WJS08: Managing Your (Personal) Brand

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These are notes I took during Brian Oberkirch‘s session on “Managing Your (Personal) Brand” at the 2008 Webmaster Jam Session on 3 Oct 2008.

  • Do Epic Shit.
  • Marketing is not a cure all.
  • Listen to your users.
  • If you don’t believe in your product, who will?
  • You are a minister of information.
  • You can’t move up if you don’t stand out.
  • Be yourself. Embrace your quirkiness.
  • You can’t build a brand in Photoshop.
  • Brand is everything and then some.
  • Find out what you are not. Zag against it.
  • Example #1 ~ 37signals – Writing, copy voice is important. As is simple, usable design.
    • Do side projects.
    • Used enormicom.com as an example of a side project that 37s created.
    • Re: Blogging – Blog More. Posts have more value than tweets.
    • Who do you know? How can you give back?
  • Example #2 ~ 43Folders, Merlin Mann
    • Be funny. Be who you are.
    • Merlin created the HipsterPDA and it put him on the map, so to speak.
    • Re: Productivity: “This is like pornography for me.”
    • Subtle, stupid things.
    • You don’t know where the network will take you.
  • Example #3 ~ Gary Vaynerchuk
    • Took over his family business. Started vlogging. Built up the company and took it to the next level.
    • Leave a mark on people.
    • Build your tribe a person at a time.
    • One-off actions carry on.
    • Be passionate.
  • The Playbook:
    • You need a home (to orient yourself).
      • Text ~ Blog, Twitter
      • Code
      • Bio
    • External sites ~ rel=”me”
    • Consider using something like chi.mp (Brian’s side project)
    • Be where your people are.
    • Be mindful about URLs, avatars and usernames.
    • Make it easy to spread the word and the work.
    • It takes longer than you think. Be prepared to invest yourself.
    • Ask for help. It’s all good.
    • Not buzz. Building.