Category Archives: Projects

Personal Branding is for Nerds

Personal Branding Formula
CC BY-NC-ND Flickr user: stefano principato

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 unicorn.

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.

xo Em


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.

52 Projects // Plant Party

I’ve spent the past few days feeling pretty crummy and haven’t really been able to do more than change the channel on the tube.  Which, as much as I dislike it, I welcomed it because I don’t want any sickness interfering with my trip to Chicago next weekend.

Thankfully I’m feelin better and ready to launch a little blog series called 52 Projects.  One project per week, 52 weeks per year, one year of takin care of business.  It’s likely that a lot of my projects will overlap with my 101 in 1001 list, but I can dig it.

Because I still feel a little weak and lazy, I decided to take on a quick and easy project. Maybe something where I could get my hands dirty.

In addition to my usual houseplant care taking routine, I decided to re-pot one that was outgrowing its little home and plant some clippings I had growing in a jar of water. Which took about 3 minutes. Yay! Easy win!

Even though there isn’t much to it, I like to celebrate the fact that I’ve kept these little guys alive long enough to even BE re-potted. Once upon a time, there was no refuge from my black thumb. Now that I’ve learned to choose plants that can survive and thrive in my shadowy home, I’ve paid attention to their water and nutrient needs.  As long as I can remember to water and feed them (which I have had to actually put on my to do list), they stick around.

xo Em