A Personal Branding Story

Welcome to ‘A Personal Branding Story’ – This is a sort of Vlog that will document Ben’s personal branding story. It will help keep a record of the trials, tribulations, wins and losses along the way, and maybe some thought provoking questions too . . . enjoy.

Marketers Need More Hard Skills – A Personal Branding Story #011

Are marketers and business professionals being pushed too much down the soft skills route, and forgetting about the importance of hard skills? I don’t think enough marketers know how to code, or how to do technical SEO.

I think soft skills are great, and necessary, and we shouldn’t abandon them, but we shouldn’t neglect the need for quantifiable hard skills, because some of these skills will be essential going forward.

If you are a marketer can have some of the hard skills that a developer has, such as an ability to read and write code then you can speed up your own processes and become more efficient.

Soft skills are fantastic don’t get me wrong, but i think the emphasis is too far towards soft skills right now. That’s why for me, and my personal brand, I am learning how to code and learning how to build components.

I’m doing it because I want to understand what the job requires to make me a better marketer and a better manager. What do you think? Do you make time for learning hard skills or do you focus on soft skills?

The Inauthenticity of Authenticity – A Personal Branding Story #010

What is authenticity really? Is professionalism at logger-heads with authenticity? Maybe creating “authentic” content is the wrong way of looking at things?

For example: If were to wear a suit or a onesie in a video, which would be more authentic, or does it even matter? Surely the content is the most important?

We live in a business world where the lines are blurred between social and business. You want to show people your personality, but you want to maintain a professional image. Does it matter though?

Surely we shouldn’t be thinking about being authentic, or creating authentic content. Instead we should be focusing on delivering value, and by proving that your ideas and examples can and will work.

I’d love to know your thoughts and ideas! What are your thoughts on authenticity? Should we be trying to be authentic, or is it just a by-product of creating value for our customers and audience?

Stretching Myself Too Thin – A Personal Branding Story #009

I’ve been stretching myself too thin. I’ve tried to do too many things, and I’m tired from it. I always believed, that if you wanted something enough you could always make the time to do more, see more, achieve more. But, I have found my limit.

I started not doing things to the quality that I expect of myself. I’ve had to make some hard choices in what I stop doing and where i focus my time and effort. The hard part is that I love doing it all, and I don’t want to stop doing things. I want to say yes, but now I have to say no.

I’m much, much more balanced than I ever have been, but it’s still not easy. How do you balance and make time for certain things? Do you have to make a lot of sacrifices? Do you have the same problem as me? How do you avoid over-stretching yourself? I’d love to know!

Perfection is an unreachable utopia – A Personal Branding Story #008

Today I was featured in the Raconteur supplement of The Times talking about how “Perfectionism is a barrier to productivity”. In this episode of A Personal Branding Story, I dive deeper into what this really means.

Perfection is a brilliant idea, and something we should always want. However, it isn’t attainable. Everyone’s perception of perfection is different. What may be perfect to you, might be bang average for someone else.

Instead you should think about having a set of minimum standards. Things that are immovable, like spelling, grammar, relevant images, paragraph sizes. This will mean you aren’t going to be weighed down by expectations of perfection.

In my view, perfection is a barrier to creativity and getting things done. What do you think? Do you strive for perfection? Do you think perfection is a barrier to productivity?

Becoming A Teacher, Remaining A Student – A Personal Branding Story #007

Being asked to teach, to speak and to share expertise is amazing. BUT, you should never, ever forget that you are first and foremost a student.

This is because you never stop learning and never stop having experiences. What worked once, may not work now, and what works in a few months time, may not still be the case in a years time.

Without this commitment to learning, and to self-development, you will fall behind.

This is something I am working hard on, and something that I am striving to well. Is it something you do? Do you plan time in to learn and develop? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Embracing Opportunities – A Personal Branding Story #006

Do you embrace opportunities, or do you shy away? Today I spoke to students at The University of South Wales’ National Cyber Security Academy about how they could carve out their own futures instead of simply waiting for things to arrive at their feet.

It’s easy to be comfortable, it’s easy to do what you’ve always done. Change has it’s downsides, and risks, but they really do come with rewards. You need to remember that your destiny is in your own hands, and only by embracing opportunities will you push yourself and test yourself.

When was the last time you embraced an opportunity? When did you take a leap of faith? When did you take a leap of faith on or for someone else? I’d love to know!!

Getting away from screens – A Personal Branding Story #005

There’s a bit of irony to this post, as I talk about getting away from screens, whilst in fact, hoping you will watch it . . . on a screen. Luckily though I’m not saying to chuck out your screens . . .

In this episode of ‘A Personal Branding Story’ I talk about how i’m ensuring I build time into my day away from a screen. I hate the feeling on being addicted to notifications, and checking my phone every 10 minutes to see if someone has messaged me.

I’ve not got this right yet. I’m much better than I was though. I am able to not let the notifications dictate my life, and how I spend my time. I do this two ways; firstly by playing sport. Secondly, by implementing something called ‘Armish Hour’. I explain more in video, so check it out!

Consistency is BS – A Personal Branding Story #004

Isn’t consistency a load of bullshit? What actually is consistency anyway, because you can be consistently inconsistent?

Whatever your views on consistency as a term, the more you create the bigger the rod you make for your own back. If you tell people you will publish a certain amount and/or on certain days then they will expect it. Also, the longer you do something, the more people expect you to carry on with it.

Don’t get me wrong, you have to show up regularly. But, if your regularly is posting 1 piece of content a month, because you are short on time, it’s going to probably take you years to be recognised as an authority.

What are your thoughts on consistency? Is it something that you feel is incredibly important? What do you specifically define as consistent? I’d love to hear you thoughts in the comments below!

Making Online Connections – A Personal Branding Story #003

Episode 3 of ‘A Personal Branding Story’ looks at Making Online Connections Being Strategic with making online connections – Should you have a strategy for making connections? Do you have set times for getting involved in online conversations?

This episode (3) came has off the back of being a guest on the #SocialROI Twitter chat with Madalyn Sklar, and got me thinking about how the connections we make online, and the conversations we have directly impacts our personal brands.

You can’t be always having conversations. You have to be a bit more strategic about it. You have to find a way of sparking and building conversations that have meaning and value.

I’ve become a lot more strategic. Not necessarily with the people i’m always having conversations with (as it’s always important to keep growing), but more the times and places. Because I can easily get overwhelmed and distracted by the sheer number of groups, chats and messages I get. I have become a lot more deliberate, and that’s actually helped me immensely.

Do you strategically make connections online? Do you have set times for discussions and conversations? Let me know in the comments!

Goal Setting – A Personal Branding Story #002

In Episode 2 of this series I explore goal setting. For me it’s helped me focus my personal brand and have a clear heading. I was one of the lucky ones; because I’ve known since 16 what I’ve wanted to do. Most people aren’t in that same fortunate position. So, do you set goals? Do you have a purpose for building your personal brand? I’d love to know!!

Why I Am Documenting My Journey – A Personal Branding Story #001

In these short, approx 5 minute long videos. I am going to be documenting my personal branding journey. Everything from thoughts and feelings to the highs and lows. Giving you a sense of how much work it takes and to show you it’s entirely possible! Stay tuned!!