I’m tired of the personal branding shtick.
People are people. Brands are brands.
Are there people who are also simultaneously brands? Sure.
Madonna, Seth Godin, Lady Gaga, Warren Buffett, Oprah, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and many more.
If you can drop your name in that list and it not be a game of “one of these things is not like the other“, then I’ll agree that you are a personal brand.
For everyone else, you don’t need to work on your “personal branding”. You just need to maintain something called “personal integrity”.
Going all the way back to the original personal brand treatise by Tom Peters in the late 90s, most of the things that the personal branding movement tells you to do are the same basic social and communication skills you’ve been working on since kindergarten:
- Be nice.
- Treat people with respect.
- Present yourself in a manner that causes others to respect you.
- Do good work.
Do you have to adapt these basic IRL social skills for use in the business world or online? Sometimes.
Could you take tips from corporate marketing and brand strategies to shape the way you present yourself on paper and online? Absolutely.
But you can’t just sell the sizzle. People eventually want to eat the steak.
If you spend your time actually creating good content instead of worrying so much about the wrapper you put it in, I think you’d find that your “personal brand” would grow by itself.
We’re now on the other side of the curve. If your organization doesn’t already have a toe in the social media waters, you’re late to the game.
But just as “everybody” threw up an online brochure and said they had a website a few years ago, most businesses are just on a social media land grab without a real strategy on how to make it win.
Just because you have a Facebook page and a Twitter handle, it doesn’t mean you’re doing social media marketing.
True social media marketing success will not directly come just from creating your social media channels. Success will come from your customers and fans creating / spreading messages about the customer experience you provided.
If you get the cart before the horse and establish a social media marketing campaign before you are providing a customer experience that you want people to talk about, you may be putting bullets in the gun that kills you. Don’t help create your social media disaster.
Get your customer service house in order, establish the platforms, provide the marketing talking points, and your social media marketing success will happen on its own.
A positive customer experience is the true key to spreading your message in social media. (and offline IRL too)
I led a daylong training for the Executive Directors of the American Advertising Federation back in 2008 at the AAF National Conference in Atlanta. This was their imaging for the conference:
Flashforward to the present where the Wired Business Conference is happening today.
Maybe they’ll talk about unique and fresh design.