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10 Personal Branding habits of the pros

And then it occurred to me – aren’t there Personal Branding & Brand Management habits of the professionals? Damn right there are!

And then it occurred to me – aren’t there Personal Branding & Brand Management habits of the professionals? Damn right there are!

Further to my recent ‘Manage personal brand like a porn star’ article, I’ve got 10 of the best Personal Branding & Brand Management habits right here…

As I see it, the number one goal of personal branding, brand identity building and brand management on the web is to make your name synonymous with a certain phrase.

Personal Branding and Brand Management as SEM

In a very real sense, Personal Branding and Brand Management are an extension of your SEM (Search Engine Marketing) activities. So it’s worth treating them as such.

What separates Personal Branding and Brand Management from your regular Search Engine Marketing activities is that you’re adding on a layer, albeit a subtle one.

This layer represents the consistently applied, well-planned and well-honed image you should have created of yourself.

Once you’ve fashioned this virtual you, you need to maintain that image. And that’s much easier said than done. But, help is at hand.

If you’re serious about Personal Branding and Brand Management, here’s 10 things you’ll see the professionals doing:

  1. Comments are your calling cards. Be sure to use these as an opportunity to draw the focus of the ‘blog post towards your comments. Make sure you drop in a relevant link to an article of yours in the URL field. That way, you’re not just making a statement, you’re opening the door for bringing the dialogue to your own ‘blog article. A word of caution here, misuse of this idea is essentially comment spam. If you’re going to comment, then make sure you’re adding value to the article you’re commenting on, or don’t do it at all, OK?
  2. Think and act like a professional. Don’t get drawn into heated debates, unless you’re sure you can do so without just throwing away your dignity and losing some serious credibility into the bargain. As I’ve discovered — much to my amusement — I’m both a contrarian and a conflict writer. Don’t be afraid of contradicting or correcting someone, but be damn sure that you’re right.
  3. Have a theme? Well stick to it! You don’t see too many truly successful general ‘blogs.Most might start that way, but as those few that stick around longer than twelve months will attest to, some trimming of the excess fat inevitably takes place. The web rewards those that carve out their own niche. Working within a niche and becoming an authority within that niche is better than being one voice in a crowded room.
  4. Be seen, be known. Remember what I said about your comments of other people’s ‘blogs? Right, well there’s other places you ought to be hangin’ out, too. There are some notable social web venues up & down the internet superhighway, and you need to make a few well-chosen stops along the way.
  5. Don’t be afraid to sing your own praise. Let’s face it, if you don’t, who will? To begin with, few people will know of you, so you need to be seen. If you’ve had some recent successes (strong linkage from a major website or ‘blog) then talk about it. Use that one success as a driver to help you with the next one, wherever that may come from.
  6. Be consistent with your image. Just like Darren Rowse said, Every blog post, every comment, every instant message, every email. If you feel that you’ve got a ‘house style’ then apply that style wherever you go. Some may like your style, others may loathe it, but for me, that’s where you want to be.I’d rather have a load of people hating and praising me, than have a few think that I’m all right.
  7. Be an opportunist. If news breaks on a story that’s very much local to your topic of choice, get in there, dude! However, it’s not a race, so be sure to put the emphasis on quality and not speed. There’s no point being the first in if all you’re doing is saying: “Hi!” Sometimes, it’s a well to be fashionably late. Over time, as your fame grows, those that know you, well, they’ll wait. Additionally, and further to Neil Patel’s advice, being bad-mouthed could be a chance to make friends and influence people. Charm the pants off them, schmooze, cajole, you know? Win them over.
  8. Get a ‘blog and get ahead! ‘Blogs routinely outrank websites on the search engines for a number of key reasons. The main reasons are that a typical ‘blog has a constant stream of ever-changing content, there are a great number of out-bound links to other sources, and there’s usually a community people commenting on your articles. In addition to this, make sure people can do stuff with your stuff. By that I mean make sure you have some way of syndicating your articles, either by a newsletter or from an RSS feed.
  9. Be seen, be known .. be available. So you’ve got your audience, you’ve got some notoriety, but you’re aloof! Someone might catch a quick comment exchange with you occasionally, but that’s usually it. Make sure people can contact you. What you’ll have noticed is that some of these suggestions are about being a shameless self-promotional whore. And well done you! ‘Coz that’s exactly what I’m asking you to be.
  10. Be yourself. To make this kind of thing work, there are few a prerequisites, which I hope I’ve covered above. But there’s one prerequisite to rule them all. It’s there when you’re commenting on ‘blogs. It’s there when you’re talking to someone and explaining yourself to them for the first time. It’s even there when things go wrong and you make that graceful recovery. That quality, that essential personal ingredient is charisma. If the current you doesn’t include this essential ingredient, then it’s time to change the recipe!

Just make sure there’s no marzipan .. I hate marzipan.

Success rarely comes to you, and even trying to meet it half way often isn’t enough.

As for me, well, I’m still fighting the good fight, and I know what I need to be doing. Hopefully, after reading this little lot, you do too…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

4 replies on “10 Personal Branding habits of the pros”

I think that #10 is the most important because if your not yourself, what is the point. Also, by not being yourself, others will suspect something and your audience will know by your lack of consistency.

Dan Schawbel
Personal Branding Spokesman

You’re damn right, Dan!

I remember watching a video clip of Gordon Brown (soon-to-be new British Prime Minister.)

This woman was analyzing his body language.

He was doing the kissing babies thing, but he was quite natural and getting on with the toddlers.

The woman observed that his composure was right, ‘coz kids can spot fakers a mile away.

Thanks for your comments, Dan. Always appreciated…

Spot on re being yourself. It’s key to having a successful and enjoyable existence on and offline. Kids can spot the fakers but we all can spot the bluffers and posers. Of course, not everyone has charisma and so some people do have to wing it, but that’s not the same.

I hope that a few slices of the infamous Geordie charm make it through the ether when I post comments on other people’s blogs. Tell me if not and I’ll stop it right now, before it gets out of hand…

…what? It already is? Damn!


PS Your original thread started off as porn branding…so here’s a little something for the weekend

Let’s be straight about it: Personal Branding isn’t for everyone.

There’s got to be that spark of charisma, that twinkle in the eye there to begin with.

What seems to be the zenith of brand management is getting onto the speaker circuit, which will quickly separate the wheat from the chaff…

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