Blogging is not real writing. This was one of several memorable lines in Steven Soderbergh’s excellent 2011 movie, Contagion. The apocalyptic medical thriller went on to examine the staggeringly important role freelancer Alan Krumwiede played in the global viral MEV-1 outbreak and ensuing public hysteria brought about in its aftermath. Initially a down-and-out conspiracy theory journalist begging for any sort of attention whatsoever (sound familiar?), Jude Law’s character became one of the world’s most followed icons as a result of his blogging about the film’s far-reaching protagonist, the Meningoencephalitis virus. It was a case of right time, right content.
If, as Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos says, “your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”, then your personal brand is built from the thoughts, words and reactions of other people. Therefore, if you want to take control of your personal brand, you have to manage how your present yourself publicly. To a large extent, this is something you have control over and talking your way to the top is easier than you might think.
If you’ve got authenticity down pat, the next concept to master in building your personal brand is to be the best in your field. Sounds like an immense task, doesn’t it? But, in fact, there are measurable efforts you can take to ensure you’re at the cutting edge of your industry which will, undoubtedly, boost your personal brand immeasurably.
When I stepped off the airplane for my first visit to Bangkok in 1996, I had my backpack and US$300. It was night time, it was steaming hot and I was stuck in traffic for hours. What mess did I get myself into? Little did I know that this city would become my home and the birthplace of my most successful business, Vivaldi PR.
Things were not always so rosy for me. I needed a personal branding makeover. Partly though bad luck and partly due my own failings I had three lost jobs and had two failed businesses, which taught me a tough lesson about the importance of A, B, C and Ds of Personal Branding – Authenticity, Being the Best, Communication and Daring to Change.
Chanel did it when it gifted fashion blogger Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast a Chanel backpack, Olivia Palermo has collaborated with everyone from Aspinal of London to becoming Ciaté London’s creative director, teaming up with Aquazzura and Westward Leaning sunglasses and Thai fashion brand Vatanika had the international spotlight on it when LA-based fashion blogger, Aimee Song of Song of Style, wore one of its dresses to the Grammy’s.
Working with bloggers can be a mutually beneficial arrangement and, it’s not just in fashion circles that the potential for a fruitful relationship with bloggers lies.