Having taken on this new role of blogging on the Personal Branding Blog (thank you again Dan for the opportunity!), I naturally have been looking at many of the other personal brands that are out there. A few names come to mind very quickly when you think about strong personal brands: Robert Scoble, Guy Kawasaki, Steve Jobs (the only non blogger), Jonathan Schwartz, Gary Vanynerchuk.
Seems to me when you think of these individuals you also think of some attribute(s) about each of them. Essentially that’s the position they occupy in your mind whenever you think of them. Take Robert Scoble for example – I think blogging, I think Microsoft, and I think Video.
So what does your Personal Brand stand for?
But as I review them I also do a review of my own personal brand and where I want to drive my own brand. Early on I purposely chose Buzz Marketing but decided to niche-ify it with applying it only to Technology – hence my blog Buzz Marketing for Technology was born. I went from wide to narrow. Is it too narrow? Ask Gary Vanynerchuk and he would say no –
“I don’t care how small your niche is … find what you want to do every day and DO THAT! (see Gary’s Web 2.0 Expo video )
Is your brand growth oriented or more of a value play? Buzz Marketing is more growth than value and I am sure you would prefer more value in this economy. Recently, I got a call from a good friend who just got laid off and I did a quick review with him of his personal brand. He is a consultant that does cost reduction efforts. Great but in what industries, in what parts of the company I asked him – where won’t you provide those services? What economic value were you able to create with those services – was it growth, customer intimacy or just cost reduction?
Either way you craft your brand I believe you need to continually refine it, keep these things in mind and test. Prune your brand every 6 months and be sure to have a clear objective (see last post on How to create a Personal Brand by becoming a Thought Leader )
5 Tests for your Personal Brand
- Is your brand objective still relevant? Do you need to re-articulate it?
- Is your brand a growth or value brand? Should you shift direction?
- Is your brand wide or narrow? Should you narrow /widen it more?
- What industries won’t your brand play in? Should you include/exclude more?
- Where in the company won’t your brand play? Should you include/exclude more?
Paul Dunay is the Global Director of Integrated Marketing for BearingPoint a Management and Technology Consulting firm and author of the blog Buzz Marketing for Technology.