The Power of Social Media
When I started blogging 5 years ago, I had no idea I was laying the foundation for my personal brand. It just wasn't a concept we pondered back then, so I ended up creating my brand almost by accident. Now personal branding is all the rage and many people are working to catch up.
For this week's discussion I think we should try to cover why personal branding is important, techniques you can use to build your brand, and how your brand functions—both independently and in conjunction with your employer's or other affiliate's brands.
I often tell people they need to take control of their online identity before someone does it for them, but there are a variety of reasons to brand oneself. Just today for example I learned that I'd gotten a speaking engagement because of my brand. Last week I'd been contacted by someone from a local org. interested in having someone speak on social media. The group had been debating what should be covered and who should speak. My contact suggested me. Her colleagues then Googled me, perused my blog and other things, and said yes, bring her in. I didn't have to pitch myself. The information they needed was already out there for them to find. (My contact found me on Facebook.)
Examples could include blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook and the obvious social media spaces as well as guest authoring on other blogs, contributing to discussion forums, etc. Though as we know, it's not about the tools, it's about the message we present in any of the spaces we use.
Some companies are hesitant to let their employees develop strong personal brands. They worry that their star players will get poached by other businesses. On the other hand, staff members with strong reputations can reflect well on the company. It shows that the organization has employed the best and that the best have chosen that organization as a place to thrive.
Should we establish separate online presences for our different roles? Can we present a blend of personal and business content? Does it depend on our job and industry?
If you have suggestions for other questions please post them below. I think this covers most of the main issues and should keep us occupied for 90 minutes.
Chats are held weekly on Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. e.s.t. and usually last ~90 minutes.
Also if you are new to personal branding, Dan Schawbel's Personal Branding Blog is an excellent resource.