Aug 18, 2010
csalomonlee

Rebuilding a Personal Brand is Hard Work

At the beginning of last year, my personal brand was just beginning to take off. I had written a couple of posts, such as this one, that generated a lot of attention. I was even asked to be a guest on the Media Bullseye podcast and to write a byline for Dan Schwabel’s Personal Branding Magazine.

Just as the momentum was gaining speed, I put on the brakes, pouring my time and energy into my work.  My personal brand became more intertwined with the work I did on behalf of my company vs my original intent of providing thoughts on how public relations and marketing come together.

As I take a step back, here are some lessons learned as I rebuild my personal brand:

1. Engage online: My goal is to participate in at least one online conversation each day, excluding weekends. This will drive me to comment on relevant blogs, share my knowledge via LinkedIn answers or meet new people via Twitter.

2. Write on my blog: The writing on my blog has been quite irregular over the past year and a half. My goal is to write at least one post a day. By sharing my thoughts, I hope to engage with existing readers and further expand my online network of friends.

3. Balance work with personal: This is a  biggie. I have to do a better job of balancing my work “brand” with that of my personal one. While part of my job is to build awareness for any company I’m working with, I have to consciously participate as part of my personal brand too. In turn, this will help any company by building credibility in my personal brand.

Conclusions

In the end, it’s easier to build and maintain a personal brand than to rebuild one. In the former, you’re delivering a consistent experience and expectation. Once you discontinue that, it’s difficult to regain that type of momentum – and in a way – trust with your audience. So, what do you think? Did my personal brand diminish over the past few months or only get better like fine wine? And what tips do you have for building and maintaining your personal brand?

4 Comments

  • Thanks @Chris. Actually, it’s not a post a day – I not that prolific! My goal is to contribute to one online conversation – either by by commenting on someone else’s post, tweeting a link, responding to a questions or writing a post – once a day.

  • Cece — good post. Wow, a post a day! That’s really ambitious, unless some of them can be the “just read good story, here’s topic and link” variety.

    I do have a thought about personal brands — not specifically about your post but in general. And my perspective is agency, while you’re in-house.

    I’ve spent most of my career on the client side, and I think it’s good to think like one. As a former client, I want my PR firm thinking about my needs, not their brand. I want them to work on my issues, not prospecting for new business. Our industry has some people who (I think) are riding the socmed wave to make themselves a name, not necessarily b/c it’s always right for their clients.

    Good luck with your balancing! It sure is hard for me sometimes after a long day to come up with interesting post or engage online, but you’ve got to do it.

  • @Alan – Thanks for your kind words! You also make a very good point that what begins as fun quickly moves to work.

  • Love your posts and look forward to seeing more.

    Building and maintaining a personal brand is the same as building and maintaining a corporate brand. It takes time, effort and patience. And, almost always, it’s better to invest time in maintaining than relying on REbuilding.

    That being said, I’ll share something I tell clients and anyone else interested in listening: when you take on the responsibility of blogging, engaging online, etc., it’s important to remember it quickly moves from “fun” to “work.” Meaning, if you’re a restaurateur who wants to blog, set realistic goals and attain them. Otherwise, you’ll quickly find you’ve moved from the restaurant business into the publishing business.

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About

Cece Salomon-LeeCece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.

This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.

Learn more about Cece.

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