I wanted to write up this Minimalist Tip because it really does apply to everyone. If you are self employed or not. If you are trying to start a business or succeed in business or not. If you are living in the world now it is good to know.
A few years ago I read Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuck. It is quick book and is …not sure how to describe it. He is a unique character, but his book is completely right. It has shaped my business thinking. What I learned – everyone is their own brand now. Everyone is a mini company and everyone is in charge of their own Public Relations (PR).
We no longer have our personal ‘self’ and our professional reputation. Our personal and professional lives have melded together making it impossible to see which is which. I read last week another great article about how we only have one brand. People now see you (a majority online) and what they see is this personal brand.
I know this really upsets many people. Privacy is at an all time low. Just last night at the library I read that the government could ask the library for my ‘check-out’ records and they have to provide them and don’t notify me. Seriously? The world is a different place.
I am not saying this is bad or good. This isn’t even new. Society is always changing. This is the way it is now and we can learn to use it for our benefit.
This means that everything you share on a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc is all part of your personal brand.
Does this mean you shouldn’t post anything personal? Does it mean you shouldn’t post pictures of your kids? Not at all, the world wants to get to know you, and for the majority, probably wants to be your friend.
What it means is that what you do and say online should be treated like it was a supper with the pastor, 50 year high-school reunion (no matter how old you are now), or a business lunch with prospective employers. You show that you are good person, successful in many areas, and a valuable employee. Hopefully, none of these things should cause you much planning and you can totally be yourself. No matter who you are there are some situations where you are on your best behavior. Now the internet is one of them.
It isn’t for all the unknown people out there either. How many connections do you have on all your social media? For most of us these aren’t all close friends or close family. Lots of the people we interact with are acquaintances. Because we don’t interact with these people as often our current impression of them is largely based on their web presence. Think of the people you know and what you think of them. How much does what they post affect your impression?
However, don’t forget that people do want to get to know and connect with real people. They want to support, purchase from, and employ real people. The mesh of branding personal and business still needs an equal side of both. People don’t just want a personal sales pitch. The internet isn’t a big resume.
So how can you be a genuine person, show your personality, have fun and still create a positive brand for yourself?
What is great:
- Positive ideas – people like being around happy people
- Intelligent thoughts – people love learning new things
- Thought out opinions – I love seeing several people’s opinions. I may not agree with all of them, but I know they are intelligent people and I like hearing their opinion.
- Passing on useful information – humor can be very useful too…but make sure you could share it in the groups mentioned above.
- Personality/humanity – we love to know that everyone else is human too, this helps you feel approachable and genuine.
What is bad:
- Negativity – we all know it is Monday and we don’t need to hear how much you hate it
- Put downs – it isn’t necessary to put down people you personally know or public figures.
- Rants – Don’t post mad or annoyed
- Forwards/quotes/texts – some good ones are great, but if you are known for passing everything along and not putting anything original (your own thoughts) up than it is just impersonal spamming.
- TMI – too much information about personal problems…physical, relational, emotional.