Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the “Personal Brand” issue that companies seem to face on a daily basis in today’s digital era. With blogging and social media a person has the ability to create a strong brand recognition for their own name on their own dime and time. We blog because we want to help ourselves grow and obtain a certification, along the way we pick up followers who are in a similar boat as us who provide us with feedback and differing opinions to think about. We podcast to get our voice heard, even if it is simply our opinion and not necessarily backed by hard facts and evidence. We tweet to create relationships and build networks of like-minded peers that we would normally never meet or interact with in real life. We do all of these as our brand, whether it be our name or a “blog name” we create. I’ve branded myself as eFreestylin when I first bought a domain name to reference an electronic freestyle lifestyle. As I moved into technology I switched my brand to Digital Lifestyle and switched URLs to simply be my name, simple and easy to remember. I brought that branding to the No Strings Attached Show (branded as NSA Show if you are trying to keep track) to provide a pillar for that brand to be built and succeed from.
Now this leads us to the point of this article. Why is it hard for organizations to see the value in the “Personal Brand” that an employee brings to the table? I see the personal brand an employee brings as a pillar to help lift up the corporate brand. If I’m speaking at a conference I will always be known as my name, hence my personal branding under my name, this name will then be associated with the organization I am working with thus adding credibility and recognition to them. There have been a few times on customer engagements when I see a lightbulb go off and they ask if I run a blog and/or podcast. When I acknowledge and they have used that to gain information they needed they are assured they have a great resource ready to help them.
What are your thoughts about personal branding in this digital era we live in? I think with twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Meerkat, whatever network floats your boat, it is important to remember you are always representing your brand and your brand can lift up other brands easily and just as easily lower other brands.
Hi Blake- I think strong, confident, progressive managers will recognize the value of personal branding accomplishments of their staff. At the same time, can be a double-edged sword- if you screw up in public and its in the spotlight because of your brand, it can put your employer in an undesirable position. And… I can see where less confident management from a more traditional frame of reference could construe your strong brand as meaning you care more about self-promotion than teamwork, even if that’s not the case.
Lee as always you bring up very valid points. It is a double edge sword and actually works both ways. If a company fails it can hurt your brand just as much as a bad move with your personal brand. Everyone has skin in the game that is for sure.
Great topic Blake I agree with what you are saying and I like the analogy of a pillar supporting the organization, very true. It’s a value add for the organization when your employee has a solid reputation in the industry, helps differentiate you from the competition.
Personal Branding is definitely key to success in this new digital era.
For the past few years, I myself have started @WirelessStew along with a blog. It has definitely paid off in my consulting practice, contact building with WiFi vendors, and peer recognition. (minus the certs which I will definitely obtain)
One thing that I always find difficult, is trying to tweet/blog about all of the crazy and cool things I’m doing on a daily basis without exposing client/identity and their secret sauce so to speak.
Advise: When building “that brand” you must also remember to be mindful of your tweets, posts, youtube’s etc as they are a representation of “You” and your brand! Your future employer is always watching!
If you want to post something of the home life, thats what Facebook is for (locked down of course).