is about more than simply being online. It is about your willingness to put yourself out there, make connections, ensure your content is visible and take online interactions offline. As you move throughout your week, I challenge you to think about individuals you’re connected to online and reach out to just one of them for a conversation about whatever interests you about them. In doing so you will begin to build your network broadly, which will inevitably provide a number of opportunities for you.