Like it or not, if you use the Internet you have an online identity. Some people call this your "brand." What's a brand? Think about some famous ones:
You probably have a certain idea about each one – what it's like, the kind of person who buys it, and so on. People will even wear T-shirts or hats with brand logos on them because they want to send a message about the kind of person they are. That's what your online brand is: it's the picture of you people get from what they see about you on the Internet.
Big companies spend millions of dollars making sure that customers see their brand the way they want them to. You don't have to put that much time or money into your own brand management, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure that the "you" people see online reflects how you want to be seen. MediaSmarts' new tip sheet Building Your Brand: Establishing a Positive Presence Online gives youth seven easy steps to help them take charge of the impression they make. Starting with tips to find out how people currently see you online, Building Your Brand provides techniques for taking control of your online image. This involves not only getting rid of things that puts you in a negative light, but also drowning out less-than-desirable representations with material that makes a more positive impression. The tip sheet also looks at how friends can influence online reputations and the effects of how you behave in online spaces and contribute to digital communities.
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