I sat at the table that had this sign: “Branding Yourself”. My friend sat at the next table (“Freelancer”). I could hear the first question of my friend´s “counselor”: “Do you have a website?” before a very young woman sat next to me.
I greeted her briefly but kept paying attention to what was going on at the other table. She insisted: “Hi”. Her eyes would not let go of mine so I politely asked if she was there to get some advice or… give it to me? “Oh, I hope I am here for both things”, she said, smiling.
Ok, I thought, let´s see how you deal with this: “I have three blogs, and I also contribute to the blog at work. Three blogs about three different topics in two languages”, I said. “I have three twitter accounts and two Facebook pages tagging along. What should I do?”.
She was not intimidated by what I was saying. She grabbed a piece of paper, and quickly drew some atom-like structure and placed a big circle in the middle with my name. Then she connected other circles with Journalism, Global Media… Mom? written on them. And said:
1. Build yourname.com website or/and @yourname. “You are your brand”. Above Onlinista, Periodista Hispano, and Madre in US, you are Clarisse Céspedes and this is your target. Your website is going to be your hub, if you have multiple interests/occupations. You need to lay down everything you do in one place.
But how am I going to mix tweets about breastfeeding with tweets about SEO?.
2. “We are not only one thing”. Not anymore. Your are not only an Engineer or a Journalist. Read many of the bios in twitter! Personal brands have many layers: journalist, online expert, mom… maybe you love music (or Pinterest!). And it is ok. Make sure you display all these layers through clarissecespedes.com and you refer to them on twitter.
How am I going to look professional if I talk about my kids?
3. “Be personal and honest”. That´s what being a personal brand is about. People will follow you because of the package you offer. It is ok to insert personal tweets with more serious stuff. People need to relate to you.
This is what I have done:
- I chose the twitter account with more followers and started the tedious process of migrating my other accounts´followers. You cannot merge accounts, believe me. Since my followers doubled overnight in one account (while the others were still open), my klout score went up.
- I changed my twitter account name to @ClarisseCespede and took time to rethink my bio. Due to the fact that this name has more followers, I am seeing new followers (not my other accounts´ followers but more like followers of those followers -I see many coincidences in the topics/brands they represent) coming my way.
- I decided to go bilingual Spanish-English for now. I will tell you later about how successful this approach has been.
- I created a website for clarissecespedes.com that displays a little bit better everything that I do, although still working on it. I am considering getting rid of one blog, but I need to first find out if the bilingual approach is effective. I will keep you posted!