In this crazy world of blogs and blogging, I'm pretty well known as the Masiguy, or just Masiguy....
I've spent countless hours over the past almost two years building a very loyal following of readers on my blog titled Masiguy. It's gotten mentioned and featured in the bicycle industry trade publications, cycling magazines and Web sites, a podcast or two, a few great marketing blogger sites and many, many links on blog sites... oh yeah, and the New York Times.
It's pretty safe to say that I am pretty much branded as Masiguy. But what if... dare I even utter the words?... I get sacked from my job or decide to change jobs for some reason or another? How do I resell myself as DifferentCompanyGuy?
How would it look if I suddenly showed up at one of my competitors? What if I became Specializedguy, or Trekguy, or Giantguy? Would anybody believe me if I suddenly began singing high praise for and lathering my passions onto a different brand? Would my readers migrate over to a new blog? Would they find me to be a complete phony?
Unless you are somebody like Robert Scoble, moving from your brand, after you've spent a great deal of time and effort binding yourself to it, leaves you with the potentially dificult task of saving your personal brand image and credibility. I'm no Scoble, so I don't know that my readers would buy my reasons for changing teams. My readers are pretty specifically related to the cycling experience, so if I moved to a tech firm, I'd lose the bulk of them just due to the new venue.
To combat some of that little problem, I began sprinkling the blogosphere with comments that I signed as "Tim Jackson" as opposed to "Tim Jackson- Masiguy". A very small thing, I know, but it was an effort to not have every single thing I say on the blogosphere be tagged to "the job".
Another small step I took was to establish another blog that is all about marketing in the cycling industry (just don't hate me when you see how infrequently it gets updated). This particular blog was created much like this one, as a group blog (though I confess that the bulk of the posting has been my own). However, the main purpose was to establish a place where I could still work within my industry without having to focus on the company paying my bills.
Along with getting more involved in discussions about marketing in general (which lead to this new gig), these steps are what I call "extending your brand." In this case, I'm talking about extending our personal brands.
As marketers, unless we are working for large firms or as consultants, we are marketing not only the brands that pay us but also our own personal brands. As much as I love my job, I do have to consider the possibility that I might not be collecting a retirement check from it in 30 years. It becomes important to be mindful of our personal brands.
This doesn't have to be a soulless and mercenary endeavor, just something to consider... like good manners.
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