DIGITAL ME – real and digital world are the same

In his latest blog post, Hannes Beierlein, CCO of the German consulting agency Evernine Group, gives an update on how ‘digital’ and ‘real’ should be communicated by companies and their employees.


If I am on business meetings or exhibitions everybody is trying to make a great impression. If he or she was not able to do so, he/she will learn and try to make it better the next time. This is the “real” world. But what if it comes to the digital world? No contacts, or even worse no profile at LinkedIn, but you are talking about anything related to the “digital Transformation”. Do you think people will respect your advice?


They will not, because they will see you do not have any relevant digital contacts and you do not seem to be an expert in the digital world. Even if this is just the first impression or even not true, how will you be able to recognize and change this impression? This will become a big issue for many managers within the next years.

Social selling, corporate influencer, self-publishing, these are not just some great buzzwords from your “Marketing” or corporate communications teams, they all have one thing in common: YOU have to ‘exist’ in the digital world – honest and strategic, both for private and business purposes. Be honest, be kind, be agressive (positive), but whatever happens around your “Digital Me”, it has to be kind of ‘real’ and well-kept. Why?

You don’t go to “real world” meetings in your “underwear”, so stop behaving like that in the digital world:

Think again about my example of visiting an exhibition. Do you go there by wearing just underwear, telling people about your childhood or you will make jokes about your business partners opinions, as like they are your BFFs? I don’t think so.

Driving "Digital Change" begins with your own “Digital Me” – care about it and think about how you are acting in real life and connect that to your digital life. (Source: iStock / PeopleImages)

So if you talk to someone, believe me, he will “google” you afterwards – if you are not really existing online, this will be the first impression you are leaving and he or she maybe won’t talk to you next time. Even worse, you will not really be able to change his opinion on you, if you are not existing with your own “Digital Me”. So if you are still wearing only underwear on your social media – e.g. don’t have a profile picture, don’t interact with others, don’t have relevant contacts etc. – in the future someone will ask him/herself what kind of a person you might be.

To make one thing clear: Driving “Digital Change” begins with your own “Digital Me” – care about it and think about how you are acting in real life and connect that to your digital life. This is not just important for you as a person, you also have a company you are working for. Today everybody is working for external communications in a company somehow, especially if he or she is talking about any topic concerning work with an personal opinion (within social media).


Be yourself, but care about your “Digital Me”, the basics are necessary for everyone, not only if you want to be a corporate influencer or if you are working for communication departments in your company.


Especially if you are working for “communication units” like Sales, Marketing, PR, C-level or Business Development (Top Management) – who will believe what you are saying about “digital Transformation” or related business issues, if your „Digital Me“ does not really exist or is not really “living”.

My advice: think about the role of digital communications within the digital transformation – just in general. If you own a company or/and you are a business leader, think also about the impact of your “Digital Me” on others and the importance of a real digital communication strategy that fits to push digitalization in a holistic way.

And don’t start changing processes and implement new technologies before you haven’t changed yourself. You can’t buy digital transformation, you have to be digital transformation.

Image source: Evernine Group