Personal branding for those of us outside the Kardashian empire

Personal branding for a wage slave (name has been changed to protect the innocent)

There is a wealth of worthy resources available advising on how to build your personal brand.  And yet I struggle with the idea of myself as a brand, let alone working out how to market such a brand. This seems like something for a Kardashian, not a wage-slave like myself who is working in an office with no ambition for a tv career.

As I grappled with the task of describing my personal branding strategy I turned to the bloggers I admire. People like Bob Marshall, Scott Schuman, Louise Hawson and Chris Penn – I’m a woman of varied interests!: they are articulate people who are sharing their passion, they are generating consistently high-quality content, and I’ve found them through their reach into channels such as mainstream media, twitter and other blogs. Whether it’s been a deliberate strategy or organic growth; they have put in place their own unique personal branding strategy to market themselves and their work.

The blog and personal brand I’d most like to emulate is Bob Marshall (FlowchainSensei). I consider the characteristics of his brand to be:

  • generating valuable content for those interested in software development
  • engaging in authentic and respectful conversations through the blog and on twitter
  • writing articulate posts from a unique perspective based on considered thought

This brings me to my plan of attack for my personal branding:

Stocktake: I’ve already started taking stock of my online presence on this blog, linkedin and twitter. I’ve been busily setting up my organisation tools such as twitter lists, linoit, bundlr and evernote.

Build: I’ll be building my digital presence in line with my goal brand through regular blog posts, tweets and interacting with others about social media and digital environment strategy. This blog will be my outlet for reflections on things I read and study as I seek to emulate the bloggers I admire. My strategies for marketing this content will include

  • Aiming for a high standard of content and writing with a tone of conviction
  • Drawing interest from current network (linkedin, twitter, yammer)
  • Building my network through commenting on other blogs (classmates, social media experts)

Measure: After 3 months of building I’ll be assessing how are the blog posts aligning to my goal brand, how has my network grown and which networks drive the most traffic to my blog. I’ll be using wordpress statistics and google analytics to measure as much as possible as feedback into my self-assessment.

Reassess: Finally, I’ll reassess which is basically taking me back to my stocktake stage.

Reflecting on what draws me to the blogs I read, I realise O’Reilly’s article describing blogging as a key feature of web 2.0 platforms continues to be proven true as blogs with valuable content are amplifying their impact. Since he wrote the article in 2005, other bloggers still play a role, furthermore with the proliferation of social network platforms this is further amplified through retweets, pins and other channels.

All-in-all I’m slowly coming to terms with the importance of marketing my personal brand. I won’t be auditioning for reality tv anytime soon, but I will be taking charge of my personal brand to build it into something that I want to represent myself. I’m a self-confessed reluctant marketer … how about you, is branding something for vacuous celebrities or is it really something normal people should deliberately undertake?

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10 thoughts on “Personal branding for those of us outside the Kardashian empire

  1. Haha I like how you incorporated the Kardashians. It really is true though — I’ve never really thought about personal branding… it, too, strikes me as something that the average Joe doesn’t usually think about…

    I think I should also look to incorporate my LinkedIn & Yammer profiles too. Though, before I do that I should consider cleaning up my Twitter/Facebook from unprofessional or politically incorrect things.

    I have a friend who is a young politician in Queensland who got slammed by media for having something stupid “Liked” on Facebook. Goes to show that people will definitely use it to make judgements about you.

  2. I know what you mean Amanda, I never really considered a blogging strategy. I always saw blogging as just getting stuff out there. I never really thought about getting it out there as a means of gaining traction in any sort of industry. I can understand organisations blogging for purpose and audience, but as an individual, I just considered myself as another needle in the haystack. I too have incorporated Google analytics in my blog. I had a look earlier today to see if my blog has had much traffic. I was surprised. A fair bit off attention has been received, even if there is no evidence to suggest so. How about you?

    Good luck cleaning up your Facebook Pat.

  3. Hi Amanda, great post. Being a more visual person, I love the picture you have included as a summary to your post.

    I like your idea to ‘measure’ the success of the blog. With everything we do, it is important to evaluate our progress and success. There is always a better way to do things, so if we embrace continuous improvement and openness to feedback in blogging, we will always be moving a step ahead.

    I am also doing INN346 (Enterprise 2.0) and would welcome you to check out my post (http://e2karen.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/personal-blogging-purpose-strategy-examples/). You can also click Follow on my page to receive notifications on new post.

    All the best!

  4. Hi Amanda. I really like the layout and presentation of your blog. Your plan of attack for personal branding is fantastic. I love the you will be using other technologies like google analytics to assess where you are online.

    http://www.taylorian.com is my blog if you wish to check it out

  5. Hi Amanda, your post is really useful for me. I like how you’ll be measure your blog feedbacks by statistics. It’ll also interesting to see your blog effect your brand in the next three months. I’m just start blogging and I really would be appreciated if you could give me some feedback about my blog(at http://prapatwoonnatee.wordpress.com/).

    Prapat W.

  6. Pingback: The Blogofear « qutblog

  7. Hey there Amanda I like your blog, it is just as brilliant as last semester when we blogged for web 2.0. Great job on the first blog post for the semester, the structure is fantastic and really simply to follow. I found it interesting how you broke down your personal branding strategies into the subcategories, stocktake, build etc. There was one bullet point you put in there, the first in your evaluation of Bob Marshalls’ blog. I think this one-point sums up a great blog and not just for software development. Generating valuable content that people can take an interest in is a sure fire way to have a great base of followers who really appreciate what you do.

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