You + Your Digital Persona ; How to Create a Relationship That Impacts The Online World Awesomely

I have talked to Everett Bogue on Skype, and I must confess, it was quite a dialogue. He was talking about Cyborgs and his revolution of humanity, and the first question that came to my mind was: What kind of pills did he slip into his muesli ?

But as I contemplated the idea of a new, digital self, I felt compelled to write this post.

Technology changes the way we act as humans. Not only do we influence the internet, the internet influences us as well – it’s a symbiosis that’s constantly evolving.

Ev calls that “new” form of human being Cyborg, but that reminds me a bit too much of Star Trek and the time traveling Terminator with the funny accent.

It’s more a digital self, that impacts the digital world. Every time you tweet, send a message or create online content – you are harnessing the power of your digital alter ego.

It goes beyond the flesh, and in fact, don’t treat yourself like a smelly piece of meat that’s sitting in front of the computer all day. Treat your online self – the entity that’s rocking through the internet – like your SECOND persona. And that alter ego – let’s call it your Digital Persona – represents your real self in the digital world. But why the separation ?

Here’s the simple answer: because you can AND will do amazing things.

Here’s why:

Your real self is stuffed with doubts and problems carried over from society. When that confused self goes online, it’s still acting in a similar way. Instead of treating the online world like a blank new slate, you will carry your garbage from the real world and thus neglect your AWESOME creative abilities. But if you look at your online self as a new opportunity, you will at how much potential you have access to.

SO, in fact you can say that your Digital Persona is your BETTER SELF – the desired version of you that you want to eventually become in the real world.

And the funny thing is : The more awesome you make your Digital Persona, the more awesome you will be in the real world. It eventually merges and becomes ONE.

When I started my online ventures, I used to quite “average”, even for my standards. I followed common advice, wrote “safe” posts and acted like a carbon copy. Then I found awesome blogs like Ashley’s the middlefingerproject and Naomi’s Ittybiz, and I said to myself:

FUCK IT. It’s going to be my style 100% or NOTHING !

And THAT was the moment when I started building my awesome Digital Persona. I made my online presence MORE awesome than my actual self – Mars Dorian online was more passionate, risk-taking and creative than the Mars Dorian in the offline world.

And you know what happened ?

By showing my BEST self online ( the persona that is more outrageous, passionate and risk-taking), I actually became that persona in the REAL world !

Creating an awesome Digital Persona will make you more successful in BOTH worlds.

So enough with the chitchat. How do you create a digital Persona that’s both awesome and influential ?

0) Your persona needs a purpose. A clear direction of where to go. If it’s “just” flying around like a drunken bird with no clarity, you will end up NOWHERE ! Only when you use your persona for a CLEAR reason – the “why” of its digital existence !

To fully understand this concept, and to find your persona’s why, read my article:

The One Question That will determine your fate

I promise you, it’s the MOST important thing of your online existence !

1) Your Digital Persona has to have the “Look”.

“Never judge a book by its cover” – I don’t know which tree hugger came with that line, but his mind must have visited the fairy land and never fully returned. OF COURSE we judge a book by its cover – and not just the book. If your Digital Persona has a butt-ugly site, Twitter and Facebook profile, OF COURSE you are going to deter people.

Come on, it’s just like in the offline world. Imagine you visit the parents of your partner for the first time. Would you go there all dirty-looking like a tramp who’s living in a McDonald’s dumpster ? OF COURSE not ! You would dress yourself accordingly. Don’t treat your digital persona any different !

  • Have your basic “brand” colors on EVERY platform your persona is involved. If it happens to be blue, then BLUE everything up – your site, your profiles and messages.
  • Style your persona in a why that evokes an emotion. If you are passionate, show it in your design – can you show warm colors (yellow, orange,red) ? Can you make your design ECSTATIC and ENERGETIC ? You must. Or do you prefer the clean, corporate look ? Then go for clean, neutral colors (blue, white, grey) and make everything slick and basic. The way you design your persona determines the EMOTIONAL effect you are going to have on people !

Check out Ramit Sethi’s I will teach you to be rich. He’s using this principle in the most BASIC form, but it works. His brand color is obviously GREEN, and look how OFTEN he uses on the different parts of his site.

2) It needs constant pushing to evolve. A digital persona that’s stiff and stale will eventually die, just like any other living organism. In order for it to flourish, it needs to expand, and the best way to expand is to increase its comfort zone.

