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  • The 2 P’s and 4 C’s of Personal Branding

    Today, I wanted to touch on what I’m calling the 2 P’s and 4 C’s of personal branding. A lot of people have their own lists, but I felt the need to share mine with all of you. When I think of personal branding, most of my messaging revolves around protection and promotion. It’s important to note that someone can steal “your identity” as we speak. Also, a lot of people think blogging and social networks are going to just get you attention, when it really takes hardcore promotion of these pages to become successful. The 4 C’s of personal branding revolve around how you build relationships with people in your network that fill up your world.

    2 P’s of personal branding

    Protection: In today’s wired web 2.0 world, you have to reserve your domain name, as well as your name on the leading social networks, in order to protect yourself. Your competitors could take your name in a heartbeat. Also, people who share the same name can take it for their own. The end result is that they will own your Google results and you will go undetected! In order to be successful building your personal brand, ensure that you protect your identity and control your results because that is how the world will see you.

    To protect your online brand you must be a content producer, not just a consumer.

    By generating content, you are filling spots in the top results for your name, so even if you get bad press, it won’t show up.

    Promotion: Aside from protecting your personal brand, you need to get it out there. No one will know you exist until you start actively marketing and pitching your brand to others, either online or offline. Social media tools are obvious ways to get your name out there for no money, at the cost of your time. The problem that most people have is that they think that “if you build it they will come.” Listen, the only way people are going to see your content is if you show it to them! By actively promoting your brand, you are, in effect, creating a snowball effect. Things might start slow, but the more people who you about you, the better because they will tell even more people.

    4 C’s of personal branding

    Content: A blog is not a blog without the content. Your content is the talking piece by which you can communicate with others. Think about it—how are you supposed to meet someone and strike a conversation if there is no material there? Ensure that your content is appealing, original, controversial, and open for comments. View other blogs related to your subject, summarize them, link to them and formulate a digest post. Also, you can engage your community by offering “series” posts, where you give them information little by little. The best blogs are the ones that have access to information others do not, such as research reports or thought leadership.

    Comments: There’s no better way to attract new readers, brand yourself on other blogs and network than commenting. It is also a way of demonstrating genuine interest in other people and your interpersonal communication skills. By commenting on other blogs you are helping furthering topics that may just be dropped based on lack of comments. When other’s comment on your posts, comment back and use the @therename to make it direct. This is how you continue the conversation.

    Conversation: You may engage in on-blog conversations with other bloggers or readers, but the real power lies in off-blog conversations. As people list their email address, phone number and other modes of contact on their blog, it gives you the opportunity to further a conversation with them. That off-blog conversation may turn into a blog post or even a hiring opportunity.

    Community: With many comments and conversations, you are in fact establishing a community. If your blog is perceived to have a community that regularly adds comments, then you won’t just reap the traffic rewards, but you’ll have various word-of-mouth marketers under your wing. Community members help each other out, whether it is through blogging, content, or overall brand advice.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

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