It seems that every day I’m having a conversation with someone – friend, client, prospective client, you name it, about the importance of social media and the need to integrate it into your life and into your business. In fact, I get a little sick of having the same conversation over and over and over again – especially since social media isn’t all that I do. I own a marketing firm. We do anything and everything relating to marketing and advertising and public relations. And yet, here we go, focusing once again on social media. But here’s the kicker – marketing and advertising and pr – and everything about the entire world of business and the world of life in general, as we’ve known it for the past few decades, has changed. And, it’s going to change more, and more often, than ever before.
The most common complaint that I hear is that people just don’t have time to add social mediums to the mix of the things they do, whether work-related or personally, on a daily basis. And they aren’t really interested in sharing information about themselves, or think that Facebook is stupid and that Twitter is for idiots, and that all social media is nothing more than a huge time suck and so on and so forth, yadda yadda yadda.
Here’s what I say – new media is really all about the Brand of You. Whether you own a business or want to own a business, have a job or are looking for a job (or might some day be interested in looking for a new job), branding yourself, especially in today’s online world, is nothing less than imperative. Do you have an up-to-date profile on LinkedIn? Do you blog or have a personal website? Do you have a working knowledge and understanding of Facebook, even if you don’t choose to participate? Do you have any idea of the demographics of the user group that comprises a community like Twitter? Do you know what happens if you Google yourself? Do you have a Google profile? If you answer no to one or two of those questions, that’s probably not the end of the world. If you answer no to three or more, frankly, I feel sorry for you.
We used to operate in a world where people had resumes and business cards and static websites that never needed updating, and they networked face-to-face. We now live in a world where people have avatars and profiles and blogs and micro-blogs and are connected to, influenced by and collaborating with not only people who live in the same town, but people who live all over the world. The world isn’t changing – it HAS changed, and it is those of us who choose to acknowledge those changes and adapt ourselves accordingly who will reap the most benefit.
So, what about you? What’s the status of the Brand of You? How are you positioning yourself to let people know who YOU are, what you have to offer and why they should collaborate with or, from a personal standpoint, even get to know you? Are you sitting in your office waiting for them to call you on the phone or send you an email and ask to get together or see your resume? Are you feeling complacent and secure because today you happen to have a job and, as such, don’t need to concern yourself with what’s happening in the world around you? If so, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you could be sitting there, alone or, even worse, job hunting with little chance of success, for a long time to come.
As we close out a year and a decade and move into a fresh year, I suggest we all spend a few moments reflecting on the Brand of You. What is it today? What would you like it to be in the future? What makes you a valuable asset? What makes you worthy of attention? What do you do really, really well? What do you have to contribute that might make the world a better place? What do you have to contribute at all? And, most importantly, what are you going to do to make sure that people know about it? You. Who are you and why do you matter?
What have I forgotten? I would love to hear your thoughts on the Brand of You.