In today’s day and age every individual, business and family has a portfolio of digital assets. Regardless of whether you actively seek to build or develop this, simply existing and functioning in the digital age creates a portfolio of information. It is essential that you take control of this portfolio – before someone else does – and make it work to your advantage.
This is not about brand-building or self-promotion; it is pro-active planning and management to ensure your digital portfolio is an asset and not a liability and helps you and your family achieve your goals. By removing and correcting false information, creating new current content and using technical optimization tools, you ensure that accurate and up to date information about you and your family is presented.
Here are our five top tips to start taking control of and better managing your digital footprint:
- Have a plan. Identify your wider objectives and what you / your family want to achieve – not just with your digital portfolio but with your business, investments, philanthropy and other interests. The strategy for your digital portfolio should be an integrated part of your wider planning to achieve your broader goals and not a standalone project.
- Evaluate your digital asset portfolio. It is imperative at the outset to work out what’s in your digital asset portfolio and how it presents to the outside world. This requires conducting a thorough investigation and audit. There is much more to your digital portfolio than simply what appears on the first page of Google or social media. A full audit will identify assets that exist on Google along with what is available on the deep web and in compliance databases. The output of any good audit is a comprehensive report of what the current position is – along with recommendations on how to address issues and improve the portfolio to better serve your needs.
- Be Proactive and Build Resilience. Don’t wait for something to go wrong or assume that everything currently out there is benign. As with your financial asset portfolio, the best time to start building and managing your digital asset portfolio is right now. Using technical optimization experts during this process will ensure that your assets are resilient and resistant to change. This will ensure you always know what others are seeing about you and your family and are able to take control of this and build a resilient digital portfolio to weather any challenges.
- Remove or correct false or misleading content. Historical and inaccurate information can cause huge issues in the present if it is not dealt with in a timely manner. This type of information can easily seep into compliance databases, current media articles and frame unwanted narratives. Ensuring the information available is accurate and up to date is crucial to building a resilient portfolio and ensuring you control what is being shared with others.
- Actively Manage. Continually review and revitalize the assets in your digital portfolio to ensure that they remain fit for purpose and meet your changing needs and objectives. This is not a static asset portfolio that you set up and leave – it will change as new asset classes become available (such as new social media sites), as your circumstances change (this portfolio looks very different for families with teenage children versus those with younger children) and as your plans change. You will need to optimize these assets to successfully maintain the portfolio and should consider proactively updating and adding to your portfolio with new content. The two key questions to continually ask yourself are (a) does my digital asset portfolio meet my current needs and (b) is my digital asset portfolio resilient and resistant to events outside of our control.
Building and managing your digital asset portfolio is not about self-promotion or giving up your privacy. It’s about taking control of your existing digital profile, managing and mitigating risks and ensuring it reflects a true and accurate narrative; while also making it resilient to future events. Crucially, a well implemented strategy gives you the opportunity to access opportunities and be able to take advantage of them.
When built and managed well, a good digital asset portfolio will help you and your family reach your goals. Whatever your objectives are, you should be taking action now.