Branded

Gosh, I struggled with this week’s readings!

I know, who say’s “gosh” anymore?

I don’t know if I even want a personal brand.

I work for the department of National Defence and we have some guidelines we must follow when using social media. That said, we do have some latitude and I do have colleagues who seem to do a fine job of branding themselves as GoC communications professionals.

Currently, I am not interested in pursuing different employment and am not worried about establishing a marketable brand. However, I do retire in about 10 years and recognize that I should work for a few years to supplement my retirement income. This 10 year horizon has me thinking about establishing a network more than a brand, but this week’s readings have me thinking that the two are linked in a way I had not considered.

The rule

Many years ago I was exposed to what I think was one  rule of persuasive communication, sorry I can’t recall who said it and Google isn’t helping…It went like this “tell people who you are, what you do, and why they should care.”

I have always liked that rule and it has guided me in many engagements over the past 12 years. I can see how an effective and established social media presence could help establish credibility that could increase both the size and quality of my network. Unfortunately, in the military we change jobs frequently and it can be difficult to establish yourself in a role over a 2-4 year period and, some positions do not encourage such public brand establishment.

Marketable Strengths

I am experienced with a proven track record. I also have some weaknesses. I have yet to complete a Masters Degree. How do I establish a brand that doesn’t draw attention to a lack of credentials, or perhaps my brand should seek to mitigate that obvious weakness? I don’t know.

Putting the “personal” in personal

I am more tempted to establish a personal brand around some interests I have outside of my professional life. There is some writing I would like to share and I have been feeling compelled to engage in spoken work poetry and open mic storytelling. Could I use social media to help me explore these interests and share my material with others? If I did, what would be my personal brand and how would it link to my professional career, if at all? Again, I don’t know, but I do know that I value substance over form and authenticity is very important to me.

I don’t think I will be rushing into anything soon, I will  be waiting awhile before I launch my personal brand. You know what they say about second chances at first impressions.

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3 thoughts on “Branded

  1. I totally agree with not being sure if I even want a personal brand. I feel like I have my foot in so many camps these days that I am not entirely sure what this should even look like. Though the readings have definitely sparked some consideration of this. I don’t think I have ever thought of myself as a brand. And perhaps this is something I should definitely be establishing in my professional life.

  2. “Brand” is the new word for “reputation” – a perception people formed on you based on what you said, how you looked and what you did. What I like about the newer concept is that we (as the brand manufacturer and promoter) get to decide what messages we want to put up about ourselves. If we search for the very best of who we are and what we do and make that our brand, that sounds a lot better than the old-style reputation that represented what others thought (or assumed) about us.

  3. Doug, your thoughts resonate for me on many levels. Like you, I want (and need) to be “working” in some form after official retirement — but don’t know yet when that will be or what it will look like. I DO know that I’ll want to continue to contribute, and to have an outlet for my creative side. So personal brand and like-minded community networking seem to be the top priorities.

    Anne’s comments about being in control of what we put out there is reassuring, but I also share Alison’s sense of being stretched too thin, having too many commitments and interests at once and not knowing how to corral them. Very old-school, I know, but I wish we could all gather in a room and brainstorm this together!

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