This is a follow-up post to my post last week: How to Measure Your Personal Brand. Here are some comments from you guys, and what I think about these three topics at the end.
On the meaning of numbers to measure a brand
“I DO think that you can measure your personal brand from stats such as these – however, I also think that it varies by the industry you are in and who you are engaging. Maybe you are in a less tech-related industry and the people you target are not inclined to comment or view your blog – maybe you speak at events and everybody there may know you but they’ve never once commented on your blog or even know how to use twitter!” Brian Linton
“Does more more tweets really mean that you have a better brand? Honestly I do not think so. I think that when people are sitting down having coffee, talking about whatever is important to them – if your name comes up, your brand is going well.” Jason
“If you’re measuring your personal branding success by Retweets, page views, comments, stats, # of followers, etc. you’re completely missing the point. I thought we got over that era of self-absorption in the 80s.
The criteria are generally simple: 1) personal satisfaction (am I happy with who I am as a person); 2) lifestyle (am I living the way I want); 3) employment (am I doing the work that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning); and 4) giving back (am I helping others with my success). Personal branding is a means to an end, not the end itself.” Mark
“For my new blog, and my personal brand on Twitter, I measure based on tweets and retweets regarding my work. I think tweets and retweets are more valuable than followers because anyone can follow you. Tweets and retweets show that you are making an impact with them. With regards to my blog, the best way to measure is based on the comments and people taking time to add value to your post.” Josh
On quantity vs. quality
“Yes, it certainly helps having a large following, but we’re ultimately wanting to monetize our brand. If we can’t convert the hits into some tangible gain for ourselves we could be well-connected all the way to starvation. Quantity helps, but quality matters.” Thom Stratton
“I guess one’s effectiveness is not determined by numbers of followers but the impacts one has made on its community.” Yinko
“We are much happier when we gauge our success on our own goals and not simply by comparing our “stats” to others. Quantitative comparisons whether it is in dollars or followers, often makes us needlessly question ourselves. Success is defined in so many different ways, it is very personal.” Vicki
On comparing ourselves to others
“As much as we are told not to compare ourselves to others, it’s inevitable that we do, and do often. I am guilty, just like everyone else reading this most likely, of measuring success on my blog based on number of page views, number of comments, number of retweets for a blog post, etc. It’s a good measuring stick but I am careful not to measure everything in numbers.” Matt
“Yes, you want to know what your competition is up to. But what I see more of is that people have a tendency to overlook their own gifts, in favor of external validation. Don’t overlook that voice within that might be giving you insight into something new that no one else is doing yet.” Leah
“Comparison to others is going to happen… I find that comparison in a healthy way drives business innovation knowing that there are people doing other things, possibly better than you, makes certain types of people work harder. I love the challenge so that drives me as well.” Jason
I agree with many of these points, and think this is an excellent conversation.
I generally think that you can judge your personal brand qualitatively. But I still think that the concept of “measuring” requires that you be able to quantify your results. This is not to say there’s not an unmeasurable value to personal branding.
I think both quantity and quality are important, and that there’s no need to choose. On Twitter, I follow a lot of people – but they are all concentrated in the Gen Y, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, or Careers areas. Luckily, there are plenty of people interested in these topics.
Comparison to others is honestly what drives me to get going in the morning. I use others as benchmarks often, but not in a jealous way. I get inspiration from watching others succeed and seeing how I can use some of their techniques and apply them to my own projects. No single path can help two people succeed the exact same way; but we should always be learning from each others successes.
Thanks to everyone for a great conversation about this topic. I learned something new from each of you!