Personal Branding Cat got your Tongue?

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I happens to me too! More often than I care to admit.

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.

Drumroll please :)

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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!
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

<whispering> I also love Perez but I already blogged about him once and you all know how I feel his Social Media/Personal Branding prowess. </whispering>

13 Responses

  1. Maggie, I think we are on very similar wavelengths here. I've been reading Gwen's blog a lot and have been thinking about the very things you write about here. Thanks for some GREAT inspiration in the form of these various blogs and just getting this conversation started. I'm curious – what do you want your personal brand to "look like"?

    • Charlie says:

      Phil, Great video. We have been using testimonialshield.com for the past 2 years to third party veifry the authenticity of our reviews and testimonials. They’re an all-in-one solution for feedback and testimonials. They have a free service that allows you to create a feedback form that you ask your customers to fill out, then they veifry the authenticity of the testimonial and present it on your website via their widget or testimonial page, and then they send it to your facebook, twitter, google+, pinterest, etc page.

  2. Fayza says:

    Perez probably loves you, too. I mean, who wouldn’t? I sure do. He’s just too self-centered and shallow to realize it.

    Uh, did I say that out loud? I mean, he’s the next coming of Mother Teresa! Yes!

    I can’t wait to get my own line of toothbrushes or some other useful household…thingie.

  3. MagsMac says:

    I am not sure what I want my personal brand to “look like” but I don’t think I will differ much from what I have going on here. It totally fits my personality!

    As far as where I want to go with my brand; I want to be the middleman/woman between the super tech geeks and the “masses.” My Mom and her friend Terry were totally baffled at their first Net2 because sometimes we tech people forget that everyone doesn’t share the same knowledge base.

    I don’t ever want to be that person in the room who assumes everyone else knows what twitter is or thinks those people that don’t know are un-cool. I used to know very little about tech and was sometimes afraid to ask. I want to teach those people who want to learn… but always in an encouraging, non-condescending manner.

  4. Angeline says:

    Hi Maggie!
    Thank you so much for reaching out to me on Twitter + then mentioning the crowdSPRING blog on your post.

    I really think it’s great that you found the tech sphere so fascinating and just delved right into it. I agree with you in the comment above – entering the tech environment can be scary, especially if people are gasping because you have no clue who Chris Brogan is, or what Tweetdeck does.

    To me, the best part about social media is the concept of using new tools to learn, share, and connect with others. The concepts are still the same – we just communicate in different ways!

    It makes me feel all warm ‘n fuzzy that you find my blog posts useful. I’m glad someone out there is reading!! :)

    I look forward to reading future posts from you!

    All the best,
    Angeline

  5. You have an awesome personal brand. So many blogs are cookie-cutter, but I instantly know I’m somewhere special. And not just cuz of the mac n cheese. It’s mainly your writing — full of passion. Keep it up.

  6. Gwen Bell says:

    I will be #2 to Miss Monica’s #1 any day of the week! She’s #1 in my book, tied with you, lady!

    Can’t wait to see you all in December in Houston!

    Let’s have a sleepover and braid each other’s hair or something old school. I’ll bring the NKOTB sleeping bag… *wink*

  7. David says:

    Weird I get lumped in with all these heavyweights… If I could only touch the hem of MoDown and Gwen Bell’s garments!

  8. Maggie,

    Thanks for sharing these great blogs. I frequently follow 'social media gurus' like Chris Brogan, Dan Schwabel, David Meerman Scott and Jerimiah Owyang, but you've definitely introduced me to a few more 'personal' and interesting personal brands, including your own!

    As a fellow Texan (College-Station) all I can say is keep rocking hard!

    • Jenny says:

      - Hi Kap! Thanks so much for the comment. I love The Glow and have areidmd it from afar for a little while. Thanks for sharing and for all the kind words. Please stay in touch.

  9. These are some amazing blogs. A handful are familiar to me (Chris Brogan's, WebInkNow, and Jeremiah's) but there are others I'll need to check out. Myself and a few friends recently launched a blog focused on personal branding. You can check it out at http://tastynectar.com/blog

    • Sami says:

      I was actually tnkniihg about this yesterday myself I’ve learned the hard way about establishing boundaries when it comes to blogging. Up until the past couple of weeks, I was pretty much over social media altogether. Then, some shite went down in my personal life and I felt like I needed the forum again. Still, I’m finding myself being very careful about who has access to what. Right now, I’m keeping my personal blog personal though not as personal as it’s been in the past. I don’t put more than my first name on it but, if you know me sorta well, it’s not terribly difficult to identify. I tend to be honest with people in my life, regardless. However, I’ve been hesitant to link my blog/Twitter to my Facebook account. For some reason, it makes me feel too exposed to include it there.My more recent blog entries have probably opened up more than I’ve wanted to in the recent past. But I’ve actually posted and then deleted a few hours later a lot lately. I think the answer, at least for me, is to funnel the emotions and gory details into more creative writing projects. I’m about to start a new play, for instance, that deals with relational issues and, now that I’m going through relationship angst, it’ll help to explore those feelings in that safe zone of creativity.

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