Social Media Chat

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.

Q34A: Do you have a personal brand, how important do you feel it is to brand yourself, and how has it helped you specifically?

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.)

Q34B: How did you build your personal brand? What are some best practices? If just starting out, how do you think you will approach the process and what would you like to know?

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.

Q34C: How do we find the balance between our personal brands and our affiliations with employers and other organizations?

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.

Q34D: To what degree should we co-mingle the business side of our brands with the personal side?

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.

If you are new to #smchat you can get more information at:

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.

Tags: personal branding

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Thanks to everyone who participated in today's #smchat on personal branding. On the one hand we barely touched the tip of the iceberg, but we still covered a lot of ground and gained many insights.

I've posted the transcript of the session at (because Ning mangled my file when I tried to upload it here). Also note that the time stamps seem to be off but if you scroll down you'll see the real discussion begin at what the transcript says is 6:00 p.m.

Towards the end of our discussion I asked people to share links to the sites they use to represent their personal brands. I've been adding these to my Delicious account at It's interesting to notice how different people use different platforms as their home base. Some may use a LinkedIn site while others use a blog, or even a Flickr account. I think this helps demonstrate how we each gear our communication channels to our different audiences.

If you would like to add your site(s) to the list, please send them to me on Twitter. I'm @hacool. Be sure to tell me why you are sending me the link so that I know it is for this project and not just something cool I should read.

Thanks, and feel free to continue the discussion here or via #smchat on Twitter throughout the week. By using the #smchat tag between sessions we hope to keep the conversation flowing.

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