Image

Image is a tricky thing.  If you think of it as a way to tell a story in quick shorthand it becomes a lot easier.

Image is a story told in the viewer's own head.

Most businesses and nonprofits that want to have a presence on any kind of media, including internet social media, are trying to present an image.  It’s all about becoming known for something that will keep you in the minds of people who need you.

The most important thing about your image on social media is that it’s very hard to be something you aren’t.  Because you are developing a community of people who get to know you it’s impossible to fool them.  They’ll talk amongst themselves and ask you questions on the fly and generally find out more secrets than you might want them to know.

Community, like a small town, always cuts both ways like this.  The only thing you can be is yourself.

The image that you develop has to be authentic but it’s still a very useful shorthand for what you want to be remembered for.  Boil it down to a slogan you can use over and over in just about any format.  A simple logo, ideally in just two colors, can make a nice icon that appears wherever there’s room for such a thing.  They help get your story the reader’s mind.

Image is, ultimately, a story that the reader writes in their own head.  A leather jacket and a sports car brings up all kinds of stories that the viewer of a picture has seen dozens of times before, so they attach that story to you.  Remember that all of these things are a kind of story – no matter whose head they get told in.

That image has to be genuine to stick, but longer stories should work together with all of the pictures and slogans and logos that you develop to tell one story.  It’s all about you to the extent that it can be, but a lot of it happens in the minds of other people.

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