I work in the internet marketing field. I get the concept of personal branding even better than I understand the concept of a writer’s platform.
I talk about this project on my other blog as if it is a brand-building exercise. I suppose in some ways it is. I want my name to be findable. I want my abilities as a writer and as a marketer to be known and recognized. But my face is not a trademark. My name is not a mark or stamp of a logo. And because I don’t have anything beyond this blog out in the marketplace, my “brand” is non-existent in the Seth Godin definition of the term.
What I’m doing, in reality, is asserting my presence online. I’m cruising away from the buffet table at the party and joining in on conversations, introducing myself as I go. I like to be a wallflower. Just sit back and watch the world go on around me before I say anything. I like to take the temperature of the room, of the expectations of the people around me. I can be unbelievably awkward. I’m usually too honest for my own good. But I’m just me.
I’m not trying to be deep in these posts. I couldn’t possibly strive for depth and post every single day. Some days just suck. Some days are just silly. It wouldn’t be real if I made an amazing observation or came to a startling conclusion every single day. So I won’t.
While I’m trying to be real, I’m also going to admit that I’m holding stuff back. Just as I won’t talk about religion at a cocktail party, there are going to be some topics that I don’t stray into very often. I hope you’ll forgive me.
When the time comes for me to market my book – and it will come – I want to have a lot of friends who really want to read it. Friends who will review it, and share it, and recommend it. But when that time comes, I want them to do it because they like me, care about me, and want me to succeed. Not because they believe in my brand.