Personal branding 101 (… well, almost!)

One of the pressing concerns people have is about their blog. They would like to position their blog to fine-tune their personal branding strategy. Which is great! I just get a tad annoyed when they mention three blogs focusing on digital marketing, life, and their Pokemon collection.

Good lord! Save me, please!

It’s annoying because of one simple reason — there’s a strategy behind it all. And blogging for me isn’t just a strategy but a way of life. It’s my personal platform to express my thoughts, opinions and the way I look at the world. It’s my body of work. Sure, a little focus would certainly give me an edge over my peers. Focusing simply on marketing or content marketing or writing/copywriting can potentially position me as an expert.

But here’s the big question — am I just a marketer or a writer? I’m not. My roles span so much more than those titles. And yet, I’m living them 24×7, 365 days a year. Then why on earth would I just have a blog on marketing? I understand the kick that one gets for being the top 100 (or 1000th) blog on marketing… if that moves your spirit, go right ahead!

I personally think it’s important to treat your blog as your home. And I say this from my experience, my roles don’t change when I’m at home. I’m still a marketer, writer, communicator, and a coach. If one of my family walks up to me with a certain marketing or writing query or perhaps would like to discuss an existential crisis, I don’t really ask them to book an appointment and meet me in my home office. (Do you?)

Why would you do that to your blog?

That said, I do believe it helps to have your posts (and the website in general) organized so that your readers are able to find information easily. So, in my opinion, the best approach is to focus on just one blog that has both diversity (in terms of the topics that you choose to share/discuss) and color.

There’s nothing wrong with such an approach. Despite the “best practices” that digital marketing gurus purport.

You need to remember this: the audience doesn’t just care about the content you create. They care more about the person who created it because that’s whom they connected with, can relate to and whose ideas resonate with theirs or give them new insights.

Let me give you an example. Read this quote below:

Words build bridges into unexplored regions.

DO NOT GOOGLE IT! Hear me out first…

What were your first thoughts when you read that? My reaction was, “WOW! This person gets it! He’s must be one heck of a leader!”

And then, I realized this was one of Adolf Hitler’s most profound quotes. Hmm… and now, I don’t quite feel the same as I did before. Though, the quote does make sense.

But do you see my point? It’s not just about the content that you produce. It’s about you!

That said, I would state just one exception where I would make an exception. And that’s to have your company website and blog completely disconnected from your personal blog. Even if it’s just you operating your one-man-company under a different brand.

A possible workaround (if you’re lazy like me or would just like to simplify things) is to have a “work with me” page on your personal blog. And no, you can’t have a “work with me” page on your personal blog and have an active branded company website. If you do, congratulations! You’ve just confused the heck out of your audience!

That’s personal branding 101 for people who would like to use a blog as a home base. It’s pretty simple as long as you don’t listen to the “gooooooorrruuuss” out there.

The audience doesn’t just care about the content. You matter.

Use your head. Please. 😉

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