When Does Personal Branding Go Too Far?

by Samantha on November 3, 2009

One day a couple of weeks ago, I started off the morning on Twitter with these questions:

Do you think personal branding can go too far? Is success worth losing your true self?

I got some very interesting responses:

norcross:  I think the whole idea of PB is flawed if it involves anything that isnt who you really are. reputation is what counts.

PaughGinney: When everything you do sounds like a sales pitch … That’s a tell-tale sign.

rikin311:  I agree I think alot of people especially in this GenY crowd are sacrificing long term reputation for short term gains.

I think there’s so much more to be said on this subject, so I’ll share my take and then open it up to all of you. To answer my own questions: Do I think personal branding can go too far? Yes. Is success worth losing your true self? Definitely not. Everyone has different goals, different reasons for blogging and getting involved in social media. As members of the blogosphere, we have to market ourselves to some degree if we want people to read our blogs. Degree is the key word, and how we go about promoting ourselves and our work can affect both our success, and how others perceive us.

If you’re an entrepreneur, and your blog is part of your business strategy, then personal branding is part of the equation as well. But, if you blog because you love to write, or want to connect with people and become part of a community, then self promotion shouldn’t be your top priority. Let’s be honest, we all want success. It’s human nature to seek approval and crave recognition.  Truth is, I was incredibly honored and excited to make Ryan Stephens’ list of Top 10 Gen Y Blogs last month. Being on that list was proof that I’m doing something right over here at Life’s Chocolates. It’s evidence that even those who brand themselves very little still get recognized by the community. It’s so easy to become consumed by creating a name for yourself, that you can lose your true self in the process. Believe it or not, people notice. We may never meet each other in real life, but if I did a complete personality 180, you would know.  So, remember that there are many ways our content can affect our readers.

I blog because I love to write. I write candidly and honestly about my life because I want you to be able to learn from my experiences. Sure, I promote my posts on Twitter, but not to excess.  I don’t have a Facebook fan page, my number of Twitter followers has been slowly approaching 500 for a while now, and I’ve never had a post receive more than 20 comments. But, that’s okay with me. In fact, that’s great! If a post touches one person, I consider it a success. If I get one RT, I’m excited. It’s not that I’m setting low expectations or goals for myself because I don’t think I can do better. I have complete faith in myself, but I also truly value each one of you and what you have to say.  I know some of you are regular readers, but you never leave a comment, and that’s cool. As long as you’re getting something from this blog that keeps you coming back.  Here’s the bottom line: When you come to this blog, you get the real me, every time, and you always will.  If you ever feel differently, please let me know, because that’s the last thing I want.

Now it’s your turn to answer some questions. Again, the first two were:  Do you think personal branding can go too far? Is success worth losing your true self? Rikin also followed up with this question on Twitter:  So, when you do think someone’s going too far in their PB, what do you do?

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Be Sociable, Share!
  • http://restlesslikeme.com/ Norcross

    As I mentioned in my original response via twitter, I think the basic idea of 'personal branding' is at best a misnomer, and at worse a fraud. It's simply the idea of reputation, simply repackaged in a digital era and given a marketing spin. Should you care about your reputation? Absolutely. Should you change who you are because of it? No. I'll be the first to admit that at time I am crass, somewhat unfiltered, and overall just kind of weird. But that's who I am, and people know this and (some) like it. If I began 'branding' myself as anything other than that, it would be a flat-out lie.

  • http://restlesslikeme.com Norcross

    As I mentioned in my original response via twitter, I think the basic idea of 'personal branding' is at best a misnomer, and at worse a fraud. It's simply the idea of reputation, simply repackaged in a digital era and given a marketing spin. Should you care about your reputation? Absolutely. Should you change who you are because of it? No. I'll be the first to admit that at time I am crass, somewhat unfiltered, and overall just kind of weird. But that's who I am, and people know this and (some) like it. If I began 'branding' myself as anything other than that, it would be a flat-out lie.

  • http://www.rikinontheweb.com/ rikin

    I've still been thinking about all this since our original chat. I'm going to rephrase my original response a little bit and say that I think alot of in Gen Y, including me, want blogging to be a rewarding experience. With that said everyone's definition of rewarding is obviously different but my feeling is that many people are chasing the wrong rewards. They're chasing a big following and hope to write an ebook before they've even gone through the process – not to mention before there's even a demand. For me, at 24, I'm honing my passions and learning more about myself along the way too. My blog is meant to record that and hopefully other people chime in with support and insight.

