I was in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the lobby of a hotel waiting with my client to meet our Brazilian hosts whom I did not know. One of the men looked up from his cell phone and startled me by saying, “Aren’t you Maurilio? I follow you on Twitter.” The same scenario happened a few weeks later in Singapore as I attended TWR’s Asia partners’ meeting. Since then I have heard from people in New Zealand, Europe, Africa and other parts of the world who read my posts. I have come to grips with the fact that I’m a global brand. While that might sound pretentious and grandiose, I think it’s true of anyone who has an online presence. We all know the internet doesn’t stop at the end of town, ( I had one client who wanted to launch his website in Tennessee first, however), but I’m not sure most of us have thought of ourselves as a global brand. I know I haven’t. But If that’s true, what are some of the implications?
You don’t speak just for yourself. Privacy or not, if you’re online you have chosen to open your thoughts and ideas to the rest of the world. , Your opinions, thoughts, rants, likes and dislikes are available for the planet to see. Your brand is a reflection of all of your online persona. Don’t ever assume that “people who know me know I’m joking.” Most people online will never meet you. You represent your personal brand as well as your employer, your faith and, yes, even your country, like it or not.
Your words matter. Once you realize you’re writing for the world, you’ll begin to think about how your vocabulary and writing style will come across to those in other English-speaking countries as well as those who might be reading your posts as a second or third language. Making your thoughts and ideas as clear as possible and free of unnecessary jargon becomes a priority. Slang might be funny to your friends, but might completely bypass a global audience. Remember, you’re not writing a Ke$ha song. (You might say I just broke my own rule by alluding to Ke$ha. Unfortunately, for humanity, she’s known world wide)
Your scope dictates your reach. If you want to reach beyond your hometown, find content that appeals to people everywhere. Even when a topic is personal, there’s always an universal element you can bring out. No matter how far geographically apart we are, certain topics and ideas bring “tribes” together from around the world. For example, runners in Singapore, Sao Paulo or Vienna share a common interest.
What other implications does being a global brand have?