Business owner, blogger, speaker, and gadget lover
That’s what the about page on this site and most of my social media profiles told you about my personal brand until recently.
Businessman, writer, public speaker
That’s what those same sources will tell you about my personal brand today.
Why the difference isn’t so subtle
Business owner vs. Businessman – On the surface, this might seem like splitting hairs to you. However, you can own a business and have no business sense. There are plenty of celebrities who do just that. I have business sense and experience in business and that makes me a businessman.
Blogger vs. Writer – Recently, Shelby and I debated this topic in dueling blog posts filed under our She Said, He Said project. You can find those posts here: “Are you a writer or a blogger? – Shelby Says” and “Am I a writer or a blogger? – Jim Says.” In the conversation that followed those two posts, Randy Murray made a great point that blogs and blogging are just a mechanism to deliver writing. So, while I am a blogger, it’s much more important to let myself and the world know I’m a writer.
Speaker vs. Public speaker – It’s true that I talk a great deal – almost all the time – and that makes me a speaker. What that does not convey to my audience (and again to myself) is the fact that I actually enjoy getting up in front people and sharing knowledge and wisdom I’ve gained over the years.
Gadget lover vs. __________ I do love gadgets and that’s not going to change. What I’m not is a full-time writer covering the tech sector. So, while I frequently write and speak publicly about the technology I use such as iPhones and WordPress, it’s not a core definition of who I am and what I do. Thus, it’s no longer a label I include in my personal branding tagline.
Labels and language matter to your personal brand
The labels and language you choose to describe yourself matter to both you and your audience. More than a year of working with an editor has helped me see that more clearly than at any time in my life. Language is one of the key factors separating us from the rest of the animal kingdom. Choose your words carefully, my friends, because they matter.
Go have a look at your social media profile and see if your personal branding tagline both makes sense and has consistency across all the channels you utilize.
Dan Polley says
“blogs and blogging are just a mechanism to deliver writing”
Great point. Thanks for that snippet.
Jim Raffel says
Yes, when Randy Murray shared that with my on Twitter it was a true ah-ha moment for me.
What I love about this article: You’ve boiled down the 3 words that define you professionally. Most people have difficulty talking about themselves in a limited 160 characters. Thanks Jim. I’m going to add this to my list for January. Define myself professionally in 3 words, and lead with that. 🙂
Jim Raffel says
It’s like the really short elevator speech. Since online we get 2-3 seconds my goal was 2-3 words. I guess I actually ended up with four but close enough.