  • http://www.rikinontheweb.com rikin

    I've still been thinking about all this since our original chat. I'm going to rephrase my original response a little bit and say that I think alot of in Gen Y, including me, want blogging to be a rewarding experience. With that said everyone's definition of rewarding is obviously different but my feeling is that many people are chasing the wrong rewards. They're chasing a big following and hope to write an ebook before they've even gone through the process – not to mention before there's even a demand.

    For me, at 24, I'm honing my passions and learning more about myself along the way too. My blog is meant to record that and hopefully other people chime in with support and insight.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com/ Grace Boyle

    What if your true self is self promotion and personal branding? I think there's a way to promote yourself tactfully, while helping others along the way. It's simply a different approach. We've discussed this a lot — the way that women have more of a problem promoting themselves versus men. I feel like I'm somewhere in between your situation and the other end of the spectrum. I don't have a Facebook fan page for my blog (but I also don't think there's anything wrong with that). I think it boils down to your goals. Some people want to keep increasing and growing their blog, presence, etc. That's okay. Some people are happy writing and touching a few people as they go. In the end, be yourself. Be proud of your work. Promotion is a skill and it's good to talk about your strengths. If I'm turned off my someone who says, “Me, me, me, me” then I simply will stop following them or stop reading their blog. This is a great post and I'm excited to see the conversation unfold :)

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    What if your true self is self promotion and personal branding? I think there's a way to promote yourself tactfully, while helping others along the way. It's simply a different approach. We've discussed this a lot — the way that women have more of a problem promoting themselves versus men.

    I feel like I'm somewhere in between your situation and the other end of the spectrum. I don't have a Facebook fan page for my blog (but I also don't think there's anything wrong with that). I think it boils down to your goals. Some people want to keep increasing and growing their blog, presence, etc. That's okay. Some people are happy writing and touching a few people as they go.

    In the end, be yourself. Be proud of your work. Promotion is a skill and it's good to talk about your strengths. If I'm turned off my someone who says, “Me, me, me, me” then I simply will stop following them or stop reading their blog. This is a great post and I'm excited to see the conversation unfold :)

  • http://notsoliteral.wordpress.com/ JR Moreau

    Andrew, I totally agree with you, however getting those crass, weird and unique points about yourself out there to get recognized by the right people who can appreciate them is what I consider personal branding to be about. Call PB what you want because in the end I leave it up to the linguists… personally, I know what I want, I know I don't want to change myself to get it, I only want to focus my attention and good ideas in the direction where they'll be used successfully.

  • http://akhilak.com/blog Akhila

    Sam, I actually wrote about a similar topic before, and it sparked a lot of interest: http://akhilak.com/blog/2009/03/19/in-age-of-pe

    I agree with you that personal branding shouldn't be undertaken at the expense of someone's true personality. But at the same time, there are many obstacles to this, which I also understand and sympathize with. For example:

    1) A person might have so many interests, and choose only one to blog about. Maybe they choose the one topic that is related to their career most. They may not be revealing their true self by focusing on only one topic, but is this wrong? They have a different objective for blogging: furthering their career, perhaps. I mean, you might think some people are selfish, but maybe they genuinely care about self promotion and that's what they want out of blogging.

    2) Not everyone is comfortable revealing their personal lives online. Not everyone can be Penelope Trunk, junior! Personally, I'd prefer to stick to topics and issues I care about rather than talk about my personal life. Call me old fashioned but I'm still not able to reveal all online. I mean, is this lack of personal branding?

    I agree a lot with what Grace is saying. I think we can't really say something is right or wrong because everyone is different, has their own goals & expectations. Maybe some people want to become famous/popular, others want to build community, others want to practice writing skills, and yet others want to use it to advance their careers. Some just like writing. Who's to say which one is correct from the standpoint of PB? I don't really know..

  • Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  • http://twentyorsomething.com/ Susan Pogorzelski

    I really wanted to Like Rikin's comment (and am psyched there's an option to do so!), but I'm too lazy to sign in ;)

    I appreciate what everyone has said in these comments but my opinion leans towards agreeing most with this, if only because my blogging goals and experience has been similar. The part that struck me especially was this:

    “With that said everyone's definition of rewarding is obviously different but my feeling is that many people are chasing the wrong rewards. They're chasing a big following and hope to write an ebook before they've even gone through the process – not to mention before there's even a demand.”

