Protecting Your Image from Yourself

Annie and Jay wake up to find that a sex tape they made the night before to “rekindle their sparks” had been uploaded to the cloud. They go through great lengths to do damage control and save their reputations. As responsible parents and members of their community, they certainly couldn’t just blame it on the alcohol.

Are any of these scenarios familiar to you?
1.    A boss pisses you off, so you rant about it on Facebook?
2.    You go out and get drunk, take a very unflattering selfie and post it on instagram?
3.    Post a video on YouTube of work you’ve done which is not so great but it’s what you have?
4.    Tweet about how sick you are of always being sick?
5.    Drunk text only to find it as a humorous screen shot on the recipient’s social media platforms?

I am not making these scenarios up. I just spent one hour visiting these sites to find these examples. That’s it… one hour. Which tells me something- there are so many people sabotaging their image.

In the movie Sex Tape, technology was not Annie and Jay’s friend and in your case it may not be either. Let’s look at managing your brand image on social media because it NEVER GOES AWAY!!!! Just because you hit delete doesn’t mean it’s gone. Like Jay, I don’t fully “get” the cloud either. I know it’s not a literal cloud but I depend on my internet genius Kathy Hoffman to deal with all things cloud. That said, the only one who can protect my reputation is me, and here’s how I do it: 1.    No mad posting. You may think that I don’t have to say this, that it is already an unspoken rule, but hold on one sec… okay I’m back after 30 seconds on FB I found this “I respect children because they don’t hate the world yet,” and that was one of the ones I could print. You don’t have to look long to find complainers, haters, the woe-with-‘me’s. If you are mad and need to vent, do it in a journal or on a piece of paper that you can crumple up and throw away NOT on the internet where you are being judged—YES, judged and scrutinized by your competitors as well as people who can hire you. You don’t want them concerned that you will rant about them… and they will if they see angry posts.
2.    You are a professional who wants to work, correct? Then don’t be one of those people with the reputation for “always being sick” or “always having accidents.” There are people on social media who are constantly posting one sickness and catastrophe after another, and while the sympathetic comments and thumbs up they are receiving may feel good when they are feeling bad, they are simultaneously creating a reputation of a “Debbie Downer.” Who wants to work with someone who’s always sick or having bad things happen to them? Personally, I prefer to work with those who are upbeat and create great achievements in their lives. (Note: the exception to this, are those who are posting as a timeline, raising awareness of their illness, but even these that I’ve seen have been from the perspective of a fighter not a complainer.)
3.    No drunk posting or texting! Again, may seem obvious, but ALL ages especially those under 30 make this online blunder. You can instagram a “drunk photo” and delete it the next day, but your competitor could have grabbed a screenshot of it before you took it down. And those drunk texts that can be captured in a screenshot on a smart phone go viral so quickly.
4.    Finally, that age old question, “Is it better to post an “okay” video of myself/work than to have nothing at all?” There are different schools of thought on this. On my YouTube channel, I have the very first videos I made with no production value but the content was great. Even when I put up my highly produced Jess Gets Reel videos, I kept my old Q&A videos up because 1. The content was different and still relevant 2. It showed growth. However, there’s a big difference between clips from early in my acting career, and clips from network shows I’ve acted on. I’m so thankful I did not post those early clips! In my personal opinion, it is better to show no work, and create a face to face meeting, then to show average work and get passed over because your competitors have more professional work online.


1. Review you social media posts for the last month or two and evaluate how you are showcasing yourself.

2. Take down or delete any posts that are not in alignment with your brand (yes it may be too late for those who’ve already seen them, but at least you’re managing who doesn’t see them in the future).

3. Moving forward always BE MINDFUL OF YOUR BRAND!   

Having a sex tape on the cloud was a nightmare for Annie and Jay. If one of these tips as saved you from creating a reputation blunder, my day is fulfilled! 


May Speaking Engagements:
May 13 LAPPG “Create the Relationship, Master the Follow Up”
May 28th Stage 32 “Get an Agent and Rock Episodic Season”
May 30 ScriptFest I’ll be teaching “NETWORKING FOR INTROVERTS” Register here