I don’t know if Dan Schawbel would agree with this definition, but personal branding, as I understand it, is developing one clear message and consistently delivering that message through all of your communications. This includes your tweets, blogs, comments on LinkedIn and Facebook, webpage, printed advertisement, etc. If you look at the titles of my blog roll to the right, the lastest “tweets” underneath, the many LinkedIn groups I belong to (41 at last count), my Twitter bio, or even the title of this blog page, you will see I have big problem with the Rule of One.
I cannot seem to find that single passion for One Thing. I love my family and being a wife and mother. I have been a dedicated member of the Human Resources profession for more years than I care to admit. My interests in psychology lead me to pursue another graduate degree, and I got through about 45 hours, or two thirds of the program, before the baby got in the way. I cannot help but take an interest in current events, especially as they affect my career or my family. My faith is another important aspect of my life, which is why I recently signed on as a catechist with my parish, just as my son begins his religious education. As a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant, I am always interested in upcoming fashion and make up trends, even if I don’t try to follow all of them. I tend to be less trendy and more traditional with my dress, so it’s fun to at least experiment with makeup, and well, skin care is a must.
All of these interests have been found in my tweets and blogs and profiles. My coming tweets and blogs will be very focused on fitness and wellness, another area of interest. I have just ordered the P90X program for “total body transformation”. Drastic situations require drastic action, and a former marathon runner who gains 30 pounds of body fat within two years needs a drastic solution. By Christmas I should fit into some of my older dresses. I will probably regret not glomming more of my late sister’s clothes after her passing, but I am just too big to wear most of them. I intend to fix that. Blogging and tweeting will be a way of holding myself accountable for my actions and progress.
So who am I really, and what do I want to share with the world? If asked to define myself, I could probably narrow this down to counselor and teacher. Being a parent is like being a little of both. Being married is a form of self-improvement therapy in itself. As a human resources generalist, I can practice both in training and counseling and coaching. In fact, I am most on my game when I am acting in these roles. I am no expert on fitness, but I have learned a lot from my many years of running and training, and I enjoy passing that knowledge along. As for my faith, well it’s always within me and it comes out spontaneously, when it’s appropriate (I hope). However, I still do not think I have summed up all that I am, all that I do and all that I care about even in this paragraph.
Maybe personal branding isn’t for me. Maybe my mission as part of the social networking scene is to just be: to let whatever is on my mind or whatever piques my interest to come out and be shared, in the hope that someone else will gain something from it. I know that I am gaining from the connections I am making online, so I hope I am giving something of value in return, even if am a bit all over the map.