Confession. I know jack balls about personal branding.
I could research some popular top authors on branding like Dan Schawbel or Jacob Share but I’m doing just fine, no offense fellers. You see, in a relatively short period of time, I’ve gone from being personally bland, to having myself an increasingly growing personal brand. The best part about saying that is I’ve made it happen simply by being me.
Nine months ago I was gearing up for a shit ton of unemployed experiences, something I’ve coined FUNemployment. It began with a few trips to tropical islands, and then on July 11th, 2009, Corn On The Job was born. One of the first things I noticed about blogging was an abundance of buzzwords, including personal branding. Thank god I was directed to Penelope Trunk’s blog, she advised me to ignore those buzzwords and come back to them later. Thanks, Penelope!
What have I done right?
Blog Name – I’m quirky, kinda nerdy, maybe humorous, and my blog and blog name match that. I wanted my blogs name to make people smile, laugh, but mostly be something they couldn’t forget. I really don’t toot my own horn often, but c’mon, how cool of a name is Corn On The Job? People can easily assume that my blog presents the lighter side of career advice. I feel like they aren’t disappointed in their assumptions once they find themselves drifting through my posts.
I write what I know – I have heavy experience in recruiting, both in agency and corporate settings. I’ve worked in corporate HR, just about completed a Masters in Human Resources Development, and have felt the sting of an acquisition. Why write about anything else? Gary Vaynerchuk speaks a lot about how your passion should drive what you do, and this is my passion.
I make connections – For two years I worked in agency recruiting, selling people to clients on a daily basis. You must really love people and making connections to survive that business, and I certainly do have that passion. Whether people comment on the blog, reach out via social media, email, or meet me face to face, I always do my best to engage. Life is about connections. Life is about helping one another. Life is about learning and improving on previous experiences. I incorporate those things into my blog whenever possible, and it’s mostly done through connecting and engaging with people. Matt Cheuvront responds to each of his 500,000 commenters on his blog posts, and that is something that I try to emulate on Corn On The Job.
I’m very confident in saying that 99.9% of the people I interact with on Corn On The Job, My Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, and Brazen Careerist had no idea who I was just five months ago. Flash forward to present time, and via computer screen, you’ve welcome me into your office, family room, kitchen, local starbucks, and even your bed room. The connections I’ve made with all of you have been incredible, and it’s continuously the most rewarding benefit of running my blog.
Don’t try to create a personal brand. Lately, more than a couple people have mentioned that my personal brand is increasing. I’ll say it again, the best part about hearing that is I’ve done it all on my own, without research, and without changing who I am. I’ve taken who I am, what I know, and what I’m passionate about, and used that to create a name for myself. It’s been a lot of hard work, but work that I love doing. It all starts with passion.
What are you passionate about?