No One Cares About You – Personal Branding

Personal branding and when no one cares about you.

Who has two thumbs and...ah, nobody cares.
Who has two thumbs and...ah, nobody cares.

We live in a “me” centered society where people don’t care about you.  You might even have trouble getting your family to read what you’ve written!  You may be lacking in defining a personal brand for yourself.  Not to worry, here are a few tips on what you can do to firm up your personal brand.

1.  Start with your Strengths.  We all know that there are inherent desires and passions within us that gravitate towards different subjects.  You’ve known this since you were a kid.  What are some of those passions that you have where you have endless levels of energy to read, research and grow?  According to Marcus Buckingham, Strengths have SIGNs.

Success – You have been successful in developing this area of your life.
Instinct – There’s a natural desire in your life to do that activity.
Growth – When you do the activity, you get better than the last time.
Needs – You have a desire to do the activity again.

Once you’ve framed your Strengths, you can use that as your basis for your personal branding.  What’s exciting about it is that you have a natural drive to learn more and share more about those subjects.  For me, I love business and consumer level technology, so you’ll notice that that’s what I talk about.  What can you hang your hat on?

2.  To drive your personal branding you need two basic prongs – content and channels.  The content includes the blog posts you write, the tweets you send out, the comments you leave for others, the updates you provide on social networks.  What people sometimes forget is that content spans audio and video.  Your personal brand becomes even richer when you provide photos, video and audio.  These forms of communication should drive forward your brand that you’ve developed from your strengths.

3. Channels are the places where your content can be found.  Are you on Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo, YouTube, 12seconds, etc?  You don’t have to be everywhere, you just should be where the eyeballs are and where you can be effective.  Pick those places, then bundle them all together with websites like Google Profiles, FriendFeed, and PeoplePond.  These sites let you consolidate your online presence and some will even let you send your updates to your other sites.  When you update from one to the others, you should be careful – use this sparingly, as your followers can get annoyed from too many updates.  The bonus, however, is that the Google and the other search engines love this stuff and it will make you even easier to find, especially if you use a consistent name or brand.

The bottom line is that you need to do personal branding for yourself regarding topics that you’re passionate about.  Once you’ve determined those strengths, pump your content through your channels.  *Thanks to Dan Schawbel’s comment, I realized I wasn’t explicit about mentioning that your personal brand is not all about you.  People care when the content you provide fulfills their needs versus having a platform for self promotion.  Now GO!

What are some tips and tricks that I have left out?  I’d love to get your input!

Imagine Fellowship – Land @mashable in 3 Steps

How we landed our church on @mashable

Last night, I was watching tv, scanning my tweetdeck and I see this:

@mashable talks about imagine fellowship
@mashable tweets about imagine fellowship

We got our church, Imagine Fellowship, tweeted about by @mashable!  Yes, when @mashable says something about you, your site gets clobbered (ours crashed, temporarily – thank you Pete Cashmore + Friends!).  Tonight, a few of the leaders from the Imagine Fellowship had a conversation about how we got Imagine there in the first place.  In fact, the process was surprisingly simple.

  1. We started with stimulus. There was another church that was testing twitter out in their church. I read about it on Church Marketing Sucks and thought it was a great idea.
  2. I proposed the idea to Pastor Kevin Joyce (@kevj) who agreed the idea was brilliant. He wanted to do twitter on screen the next day. Not possible, we didn’t have any followers, it’d have to wait a week.
  3. Imagine Fellowship does twitter weekly.  At first it is there to only show people tweeting from the audience, then it grows into @kevj asking questions and having people answer on the screen.  Next, we start live tweeting the sermons so people outside of the four walls of the church can attend. Some people even attend church through their phone.
  4. Imagine Fellowship receives it’s first piece of coverage from @roybragg in the San Antonio Express News aka @mysa.  A huge win for us.  How’d we do this? We told @roybragg about the story and he liked it.
  5. K-Love does a national piece on Imagine Fellowship talking about our use of twitter in church.  How’d we do this? We sent a tip in through the news section of the page.
  6. Outreach magazine, a large and influential Christian magazine recognizes Imagine Fellowship and our use of twitter as one of the trends reshaping the American Church.  Outreach found us via the San Antonio Express News and K-Love.
  7. @mashable tweets about Imagine Fellowship uses twitter at church.  Amazing! How did that happen?  One guess – submit a tip page.

Do you see a theme developing?  If not, let me spell it out for you:

  1. Find a cool idea and apply it
  2. Contact the media
  3. Repeat and think bigger

If you’re scared and don’t think you can do it, check out this video from Cameron Herold to get you fired up.  Watch the video, do something cool and pick up the phone – GO!  Remember, pitching the media is like asking a girl out, she might say no, but you’ve got to swing to hit.