As I dig deeper and deeper into social networking I have thought a lot about personal branding.  What do I want to be known for?  Who should I connect to and why would they want to connect to me? Who do I know that can introduce me to who they know, etc.

I attended a local seminar last week on personal branding. The presenter Robert Earl Reed did a great job reminding me that I am not my job. Yes, I am President & CEO and I take the responsibility seriously but I endorse the company, COMPUTER EXPLORERS through my own exceptionality. I liked how Robert presented that personal branding is remembering the “you” (your own uniqueness) when endorsing the company you work for. He said we should remember “it’s the people moving the brand, product and/or service.”

Robert referred to an author Tom Peters who wrote an article in 1997 called  “The Brand Called You” in FastCompany.com. It’s a great article and here are some of the things I took away:

  • “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are all CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.
  • Start right now: as of this moment you’re going to think of yourself differently! You’re not an “employee” of General Motors, you’re not a “staffer” at General Mills, and  not a “worker” at General Electric. You don’t “belong to” any company for life, and your chief affiliation isn’t to any particular “function.” You’re not defined by your job title and you’re not confined by your job description.
  • Ask yourself: What do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value? What have I accomplished that I can unabashedly brag about? If you’re going to be a brand, you’ve got to become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value, that you’re proud of, and most important, that you can shamelessly take credit for.
  • There are four things you’ve got to measure yourself against. First, you’ve got to be a great teammate and a supportive colleague. Second, you’ve got to be an exceptional expert at something that has real value. Third, you’ve got to be a broad-gauged visionary — a leader, a teacher, a farsighted “imagineer.” Fourth, you’ve got to be a businessperson – you’ve got to be obsessed with pragmatic outcomes.”

One of Robert’s suggestions to the class was to start with personal landing page to establish our own identity. The page should list all of our social network links.

So I’ll work to move away from my company logos (brands)

COMPUTER EXPLORERS brand mascot

and focus on my own identity starting with my new personal landing page www.debevans.org