I don’t really want to offend anyone here, but come on… we all know it’s true. Personal branding is for nerds. Or marketing and social media professionals…. who are probably also nerds. The concept has always struck me as so INAUTHENTIC. Putting all that effort into strategizing exactly how you will portray yourself on the web… why can’t we all just be ourselves? Isn’t that enough? What happens when I GROW and CHANGE and EVOLVE in a direction that is not consistent with my personal brand?
BUT, being the nerd that I am, I do see the benefit–especially when it comes to my looming job hunt–of having a strong
personal brand visual identity that extends beyond my profile pic and status updates. So, while I can’t really get behind the entire concept, I do want to be prepared to present a strong, thoughtful, and consistent visual brand on all my “stuff”. You know, my portfolio, my resume, my business cards, my embroidered polo shirts… yeah, just kidding on that last one.
Since I’ve never really made this kind of effort before, I decided to do a little crowdsourcing and enlist the help of my friends on the web to brainstorm some concepts with me. I wanted honest feedback on three simple questions:
- What color do you most strongly associate with me?
- What three words or personal characteristics come to mind when you think of me?
- If I were a “thing” (a symbol, a shape, an animal, etc), what would I be?
How did I do this, you ask? Let me tell you, SurveyMonkey is your friend. Your free and easy to use friend. Your free and easy to use anonymous survey tool friend. I just whipped up a quick survey and shared it on Facebook and Google+. Lucky for me, people gave a crap enough to respond.
While I’m still digging through the data and trying to reach some conclusions, I thought I would share some of the shining stars I received as responses. They really are gems.
What color do you most strongly associate with me?
Is awesome a color? Orange.
What three words or personal characteristics come to mind when you think of me?
Sunday morning cartoons.
Loyal, hardworking, boobs.
If I were a “thing” (a symbol, a shape, an animal, etc), what would I be?
Godzilla with long blond hair, and a cute laugh but with a tender side…feeling guilty about eating a school with kids inside, crying at house burnings and such.
A tigress. (!!! My favorite!!!!)
I swear to god, even though I felt super dorky for crowdsourcing my
personal brand visual identity, reading the responses to those questions has been keeping me on cloud nine for weeks now. I highly recommend that you try it… even if you just want to do it to see what people will say about you. Everyone loves a narcissist, you know.
PS – Please note that I hold nerds in very high regard and aspire to great nerdiness myself. Criticism of personal branding is not in any way meant to offend those that do get into it. To each his own, hombre.