#tweb2 Asks, Who Really Owns Your Brand?

Yesterday, I participated in the second Twebinar (webinar and Twitter mash-up) of the social media summer series with Chris Brogan and Radian6. You can view the archived videos of the first Twebinar and yesterday’s Twebinar, Who Really Owns Your Brand?. Catch up on the Twitter backchannel chatter with hashtag, #tweb2.

Overall, the Twebinar addressed the basics of brand management in an online environment; the gold nuggets came from the unscripted chatter on Twitter amongst the participants. You can view the Twebinar and chatter at your leisure, many have written summaries of the pre-recorded video and conversation, but what I want to address today is a question asked by @sschablow:

“Twitterers, who owns your ‘personal brand’? You, your friends, your employer?”

The question syncs perfectly with the recent cover story of Wired Magazine, Buzz Bin post, You’re Internet Famous and Todd Defren’s personal branding post. This topic has been on my mind since Saturday when I first stumbled across the Wired article. I have been struggling with how to form my post because I don’t want my words to come off as a geeky girl writing this and being jealous of Julia Alison. Far from it. Truly, I am disgusted.

Pasted to both my laptop and desktop, I keep this phrase, “It’s not about you.”

To answer @sschablow, everyone owns my personal brand. In the twebinar, Chris Heuer states, “Conversational space is where the brand lives.” Yes, I am responsible for my brand image…after all, I am the person who put myself in the space. I cannot control what people say about me, but I can control my actions. For example, my profile picture will not display me photographed with an alcoholic beverage. I may tweet about personal issues from time to time, but drunken or hateful tweets = never. Why? Because it is not about the brand of Lauren Vargas, per say, but all of the clients I represent on a daily basis. Promotion on this blog is not about Self, but about the betterment of the industry. If people take notice of me personally, this is just icing on the cake. Unlike Julia Allison, I have never listed as a goal, “become a cult figure.”

What really got me fired up while reading the Wired article was the 5 Ways to Be Like Julia section. Really, Ladies (or Gents, for that matter) is this how you want to represent?

  1. It’s not who you know, it’s who you’re next to. Isn’t that social… If this is your view, clients and peers will not look to you as being authentic and those thoughts will be directly transferred to your work.
  2. Dress against type. Stand out by standing up for what you believe. Be yourself.
  3. Embrace enigma. There is a difference between being interesting and being psychotic. Do you want your clients to think you a flake?
  4. Let your minions fight your battles. Ignore the sick people. Don’t encourage them. Stand up for yourself, but don’t overreact. By the way, these folks would not be my minions, but my peers.
  5. Be a hot woman with an exhibitionist streak. Seriously?

This post is not a bash against Julia. I do not know her or pretend to know her true character. I just find it sad this publication would publish this filth. There are way too many susceptible people who will read and mock actions outlined in article. Is this what is wanted? Stand out…take responsibility for your brand, but know you are representing far more than just Self.

Share: Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Email this to someone
  • http://twitter.com/brenster Brennen

    I found the Wired article equally repellent. Not only do I not want to be like Julia, I don’t want to be around anyone who follows those rules. If you make everything about YOU, what type of people are you actually influencing? Who buys this stuff?

  • Lauren Turner (@LaurenAshleyTX)

    It’s funny you posted this I just read the Wired article last night and was planning to write a similar post today. My problem with Julia specifically was she’s an unvalidated celebrity. She has no talent or purpose to people knowing about her. The quirky gimicks can only last so long.