When I came out with Online Personal Brand a few years ago, I differentiated from the other personal brand approaches (fourteen books I read) by creating a functional model. I suggest each person, first establishes each of three elements – skill set, aura, and identity – then projects them onto networks; in the book, I provide a detailed discussion of each of these elements and when they overlap.
I did not jump on the ‘self-promotion’ or ‘popularity contest’ bandwagon. Self-promotion is necessary in situations, but so is self-prevention. Self-promotion is not me, so I do not relate. I promote ‘idea promotion’ and getting recognition when and if deserved.
The identity element is critical (and something often left unattended by personal branding experts). In a hyper-connected world, we constantly make new connections, write posts, and share content in social media without considering the consequences. We get enamored by the ‘network effect’.
Despite what they tell you, companies offering a service either advocate an identity or network – something I call network versus identity. It makes sense. According to Reeds’ Law, the utility of networks can scale exponentially by the size of the network. In addition, social media services offer ‘profiles’ that are essentially boxed layouts so there is not a lot of latitude to express yourself in a visually appealing way – a personalized, deeper way.
As you establish an identity – a personal website and social media profiles, consider the six R’s:
- Redundancy. Think about how your content and information is used across the internet. Can you take steps to consolidate, cross reference articles?
- Relevancy. How do you fit on your networks? Make connections with purpose. Try to recognize value or a reason in making a connection. Establish your own expertise.
- Rights. As you share content online, consider royalty and copyright privileges. With almost every social media service, you relinquish royalty rights to your works.
- Relationships. Networking requires making connections with varying depth. Remember to be human.
- Rule. Take ownership of your identity. With your personal website, take control down to pixel of space.
- Resonance. Similar to relevancy, consider how your message (in content, posts, updates, etc.) is unified and clear.
I have argued a personal website is an ideal representation of your identity. In constructing a personal website, it should be all about you. Visit www.theprofessionalwebsite.com to learn more.