Harness the awesome power of your personal brand

Monthly Archives: May 2009

Brand Teamwork: Power in Numbers

Your personal brand is about you. It defines what you can do, who you are, and what you offer to the world – and its consumers.

However, you don’t operate in a vacuum. There are an ever-expanding number of potential clients, competition, and colleagues that you deal with on a regular basis. You are associated with these people over and over again on the Web every time anyone does a Google search. Add those hits to the association you have in every day business, and you are – whether you work in the midst of a business district or from your kitchen table – part of a very recognizable community.

You know how hard it is to manage your personal brand. Creating buzz, maintaining your look, and constantly building on your reputation takes skill and concentration. In order to be successful, you have to stay on your toes by getting your message out via blogs, your Web site, and the media. You also have to evolve almost daily by staying on top of what others in your field do and staying ahead of their games.

Although the cheap access to an audience that is afforded by the Internet is invaluable, it also means your brand is under constant scrutiny. That means that mistakes, missteps, or missed opportunities will be noticed by your audience – and that can hurt you.

That’s why it makes sense to develop relationships with colleagues and consumer groups. These people can expand your network and make you appear larger and more credible. In addition, they can serve as a buffer – you may have weaknesses that can be balanced by a colleague’s strengths and vice versa. If you miss a news event, your colleague may be able to step in and comment, giving you the opportunity to appear to weigh in even if you were on vacation in the jungles of Brazil with no mobile phone coverage.

Think of large companies that work together to form lobbying groups. They are certainly not hoping to share competition even between themselves, but they do see the power of working in numbers. Tobacco and insurance companies for years have worked in this way; they have mutual interests and they will address those publicly, together, when it makes sense to do so.

Consumer groups or critics can also become your best friends in building a personal branding network. These people can tout the validity and quality of your service or product, providing potential clients with an understanding of your brand that could encourage them to skip right over the competition and turn to you.

It goes without saying that you must be very, very careful in building your brand network. If you choose even one “buddy” with a questionable reputation for work and no response for their weaknesses, you could wind up harming your personal brand. Your brand network partners must also be as committed to the reinforcing your circle as you are; you can’t spend time working to promote them without gaining the same benefits yourself.

I find that it makes most sense to invite people to work with you and, right up front, outline what role you’d like them to take and what role you hope to assume. If there is not a clearly delineated sense of responsibility right from the beginning, it goes without saying that someone will drop a ball. This will result in hurt feelings that could backfire; you don’t want to end up with an online enemy who is going to constantly be on the attack.

Watch the Internet and what people in your field say. Watch closely and there is no question that you will see people who share your philosophies. Approach them by commenting on their blogs, or simply sending an e-mail with an observation or two about something they’ve written or said. From there it will be very easy to determine whether this person is even open to suggestion, let alone partnership.

If you can strike up a few friendships this way, you can build a personal brand network that will bolster your brand. Just remember that taking this important next step in your branding effort will require some extra work and unflagging loyalty.

The true nature of social media

As the Internet continues to grow and expand social Media Properties like twitter and Facebook have become destination sites for many people.  Fortune 500 companies are even beginning to shift some of their marketing dollars to social media marketing.  Artists and celebrities are also discovering social media.  While some media moguls clearly have no idea…

How to get the right keywords

No matter what your marketing strategy is for developing your online presence, knowing what people are looking for gives you valuable insight into what you should be talking about. Using free tools, you can find the top, most searched keywords and then write content to match with it. How to find keywords is easier than…

Build Your Personal Brand: Analyze Your Competition

Product brand managers analyze their competitor products’ strengths and weaknesses. As a personal brand, you must do the same. Read on to find out how to figure out your brand’s competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and then how to position your strengths to win. ************************************** When product brand managers brand their products, they spend a lot…

Silence Really Is Golden

There’s a lot of chatter these days. People are constantly bombarded with communications from dozens of sources, and it doesn’t end when you leave the office. More than ever, we are persistently on the job. It’s exhausting. For me personally, I delete hundreds of emails unread every day, because I simply don’t have the time…

Your Comeback: It Can Happen

Britney Spears recently made an amazing comeback at the MTV Video Music Awards. The pop princess of the early part of the decade has emerged victorious from head-shaving, crotch-flashing, public-ranting nuttiness – all topped with the proverbial cherry of last year’s VMA opening, replete with poor styling, bad dancing, and the appearance of not even…

The Dark Side of Multitasking

  Are you suffering from the effects of continuous partial attention? While reading an article from 4 Hour Workweek author Tim Ferris, I was struck by how pervasive multitasking has become in our culture and how much damage it is most likely doing to our personal productivity if not our sanity. Given my background in…

Analyze Your Personal Brand

When you brand yourself, it’s important to take some time to analyze who you are, what you want, and what you want to do with your life. In this blog post, we explore how to analyze yourself as part of constructing your own personal brand. Read on…. ************************************** In another blog post titled “Who Needs…