    I feel as if this has unfortunately been a growing situation. Everyone's rewards are different, yes, but I think there are those who are so eager for that success that they are doing anything they can to get there (and maybe hurting others and themselves in the process), just to chase that. Is an ebook a mandatory part of that recipe for success? Do you have to have large numbers to have an impact? Personally, the answer is no. Like Sam, it's about staying true to who I am, for a love of the writing, to figure out this life. Agreed that this isn't true for everyone, and that success is always subjective and self-defined, but it makes you wonder if personal branding and, perhaps by that means, promotion, can be taken too far. I kind of just want to say, “be who you are and the rest will fall into place.” Maybe it's wrong for those who are seeking a different lifestyle, but I think social media makes the veil extremely thin that being anything or anyone else will do yourself more harm than good in forgetting who you are.

    Two cents based on my own recent experiences. Great, great comment Rikin and to everyone else.

    And Sam, a great post — thanks so much for this.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Andrew: I totally respect your opinion and admire the way you express it. I agree that we should care about our reputations, but it's not worth changing ourselves. Personally, I don't think any amount of success or recognition is worth sacrificing who we are. There's a quote that comes to mind that goes something like “I am what I am and that's all that I am,” and I think that's so true. The people who truly care about us will love us no matter what. That's what matters. Thanks for contributing to and inspiring this discussion!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    James: I think you're right that the words “personal branding” don't really matter, and the definition is fairly subjective. But, the word “branding” has certain connotations and that's what turns me off to it. When I put myself out there and share parts of my life with all of you, I'm not selling t-shirts that say “my friend died when he was 21.” It's about learning and meaning and sharing. And to me, that's different than personal branding. But, like I said, it's subjective, so we're all certainly entitled to our opinions. Thanks for sharing yours!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Rikin: You make a very important point that I think is spot on. There are a lot of people who are definitely chasing the wrong rewards. The sad thing is, many of them don't realize it. They don't realize how much they're sacrificing for these so called “rewards.” I commend you for staying true to yourself and using your blog as a platform to hone your passions. Thank you for your comments!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Grace: Wise words, my friend. There are ways to promote yourself tactfully, and that's what I meant when I wrote about the degree to which it's done. It's also how we go about promoting ourselves and making sure we don't rub people the wrong way in doing so. Being proud of yourself is the most important thing. I'm the same way, if I'm turned off by someone who is overdoing it, I stop following them or reading their blog. And, just to be clear, I didn't mean to dis people who have Facebook fan pages. More power to 'em :) Thanks Grace!

  • http://restlesslikeme.com Norcross

    To respond to what others have said, my comments and feelings towards personal branding aren't simply about blogging, but rather the entire idea itself. I obviously don't blog about everything that interests me, if for no other reason than I'm somewhat lazy, a big portion of it is very personal, and half of it would be completely illogical. But a brand is something that is attached to an inanimate object. We're humans, therefore we don't need it. I don't feel it's necessary to attach a layer of marketing to my personality and reputation.

    The only 'branding' I do involves a tattoo needle. And I plan on keeping it that way.

  • KayaCamilla

    AS for me as long as the quality is good, no need to be so conscious about the brand :)

  • http://twitter.com/alexlobov Alexander Lobov

    I don't really agree with Norcross' sentiments, I do think that Personal Branding exists and it's a legitimate activity to pursue. I don't think a brand needs to be attached to an inanimate object.

    I think, to some degree, we're engaging in semantics a little over the name. Even if it is a misnomer, at the end of the day, what's important in communication is to get what we mean across with the words we use. When I hear the words “personal branding” I immediately think of the fact that I blog/write about Middle Eastern Politics, I'd like to work with it professionaly some day, and that I'd like people to know that Alexander Lobov is good at writing about Middle Eastern Politics, and is generally a good writer. Now obviously, my work will need to speak for itself in that regard, perhaps I'm actually just a hack with no skills and I will need my readers to vote with their feet (or fingertips) on that one, but branding myself as a writer associated with MEastern Politics at least places me somehow into the community on things like twitter & the blogosphere, the influence of which is still growing.

    Having said that, I see that as an “honest” use of personal branding. I must admit, I'm not entirely sure what you guys mean by “dishonest” personal branding. I think doing things like having mega auto-follow tools on twitter or spamming the living daylights out of your blog via various channels isnt “dishonest” per se, it's just excessive advertising.

    If I can rail against one thing in Gen Y Personal Branding, however, it's the massive proliferation of “social media experts” and people supposedly specialising in things like “SEO”. No offense if you engage in these things, but I personally ignore these people on twitter more than spambots. Mostly because almost every one I've come across is dull and engaged in nothing but self-promotion. So if you're trying to “brand” yourself as one of these people, then Godspeed but stay the hell away from me!

