If we begin to see online reputation management as a state of mind rather than a cleanup tactic, it will seem only natural to ask the question of how to apply “ORM” in an offline context. How can we work to establish a framework for living which reinforces positive reputation both on and off the computer, allowing us to make the most of our skills and reach our goals through what might be called “networking on steroids”?
Of course, we mustn’t forget that it is alright to lack a “life plan” – high school, after all, takes place during the formative years of identity development, and such plans could very well change. Instead, we can think about knowing ourselves as “knowing our compass”: what I do value? Which parts of life are most important to me? What do I want to see improved in the world more than anything? The answers to these broad questions give us a sense of the identity we want to broadcast across life – this is the identity which a client’s mentor can help her project through social media. It is the application of the answers to these questions which entails specialization, vocational choices, and the like; such choices can make for a much more refined self-image to integrate into ORM, but are fragile and of minimal use without firm answers to the “big questions” as a foundation.
These “big answers” can work to establish a mantra which one can follow through all walks of one’s life. They are invaluable to a mentor in formulating a strategy for the client, and will help the client to present the ever-crucial quality of consistency across real-space and cyber-space. This is the underlying line of thought behind developing behavior which positively-reinforces identity online and offline. Such consistency will better enable networking with people sharing your interests in day-to-day life, which will raise your profile across the board. This will give your mentor more to work with in strategizing, empowering you to meet more of your goals sooner.