In the past, the personal brand was reserved for the elite. Celebrities with an army of coaches, publicists, image consultants, etc. had the personas with reach.
For us regular folks, those who had the guts to get up in front of 100+ people had a shot at building a personal brand with some legs.
But the farthest most of us got was the ‘personal mission statement,’ shaking some hands and pitching that statement…AWKWARD! For the shy, impossible. And for the majority, that was enough to put the “personal brand” on the shelf and go back to the daily grind.
Now with the social web having tipped, the field is noticeably leveled. All (including shy folks) who have something to offer, enjoy the promise of extending their unique reach outside their eighteen inches of personal space. They have the ability to create a personal platform, the foundation being the web, the activity being 24-7, and the reach being global. Boundless.
It’s become important for anyone who wants a meaningful career to come with a personal brand. One example David Armano points out on his blog is the likelihood of a potential employer checking you out on Google. Brand U.O Personal Brand Matters. Same goes for potential clients.
Where to get started on building a personal brand?
Start with a digital footprint.
Take advice from Chris Brogan, who says his personal brand went from “a guy in a cube named Chris Brogan to a guy people know and want to talk to.” Don’t get me started on how humble this guy is. Organizations stand in line to pay Chris to show them how this stuff works. Use this post: Social Media Starting Points.
Understand the etiquette of the social web.
Simple. Use the same manners you would with your friends and colleagues (and your mom). Don’t be cheesy. Use the social web to improve your industry, not sell. The selling naturally takes place when you’re seen as “the guy (or gal)” who does this. One way (which you can do now) is to get involved with or start a provocative conversation on relevant issues in your space. I’ll bring back this post from Brogan-no need to reinvent the wheel here: Best Social Media Advice From This Site.
Love the ones you’re with.
Nurture what is now your community, or your audience. Know that to someone, you are a rock star and build from that. The folks at The Web Pitch share a great post called Community Starts at One, which includes a quick vid of Gary Vaynerchuk, a sharp-witted ‘every day guy,’ New Yorker and likable wine geek telling folks to “stop crying” about the size of their community but to be grateful and grow it from that one colleague who “cares about what’s going on in that beautiful brain of yours.”
Revisiting this post set me strait just this morning, when I went to check in with my Twitter followers/followees whose number was drastically reduced when the folks at Twitter ran their routine “maintenance.” My tweet last night was whiny, “Lost half my followers/followees…” Well I’m gonna nurture who’s still ‘with me’ and keep building my own ‘lil personal brand from that.
What thoughts do you guys want to add about the personal brand?
Thanks, Randy, for the opportunity to post on your awesome blog. – Bridget Zeuner (Zoy-ner) aka bridgetztalk on Twitter.
Note: This is the first of many guest posts on The Life of DJ Ksar. If you would like to blog about brand marketing, social media, or viral promotions ping me at rksar at yahoo dot com.
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