What Happens To Your Online Personal Brand After You’re Gone?

by Meg Guiseppi on November 14, 2011

Morbid topic. But if you’ve spent any time working on building your brand and online presence across various channels, you have to wonder what will become of all those profiles and photos.

And if you’re a blogger or article-writer, do you want all that content you’ve created to be “out there” forever?

Occasionally I ponder this very dilemma. I have 3 blogsites, LinkedIn and many other online profiles, my photo all over the place, content on Twitter and other social networks, and hundreds of executive branding and job search articles copyrighted to me sitting on numerous other sites.

The online profiles could be shut down. Social networking activity would, of course, cease, and the accounts could be shut down, unless I want to memorialize them and have them live on.

But would I want my blogsites to be taken down, making all that content inaccessible? Although after time it would be somewhat dated, I’d like to think that it would still be of benefit to executive job seekers.

Even now, after only 4 years of blogging, people have told me they come back often to my sites and use them as a resource. Social media is still in its infancy. I can only imagine how search engines will favor content that’s twenty or more years old.

And would I want my online personal brand – something I’ve worked so hard to communicate and cultivate – to fizzle out, and my mark on the careers industry to be forgotten?

Obviously, I need to put a plan in place … designate someone to oversee things … give them passwords and instructions.

I was once again reminded of this after reading a post by Drew McLellan, a marketing and branding expert, Does an online presence need to fade into that good night?

He wrote about a colleague of his in the advertising world who died and left behind a blog filled with smart, valuable posts on advertising lore that he often returned to. His family took the blog down.

“Most people have probably not discussed this with their family and friends. Much like the “I want to be cremated or buried” conversation – part of the 21st century needs to be a conversation about what we want done with our online accounts and content.”

What do you want to have happen to your online presence? Do you have a plan in place?

Related posts:

Executive Brand Online Reputation Management: Relevance, Quality, Diversity, Volume, Consistency

Social Media ROI: Is It Worth the Time?

Does Your Online Presence Scream “DON’T Hire Me”?

photo by Vince Alongi

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