The more ideas, experiments and projects your digital self starts, the better. The experience it will gain is PRICELESS – and it will use that knowledge to successfully manage new projects and ventures. ALWAYS stretch the current abilities of your persona – PUSH PUSH PUSH !

LEARN one NEW thing every single day ! GO OUT and make NEW connections.

DO ONE thing EVERY SINGLE DAY that stretches your current ability.

GROW, GROW, TRIPLE GROW !

3) A digital Persona needs INTERACTION to flourish and spread. It’s the food it needs to survive in the digital realm. And not just any food, it has to be NOURISHING. You wouldn’t put junk food into your human body if you needed more energy, so don’t feed junk communication to your digital self. Let it build high quality relationships with DO-ers and makers – other digital Personas that want to move forward and impact the world in one way or another.

Meeting the flesh versions of other awesome personas like Fabian Kruse from the friendly Anarchist and Raam Dev has helped me to open my my (digital) mind and enabled my persona to reach kick-ass individuals that I WOULD HAVE NEVER MET IN THE REAL WORLD.

4) A Digital Persona needs constant creativity and inspiration. Like I said, once your persona is stale, it dies. When there’s no new content and interaction happening, it will be forgotten. NEVER LET THAT HAPPEN ! Creating a digital box – a folder on your computer that’s called a SWIPE file, you will make sure that your persona never runs out of ideas EVER AGAIN.

Your digital swipe file is simply a folder, where you let your digital self collect valuable content from the web. You then store this copy-and-pasted material from the internet in your folder, and whenever your persona needs inspiration in product and content creation, it can use the treasure from your folder.

My digital folder includes over:

  • 100 + headlines,
  • 65 + images for blog design, and about
  • 100 + pictures for personal branding inspiration.

Whenever I’m stuck with creating something, I dive into my inspirational treasure box. Most of the stuff my Digital Persona created comes from THIS resource.

5) LEAVE your Digital Persona every day. And the best way to do that is to separate it from it’s fleshy counterpart – YOU !

Everyday, aim for a conscious DISCONNECTION between you and your digital self. Go out, talk with REAL people, do exercise, EXPERIENCE THE TANGIBLE WORLD !

DO something for a few hours that’s not DIGITALLY related. Your true body will recharge it’s organic powers, and you will experience a new level of FRESHNESS once you connect with your Digital Persona again !

6) The shortest connection between two personas is a link.

Including links in your content and digital goods is the most awesome way to compliment a like-minded persona. If you include one for your peers, it means this :

I luv your persona. The message you send out with it is awesome. I want to support your spreading by featuring a link in my part of the online world (aka my site).

Link to your peers and grow your persona community together. If I like other people’s personas, I let them now PUBLICLY. And yes, that includes you Steve Kamb, Cori from biggirlbranding and Farnoosh from Prolificliving !

Share the digital love, and support your fellow personas !

7) Daily attention = Digital Persona Domination. And even though you DO have a real life, MAKE SURE that you do something for your DIGITAL PERSONA every single day.

Little, constant attention and care is WAY BETTER than once-in-a-while attention that’s MASSIVE.

Even if you real self is busy as heck, try to allocate at LEAST 10 – 20 mins to your Persona. It could be tweaking your Twitter profile, answering the emails or writing a few messages.

KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM OF YOUR DIGITAL SELF – EVERY SINGLE DAY.

8)  A digital persona has to profit you. Time’s precious, and your digital persona will only live as long as you live. So, in order to make that stay worthwhile, use it effectively.

Think about how your persona can both profit YOU and make the world a better place at the same time !

The importance REALLY lies in the mutual benefit. If your persona only does things to please others, it will deteriorate. It will bend itself so hard that it eventually breaks. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRK.

On the other hand, if you only let it care about itself, it will be too self-absorbed and lose the connection to the world.

The golden rule is to combine both the self-interest and the mutual impact it can create. Only when it finds the right mix will it shine like a signal in a black ocean.

What have I missed ? What do you think about the concept of treating your online self as your digital alter ego ? What do you do for YOUR Digital Persona to make it flourish and dominate the interwebs ?

And share this message with your friends. This idea needs to spread.

  • http://twitter.com/joshuamillburn the minimalists

    MD,

    Glad you talked to Ev. I’ve met him a few times in person and he is a very interesting guy.

