Next month I’ll be presenting about the Power of Personal Branding with SoloPR colleague and personal branding guru Amanda Littlejohn of Mopwater P.R. at the first ever Solo PR Summit in Atlanta. When Amanda and I met in Washington, D.C. last weekend to talk about our presentation I shared the story of how having a personal brand helped me when I found myself suddenly unemployed for the first time in my life. It was early 2009 and the job market was tanking. My employer, an interactive, digital development firm, supplied web based products to Lexmark. Lexmark in turn supplied to Circuit City, which went belly up. That led to pay-cuts, a first round of layoffs and then the second round that caught me and several of my colleagues in the cross hairs. But I was in a position quite different from many of the people who found themselves unemployed in the recession. Thanks to the power of social media and in particular twitter, I had a strong personal brand. In an age when Tom Peters says we are all “Me, Inc.'” and CEO’s of our own brands, I had created the MarketingMel presence on twitter. It was strong enough that a search on “MarketingMel” landed me several spots ahead of Mel Gibson in Google Search. I didn’t need to look any further for the name of my brand new public relations firm! If social media presence put me ahead of a famous actor then what can it do for you and your brand? No matter how secure you feel in your corporate job today, times could quickly change. Remember to build your brand both online and in-person through face to face networking no matter where you are in your career. It will pay off for you in the long haul. (If you’re and independent P.R. pro and haven’t already registered be sure to sign up now to get the early bird discount and save more than 20%. Hope to see you in Atlanta!)
Follow me on twitter @MarketingMel.