Thing 3 – personal BRANDing…


When I opened a Twitter account specifically for my library career in 2012, I had no idea what an important role it would play in building my knowledge and connecting me to the library world. At any rate, that is a story for another time. At the time, I needed a user name for my Twitter account, and not being very creative with such things, LibSandy was born.

Later, I opened a Pinterest account; then Instagram caught my attention, and with each one I had a feeling that I should stick with the same handle. When a Hotmail account became so ‘yesterday’, I chose as near to the same user name as was allowed for my new email account.

All the ‘LibSandy’ business  was because I did not relish being ‘out there’ in my own name. I could be invisible and interact incognito. Fast forward 5 years – I hear how vital it is to be recognisable and visible for career purposes. Dilemma! I’m visible as LibSandy, not as Sandra Brandt.  Enter LinkedIn and About.me!  I only recently opened an About.me page in my name, which now appears on my Twitter bio. On the other hand, my LinkedIn profile (several years old already) displays my Twitter user name. After reading the requirements for ‘Thing 3’ I realise that somehow I must make ‘LibSandy’ more visible on my LinkedIn account, so that people can connect the two. The launch of this blog will no doubt help the visibility factor, as well as connect a name to the handle. 🙂

This visibility has me in a quandary.  Ideally I would just like to be part of the team, getting on with the job.  Not out there and in your face. (I’m one of those individuals – a mix of introvert and extrovert, with neither coming to the fore.)

MonaLisa

Mona Lisa – from Pixabay under Creative Commons Zero licence

Hopefully, after this, all talk of names, brands and identities will be done. 🙂

However, while we’re on the subject of personal brands…why is it so important?  In her article on building a personal brand, Megan Dalla-Camina states that,  what we are known for is as much about how we do what we do, as it is about what we actually do (italics mine).  As librarians we can identify with this. We are aware that we are subject to a code of ethics, of professional behaviour.  Our social media presence, websites and blogs also need to portray this to reinforce our brand, and to contribute to our trustworthiness.

social media

Social Media (from Pixabay under Creative Commons Zero licence)

Another reason is given by the Forbes’ article (I love their daily quotes… :p)  The Definitive Guide to Building Your Personal Brand by Jason DeMers…he says it’s important to think of your own bigger goals.  None of us are able to tell the future, and the paths we may take.  What if that path leads to really great opportunities – to leadership positions, or to starting your own business?

Innovation

 Innovation  (from Pixabay under Creative Commons Zero licence)

 How beleivable will you be?  Will you attract investment, either to yourself as an employee, or to your own start-up venture?  Megan Dalla-Camina points out that we ALL have a brand, and yet many of us are unaware that we even have one!

brand
Brand (from Pixabay under Creative Commons Zero licence)
So, what is your brand?

Do you know yourself well enough to recognise how you come across to others in your day to day dealings with them, virtual or otherwise?

 I noticed this tweet this morning…

There is loads of advice online, on creating your own brand – the crux of the matter is: know yourself, be true to yourself. Know  your goals. Begin there.

Perhaps we’d all like to go along with this advice…

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss

… but it does make us vulnerable. 🙂 As long as the ‘saying what you feel’ part is done in a professional manner and with a thought for others, this may be good advice for branding and for people to get to know the real you.

On a personal level, my short term goal is to complete a decent number of internship hours – my brand plays a role there – to be recognised as trustworthy and responsible.  A medium-term goal is to secure a library job, hopefully as a new expat in Australia. In this regard I’m hoping my brand will be recognisable, portraying an up-to-date, professional, service-oriented librarian.  Lastly, my long-term goal is to keep working as an Information Professional well beyond normal retirement years.  Realistically, my age will work against me, but I am trusting my brand to carry me forward into a possible infopreneurial venture that will allow me to continue earning my keep, God willing.

branding

Desk  (from Pixabay under Creative Commons Zero licence)

 Branding is hard work; it demands constant mindfulness and continual review as it “shifts and matures” (Reinhold, in Build your Brand) throughout your career. And it needs to be ever present, without being offensive. There are many who say that the effort is worth the reward.

Thanks for spending (virtual) time with me. Hope your day is great.

 

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23 Things: Thing 1 and Thing 2

Last year I read about ’23 things’ for PD, but was too busy to find out more. When I saw it mentioned by someone just recently, it reminded me to explore the topic. At the same time, I was contemplating blogging again, and so, much to my surprise I found that the programme I was looking at, Rudaí 23, began with registering a blog and writing your first post. The original ’23 things’ began in 2006, and is no longer monitored, although it is still being used and adapted globally, according to the original creator, Helene Blowers.

I decided to begin the Rudaí 23 online course with the start of this blog. I’m looking forward to seeing how much of the course will be new to me, and how I fare on completing the tasks. As required, I will be blogging my experiences through each ‘thing’, so here’s hoping visitors to my blog will be patient with me while I complete the programme. 🙂

So, to Thing 1, which requires the registration of a blog. This is it, done ‘n dusted! I chose WordPress, because I already had an account there and was accustomed to it. However, after not blogging for several months, I initially battled with the ‘dashboard’. Or was it just too late at night?!

Thing 2 is the writing of the first post – also done. I actually began blogging in 2010, recording my experiences (periodically) while I was studying. I never advertised that blog; it became more of a journal for private use. I felt insecure with putting myself ‘out there’ and making myself vulnerable. I am very self-critical…not a good trait when it leads to a demand within to strive for perfection – an impossibility that we often choose to place upon ourselves. The last entry from that blog site is dated January 2015. So much has happened since then; perhaps it warrants a catch up post on this blog at some point.

I still feel uncomfortable with being visible… I find writing each post really stressful, knowing that people may be reading what I have written. I wonder if the grammar is correct, if the word choice could improve, and whether I have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. In her article about a list of blogging rules for The Muse website, Lily Herman states that it is best to be yourself…to show your own identity.

Well, I’ve chosen to squash my fear in order to write, drumming up the courage to submit an article for the International Librarian’s Network and to begin this blog.  I’ve heard it said, over and over, that to be visible, and blogging, is good for a career. And since a career is what I want in the next few decades, I will do what I can to build on it. You see, there is no such thing as ‘retirement’ for me, and I prefer it that way. 🙂

Librarian meme

The desirable length of a blog entry is another story…an interesting link from Rudaí23, pointed to this infographic…

social-media-length-infographic
Social Media Length Infographic. From http://blog.bufferapp.com, via Sumall

It is suggested that blog entries are more often read when they are 1,600 words in length. Not sure I’ll make that with each entry, but I guess it depends on the personal passion-level of the topic. On the other hand, Lily Herman also reckons that posts of 500 to 700 words are better (Woohoo!) than longer ones, unless the latter are very well written.

Here’s my challenge, to anyone out there who may be starting the Rudaí23 programme – let’s connect and follow each other, and let’s Tweet about it on #2016Rudai23. Here’s to blogging! *raises glass* Cheers!

On to Thing 3. Till next time.