In short, blogging terrifies me. Well maybe not “terrifies”, but it certainly makes me uneasy. Why would anyone want to read what I’ve got to say? Won’t it just help fill up a hard drive somewhere in the “cloud” that will be deleted and crushed by some giant robot rubbish compactor well into the post-apocalyptic future?
Well…maybe not, but reading Ryan Rancotore’s post entitled “The 85% Rule of Personal Branding” resonated with me a great deal, because of this fear of creating rubbish content. He clearly and in my mind quite rightly points out that the majority of work needs to be done “behind the scenes”. So one of my biggest takeaways from this is that I really need to spend more time reading other’s blogs to begin to comprehend what it is that makes a good one. As I don’t normally read them, I’m starting off from a pretty hollow place when it comes to understanding them, critiquing them and especially creating them.
Add to this that I’ve never really considered personal branding in any way beyond my linked in page and my online portfolio. Which only my linked in page has had any upkeep since 2010, and does that break any cardinal rules of personal branding? Who knows…? I generally try to keep my online presence segregated into my personal life and my professional (which I guess is this brand we’re all talking about). For instance I’ve now got two twitter accounts, one for personal use and now one for this subject. I guess some people are able to have the all in one approach, but I don’t want to be “on” all the time. Am I the only one? And is this a flaw into my approach to personal branding?
Whilst thinking about how to tackle this project, I realised that this is unlike any other “project” I’ve ever undertaken. Especially because a project is generally defined as having a start and end date, whereas this will require constant research, development and improvement for it to be successful. It was for this reason I really liked Amanda Belton’s first post this week. Not only because it was clear, concise and really focussed, but most of all because her strategy really honed in on this sense of continual improvement. Which, when considered, proves the 85% strategy mentioned earlier. While content is the driver of your brand, most of the time shouldn’t be spent developing it, it ought to focus on research, reflection, self-assessment & evolution.
I expect this viewpoint will no doubt change over time and I’m really curious to know how.