I Have A Personal Brand In Here Somewhere

Is There Anything About?

Is There Anything About? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Developing your personal brand is key to monetizing your passion online…The thing that most people don’t realize is that in today’s world your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same, whether you’re selling organic fish food or financial advice or just your opinion.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, Crush It

“Your business and your personal brand need to be one and the same…” In his book Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk emphasizes communicating who you are as much as communicating what it is of value you are trying to market. People like to know who they are dealing with. To put yourself out there via social media and blogging helps people become comfortable with you and to develop a sense of trust. This blog lets you in on my aspirations; views on marketing via social media; my development as an entrepreneur alongside my role as a teacher; and some personal characteristics such as a twisted sense of humor and an occasional foray into creative writing. I’m learning to develop a brand that is, as one blogger put it, “the promise of an experience.” I’m just not sure what the experience is yet. But it’s taking shape you betcha.

It may seem strange to go through the trouble of blogging to develop a brand without actually marketing a product. But personal branding is a sort of self-discovery. You are asking yourself “What makes me unique? What separates me from a rather large crowd on the internet? What experience can I offer that others can’t or haven’t?” Blogging is a great way to develop a personal brand while at the same time recording the process for others to learn from the experience. As I begin to understand my own personal brand I can begin to actually market my products that consist of various affiliate programs. The point, of course, is that there are a plethora of affiliate programs and plenty of people marketing them. Why should anyone pay attention to me? What experience do I offer that others don’t? That is what I’m working on and what I want to teach others, especially my students.

What does personal branding look like? Here’s an example that I’ve found interesting ever since I heard the radio ad campaigns a couple of years ago:

Mike Diamond Services

I guarantee my plumber will show up on time and smell good or your house call is free!”

-Mike Diamond 

(www.mikediamondservices.com)

In the “Meet Mike” page of his company’s website, Mike Diamond talks about his early years in the plumbing business as a 19 year old slowly developing success by word of mouth because he showed up on time, did good work, and smelled good. This brand defines an experience that customers can expect which is differentiated from the services of other plumbers that Mike Diamond commercials label as “Bubba’s.” Interestingly enough, everyone says the plumbers do smell good and do show up on time as advertised. Unfortunately, the reviews on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/mike-diamond-services-los-angeles ) aren’t so good. Once the smell good plumbers make their punctual house-call the reviewers complain that the prices are outrageous. I guess the choice is between Mr. Smelly Buttcrack changing out your toilet for $149 or Pauli Potpourri doing it for $700. But apparently the branding works because a lot of people keep trying Mike Diamond Services. Enough said.

As I study and blog I am understanding that a personal brand should do more than define an experience that consumers can’t get elsewhere. A personal brand is more than a niche. Your personal brand should reach out to people and invite them into a community of shared experience in which a constant dialogue occurs. This dialogue allows consumers a say in how the brand evolves along with the product or service. Although individuals, we are defined as such within a community. A powerful synergy is formed when personal branding becomes a community experience. That is the subject of the next post.

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