I heard a discussion on NPR recently (Dec 16, 2010) concerning the new “penny.” I was amused to hear that a penny actually costs 1.7 cents to make and that, officially, there is no US unit of money called a “penny.” The correct term is “one cent piece.” The original “one cent piece” was about the same size as the British half-penny. Our forefathers, being familiar with British coins, dubbed the “one cent piece” the “penny” and the name stuck. Once “penny” came into common use, there was no way the US Treasury was going to get people to switch over to using “one cent piece.”
When it comes to building your brand on social media, it is best to select a name and stick with it. I always go by “James Snider.” On LinkedIn, I do add “MBA Marketing” to my name and that would not be a bad brand…”James Snider, MBA Marketing,” but as a general rule, I am “James Snider.” I am not “Jim Snider” and “James B Snider” and “JB Snider”…I stick to “James Snider.” There are not a lot of “James Sniders” out there in marketing and I am able to overwhelm the others with my name by my frequent use of social media.
If your name happens to be “Bill Jones” then you might have a challenge getting found. You might want to brand yourself as “Bill Z Jones” assuming that your middle name begins with “Z.” You could brand yourself as “Bill Jones PE” or “Bill Jones PMP” or “Bill Jones MBA.” Whatever you select, use it consistently on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, your blog, comments you make on-line and any other place where you are building your digital footprint.
Do it early, do it frequently and do it consistently. If you do not, then you may end up like the “one cent piece”; everywhere but still unknown.