Virtually the Same:
How to Take Your Brand Online
BY SARA CANADAY
Whether you’ve gone eagerly and willingly, or been dragged kicking and screaming, the unavoidable world of online marketing and social
media has you in its grasp. Now what? How do you take your valuable
personal brand online? How do you convey all of that charisma and
personality without losing yourself in translation?
Fortunately, the online “you” is
subject to many of the same governing
communication. As a speaker, you’re
likely familiar with these concepts. You
need to take what you know about
personal presence and translate it to
the virtual realm.
The All-Powerful First Impression
We’ve all made assumptions about
a man’s income based on his watch,
or guessed at a woman’s job title by
nothing more than the bag she carries.
We can’t help it; it’s how we’re built.
Snap judgments based on perception
are an evolutionary response. Whether
it’s people, our surroundings, or a
commercial on TV, we are designed to
be discerning creatures.
When it comes to sizing up people,
we notice everything from their facial
expression to their footwear. For
better or worse, we sum up a person
and form our opinion of them in less
than 30 seconds. And that opinion is
nearly impossible to change.
the implications are far reaching. The
positive feelings will bleed into all
manner of assumptions: You must be
intelligent, friendly, successful, helpful,
and a generally good person. This
“rubbing off” is called the halo effect.
The same is true of your online
presentation. According to a recent
BBC News article, “Researchers found
that the brain makes decisions in
just a 20th of a second of viewing a
Web page. The study, published in
the journal Behavior and Information
impressions have a lasting impact.
If people believe a Web site looks
good, then this positive quality will
spread to other areas, such as the
Web site’s content.” Of course, the
halo effect cuts both ways. A negative
other areas with less savory attributes.
Given that so much is riding on
it, the following ingredients are
A slow-loading page is one sure-fire;way;to;turn;off;a;visitor.;It’s;the
online equivalent of arriving late for a
speaking engagement. It’s discourteous
and disrespectful, and bound to leave
a bad taste. You should also front-load
your important messages so they jump
off the page. Don’t force your audience
to slog through too much content—
they have better things to do.