On Monday, I asked your advice on the Duality of online presence. The article quickly became the most commented on article on this site. I was blown away by the amount of feedback it received.
I’m not sure if it was the subject matter, or my honesty about the struggle of “character vs authenticity”, but something about the post struck a cord with you and it helped me get to the root of the problem.
Corporate Branding vs Personal Branding
To create an identity that embodies what the brand represents.
Brand character is meant to breathe life into the brand for interacting in the social web. It is meant to shake the person who is behind the online accounts of the “30-second” spot mentality. Using profile interests a brand can develop a voice that will stand out in any news feed or tweet stream, because it is targeted towards very specific parts of a person’s brain.
But here’s the catch… the only way to 100% use the brand character approach is through Corporate branding.
To give life to a concept. To make something that is completely fictional, completely real.
And that’s where I got hung up with my personal brand.
Personal Brands Are Made Of People, Not Concepts
You have control of how you are perceived online. Therefore some of the brand persona elements can be (and should be) incorporated.
Just don’t get carried away.
One of the last comments of the day came from Cari Kaplin and it really put it into context for me.
women do this all the time – almost seamlessly. The woman who cleans the bathrooms is not the same one who climbs into your bed at night….if she is smart. If you are smart the guy who cusses and belches and scratches watching ‘the game’ with ‘the guys’ is not the same man who wakes up next to this woman in the morning….really, it is not duality but plurality – and good manners.
Brand character for your personal brand is not about “being awesome all the time”. It’s about turning up the awesome when the time is right.
Personal brands are like personal friends. I think it’s safe to say that we want to see layers. We tend not to hang around people for long periods of time if they don’t show a certain depth of character.
While it’s one thing that “gets us in the door” with that person, if that’s all they have to offer, it get’s old quick.
Of course, it requires balance. With a personal brand, you want to come back because of the “one thing” so it becomes a balance of Useful content with true personality.
Like Diana Guerreo said:
“I think your brand persona evolves and emerges over time.
you can let them [your audience] brand you–which is what I think is the most authentic.”
So with that being said, I’m looking forward to finding that balance, and letting my own personal brand emerge over time. Sometimes it’s hard to remember this blog has been live for only 4 months, and that while I can coach all day long on personal branding, it is something that is very personal and very different for everyone.
A big thank you to everyone who participated in the discussion on Monday, I’d love to hear your thoughts on personal branding vs corporate branding.