In the words of the great comedian Mitch Hedburg
“You cannot make all of the people happy all the time, and last night all of those people were at my show.”
Unless you are an independent contractor, consultant or community marketer, your personal brand is not your day job. Striking the balance between building your personal brand and fulfilling your professional responsibilities can be a daunting task. Your employer does not pay you to hang out on Facebook, build your Twitter network or speak at conferences as a blogger. From your employer’s perspective, your personal brand is of far secondary importance to your day job. And unless your personal brand pays the bills, these priorities will likely prove true to you as well.
So how can a responsible business professional find time to engage in personal branding activities?
By identifying personal and professional brand synergies, aligning your personal brand goals to your professional pursuits you can have your cake and eat it too. By identifying opportunities that serve both your personal and professional brand objectives, you can effectively multitask, utilizing the professional support and resources at your disposal while building your own brand.
About 18 months ago a good friend and confidant recommended that I write down both my personal brand goals and professional responsibilities. When comparing these two lists, we were able to identify dozens of potential brand synergies that would prove mutually beneficial to both my day job and my personal brand. 18 months later, I have not only built my personal brand, but have driven new engagements and opportunities for my employer via my personal brand network.
Never limit your personal brand possibilities because of a lack of time or availability. Seek out the synergies where they exist and plan for flexibility. Most importantly, remember that your personal brand is your responsibility alone, and not a priority to your employer or your co-workers. It is up to you to identify and activate these synergies.
Take the time. Write it out. Plan ahead. Use every resource at your disposal. Brand baby brand.
Jon Burg is a Senior Emerging Channels Strategist with Digitas, a leading global interactive agency network. Jon blogs about the evolution of marketing, media and technology and the resultant impact on the human experience at Future Visions.