Posted August 22, 2009 1:00 am by with 9 comments

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EgotisticalAbout a week ago I asked Andy if I could be Marketing Pilgrim’s version of Paul Carr. He said “You can do a weekly editorial as long as you keep it clean.” I thought, “keep it clean? Well, I can try!” So, I put away my dirty magazines, grabbed a cup of coffee to sober up and began writing my first weekly Saturday editorial for Marketing Pilgrim! Stay tuned every Saturday as I share with you some of my crazy ideas and twisted thoughts on everything from internet marketing to social media!

Don’t let the title confuse you, I love Personal Branding & Online Reputation Management! Seriously, have you ever heard of another acceptable way to spend your time completely consumed in yourself? The truth is, I love myself so much that any activity that involves me optimizing my online image seems like second nature! Hell, even Andy agrees how awesome I am!

So because of this, I am always shocked when I meet folks that don’t like the idea of ORM or personal branding. Here’s an example: A friend of mine is involved in social activism and, runs a well publicized interest group. Because of this he gets a lot of attention on the Internet. Many times it comes from folks that are opposed to his work. One blogger in particular has gone so far as to threaten to kill him in a blog post. This is obviously a job for law enforcement, however, now when users search for my friend’s name the threatening post ranks on the first page.

This is where I stepped in and advised that he setup a blog with his name as the domain and start blogging ASAP with his name used as keywords. I then put together a link building strategy that emphasizes his name in anchor text on several friendly blogs and social media sites that he already uses.

To my utter amazement his response was: Isn’t this too self serving? Shouldn’t I spend my time talking about the issues I care about more than myself? This is the point when I think Wow! This guy is really passionate about his cause! But, I responded by saying, “You need to be more self serving so you can better talk about your issues.”

Social Media’s Dirty Little Secrets

Secret #1: Social media is all about you. Its not about your brand, your product, or your ideas. It is first and foremost about you. If you are unable to promote yourself and protect your reputation then everything else that you do online is at risk of being a complete failure.

Secret #2: No body cares more about you than you. You have to be your own advocate and your own brand builder. You have to constantly engage and monitor for yourself.

Secret #3: Some of the most successful folks in social media have the biggest egos on the planet. OK maybe that isn’t really a secret! But seriously, pay attention to some of the social media power players on Twitter and watch how often they use the words “I” and “me”. The truth is they didn’t get to where they are, by talking about someone else.

Putting yourself first doesn’t mean that you are losing sight of what is important or what you are passionate about. It merely means that you are taking responsible actions that will better enable you to promote the issues and ideas that you care about most! So do yourself a favor and start talking about yourself more! And for a good example of a personal branding blog all about a really awesome guy check out this site out! 😉

  • Social Media is all about you?

    Damn! …and here I thought it was a tool for advancing new ideas, meeting new people, starting new businesses, and creating social change.

    Seriously though, it’s true there’s an element of self-servingness (is that a word?) to using the Social Web, but so long as your efforts spark an interest in the community who follows you then a little self-promotion is ok.

    By the way, there’s a totally amazing link below where you can vote for me, me, me as one of the Top 50 Tweeple on Twitter!

    (Dear God – I’ve become a shameless self-promoter too! Noooooooo!)
    .-= Social Media Commando´s last blog ..Top 50 Tweeples – Vote for Joe Mescher =-.

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  • I tried for years to brand a company. But I found that it’s much easier to brand a person. You see even huge companies doing this… Donald Trump, Virgin, Oprah, etc…

    This is smart advice.
    .-= Sage Lewis´s last blog ..Favorite Places on Google Maps =-.

  • I agree, I think people sometimes don’t understand just how important personal online branding really is. Especially if your type of business draws the attention of your enemies. That could lead to a disastrous PR issue.

  • Very well said Joe. Before anyone can promote a cause or a business, it is vital they learn how to promote themselves first. I am learning this more and more each day. Besides blogging and link building, what do you find works best to build your online reputation Joe?

    Joel Gross
    .-= Joel Gross´s last blog ..The Power of Outsourcing =-.

  • Very interesting article, I would agree that building a brand is one of the most important things that you can do. Whether you are building yourself or your product as the brand, it is absolutely necessary.

  • To be a successful personal brand, community MUST enter the picture. Those who are inauthentic, poorly branded or boorish will be shouting in a vacant cave…

    That being said, follow me at these websites…. 😉

    Nice post!
    Mark Montoya


  • What a shame he didn’t get it. Thank goodness he has you for a friend, heh?

    If you (or I) don’t manage our online reputation, someone else will. I would much rather be in control of what is said about my client and/or their product/service than a disgruntled customer, an angry employee or even an unauthorized fan who exaggerates.

    Brand building is all about YOU, the brand builder, so that WE the rest of the world can learn about what YOU can do for US 🙂

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