Personal Brand – A #Bufferchat story
A personal brand…a what?!
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about: Buffer, a social media management tool, is doing Twitter chats with the hashtag #bufferchat on a regular basis.
It’s pretty much the following:
- Buffer on Twitter posts a picture with a question like this one:
— Buffer (@buffer) December 2, 2015
- And people answer to it, like Tony Virili did:
— Tony Virili (@TonyVirili) December 2, 2015
That’s pretty much it. Buffer’s social media team is of course engaging with the people answering to their questions but in general it’s a big chat to get insights and new ways to think about social media, topics etc.
I do enjoy it a lot to be honest and I can definitely recommend it.
But back to the question:
What does “personal brand” mean to you?
Well, a personal brand – for me – is how I market myself on social media and other platforms and, to agree with Tony, how I let the differences between me and other individuals stand out for my positive reputation. But a personal brand is also about authenticity, values and insights in what I believe in. I mean, it’s my own personal brand, isn’t it? To be honest, I could say a lot about being “different” on social media than in your real life but if you want to build a personal brand and stand out, you need to be unique.
How are you going to be unique when your profile and brand looks like a totally generic profile? The answer’s easy: In no way. You simply can’t stand out with a generic profile. Show them authenticity, show them who you are and what your values are. Show them a piece of yourself and why exactly you are the right candidate for a job, connection, project or whatever. Also let’s be true here, being yourself is far more entertaining and authentic than displaying some generic bullshit or playing a role.
I am the best example for this. It might be weird for some people that there’s this queer Community & Social Media enthusiast who likes games and makeup and posts stuff about a lot of different topics, but that’s me! Me and truly me.
In the past I’ve been asked several times, why I don’t keep my profile generic and attractive to new employers and followers. Well, I could do that.
But would I want to work a company because they think that I’m different from like I really am? No, I wouldn’t. Would I want a shitload of followers that follow me just because my profile is generic and I fit into some metrics and “nice to follow” lists? No, I wouldn’t. Okay, that’s a lie, of course I’d like to fit into people’s “nice to follow” or “people worth reading” lists but I also want followers that really care about my content and my profile because it’s different and I’m an interesting person.
I think that explains pretty well what I think about a personal brand and why I think that it’s important to build one.
Is it important to have a personal brand? Why or why not?
Yes, as explained above, I definitely recommend having a personal brand. A personal brand underlines your references and provides you with the ability to stand out as an individual. But, and that’s the point, everybody of us already has his own personal brand. Shocked, huh?
On Twitter, Hannah Cook said: “It’s your opinions, interactions, dress. Your being is your brand.”
And she’s absolutely right with that! The only thing about having our own personal brand is, how we use and promote it.
How can you discover and define your brand voice?
To be honest, I found this one a little bit trick, as there are so many ways to determine what your brand’s voice in the interwebzzz is and how you can define it.
I said, that it definitely starts with measuring your social impact. Where are you active, what does the web know about you. You should start working with it and then ramp it up, taking your voice to another level, raising it high and discovering how far you can extend your own views and values.
Like I said to the first question, it’s about being yourself. Of course you could create a persona you’d like to portray when people engage with you. That’s what Emily Ahlbum answered to the question and I can fully agree with her on this one.
I for myself keep my voice on social media and elsewhere exactly like I am. I don’t hold back and I don’t pretend to be someone else just to fit in. My personality is what makes me unique and outstanding and I think it’s the best way for everyone to “win the game of social” in a world where everything is about being different and unique to stand out.
What’s a big challenge for maintaining a personal brand and how do you work through it?
This is a tricky one!
…okay, not really.
Having a personal brand and maintaining it, is like working with every other brand, no matter if it’s a personal or a professional one. You need to stick to it and dedicate a lot of work to your goals and values. I don’t see any specific challenges at this point, as I treat my own brand like I’d treat any other brand: Professional, rational, focused on the goals and never losing track of the target that you’ve set.
Who’s personal brand do you admire, and why?
Obviously I’m talking truly about myself here. I absolutely admire the personal brand of Amber Osborne and her self-created brand “Miss Destructo”. She’s authentic, passionate about what she does and displays an outstanding personality on Social Media. That, in my eyes, is what having a personal brand is all about and I think I said it before but I can absolutely recommend you to check out her Twitter profile and her projects, cause that woman calls herself a “Destroyer of Boredom” for a reason.
I also always try to think about what I can learn from a person’s social media, personality etc. and I think that’s what makes people “admirable” in the first place. I want to learn something and I want to improve myself while at the same time, wondering about how authentic people can be through just being themselves.
How would you describe YOUR personal brand? 🙂
My personal brand is fluffy, authentic and different.
Well, everybody could say that about themselves. But I’d say my Twitter bio “Madman without a box. British import product in Ireland soon.” is quite accurate.
Additionally I have this website and the blog, my paper.li newspaper which gets released daily with new information regarding social media, community management and gaming. I’d say my personal brand is good, but still has room for improvement, which is kind of why I’m writing this blog post. I want to improve, overstep the boundaries and redefine my own boundaries every new day.
I don’t like to stand still and I think that’s what my personal brand is about. It’s about retreating, attacking, try & error and especially about passion for what I do. Because that’s what I am. I’m a madman without a box, trying to reach for the stars and with every step I do I’m getting closer.
Okay, now I’m getting to nerdy with too much references to Doctor Who so it’s time to end this post.
Thank you for reading and see you next time!