Branding: This Time, It’s Personal

Mink Comic #6: While my “Hire Me” music video resume was the single best personal branding move I ever made (and probably ever will make), the real lasting value of the clip came from two simple things that appeared about halfway in: my Twitter handle and a link to my blog at the time.

Marketer Al circa 2009 almost left them out, not really considering or anticipating the following and readership he might get if said video took off (which it did). Present day marketer Al praises his amateur self for making this call because over the years, he’s steadily built up a modest social following as a result.

I’ve found personal branding a tough thing to nail, especially for people just starting their careers. The content feels forced. The writer has a weird sense of entitlement. There’s nothing special about what they’re creating.

In order for personal branding to work, you need to convey passion, integrate a degree of authenticity and most importantly, you need to write well.

To convey passion, experience whatever it is you’re writing about and see if it sticks. If you don’t like it, don’t force yourself to. Move on.

To integrate authenticity, write about your own ideas. Anyone can write about anyone else’s ideas. Coming up with your own is much more challenging (and interesting).

To write well, you need to practice. You also need to read a ton.

But don’t wait to have all those skills nailed down to start creating content. Find your passion in your career and experience it. Write about you own ideas. Eventually everything falls into place.

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Al is a marketer at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Cambridge, MA. He is the creator of Mink.

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