Back from Break!

Having taken some time off recently, it’s nice to step back into the world of social media and blogging after completely unplugging. It puts some of the obsessive frenzy of social media consumption into perspective, particularly if you’ve spent part of your time off lounging by a Great Lake to a multi-hued sunset with a breeze in your face and sand between your toes.

It makes you realize that everything has its place. As many wonderful times as I had while away, I rarely felt compelled to capture and report them via social media. (I think the most-used apps on my phone during my time away were the Camera app, Instagram, and Waze, haha!) Yes, I made the occasional Facebook status update but I barely checked my Twitter feed and didn’t even think about my blog. Decompressing is a beautiful thing, and we should all take more time out for it.

You get the impression, especially from Twitter, that if you slow down at all then you’re out of the game. Perhaps that’s why you see some of the heaviest tweeters re-posting former blog posts, past tweets or under-140-character snippets of wisdom from the philosophers of our time and those times past. After all, if you don’t keep your name in people’s face than where are you? [Side note:¬†I find that those I follow on Twitter that I appreciate the most are those who have different things to say all the time. I certainly gravitate towards the individuals using Twitter to build their personal brand rather than the businesses using it for social media marketing. The content is often better coming from the individual accounts (and individual accounts not tied to any business).]

While vacation is great and wonderful, it’s time to put the nose to the grindstone once again. I’m actually excited to catch up on personal branding, personal finance and social media posts. I’m looking forward to tracking back posts from Gen Y/millennial enthusiasts to see what’s the latest during my time away. And I’m looking forward to posting in this blog again, which is still taking off but which I enjoy throwing my thoughts into. ūüôā

More to follow soon!

Why You Can Break Personal Branding Rules

No Rules

Break Personal Branding Rules

Jamie Varon and Nicole Antoinette: How to Succeed by Breaking All of the Personal Branding Rules.

Many of the concepts expressed in the article above spoke to me.¬†Before starting to blog, I spent a lot of time reading about blogging and personal branding. Many of the articles I ran across offered a set of “rules” regarding both blogging and personal brand creation. These lists were one of the reasons it took me so long to get started.


Rules, so many rules. I felt swamped by them. I wanted to focus on more than one topic (no). I also wanted to use my personal Twitter account as my personal branding account but wanted to tweet about both personal and professional interests via the same account (frowned upon, stick to your message).  I kept reading about all the lists of things I should not do under any circumstances. Ever. Or my blog would fail and my personal brand would be tarnished beyond repair.

Then I realized that while some of those rules might be valuable for people blogging for their companies, they were less applicable to me as an individual interested in expanding my personal brand.

But What is a Personal Brand?

When I talk about my personal brand, I don’t mean giving my company a human face via my presence online. What I’m doing is actually setting up a¬†brand that’s all about me.¬†I’m sharing who I am, and that is what will help me connect with others. Not all my tweets can be about “the issues” because people with other interests will want to connect with me for other reasons: because we’re already friends, because we’re work colleagues, because we like the same shows or music or books. Holding back on the odd tweet about how I enjoy x-show or x-comedic anecdote doesn’t help me; it hinders me from showing the multidimensional person that I am and making a larger number of connections with all sorts of people.

Individual Freedom

I think the “rules”, or let’s call them guidelines, that have been put out there have a purpose. They do help tweeps and bloggers focus their message and find ways to step beyond delivering a message for their companies to¬†interacting¬†with people. However, individuals building their personal brands need to know they can break out and do their own thing when needed. It’s what makes them and their content unique. Everyone’s different so everyone’s personal brand can be different. And there’s nothing wrong with that!

Did you find the rules daunting when you started working on your personal brand?

Did you stick with them or do your own thing?

Do you think it is ok to break the rules?

What advice do you have for others worried about this issue?