    (Apologies for the long comment, I'm in a verbose mood :-/)

  • http://twitter.com/alexlobov Alexander Lobov

    Mate, just wondering, what about being crass, unfiltered and weird but not in every situation? If you went for a job interview, wouldn't you act a little more 'professionally'? Unfortunately perhaps, the job market is one that requires 'seriousness', 'professionalism' and all sorts of other things that you and I may not subscribe to but have been set in stone in work culture for yonks (perhaps the Boomers are at fault? who knows). In any case, is it ok to be weird but act straight in an interview? And if so, why not to do the same when 'branding' yourself online? Like censoring out a few unpalatable bits? Perhaps it's a fine line.

  • http://www.rikinontheweb.com rikin

    To Susan and Sam,

    There's just too much of the same old shit going around the web right now. There are a thousand people trying to give career advice and thousands more claiming expertise or even worse the title of entrepreneur because they started a website or blog. It's extremely discouraging and almost insulting that they amass a pretty large following by executing the same old formula.

    I often read a blog and wonder if the writer would come across as in real-life as they do on the web. If I can't be confident that they are one in the same then I'll usually abandon them. Not the most scientific approach but at the end of the day I want to read about the experiences of real people accomplishing things other than just building a successful blog and can tell me about it with a sense of humility.

  • wbindia

    Very good thread:

    My responses: A) Can Personal Branding go too far?
    B) Is Success worth losing your identity over?

    A) Yes & NO? From my 10 years + experience in providing goal setting/strategic planning for indviduals and private industry-I think it is vitally important in selling yourself-labeling yourself; providing (you do not compromise your ethical principles, standards) and do not obviously break any laws in doing so. As previous commentors already noted. How much is enough?

    A) When your PB is done at the expense of everything else you value in your ife-then you've “probably” pushed the envelope too far. And you need to take a fresh look, think and reflect what your motives truly are? What is driving you? Maybe through self reflection/critical self analysis your goals/objectives have changed? You need to rediscover and think through this.

    As Human beings, it in inate part of who we are to seek approval. When you think about it, you are involved in PB whether you are selling a new “widget” to Microsfot, or selling your unique brand of one, regarding a new idea or proposal that you would like to present to corporate for consideration. Directly or indirectly everyone has their own unique PB brand of one.The question-is when you stop being you through PB.

    B) Is Success worth loosing your shirt over? I argue NO. If it then your motives, reasons and goals need to be examined. If your heart and motives are genuine, sincere and ask God for the wisdom you need-Success willl find you without you having to compromise everything that you value. You see the world operates on the premise: Loving Money and Using People-I challenge everyone that we should be Loving People and Using Money. There is a HUGE difference.

    Its Your Attitude, not Your Aptitude that determines your Altitude in your life. Think about it..

    Best-

    Wayne

    Remember: “The only Unfulfilled Goals in Your Life are the Ones you Never Attempt”

  • wbindia

    Very good thread:

    My responses: A) Can Personal Branding go too far?
    B) Is Success worth losing your identity over?

    A) Yes & NO? From my 10 years + experience in providing goal setting/strategic planning for indviduals and private industry-I think it is vitally important in selling yourself-labeling yourself; providing (you do not compromise your ethical principles, standards) and do not obviously break any laws in doing so. As previous commentors already noted. How much is enough?

    A) When your PB is done at the expense of everything else you value in your ife-then you've “probably” pushed the envelope too far. And you need to take a fresh look, think and reflect what your motives truly are? What is driving you? Maybe through self reflection/critical self analysis your goals/objectives have changed? You need to rediscover and think through this.

    As Human beings, it in inate part of who we are to seek approval. When you think about it, you are involved in PB whether you are selling a new “widget” to Microsfot, or selling your unique brand of one, regarding a new idea or proposal that you would like to present to corporate for consideration. Directly or indirectly everyone has their own unique PB brand of one.The question-is when you stop being you through PB.

    B) Is Success worth loosing your shirt over? I argue NO. If it then your motives, reasons and goals need to be examined. If your heart and motives are genuine, sincere and ask God for the wisdom you need-Success willl find you without you having to compromise everything that you value. You see the world operates on the premise: Loving Money and Using People-I challenge everyone that we should be Loving People and Using Money. There is a HUGE difference.

    Its Your Attitude, not Your Aptitude that determines your Altitude in your life. Think about it..

