In the past two months, I’ve had the pleasure of helping an awesome lady to learn more about social media. Donna Rachelson founded Branding & Marketing YOU, a company that is all about personal branding and personal marketing. She asked me to help teach her the ropes on social networking and how it can improve her company’s services online.
I have never been consciously aware of what my personal brand is or what it entails so the training sessions with Donna has been mutually beneficial. The experience has been enlightening and a good learning experience for it gave a new meaning to the phrase “putting your best foot forward”, and how this relates to understanding people in business.
Take for instance the legendary market share battle between Apple and Microsoft – what sets their CEOs apart in the marketplace? Steve Ballmer is no Steve Jobs that’s for sure, but what exactly does that mean?
In a world where perception is everything, one’s personal brand and how you choose to market yourself is evidently a key objective of many a top-ranking official. This is why Steve Jobs is regarded as a hip and trendy mover and shaker in the technology industry whereas Steve Ballmer is seen to play it safe, and is regarded as quite a conservative man.
Both these men have allowed the world’s view on them to shape and mold their personal brands. A case in point is the fact that Jobs suffers with a chronic illness that has left him incapacitated in the last year that he is no longer able to fulfill his duties at Apple as CEO. None in the tech world have questioned their perception of the man based on his illness, and Jobs’ personal brand in this case has not suffered negatively in this regard.
However Ballmer was slated for the business decisions taken regarding the Microsoft Zune product line and this impacted heavily on his personal image. His actions in business seemed to affirm the way the media portrayed him and therefore the perception of Ballmer as a shrewd, conservative businessman has been entrenched in the public eye.
So as my education in personal branding continues, I leave you with a parting shot that may go a long way to understanding how your activities online can too impact on the way people perceive you.
Gives a whole new meaning to ‘You don’t exist until Google says you do’, huh?