Your “Social Brand” is what people expect to happen when you show up on a social scene. Most people don’t have a social brand at all. Nobody expects them to do anything except drink some alcohol, ramble on about some smalltalk drivel and then go home.
Part of the reason for this is that people are scared to death to talk about what’s really interesting to them. They’re scared of being judged or categorized. They’re scared of being associated with the wrong people or disassociated from the right people. They’re scared that they’re blowing business opportunities by not sticking to blogging about whatever topic makes them money…
Social Brand vs. Business Brand
A while back, Reader “Justin” asked me something to the effect of “Are any of your potential clients turned off by your dating blog?”. That’s an excellent question, which I think gets to the heart of this particular discussion. “Is my business brand adversely affected by my social brand?”.
My initial, instinctive reaction to this question is “How the **** would I know, considering that people that don’t want to talk to you….. don’t TALK to you?” \o/
I mean, IMAGINE someone sending you an email saying “I was going to pay you money to make MY COMPANY look better than it otherwise would have, but since you call chicks ‘chicks’ and not ‘women’, I’ve decided to hire an inferior, slower, unproven editor and maybe my work will get done on time and in a professional manner and maybe it won’t. Good Day.” 😀
Other than making a post about that and blasting it all over the modernized world on my blog, My only possible email reply to that is “You are an idiot. Thanks for the laugh.”
First of all.. Other than broadcast television work, my name doesn’t even APPEAR on probably 95% of the work I do. People don’t hire me so they can say I worked on something. They hire me because I’m faster and better.
Second, I do a lot of work through alliances, like Tribe Nine Creative. I enable companies to offer audio & video services outside of their expertise in packages to their clients.
Combining web design, coding and media creates a one-stop shop where people can get their entire site built instead of having to deal with several contractors.
Third.. Which is really “First”, I don’t even WORK with random people. “Potential Clients” are referred to me via word of mouth by people that I’ve already worked for or people who are friends of mine and understand the level of quality I bring to a project. I haven’t carried business cards in years. If someone asks me, I say “I’m a video editor.” and rarely expand any further than that.
You Lose Some.. You Win A Lot More
Having said all that… 😀 Yes… I can imagine that my business brand has been adversely affected by my social brand. I wouldn’t know anything about this due to the “Say positive things only” nature of the internet. I’ve heard things that people have said about me on the back-channel, but the people I’ve heard about didn’t have any business for me anyway… or, rather.. They don’t have any money to afford the budget, so we weren’t going to be working together REGARDLESS.
But, Yes.. I can imagine that there are several things about my social media presentation that would turn potential clients off to the idea of hiring me for a project. I think we need to look at this from a dating perspective. There are lots of women that are turned off to the idea of dating me because of things they’ve seen or read or that I’ve told them to their faces. What difference does that make until I run out of chicks?
You lose girls off the roster, you get some more. Clients don’t want to work with you for whatever reason, you either stick with your regular clients or make new affiliations with trusted colleagues. Personally, now that Final Cut Pro allows me to send clients real-time video via iChat Theater, I can do supervised edits remotely with any client in any city, town or rural area that has a Mac and a decent internet connection:
I was already doing this via Skype anyway, but the point is that I have access to way more “Potential Clients” than the subset of “Potential Clients who are turned off by my dating blog”. That’s like asking “Do you care that the Jersey Shore girls were only interested in dating Italian guys?”, with the answer being “Hellz Naw” because they’re a subset of girls in New Jersey, an even smaller subset of the girls in the Tri-State Area and a miniscule subset of the girls in the USA. \o/
Having said all THAT….. 😀
The benefits I’ve received from my Social Branding have far outweighed (in my estimation, because as I said, the net is heavily skewed towards the positive) whatever business losses my wallet may have suffered because of it. I’ll tell you why…
A lot of people are going to meet a lot of people and we’re all gonna have a good time. 😀
There will probably also be chicks around because I rarely go anywhere without them.
We’ll probably be talking about dating, because as Reader “Michele” asked me, “Don’t you ever get tired of talking about dating?”, the answer is HELLZ NAWWWW!!! >:D
Personally, I’m way more interested in people knowing what I’m about socially so they can decide to get down with the program or leave me the **** alone when they see me IRL. I have no problem with either one. I’m a fan of people because they’re talented and/or I think they’re cool people. Whether they like me or not doesn’t figure into that equation.
What I’ve found.. Again, due to the egregiously-positive skew of feedback to what’s posted on the internet, is that the guys & gals that read my blog get laughs out of it, entertainment, food for thought and discussion topics with their SOs or their friends. To ME.. That’s worth infinitely more than a few thousand dollars that a potential client doesn’t want to pay me that I’m going to get from someone else anyway. 😀
If I weren’t going to get pIZaid, REGARDLESS?.. Yes.. It would be more of a consideration. I’d still blog one way or another because the great opportunity we have with the internet is to meet people who think & feel the same way, whom we would never have met if we would have had to go somewhere IRL in order to make their acquaintance. We get to learn about each other asynchronously so that by the time we meet f2f, we’re either Pro or Anti each other and we have good reasons why we feel the way we do.
That’s just a building block, however, because physically spending time with someone can give you a radically different understanding of who they are as a person and what they’re really about.
Use It or Lose It
Blogging has allowed me to say whatever I want to whomever cares to listen. I’d much rather utilize that blessing by sharing a small percentage of what I think about dating and what I do socially than write some stiff, boring business blog, hoping to entice someone to put some money in my pocket.
On top of that, because I’m an interesting person and not a business drone, I literally have THOUSANDS of people that I’m in contact with via social media and could reach out to if I ran out of regular clients and decided to secure some new ones. The Social begets The Business.. Not the other way around.
Is it IMPORTANT to have a Social Brand?.. Not at all. In fact, if you’re the type of person that doesn’t ENJOY being sociable, you’re better off being in Networking Mode every time you go somewhere. Glad-Hand people and smalltalk them to death with minutiae.. That is, if you elect to go to social functions at all. It’s better for people to think NOTHING about you socially if your job is your life and socializing will make people less interested in doing business with you because it’s obvious to them that you don’t care about them at all other than to try to make a buck.
Do you have a Social Brand? O_o .. If so, what is it? What do people expect to happen when they meet you IRL? Are your dating or business careers being helped or hindered by your social presence?