Let’s put the brakes on this post so I can quickly explain what personal branding is. Personal branding is a concept that says you YOURSELF are just as marketable and brand-able as say… Target. The example I like to use is George Foreman. Ever heard of the George Foreman Grill? I bet you have. The man slapped his name on a grill originally marketed using middle of the night infomercials and now he and his grills are this crazy international brand with like six different “lines” of grills. I didn’t even know you could have more than one line of grills… much less six! I digress…
I am really trying to understand every facet of this personal branding thing. Really, I am! But sometimes the whole thing gets extremely daunting; I get really unsure of what direction to take. I have found a perfect solution to this sensation though… When I start to get overwhelmed I put on my headphones, turn my music WAY up, and turn to the blogosphere. I always find I feel much much better after my trip.
Well the whole point of starting this blog was to help others learn through my stumblings. At work yesterday I was talking to our awesome new hire, Alexis, about some of the things I’ve learned and a few of the places I go on the interwebs for inspiration… and realized I’m past due on a post on this very topic. It defeats the purpose of this blog if I’m not sharing the things I find! And I don’t want to be one of those posters who just posts to have another post.
Below are some AWESOME blogs that have really helped me out in my search for answers; some of them are extremely Social Media related while others are a bit more personal. If you are a newbie like me, I hope they save you some time in your search… but more importantly, I hope they inspire you as well.
- CosmoPolitician: Monica has somehow managed to become this crazy force in Houston and it seems that everything she blogs about turns to gold. A must read for info on Houston events, travel and random stories about ghastley surgeries appendicitis. (And come on. You knew she was going to be number one on my list.)
- Gwen Bell dot Com: Gwen’s blog is an inspiration to anyone getting started in Social Media. She touts balance in every aspect of your life and warns against getting so caught up in the interwebs that you merely count the number of friends or followers you have instead of focusing on the gifts you have to share. Gwen was voted one of the 50 most powerful +influential Woman in Social Media but even so, she is lesson in humility.
- GoingStagg: David writes fearlessly about whatever topic he happens to find interesting on a given day; be it design, sports or energy drinks. His blog has shown me that there is no such thing as being timid online. Why not say what you want and write what you know?
- Oat.org: Matthew Inman is an awesome graphic designer who has built an amazing personal brand on the foundation of his pretty pictures and even prettier code. He has kicked off several successful projects, including the free dating site Mingle2… and let’s be honest; the boys blog looks GOOD!
- crowdSPRING: The company was created to help creatives from around the world mash up with people seeking those creatives. Their blog houses tons of amazing Social Media posts but my favorite is a weekly post where Angeline does a recap of all the cool links she tweeted the prior week. This wrap up post is where I have found some of my other favorite blogs!
- Chris Brogan: This guy posts A LOT. I don’t like all of his articles, but the majority of his posts contain nuggets of Social Media gold.
- The Personal Branding Blog: Dan Schawbel has dubbed himself “the leading personal branding expert for Gen-Y” and while I’m not sure if he is the “leading expert” I do really like his blog. He understands that jobs and job searches are changing and that a personal brand can be a a job applicant’s most important asset!
- Web Strategy by Jeremiah: Jeremiah is a Senior Analyst for Forrestor research, a company devoted to providing their clients with insight into what THEIR clients want to know. Forrester research is also the company that my favorite Social Media books, Groundswell, sprang from.
- Web Ink Now: This is one of my favs. Don’t really know why, maybe because it’s one of the first quote un-quote Social Media blogs to populate my Google reader? Anyway, David Meerman Scott is the author of The New Rules of Marketing and PR and his blog is a great resource for both personal branding AND Social Media ideas. He also provides great insight into what practices you should be avoiding.
- and of course, Fayza. I’m not really going to go into a lot of description here. Fayza makes fun of Britney. People love her. People know her. And she’s not just sitting at home behind her computer plotting how she will take over the internet.
So those are my top 10 blogs! There are many other great GREAT blogs out there, but these are the ones I personally favor. I hope you find yourself inspired by at least one of them!