Building my Life Brand, Finally

posted in: Eban's Blog | 4

If that seems like a strange title, well it is, sort of. I am reading a book right now by Oprah’s man, Stedman Graham, titled Build You own Life Brand. I have to say, I am getting a lot of great ideas from this book.

I am getting better known everyday through my podcast, blog posts, and the articles that I have had published. I now have to step back and take a look at the image that I am projecting to others. (yeah, I should have started sooner, sue me, lol)

Looking at yourself as a brand is a bit odd at first. Thing is, to be really successful, it may not be necessary to look at yourself as a brand, but it sure helps to have that positive branding.

In my recent posts I have been talking about bringing New Media to a wider audience. I have been figuring out ways to break down the walls and move New Media into the wider sea of the mainstream. Because of this, it is vitally important that my brand be not only recognizable, but also positive and assertive. People need to view my personal brand as a problem solver, an action based brand. I know that is how I really am, but if others don’t see that, it does me no good.

People often talk about first impressions being vitally important. This is part of your branding as well. What image do you project to those that you just may end up either working with, or even educating?

One step I have taken is to clean up RfL for the 2.0 version. The show is still cutting edge, I believe, but gone are Me and Sj’s use of expletives. I do not want to project that image any longer. The music in the show may at times be raw, but we don’t have to be. I think that maintaining a cutting edge program without having to use shock words or lowering the production to the gutter makes producing the show more challenging. I also believe that this strengthens my personal brand.

There are other things that I have started doing a bit different as well. I have started using Facebook and other Social Media tools in a more brand oriented way. I use these tools to get communication going, not to just waste time online. Twitter also, I now try to keep negative and unproductive posts to a minimum there.

I feel blessed to be able to do what I do, producing shows for Podshow, producing articles and blogs that people actually take time out of their day to read. I believe that by taking myself a bit more serious and creating my personal brand, I will only increase the opportunities coming my way.

I also feel like this is the perfect time to work on my brand as the debut RfL Animated Adventures is coming up soon, and I want that launch to be a massive success.

So, my question to you today is, how is your personal brand? Is it positive? Does your brand instill confidence in others that you are a person that can get things done and be trusted with projects or collaborations? If the answer is no, or even maybe, isn’t it time to start thinking of improving your personal brand as well.

Gone are the days of the sloppy dressed but somewhat endearing slackers that run all things tech. We in the Web 2.0 world are at a point where we can be dismissed by the mainstream as easy as we can be accepted as leaders in a new world. Let’s make sure we are the leaders.

Cheers!

4 Responses

  1. R. Francis

    No, I totally get where you’re coming from. It’s one of the reasons I have very carefully not using “Sturgeon’s Law” as my identity on facebook, myspace, livejournal (well, I was on livejournal first by years), etc etc — that’s not my personal brand. Sturgeon’s Law’s just a product. One I’m pretty proud of, most days, and I hope it’s a boon to my personal brand, but that’s it.

    What I want to do is make R. Francis Smith synonymous with cool stuff. I’ve been making some noise lately about the amateur, and it’s consolidating into ideas about free content culture, but this is your blog, not mine, so I’m going to natter about it on livejournal. But yeah — I think about my brand!

  2. Yea… Mrs. Winfrey’s book is actually quite good 😉

    but to your point, sometimes being the hipster doofus 2.0 can be a good thing.

    my latest blog post actually talks about dressing appropriately for our role and the community/culture. We have to choose if we want to fit in, or stand out.

    That choice isn’t always clear; and there’s no right answer for all times & places.

    ~ Vikram
    PersonalBrandMarketing.com

  3. R. Francis

    Vikram makes an excellent point, actually. I went through a period of dressing up more for my day job, which is system administration in academia, until it became clear to me that the better I dressed, the less respect my technical skills seemed to get by people who didn’t know me. I didn’t “look like a UNIX geek.” Now I’m t-shirt and jeans and for a while, even earth shoes. When I worked in network security, though, I had $500 suits for when the need arose. So go figure.

  4. Eban Crawford

    Hey Random and Vikram, thanks for the comments.

    And, you both are right, of course. That is the thing about personal branding, it is personal. Only the person can figure out the best image, that fits the situation and his own personality best.

    The slacker comment I made wasn’t about dress really, I was more talking about the old geek culture. Traditionally the geeks were braniacs, and people loved to have them (Us?) around to get things done, but did not necessarily bring them into the business plan side of things.Not to say that geeks did not do business, Gates and Jobs anyone, but geek business was by geeks. The mainstream did their own thing for the most part.

    What I am trying to do here, for myself and New Media, is break those walls down to bring our creations directly to the world of mainstream media and business. That needs a shift in perception of what the previous geek culture was all about.

    But, that is “MY” brand and my direction.

    Hopefully, by seeing your comments, someone else that reads this will see that there is no “one” way to do things like branding themselves. It is definitely a personal journey.

    I do hope that after reading the post and these comments, others will start that very journey.

    Cheers

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