    Now, on to the topic: If you are open and honest and transparent, can’t your digital self be the same thing as your offline self, or at least an extension of it?

    Joshua

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Of course, but I think that your digital self is a grreat opportunity to BE YOUR BEST SELF !
      I remember when I started out –
      But since I came to the thought of having a digitally branded version of yourself, I got the passion and courage to try NEW stuff and to be more risk-taking in general.
      That’s why I believe you should use your virtual extension as an awesome version of yourself, so it both impacts your digital and “real” life awesomely – almost like a video game character !

  • http://somethingblu.wordpress.com/ rawqueen

    This is a fabulously energizing and informative post! Give thanks I am book marking it. Guidance is crucial in this digital age. I am grateful for the signposts on the way to mapping out a clear path to my digital persona. Bless.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Awesome , I always melt when I read comments like these. I hope you WILL ROCK THE PATH OF YOUR DIGITAL PERSONA !

  • http://twitter.com/TheEbookEditor Chris O’Byrne

    Have you read “Ender’s Game

  • http://twitter.com/TheEbookEditor Chris O’Byrne

    Have you read “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card? I recently re-read it and was especially affected by the ability of two children to create online personas that affected the world political scene. I can feel the incredible potential our online personas bear.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      No Chris,
      but I have read so much good stuff about I SHOULD !
      Shit, now that you even tell me that it’s about persona I MUST read this book.
      Thanx for the tip, I needed that.

      • http://twitter.com/TheEbookEditor Chris O’Byrne

        Be careful. I came up with so many ideas while reading that book that I’m sure the author would be stumped as to what triggered it. But the parts about leadership are very insightful and I found myself stopping to write a page of notes so I wouldn’t forget the avalanche of ideas.

  • http://www.ryanrenfrew.com Ryan Renfrew

    Hey Mars,

    Our online personas are similar to our ofline personas in that the is no ‘destination’ or ‘finishing point” we learn grow and evolve over time and many aspects of that persona will change. Although having tactics, plans and objectives is essential for a “successful” persona I believ it is equally important to sit back and watch how our online personas grow naturally. And ENJOY the journey.

    bLAZE yOUR tRAIL

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Ryan,

      I see this one differently – sitting and watching the journey unfold for your online persona is NOT the way to go for me – I believe that you have to be active and take MASSIVE action to let it grow !
      And that means daily attention + tweaking – NOTHING ever happens from doing nothing.
      Don’t you think ?

  • Tom Meitner

    #4 is a great one – I just reorganized my Evernote notebooks and I have a notebook full of quotes, lists, and other inspiration just tagged “post ideas”. I’ll never be without an idea again! (And the picture for this post made me laugh.)

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Tom,
      yeah – creating your own little treasure box is a grrreat way to collect your thoughts and ideas. My life has been way more awesome since I use this approach – everything creative is just flowing more steadily in my mind now !

  • Black Seo Guy

    Yea they say don’t judge an book by the cover..but its an inner thought of ours to make judgment before really investigating..sometimes we have to really keep our judgments down until further notice..

    BTW Mars..Can you can contact me on my contact page..Its very important..I need your help.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Antonio,
      visuals DO matter, just like any cover. I don’t say it’s bad, but it’s important to remember when you craft your persona !

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Antonio,
      visuals DO matter, just like any cover. I don’t say it’s bad, but it’s important to remember when you craft your persona !

  • http://freshseo2010.blogspot.com Atul Vhale

    I was honestly unknown such inner thought. I want to charge my digital persona :) you really gave us inspirational thought. I always need such a mentor..maker..do-ers like you.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      AWESOME Atul,

      hope you can use that knowledge to move forward with your stuff. And if you do need some guidance, check out my coaching: http://www.marsdorian.com/services/

  • http://www.baconismagic.ca Ayngelina

    Really like this post, have just started relooking at my site, what I tweet, what I pass on in Facebook and realized there’s a disconnect of what I stand for online.

    Making changes as we speak.

    BTW just the word ‘cyborg’ scares me, total anxiety!

  • http://www.myfourteenforty.com Jon Giganti

    Mars,

    Good stuff. I’m working on re-branding my site and I can’t agree anymore that first impressions are so important. I’m in sales as well and your look and the look of what you’re presenting (and how you present) are more important than the content, most of the time. Great post!

