It is very competitive, like your typical high school peer group experience; you need to fear the negative outcome of overdoing things or suffer the backlash. Back in the day, whispers about how you might have overindulged, appeared caustic, egotistical, or overly competitive could have had an effect on the condition of say...your popularity. Fast foreword to 2012 and those whispers and backstabbing comments have been replaced with an internal dialog from those at the desktop reading your stuff; a subconscious, positive or negative "feeling" that the reader gets; a perception based on their own value system, deeply seeded within. To not have an understanding of how social media, influences the perception of others is dangerous if you are wanting to establish a personal brand. It is indeed what I call the FACE GAME and there are tricks.
Fact, all of my content references a platform covering five topics, five different categories, "tribes" or "cultures" of people seeking to indulge in the same "like" minded dialog that I am interested in. This blog is just one of many things used to express myself, providing relevant information to anyone who might want to listen. I take opportunity; engaging the feelings and intellectual aptitude of those who opt in, because I am in control of the content. If it is interesting enough I get them coming back for more.
So it’s the platform, the golden pillars that hold up my personal brand, not the other way around. It is those things so important to me that I go to great lengths to be authentically attached; to actually take part in the culture of these topics. It's the strength beneath my glowing neon sign with my face on it. It’s that which, by default, has been divided into distinctive categories.
Art and Culture
Most of us (myself and those who choose to engage me), have their own values connected to these categories and it makes sense to think that we are similar. We probably drive the same types of cars, participate in the same types of activities, listen to the same types of music, and yes, subscribe to the same politics. Since we have gathered in a blog or a post or a website, we already know that we are cool with one another. Since my style is to provide perspective without opinion, I get repeaters. I remain authentically involved in the topic to wear the badge of knowledge. Most everything I write about falls into one of these categories. Today's topic is Entrepreneurship. Getting it? Questions? Anyone?
If you are always pontificating on topics of interest to your readers, when does the sale of a commodity (good or service) come in to play? Shouldn't you let people know that you are in business and that you are selling...something?
This is the tricky stuff. You want to stay away from the direct sales approach, but it is not taboo. What is important is the emotional connection to the person, a loyalty to those who read from the one who sits atop the pillars. In my case, I have always sold food/beverage and service and everyone knows it. While desperately wanting to blatantly advertise a music event or a food special or an event, my dialog has not often been to plead for customers to patronize my business. Tribe members will always seek out those people for whom they will do business. It has been my connection to them through various topics of discussion that has gifted me with their loyalty. So sooner or later, when it was convenient for them, they would come to my restaurant, purchase catering, or hire me to run their restaurant. It really is marvelous. Because I was their people, in culture, in values, I got the sale. Being charitable most certainly helps too, but this is a different post altogether.
How important is a name, or clever reference to the "soul" of my personality when using social media?
I will use myself as an example. It is just too easy. With a personal brand called Pfoodman, that later became the name of one of my largest companies, it was pretty easy for people to know what I did while I navigated the social media experience. I am thankful to the active living community for helping me incubate it. I am that close to them and they are the reason the company is named Pfoodman. They actually played a role in the process of deciding to use the funny name Pfoodman in a category that usually has a more conventional namesake. But it is not just a name! It is a collection of things, a collection of values on a platform with meaning. Social media broadcasts this. Protecting the integrity of the brand and the core values, the more significant it becomes, is mega-important. More on this too, later.
Once I establish my social media presence, what else is expected?
One might think that the importance of social media and the ongoing need for invention and/or re-invention of the personal brand process starts to diminish once you are established. Not true. Social media shines bright in the present, not so good in the past. And, while it has served me well while I established a collection of companies that needed distinction, let it be known...we are only as distinctive as we were yesterday. Tomorrow is another day. The light begins to fade upon hitting the send button each and every time you post something out there. And if you over post, the same result will occur. It is important to keep your people inspired but not centered on filtering due to overuse. Ongoing is the need to engage followers, storytelling, not advertising.
How often do I put stuff out there, and once I establish my presence, should I leave it be?
Again, social media and personal branding is in the today; the present, never static. Carving out and establishing the fact that you exist is just the beginning. If you don't have the appropriate images, stories, commentary and authentic broadcast available to your categories, ongoing, you won’t get more tribe members and you won’t build loyalties. And to never start, is to never step into the circle...and that's just not fun, ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.