Prior to yesterday, the marketing genius that helped me to complete the style transformation of my blog did not have a web presence beyond Facebook or Instagram which was odd considering his line of work…social marketing. He does amazingly brilliant work but his reach was limited to those that he was connected to through those two platforms only.
We had a long conversation about what his intentions were for his business. We talked about the impact that he could have on others just by sharing what he did and maybe even blogging which would provide unique insight into social marketing from his point of view. The odd part was that as I was telling him all that HE needed to do to build his brand, I was internally shaking my head at myself for not doing the same.
A few years ago, I developed a passion for “tinkering” with code. I taught myself how to understand the mechanics of the coding that went into web development. I taught myself design tools and using what I learned from youtube and Lynda.com, I started freelancing as a social media manager/Wordpress developer. Through my connections, meaning a best friend with Hollywood ties, I had my first client before I understood how CSS worked. I did this with no real concept of personal branding. It was the most amazingly fantastic “on the job” learning experience that I’ve ever had. The problem was that I was putting my all into developing and extending brands of people that I had never met, yet I wasn’t doing the same for me.
Personal branding is really about how you represent yourself to the world. It’s how the world perceives you based on the messages that you convey. If you’re building your personal brand, people KNOW who you are and what you have to offer. For my clients, it was about consistency of message. The facebook, twitter, website/blog and youtube had to cohesively carry the message from platform to platform…event to event…person to person. Postings related to their brand needed to happen on a regular basis and audience interaction was a must. People wanted to know who they were and their job was to make sure that they communicated as such.
I was preaching a gospel that I wasn’t even following.
I had a blog and I wrote about smartboards. I was much more than that and that is all that I shared. I became known as “the smartboad” person when I really wanted to be known, if anything, for the heart that I put into my classroom, the math lessons that I created and the technology that supported our learning.
The problem was that I didn’t share ANY of that. I shared what I thought that people wanted to read at the time…how to make a lesson in smart notebook. I knew better…so much better.
Even as I jumped head first into blogging again, I STILL found that I was holding back. I made a mistake a few months ago in writing about “not needing to write about tech” or math for that matter. I am just as much a tech specialist and math educator as I am a “social media superwoman”. I should have been sharing all of those parts of me all along. My gosh…that’s who I am!
After finally finishing the ItunesU course, I AM A Brand Called Me, that Lisa Johnson (@techchef4u) shared and reflecting on the mixed messages that I’ve inadvertently delivered over the years, I found myself sitting across from a “brand manager” who was helping me in restructuring my brand…who had not really branded himself either. I don’t know who was helping whom that day but I can say that we both found a few missing parts of ourselves.
Today, I shall take my own advice and the advice that I gave others. If I don’t acknowledge my own brilliant contributions to the world…how can I expect anyone else to do the same?
Personal Branding…(The message that you send = What others receive of you)
More importantly, the message that I send needs to match what I KNOW of myself.