  • http://twitter.com/TheChaseNight Chase Night

    I’ve been thinking about this so much lately. It annoys my girlfriend that my real self isn’t always like my digital self, but I say it’s a process of becoming one. The digital self is usually just a reflection of who we are without the pressures of fleshly interactions so developing the digital self is really developing our bodily self too because we gain confidence through successful online interaction that we can put to use in the “real world.”

    I think Everett is awesome, but the Cyborg term is a bit much for me too. It makes me afraid of lying in bed comatose while a holographic avatar lives for me…

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah Chase, there’s especially a huge difference in the beginning. You will do things online that you wouldn’t do in the offline world, but as time goes by, the line WILL fade. Right now, this very moment, I’m pretty much the person you see here online.

      THat’s the beauty of it !

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Yeah Chase, there’s especially a huge difference in the beginning. You will do things online that you wouldn’t do in the offline world, but as time goes by, the line WILL fade. Right now, this very moment, I’m pretty much the person you see here online.

      THat’s the beauty of it !

  • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

    awesome Ayngelina – immediate actions are the BEST !

    Yeah – cyborg is freaky, it takes away all the beauty from this “new” relationship. Digital self sounds much more poetic :)

  • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

    true, although I want to make my content as kick-ass and valuable as possible. But eyecandy does influence and impact the mind HEAVILY !

  • Peter J

    Awesome post Mars; I can’t work out what to comment about anymore, can’t find anything to argue about with your posts, xD there too amazing.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Peter, I promise you, the time will COME where you want to KICK MY DIGITAL ASS and I will encourage you to do so !

      • Peter J

        Don’t worry, I’ll keep waiting for that day too; until then though, just do awesome shit :)

  • http://www.justinhamlin.com Justin Hamlin

    I think that this post and Jenny’s post about marketing yourself and creating your brand go great hand in hand.

    I started using EverNote about a month ago and absolutely love it. While my folder might not be filled with as much stuff as yours, it is slowly growing.

    Thanks for all the great ideas.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Justin – ideally, there should be NO separation between YOU and your brand. And even though I take a break from the internet at times (and therefor from my alter ego as well), I consider myself and my digital persona as one whole.

  • http://superbadinternetmarketing.com SuperbadIM

    Yeah Everett Bogue is a deep thinker. I saw a video last week about the same concept. It was a TedTalk by Amber Case called we are all cyborgs now. Deep stuff but pretty accurate, especially when you apply it to the real world, like you did.

  • http://www.realityburst.com Eugene

    Great Post! I’ve been reading Everett’s messages about Cyborgs as well. I decided to re-brand. It began with me transferring my domain. Now I will work on re-design.

    I think your alter ego should be you – but the most badass you there can possibly be. An alternate you soaking in badassness.

    Then you can use your digital self as a blue print for what you want to become and work every day on become that person. Create your own reality through the use of your digital self.

    • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

      Hey Eugene, this line says it all: “Create your own reality through the use of your digital self.”

      Beautiful magic that sums up what I mean – the digital self IS the bad-ass version of yourself. And it’s the version of yourself that YOU will eventually become !

  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa Doucette

    How to impact the world even MORE awesomely? Create a digital self that is the best version of you.

    OR.

    Create a persona/life that it is the best version of yourself and unleash that onto the digital AND real world.

    The revolution will not only take place in the cyber-realm. A Tweet alone will not change the world.

  • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

    Oh just great, I have no treasure box yet for my digital persona..;) or rather, my entire computer is full of tens upon thousands of photos but not in the way you have it organized..thank you Mars. This was the most inspirational read yet and every time I say that, you top it with something else. And boy am I honored to be a digital persona to your liking.
    Very, very nice articulation on a very intangible topic. Your writing is improving by leaps and bounds. Proud to know you and call you my dear friend!

  • Quinn W

    Mars! I just came across your blog today. I’m new to the blogging world (not reading, but the writing part!) and everything you have said here is illuminating. My road and just begun and I’m mostly focused on the visual aspect of my self as I tend to always start there in my ‘real persona’ as well. I’m looking forward to reading more for you and exploring my interconnected selves!

  • Junkmail For Toni

    Thanks for this post. The term cyborg turned me off ’cause it sounded to trendy .. to artsy.. maybe even border line religious. Thanks for this different look into the idea of ‘digital self”. I probably would have kept looking over the idea otherwise. now it’s bookmarked, and I’m inspired.

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