Miracles are a shift in perception
We may not think of ourselves as brands, but we are. Jeff Bezos suggests our personal brand is what people say about us when we are not in the room. What makes us different? Are we, for example, considered to be, reliable, funny, knowledgeable, attractive or geeky? What can people expect if they engage with us?
🤓 Why brand ourselves?
You’re not a big fish. You’re not even a fish. - Claude Littner (interviewing Stuart “The Brand” Baggs on The Apprentice)
The benefits of actively branding ourselves include:
Personal focus. We are forced to consider what is important to us, how we would like others to perceive us and to what end. How do we answer the question, What do you do? Part of what I do is write this weekly blog and develop apps.
Increased luck surface area. By making it easy for people to find us, we open ourselves up to unforeseen opportunities. We become more resilient to change. Razors I Use to Simplify Decisions expands on these points.
🎯 Reaching our target audience
What are your values and what are you trying to achieve? From a career perspective, Reid Hoffman suggests considering the intersection between: 1. What we enjoy, 2. What we are good at, and 3. What is valuable to others.
Just as companies need to determine their target audience, we should do the same. How to Target a Niche Market outlines an approach.
We want to develop a reputation. Focus on the value we can and do deliver to our target audience. We each have a unique set of skills, experience, interests and ambitions.
We need to decide what sort of content to share, via which channels and how frequently. Our aim is to be consistent with our values and how we want our target audience to perceive us. I share the following content:
A bio and headshot on PhilMartin.net.
This Sunday blog and associated podcast.
Websites for my apps, e.g. NipTo, Chairing.it
My photos and videos.
Other people’s quotes, articles and videos.
💬 Social media
There is no reason to do anything other than act like a media company in today’s digital age. - Gary Vaynerchuk
Social media potentially provides access to a large global audience. However, we are at the mercy of algorithms which determine who gets to see what we post. The social media platforms I use are:
LinkedIn works well for B2B and focusing on certain company decision makers. A great benefit of LinkedIn is that you can message anyone in your network. I have 12,000 contacts and post most days.
Twitter can be used to engage in conversations around particular topics. Tweets are limited to 280 characters. Live audio-only chat rooms are available.
Substack is the home for this weekly A Bit Gamey blog with 500 subscribers. I have published over 50 posts. The platform is free to use (for free publications, such as mine).
Reddit is the secondary platform where I post my blog with around 1,500 views per week. Reddit is free to use.
Medium is another platform where I post my weekly blog. Free to post, but there are limited free views per month for readers.
Facebook provides both personal and group pages, for sharing text, images and videos. I use it mainly for more personal and family items.
Instagram for sharing images and videos. It has a younger audience than Facebook.
Video platforms I may use include Tik Tok (15-60 sec clips), YouTube and Vimeo (quality videos).
🕸 Personal website
The benefits of having your own website include:
Control (you control what is seen)
Idea shaping (ordering your thoughts)
Connections (establish relationships)
Impact (share your ideas)
Professional development (better than a CV)
A Personal Website in 3 Steps documents how I setup PhilMartin.net.
📧 Email list
Having a list of relevant people we can directly contact is a great asset which be should used with care. The main ways I develop contacts are via LinkedIn and the email list for my blog. People are added to my blog distribution with their permission; they can unsubscribe anytime.
➕ Other resources
Brand Yourself book by Lucy Werner & Hadrien Chatelet
5 Strategies for Personal Branding Online post by Gary Veynerchuk
How to Build a Personal Brand video by Seth Godin
This post outlines ways we can proactively shape our personal brand. Until next Sunday, consider what you’d like people to say about you when you are out of the room.