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5 Golden Rules: Branding


This post is part of 12 Days of Blogging 2010: 5 Golden Rules. Make sure you check out the rest of the series for more awesome advice from bloggers around the world!

If you’re a business, you can use a blog to help build your brand. If you’re a blogger, what you post on your blog and social media helps shape your brand. There’s no two ways about it – branding is important. Good branding can help you become a respected expert in your niche. Poor branding can be a PR disaster…or worse – you may never get any sticky traffic, no matter what you do in terms of promotion.

I’m not a branding expert, but I know people who are – or at least, who understand the best branding techniques far better than I do! Here are five of them (and if you’ve written about branding, please post your link in the comments section below!):

1. When YOU Are The Brand by Chris Brogan

Companies like Coca-cola or Tide or Sony have teams of people working on their brand. As bloggers, not only do we not have that luxury (in most cases), but we also have another unique challenge – we’re branding ourselves, not a product. Chris Brogan, one of the smartest guys around in terms of branding, talks about the topic of being a brand in this post. Writes Chris:

The trick of being in a personal brand is that there’s a big difference between being known, being known for something, and also being able to turn that into business.

I’ve got a recognizable personal brand. It took years to build it. From that, it took years to figure out how best to make business from it. Because just being known doesn’t transform instantly into business.

Many of you may already be readers of Chris’ blog, but if you aren’t, check it out and find him on Twitter @chrisbrogan.

2. Killer Branding in 6 Steps by Mars Dorian at The World Needs You

The World Needs You is one of the awesome blogs that has only recently come onto my radar, causing me to kick myself for not knowing about it sooner. I’m always skeptical of posts with “killer” in the title, because usually they aren’t actually very killer at all. But like with every post he writes, Mars pretty much nails it with this one. It’s good enough to induce some fist-pumping action at points. I’m not every from New Jersey.* From the post:

If you want you to spread your digital influence, you need to become a killer-ass personal brand. It’s e-s-s-e-n-t-i-a-l.

Otherwise, why should people listen to you ? Why should they come to your online platform ? What makes you different ? TONS of stuff. You only have to learn some magic to crystallize it.

Check out The World Needs You for more from Mars and follow him on Twitter @marsdorian.

3. 10 Simple Steps to ‘Thought Leader’ Status in your Niche! by Chris Ducker at Virtual Business Lifestyle

Chris Ducker single-handedly added ten years to my life at BlogWorld; I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard. I met him by chance the last day I was in Vegas, and was glad I did, as I hadn’t previously known about his blog, Virtual Business Lifestyle. Now I’m a regular reader. In this post, he talks about becoming a thought leader, which is something that’s only possible with successful branding. From the post:

Nowadays, the internet enables people with experience in a certain industry sector to position themselves as a thought leader a hell of a lot quicker than it has traditionally taken. Sometimes in a matter of just a few weeks, or months! so, with the new year approaching and several people out there wanting to start businesses for themselves based on their experience and entrepreneurial thirst, I’d like to kick off this list of 10 so-simple-you’ll-kick-yourself-for-not-coming-up-with-them-yourself tips, with five ‘harsh reality’ points of interest to consider when positioning yourself as a thought leader without your own chosen niche.

For Chris’ ten tips, head to Virtual Business Lifestyle, and don’t forget to follow him on Twitter @chriscducker.

4. The Secret to Self Promotion: Radiance and the Facts, Jack by Danielle LaPorte at White Hot Truth

While promotion is not the same as branding, the two are closely related. In this post by the ever-awesome Danielle LaPorte, you’ll get some secrets to self-promotion…even if it’s something you hate to do (like me). From the post:

Do I sell my self? Damn straight I do. Everyday, all day. I’m doing it right now. I’ll do it on Twitter, CBC TV, Facebook, this week’s speaking gig for the Travel & Media Association of Canada, and when the waiter asks me what I do for a living. But I’m no longer TRYING TO CONVINCE YOU TO BELIEVE AND BUY. Rather, (and this has been one of my most gnarly, redeeming spiritual journeys) I radiate and state the facts. That’s it. And it’s a helluva lot more efficient than sales.

Check out White Hot Truth and Danielle’s Fire Starter Sessions for more awesome advice, and follow her on Twitter @daniellelaporte.

5. Your Personal Brand is Always with You by Lara Solomon at Social Rabbit

In this post, Social Rabbit gives us a reminder that we all need from time to time – you are always representing your personal brand. This is true both online and offline. Food for thought. From Lara’s post:

It comes back to your personal brand (Gary Vaynerchuk talks a lot about this in Crush It!) and what you want people to take away from meeting/talking/interacting with you. As Erik Qualman says in Socialnomics what happens in Vegas stays on Youtube!

Everyone has heard how people very quickly assess others and form an opinion of them, well now with the aid of social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn this is even easier and they don’t even need to meet you!! So how can you make sure that you are dressed properly and don’t have your underpants ontop of your trouseurs – superman style?

You can read more at the Social Rabbit blog and follow this media-savvy bunny on Twitter @laroo.

Your turn – give me your best post (from your blog or a blog you read) about branding!

*For those of you who don’t get the fist-pumping/Jersey reference, male orange-tinted Jersey dancers are commonly seen fist-pumping on the dance floor when they get overly excited. It’s kind of like a car crash in that you know it’s wrong, but you can’t look away.

This post is part of the 12 Days of Blogging Series. The 5 Golden Rules are:

You can also check out all of the posts in this series here: 12 Days of Blogging 2010


  • Mars Dorian

    Thanx for the mention, Alli,

    those are some sweet.-ass examples. I’m a fan of Chris C. Ducker and Danielle Laporte – they really know what they are talking about.

    Our biggest advantage today is that we can be personal brands, and spreading our message has become so much simpler thanx to the internet !

    It’s simple, but not easy. Everything we do is part of our marketing, and with that comes grreat responsibility.

    • Alli

      Like Spider-Man!

      Yes, I’m a huge nerd. “With great power, comes great responsibility…”

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