I am no longer actively blogging on this website.
I recently started working with a Personal Branding Consultant called Navid Moazzez. We are going to overhaul my Personal Brand. But what does this mean? And why am I doing it?
One of the best definitions of Branding I have come across is by Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon. He hits the nail on the head when he says “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”.
Branding is what people think of you when they are being completely truthful. It is not what what someone says about themselves – this can often be very different.
Your Personal Brand is what people think of you personally.
There is an increasing tendency nowadays for people to be associated with brands. Bill Gates is the public face of Microsoft and Richard Branson is the face of Virgin. But it’s no longer just huge conglomerates who do this – people like Bre Pettis from Makerbot have generated a massive amount of publicity for their businesses by leveraging their personal brands.
In part, this is largely down to modern technology and the rise of digital media. Businesses are no longer faceless – you can find CEO’s for any type of company on Twitter. And this gives businesses a much bigger platform to get it right (not to mention wrong!) when it comes to engaging with their audience.
B2B is particularly slow on the uptake for all of this. I don’t know many people in B2B who do much personal branding beyond LinkedIn. Yet your personal brand and your business brand, when done correctly, complement one another.
[Tweet “Anyone in business can benefit by developing their personal brand”]
I am stepping into the limelight as the person behind my company. I think it will be fun. As I say, I am working with a Personal Branding specialist. This mainly comprises of regular Skype sessions where we discuss my goals and progress towards them. The aim is to grow my online profile through my blog and social media. But it’s not a numbers game, it’s all about interacting with people and forging new relationships.
Here are some of the things I am currently working on:
I always thought it was a bit self-obsessed to talk about yourself but working with Navid has completely changed my opinion on this – growing your following is just as important in personal branding as it is business branding. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a Blog, or a Facebook page, or a Newsletter talking about whatever it is you are passionate about. If you have something useful to say and there is an audience out there then you should be sharing it.
I would often change my name depending on the situation in which it was being used, for example, at work I would call myself Richard because I thought it sounded more professional but the truth is that all my friends and family just call me Rich. Also, I have always been Rich on Twitter, Google+ and Instagram but Richard on Facebook and LinkedIn. Now I am simply ‘Rich’ on everything. It’s important to be consistent with any brand, including a personal one.
Before now I’ve only ever used stock WordPress themes on my blog. I liked them but they did look the same as millions of other websites. It’s important for all brands to be unique. Thankfully, rather than pay a lot of money to develop a bespoke theme, I was able to use one which has been developed internally by my company. In fact, this theme is a sneak preview of the next website we have in development at ReAgent, so it will complement my business brand perfectly. (Thanks for letting me use this theme before it was fully tested, Rob!)
I’m going to create a lot more video content for both my personal and business blogs. Video is a great way to engage with people. Anyone who follows Gary Vaynerchuk will understand how important these ’emotional’ connections are.
I’m very excited to think where all this will lead. I’ve already connected with some amazing people who are in similar positions (shout out to Jan, Cristi and Rasmus!) and I’m looking forward to connecting with more. It will take another week or two to get everything in place, rebuild my site and pull all the new content together, but once I have everything in place I will give my site a big re-launch.
So there we go, the What, Why and How of Personal Branding. And I’m using myself as the guinea pig!
Watch this space…