Personal Branding Weekly and Let Your Brand Flag Fly

NetworkingPeoplePersonal Branding

Personal Branding Weekly

This week I met an entrepreneur/car salesman.  He was beginning his business and working at a dealership while building his business.  Of course, I gravitated towards his story and found it hard to focus on the actual purchasing discussions wanting to spend more time on discussing his entrepreneurial endeavors.  Then came the boom – the negotiation.  He ceased being the interesting entrepreneur and rather the puppet of “the desk” as he regurgitated every word and swift pencil action that he was “trained” to do to make the sale and because of that disconnect, he didn’t.

How many out there are like that or are forced to do that?  It might not be a greedy sales manager. It might be a micro-controlling supervisor or a truly engaged owner who has yet to make the transition from “me” to “we”.

Are you a “sell out” if you don’t stay true to your personal brand?  If you act as the salesperson had, does that mean your employer controls your body, mind and soul?  I’m interested in hearing your thoughts in the comments.

This week’s posts were:

This next week Kristen’s post about how actions matter to your personal brand will broach the questions I posed. Peter covers brands and cultural myths while Pete delves into productivity and what that means to our personal brand. We always look forward to your feedback!

Let Your Brand Flag Fly

Every brand has its own community. This is a compilation of the individuals that make up their audience, clients, and advocates, all of whom will ultimately have a say in your brand’s success. This brings up the importance of the community manager, who is in charge of making sure that their brand’s community is represented and understood.

The art of listening

One of the most important things anyone in any managerial position must be able to do is listen. [tweet this]

What do they want? Where is your community audience most active? Are they online socially? Twitter? Linkedin? Facebook? Do they interact with you via your social sites present? What about direct communications, such as emails, phone calls, and good old fashioned letters?

Remember that community management isn’t about making announcements, speeches, or addressing the audience. Rather, it is about conversing with your community as a liaison interested in their best interests. You must be able to listen, start conversations and regularly interact with the community if you expect to represent their best interests through your brand. Once you know where they are, you’ll be able to gain valuable insight into their interests and how the brand you represent currently affects them.

Keep in mind though that listening is a part of brand growth. Once you know what is being said, you can begin shaping the brand’s image to better suit the community. Are you actively participating in conversations? Does your brand respond to communications? Are there areas where you could expand your brand’s reach to meet the community more effectively? Growth is vital to any brand, and is amongst the community manager’s most important tasks.

Communication necessities

As a community manager, you’ll be in charge of distributing existing content, but you’re also responsible for future content creation. What’s appreciated by the community? Do they enjoy certain things? What do they disapprove of? What aren’t they talking about? Sometimes, what isn’t said can be the most important topic that needs to be addressed.

While listening is a powerful characteristic of a community leader, what you do with what you learn will determine how effectively you succeed. Once you know what the audience is saying, you must be able to let those who are involved in creating community content know what is of importance to their community. You have to be able to speak up and inform others, especially those who are responsible for delivering content to the community.

How do you come across as a representative of the community? Consider yourself as a company liaison to the community and take action with your community’s best interests in mind. Are you simply fulfilling the duties entitled, or are you working to be the best version of the community manager possible?

Community management entails a great many responsibilities. Not only must you be able to distribute your brand’s content, you must also work to better understand how it affects the audience by listening to them and informing others to help the brand deliver what is in the best interests of the community.


Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.