Sunday, November 2, 2008

Personal branding in the Web 3.0 age

I recently attended an event sponsored by The Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN). I've been a proud member of RPCN for a number of years, though I've been able to participate more actively in past years. I was quite impressed by the event - both the caliber of its speakers and the organization - mostly a result of Emily Carpenter's hard work, along with her committee, and the other RPCN volunteers.

I especially enjoyed Neil Hair's segment on personal branding - both extending and controlling your personal brand. As a proponent of the use of personal branding to extend my sales network, promote OS-Cubed, and build a really fantastic network of resources to both draw on and assist, I really began to think about how the entrepreneurs we work with could benefit from spending some of their precious time on building their personal brands. I think it's interesting that Neil's talk was centered around how best to manage the online perception of you. Most of our largest clients have come from the internet in a variety of ways, and I suspect that some if not all of them checked out both OS-Cubed and myself extensively on the Internet before engaging with us. All of them are very interesting, engaging and intelligent individuals - and many know that people do business with people, so being transparent about who you are, what you stand for and what your capabilities represent can only improve your chances of having a successful launch.

One amusing thing was that Neil gave us a "checklist" of things you should be doing to manage and promote your personal brand. I ran through the checklist myself and found myself solidly in the "Psycho" section of the personal branding pantheon. My wife would probably agree :). If Neil posts his checklist, I'll present it here so you can take the test yourself. But in the meantime, ask yourself:
  • If you google your own name are you on the first page?
  • Do you have, and at least weekly maintain, a LinkedIn, and also a Facebook Account?
  • Do you have a blog?
  • Have you registered your own name as a domain?

If the answer is no to these, then you should consider adding these to your marketing portfolio. How else are your potential customers, investors and partners going to learn about you, your company and your ideas in today's internet age?