I had a realization earlier this week. Less than 3 months after starting this blog it already has some real value, traffic and monetization opportunities. I thought to myself how can this be? I don’t consider myself to be a good writer, other bloggers run circles around me. However, I have something that the majority of bloggers don’t have… branding skills. From the design of this blog to my hat and tongue in photos I have created a brand around myself and my personality. There is an image that people associate with my name, so much so that if I show up somewhere without my hat or fail to stick my tongue out in a picture people think something is wrong.
Branding is one thing, believing in your personal brand enough to invest in it and market yourself is another. You have all seen the twitter shirts I had made, but did you also know that I buy ads with my own money through IZEA to promote this blog? This week I decided to personally sponsor Barcamp Miami, that deal got me a link from their site and placement on the T-shirt promoting my Twitter profile.
First I developed a personal brand, then I spent time and money making people aware of it.
Some people ask me why I invest in the Ted Murphy brand when I am the CEO of a company with a corporate brand. It’s simple really… business is personal. In many ways my brand and the IZEA brand are intertwined. However, this blog allows me to create a connection with bloggers and advertisers in a way that I can’t under the IZEA moniker. This brand is my opinions, my thoughts, my life… me. (thus the ted.me domain).
It’s not brand building for brand sake. It’s about creating enough power and momentum with your brand to further your cause. My personal brand and this blog exist for three reasons:
- Make money for IZEA.
- Support charity.
- Express my creative spirit.
I am happy to say I am doing all of these things with a good degree of regularity and having a blast along the way. What about you? Have you been able to establish your brand? What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are you trying to accomplish with it?
I have a couple of words of personal branding advice:
- List out your objectives. Answer the questions above for starters.
- Don’t skimp on design. If you are not a designer hire someone to establish a personal ID for you. Remember your ID may go beyond a logo, it may include how you physically present yourself.
- Create a marketing budget. I know it is hard in these economic times but you need to invest in marketing on an ongoing basis. (PPP has some budget friendly options ; )
- Invest the time. It’s not going to happen overnight, you need to spend 2-3 hours a day everyday interacting with others online.