You are your own brand

Self-branding and Online Conversation, a discuss-it session at MediaCamp Edmonton with Brittney LeBlanc and Jay Palter

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  1. Brit describes herself as a Girl Geek of all trades at iNews880. She also organizes Girl Geek Dinners.

    In her words (gently paraphrased because she talks really fast): 

    This isn't a numbers game. Your number of followers don't mean anything if you're not engaging with people.

    You don't need a business plan. You just need a personality and the willingness to use it.
  2. People don't want to think of themselves as brands; they think it compromises their integrity. Get over it. It's going to be uncomfortable but it's going to be worth it. You're more than your news story or column in the paper. 
  3. Being there to answer questions will enhance your credibility.

    If you're active online, the top results will hopefully be positive. But expect some haters.

    Listen to your mother: Be yourself.

    The online world is your cocktail party. Talk to people online like you would talk to friends. You wouldn't endlessly talk about and promote yourself at a party, would you? So don't do it online.
  4. Be authentic, but be careful about being too negative. Throw in a happy face every now and then.

    If all else fails, a picture is often worth a thousand words. Show your followers life through your eyes.

  5. Being active online creates trust and bonds. If they like you, they're more likely to trust you and help you do your job as a journalist.
  6. Up next is Jay Palter (also gently paraphrased):

    Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room -- Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

  7. There are a lot of people and organizations competing for our attention. Think of your activities and the relationships you build online as building your social capital.

    Ask yourself: What do people think of me in the new influence economy?
  8. Curating remarkable content expresses your brand. The act of discovering good quality info, editorializing on it and sharing it to an audience is one of the most valuable things you can do to build your brand, in any business that you're in. It keeps you up to date in your field. And most importantly, when you share it, you're giving them something: the time you've spent helping them understand the world better and helping them cut through the clutter.
  9. McDonalds has McDonalds and Starbucks has Starbucks and you have you. Your personality is what people will connect to.
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