    Best-

    Wayne

    Remember: “The only Unfulfilled Goals in Your Life are the Ones you Never Attempt”

  • sharalynhartwel

    I've really enjoyed this commentary everyone. I'm sort of new to this “personal branding” via the Web thing and it's been really interesting and eye opening to me. We talk about it so much here on the Web, but I think sometimes we Internet savvy folks forget the importance of it offline as well. The two should mirror one another in most instances. Sure, you can try to use your online persona to promote your offline endeavors, but shouldn't they be a credible function together. We have to remember we're not anonymous anywhere–online or offline. I feel like I've mastered my “personal brand” in person, now I just have to figure how to best translate that to the Web. There are masters out there, but I am with Rikin, you can spot those who aren't real. Then it's just up to you how to respond. Who cares what everyone else is doing…just do what is right for you, AND make sure it coincides with your “Real life” brand.

  • http://diamondkt.blogspot.com/ David

    Honestly, I've been ODing on everyone PBing themselves for awhile now! Maybe it's just that I don't understand how people can make a career out of Personal Branding, or maybe I just think it's an annoying career? I hate to be a hater, but it just feels like constant self-promotion. Which is slightly worse than a pushy salesman that is trying to sell you something because in the case of PB, they are trying to sell themselves! Wait…wouldn't that be similar to whoring? ;)

    Ok, sorry. I'm sure my comment was a bit offensive. I will admit that I let TwitterFeed send out an auto Tweet on my behalf when I publish a new post to my blog, but other than that, I do my best not to PB myself. If people want to read my blog or follow me on Twitter – great! And if they don't, that's fine too. I just refuse to cram it down their throat. I don't need or want attention that bad. Being viewed negatively in order to see my name in (virtual) lights does sound like a good tradeoff.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Life Is Like a Box of Chocolates » Blog Archive » When Does Personal Branding Go Too Far? -- Topsy.com

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.blogspot.com Grace Boyle

    Ha, well you and I both don't have Facebook fan pages (probably for the same reason) but it's just not my schtick right now ;) I gotcha!

  • http://twentyorsomething.com/ Susan Pogorzelski

    “The only 'branding' I do involves a tattoo needle. And I plan on keeping it that way.”

    And if you changed any part of that, you would have some serious explaining to do. :)

    I think that's it, though — that's a part of you and you don't (and shouldn't) apologize for it or try to be anything else. I hate to say it for how cliche it sounds, but you've always been real, that's what makes it so nice to get to know you and others. Because you realize who you are online is pretty much who you are off, without agenda. That's the negative side of PB, I think — the fact that there always seems to be some kind of agenda.

  • http://twentyorsomething.com/ Susan Pogorzelski

    Rikin,

    As I just wrote to Andrew below, I think that's exactly what the lack of appeal is for me. With personal branding, it feels like there's a key element missing — it feels fake, like there's an agenda and doing all of this connecting is just a means to their perceived successful end. Perhaps I have it all wrong, which is very likely, but I want to establish those tried and true connections for an appreciation of people — who they are and where they come from. We all have different goals, it's true, and personal branding perhaps helps to establish yourself, which is what Alex is doing. I respect that kind of branding because as he says (and I like this), it's more about reputation than personal branding.

    I'm not sure, I'm still in the process of thinking about this and forming opinions on it, but so far, I'm in agreement with you. You won't completely know a person in the online world, but I want you to be real enough that the connection is real and not just superficial.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Rikin: Agreed. There are way too many “experts” floating around the Web. I like your approach, considering how the writer would come across in real-life and if it would be the same as they do on their blog. If I read a blog post and I feel the author is being fake or being too cocky, I'll probably stop reading. Like Susan said, when someone seems fake, it's really not appealing.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Akhila: You make some great points. As far as your first point, I acknowledge that we all have different goals, and personal branding may be why some people blog. But, there are certain ways to do that without coming off as some sort of pompous jerk. I think Ryan Stephens is a great example of someone who shares his knowledge of a particular subject, but doesn't let self promotion or his ego take over his blog.

    The second point, is something I totally understand. It's hard to share your personal life with the blogosphere, and I get that some people don't feel comfortable with it. But, I don't think that people who do share aspects of their lives are branding themselves. So, not doing so isn't a lack of personal branding. I hope that made sense!

    Again, I have no problem with people who want to promote their personal brand online. The part that bothers me is how it's done sometimes.

