A few weeks ago I joined in the viral destruction of the character of a rather immature person who made a bad comment on a blog. I won’t say who it was or what it was about, only that the comment and subsequent discussions were rather appalling and, frankly, amusing. And because they were amusing, I posted a link to the comments, making fun of the person. Then I began to feel awful. Yes, this person was dumbfoundingly stupid but did that mean I had to join in the viral glee of making fun? I don’t do it in real life so why did I do it then? That’s when I started thinking of Best Practices.
In the business world, Best Practices is “a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.(1)”
As I start my personal branding, I want to establish some Best Practices of my own and have come up with a small handful of ideas:
1. Think Before You Tweet
This is a variation of “Think before you speak.” I will take time to consider what it is that I’m tweeting (or adding to my Facebook status). Does it add to the well-being of others? Is it fun in a nice way? If it’s fun in a mean way, then it doesn’t get posted. There is so much negativity and destruction going on in the world, I don’t want to add to it.
2. Do Not Drink and Text…
…or tweet or status update or blog. This is a no-brainer. But I’m going to add more to it. I will not text, tweet, update, or write while tired or angry, either. I have learned over the years that I’m rather irrational under those circumstances! One semester while in college and under the influence of no sleep, I pretty much confided via email my existential soul to one of my religion professors. The next day as the sun scattered the shadows of the night, I was rather embarrassed at what I wrote. That was when I swore I would never again write while under the influence of an irrational state-of-mind.
3. If I read something online that is worth sharing…
…I will share! I love the idea of backlinks and the surprise of retweets. I admit that the very first retweet of one of my tweets had me dancing! Such simple joys.
4. My ultimate goal is to build people up and hopefully make them smile
It makes me smile to make others smile. So my posts will be, if not amusing, at least positive.
These are only four of many more that will develop over time as I learn more about what I’m doing and how I will go about doing it. Anyone else have any input?
Sitting on the virtual desk in my mind is Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and my blog waiting to be branded. I can see them clearly! I see all the design elements scattered about them, each one teasing me and calling to me. I’m not sure what my design concept is yet for branding so it’s rather daunting seeing all these possibilities lying around, vying for attention.
“Pick me!” says the personable, fun-loving, chatty blog.
“No! You must be serious. I’m your choice,” says the detached, professional, you-want-people-to-take-you-seriously blog.
My Twitter account has always been reserved for cause-promotion (I used it exclusively to promote budget-friendly activities) but now it’s being co-opted by other activities and I fear I will need to rename it because, frankly, @thoroughlyurban takes up a lot of Twitter space.
But I also want to be friendly and personable on Twitter!
I get caught between professional and personable and I don’t know how to be personably-professional. Or if I should.
And I’m wordy. I play with words and sentences and my writing can get muddled and obscure if I’m not careful.
So here’s what I’m going to do. Since I’m new at all this social media branding stuff I will just…well…be myself. What a thought! Perhaps when I become more aware of who I am and where I’m going, I will slip naturally into a professional mode true to me and no one will be the wiser.
After I published my last post, I kept reading “Branding Yourself; How to use social media to invent or reinvent yourself” and discovered a small faux pas I made that I must fix! The book talks about backlinks and how important they are to blogging and SEO (search engine optimization).
A backlink is basically a link that goes back to your site from an outside site. The more backlinks you have, the higher your site ranks on the search engines. That’s because search engines like Google measure a site’s credibility (and therefore, rank) based on the number of backlinks. At their simplest, backlinks can come from other authors and readers via their own blog or by leaving a comment on someone else’s blog and linking back to your own. [Branding Yourself, pg 154]
It’s not that I want to backlink to my blog…haha! I’m writing from my blog!…but that I failed to backlink to Erik Deckers’ and Kyle Lacy’s websites! A courtesy I am rectifying right now and promise not to do to others. So much to learn!
I am sooooo excited! I’m breaking out of a shell and it’s making me giddy.
I picked up the book “Branding Yourself; How to use social media to invent or reinvent yourself” by Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy (both from Indianapolis). It is giving me a lot to think about, especially when it comes to making my social media world cohesive.
As I learn to brand, I must take into consideration social media. Incorporating it into my branding syllabus is a must, so you will start to see changes in my social media accounts as I work through it all. There will be changes in my blog, in my Twitter account, and, gulp, I have to actually use LinkedIn.
I feel like I’m breaking out of a concrete shell…finally! And the freedom leaves me breathless.
It takes ennui and a desire to move onward and upward to kick me out of a rut. As much as I love Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign (oh, how I love InDesign), I recognize that as long as I hone the tools, I will be nothing more than the-person-behind-the-computer. I crave complex discussion and the excitement of implementing ideas; something I am not getting at work.
Recently I dove head-first into my introvert (on the MBTI I am an INFP) and mucked around in the sludge that pooled in my depths and I discovered a diamond that needed polishing. I do so enjoy design work but even more, I am discovering a deep affection for (oh no!) branding. Designing brand identity.
And so I embark on my next project. I am developing a personal course that will challenge me and in the end I plan on having a solid brand identity that clearly identifies me and my career goals.
My homework for this week is to develop a syllabus that will guide me and that will have all the fun things in it I enjoy doing; research, self-evaluations, reading, projects, field trips, WRITING and, oh, I don’t know, other fun stuff.
So look out ennui. It’s time to get moving.