You are difficult to scale. A brand you create, on the other hand, is fairly easy to scale. Don’t get me wrong. It’s cool having a blog with my name on it, but you come here to read me, not guest posts. On the other hand, those who visit the ColorMetrix blog are looking for information about color, color verification and color process control. I don’t need to (and I don’t) write all the posts there.
The power of a non-personal brand
If you can make a living being you, then a personal brand will work. It will also work when you are looking for a job and have the time to spend building the brand of that person looking for a job. The problem with a personal brand is that once you are successful, it becomes difficult to continue to devote the time to the brand that got you where you are. Then what?
Scale up, of course. Oh wait, the personal brand is you. What are you going to do? Have someone tweet as you and post Facebook statuses as you? Well, golly that doesn’t seem like a personal brand anymore. I want to talk to you, not someone paid to tweet as you.
On the other hand, I look at what we’ve been able to do with the ColorMetrix brand over the last year. We brought in a professional to manage the Twitter account. She does not do it alone but she’s the primary person responsible. So the tweeting over at ColorMetrix happens even when I am busy running the company or driving sales.
A non-personal brand should be more than one person
When I look at some brands – both large and small – that have done a good job with social media, I find more than one person behind the avatar. That team may only be two or a dozen or more. As long as the team agrees on a voice and lets those engaging with them know that there are real humans behind that voice, it works much better.
The key is to be responsive. I think folks understand that I spend time on airplanes, in meetings and even sleeping sometimes. During those times, the expectation of a quick response to a tweet are low. Brands can have business hours, but during those hours the account should be monitored. To do that, you need more than one person and an understanding of who will be listening when.
While it’s cool to have your name in lights …
While it’s cool to have your name as the URL of your blog, maybe it’s not the right decision if you are just starting out. You can reserve that name if it’s available just in case you want it someday. For now, consider a name for your blog that is more indicative of what you write about. For example, I might have called mine CoffeeShopCEO.com (just tried to but it appears to be taken) if I had to do it over again.