    Thanks for contributing to the discussion!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Alexander: Just like people speak in a certain tone of voice, I think we write in tones as well. What I mean by that is you can tell when someone is trying to sell you something through their writing, whether that something is an idea or opinion, or their skills. If I read a blog post in the tone of “I'm the shit, so you should listen to me,” I'm inclined to do just the opposite and stop reading. I hope that helps explain what, I at least, meant by negative personal branding.

    It's also the plethora of experts, as you and others have mentioned. The difference between someone like you, who writes about a subject he enjoys and is knowledgeable about, and them, is that you don't tout yourself as the all-knowing source of Middle Eastern affairs. You feel that you have knowledge to share that will be valuable to others, and that's a great thing. Thank you for the long comment, verbose is welcome here :)

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Wayne: Thank you for sharing your insight! You ask, how much is enough? And, I think you answer your own question. As you said, when personal branding is a success at the expense of everything else we value in our lives, we've pushed the envelope too far and need to reevaluate. I think the problem is that many people don't take a moment to stop and make sure they haven't pushed the envelope too far. They don't realize that they might need to reevaluate. You're right that everyone has their own version of personal branding, but we have to maintain our sense of self throughout.

    I love this, we should be loving people using money instead of loving money and using people. Amen to that!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Sharalyn: You make a couple very important points: We're not anonymous anywhere–online or offline, and although it's great to use the Web to promote ourselves and our endeavors, we shouldn't become a different person online than we are offline. We want our online persona to reflect and compliment our offline persona, we don't want an alternate personality. Thanks so much for your comments!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    David: I think we share a very similar philosophy. I let my content speak for itself. The way some people operate their personal branding “strategy,” it does seem like whoring! It's ironic because some of the people who work the hardest to promote themselves and work their way up in the online world actually have more of a negative reputation than they realize. But, like I said in the post, one meaningful comment on a post is success for me. I'd rather that then 50 fluffy comments. Thanks for taking part in the discussion!

  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa Doucette

    Sam, I love this post and even more that I can verify that you in person is not at all different than you online. I feel like there are many people who would not be able to make that same statement. :)

    To answer your questions, dear god yes personal branding can go too far. In the past month I've encountered people who solicited my email under false pretenses on Twitter only to inundate me with sales pitches, written posts with sensational SEO laden titles which detract from the entire point of the post, RT's of the same post over 20 times, writing juvenile posts attacking other bloggers after reaching out to them under false pretenses, asking questions on Twitter for open @replies and then never engaging in conversation…I could really go on. The great thing about when personal branding goes too far is that you can usually tell because people are just obviously fake and uncaring.

    I believe that success that makes you change who you are to achieve “it” is not success at all. Like the blatantly false and shallow self-promotion of personal branding gone too far the success is nothing more than a thin sheet of ice you'll eventually fall through. I've unfollowed and unsubscribed to many a person who whored themselves to a point of ridiculousness.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Elisa: Thank you, friend! I can verify that you are also the same in person as you are online, and I'm so glad to have met you!

    I've experienced some of the same things that you have in recent weeks, and that's what inspired me to tweet those questions in the first place. You're right that you can often tell when people are being fake and uncaring, but sometimes it's the people who used to be real and genuine, and I find that even more frustrating. I totally agree, and you phrase it so well: Success that makes you change who you are to achieve it is not success at all. Thanks for making such a great contribution to the discussion!

  • http://politicoholic.com/ Nisha

    Great post, always an interesting topic. I disagree with those who say 'personal branding' doesn't exist. I've learned a ton about how to present myself online that has helped me out in many ways. So as much as some people think 'personal branding' is full of crap, I think there is a lot of merit to the concept.

    At the same time, there are definitely people who take it too far and those people drive me bananas. Personal branding is great if you have something to say, and if you have ideas; if you're just trying to promote your SELF but you don't have original ideas to promote, it gets really old.

    And to answer your final question, what do I do when I think someone has gone overboard on the personal branding thing? I have absolutely no hesitation about unfollowing them on Twitter and/or unsubscribing to their blog. They have every right to do what they want, but there's no reason I need to read their content if it's too self-promotional.

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Nisha: I think you make a great point. Personal branding is great if you have something to say and ideas to share. I would also add… and if you are able to make those ideas the primary focus of your content, and branding yourself as secondary. Thanks for commenting!

  • http://www.lifeschocolates.com sameve

    Nisha: I think you make a great point. Personal branding is great if you have something to say and ideas to share. I would also add… and if you are able to make those ideas the primary focus of your content, and branding yourself as secondary. Thanks for commenting!

Previous post:

Next post: