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The idea of a personal brand certainly isn't new, especially for celebrities who actually do represent brands and charities. But it might be a new concept for those of us not-so-famous community organizers. We swim in smaller ponds, but some of the same rules apply to us as to the big fish. We are also trying to build an audience in that we're trying to get our message out and find people to take actions with us to change the world. I believe in diversity in race and economics within a movement, but when it comes down to personality, it's much easier to look for people with similar attitudes and a passion for your issues and mission. Whether you're getting someone to "follow" a blog or "follow" your lead to write to members of Congress, you want to find like-minded people who want to be around you and do the same things you are doing.
I see lots of bloggers out there who have much bigger audiences than I do whose voices might be categorized with some of the following words:
negative abrasive snarky judgementalI guess there must be a lot of people out there who like to read that kind of stuff. As for me, I get tired of it quickly. I prefer to choose to read these kinds of blogs:
blaming others or organizations angry sales-y petty derisive devisive
positive inspiring uplifting inclusive encouraging logical action-orientedThose words describe people that I'd like to work with in my advocacy activities. It seems to me that like will attract like, so those are characteristics I try to put in my personal brand. I'm certainly not saying that I don't have a negative or snarky side to me. It's just that I prefer those darker qualities in drinking buddies and comedians. For this side of me that I put out on-line, I'm going to choose the more positive image. We shouldn't totally change our personalities - note the word "sincere" in the above list - but we CAN be purposeful about choosing the sides of ourselves that we present to the world and make sure we cultivate them.
sincere candid funny reliable
Who are you looking to meet?
What kinds of words describe how you want the world to see you online?