Rox, Jane, Kristen, Laura, Christine, Kathryn & Annie, originally uploaded by Bill Cammack.
Roxanne Darling, Jane Quigley, Kristen Crusius, Laura Fitton, Christine Cavalier, Kathryn Jones & Annie Boccio
April 26, 2008
Roxanne Darling, Jane Quigley, Kristen Crusius, Laura Fitton, Christine Cavalier, Kathryn Jones & Annie Boccio
April 26, 2008
“Personal Branding” has been hotly debated recently in my circles. “Do I have a personal brand?” “Does personal branding exist?” “Am I a brand or a person?”
Part of the reason this is discussed so often is that people tend to define a personal brand in terms that don’t mean anything. By using terms for PEOPLE that are used to categorize COMPANIES, people are turned off to the concept or fail to understand the true meaning of the term.
Does personal branding exist? Yes. Do *YOU* have one? Maybe.
Basically, a “personal brand” is what people EXPECT when you come to mind. Period. Some people have this and some people don’t.
A personal brand is achieved through ACTIONS which people come to associate with your name or face. If you never DO anything that people perceive, you do not have a personal brand, IMO. This is because your name doesn’t “ring bells” and doesn’t alter anyone’s perception of a situation when they find out that you’re involved. This does NOT mean that you aren’t important… It merely means people don’t KNOW who you are and/or what you do.
For instance, if you google Emmy Award Editor I’m #1. Actually, I’m #1 AND #2, because the youtube version of the collab I did with Indy Mogul is in the second slot, with 11,240 views. People hit my resume page or my “about” page every single day, so lots of people have associated the name Bill Cammack with quality videotape editorial. This is what they EXPECT when they find out I worked on a project… Quality.
So what about Ian Jenkins?
That’s Ian in the white FLD shirt and headphones. Also pictured are a couple of other NNN friends of mine, J-Rad & Alan Kaufman.
Now… If I had a project I wanted to get done, Ian Jenkins would be one of the top guys I’d want working with me. That’s because I happen to know his work ethic and the skill and dedication he brings to the table. I know this because I’ve spoken to him, I’ve seen his work and I know people that work WITH him. Does he broadcast this himself? No. Not that I know of. Is he crafting a personal brand? Not that I know of. He’s doing what he does. IS “Ian Jenkins” a brand? HELL YES! 😀 That’s because when *I* hear his name, I EXPECT certain things from a project Ian worked on.
So who’s the better editor? Bill Cammack or Ian Jenkins?…. Unfortunately, editing is highly subjective. The only thing that matters is whether the job gets done WELL and ON TIME. So I say NEITHER of us is better as a editor. My personal brand is more recognized, because I spend hours every day working on it and Ian doesn’t give a damn. 🙂 Ian meets deadlines every. single. day. while I play SOCOM. I’m freelance, so I’ve worked for a ton of shows, companies and people for advertising, corporate and broadcast productions. Ian’s a staffer, so he works on one show, and it runs on the internet, but he probably produces 15 videos for every one that I output. Ian shoots video as well. So do I, but I’d rather edit, and Ian’s probably better at shooting, because he does it infinitely more than I do.
My point is… You can’t tell JACK from how well someone uses the internet to publicize themselves. I’m not going to tell you to google Video Editor Resume (I’m #3) to figure out who’s GOOD or who can make it happen. That’s just a list of people that know how to use tags, or even worse, actually PAID PEOPLE to get them better rankings on google. :/ Doesn’t mean they’re any good at what they do AT ALL. Doesn’t mean their name “rings bells” IRL. What matters is what people know or perceive about you, which IS your personal brand, whether you LIKE that or not and whether you EMBRACE that or not.
Regardless of whether you brand YOURSELF, people are going to brand YOU. I started telling people to Google “Bill” (I’m currently #9 of 541,000,000 pages for “Bill”) because I don’t carry business cards, and it’s really the easiest way for people to get in touch with me. Next thing I know, hahaha this is how I’m being introduced to people at parties. 🙂 This wasn’t MY idea, but people get a kick out of that and it spreads from person to person.
Actually… And I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this… 😀 Neither my professional accomplishments nor my stellar search engine rankings (e.g. women dating nyc #3) are what most people that I meet “know me for”. It’s always “….. YOU’RE that guy that’s in all those pictures with all those women! :D”.
So, BESIDES not overshadowing your BUSINESS brand with your SOCIAL brand, 🙂 the moral of our story is… Do you have a personal brand? Maybe. It depends first of all on whether you actually DO ANYTHING, and second on whether you’re letting people KNOW that you do these things or whether other people are publicizing you. If people think differently of something because you’re involved with it, that’s your PERSONAL BRAND at work. This does NOT only have to do with business either. We’ll get into that another time. You might have a personal brand when it comes to dating. The fact that you can be trusted in general and your word actually MEANS SOMETHING is potentially part of your personal brand.
There’s also NEGATIVE personal branding, such as when a client refuses to pay you for several months for work you did for them and you’re getting ready to blast their name and company all over the WORLD WIDE WEB for not living up to their agreements EVERY SINGLE DAY until you get satisfaction, which would amount to receiving PAYMENT IN FULL for services rendered. But that’s a story for another day. 😀
So that’s what I think about personal branding. If you’re in the “public” eye (as ‘public’ as our small Echo Chamber gets) brand yourself or other people will do it for you. Whatever opinions come to mind when people hear your name or see your face, that’s YOUR brand. Even if NO opinions come to people’s minds or they’ve never heard of you, that doesn’t matter as long as YOU know what you’re bringing to the table. “The Fame Game” isn’t for everybody. Not everybody CAN do it, not everybody SHOULD do it and not everybody does it WELL.
So.. Does ‘Personal Branding’ exist, or am I talking about vaporware? 😀
What do you think?
You Know How We DO!!! … Like Father, Like Son! 😀 => Link to “Bill Cammack” in the New York Times
Boo Hoo Hoo! 😀
Around February, 2008… approximately five (5) months ago, I decided to ask a member of the video message board, Seesmic if he REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to represent himself as he did in a video that he made.
What happened? People started crying. BOO HOO HOO! YOU’RE BEING MEAN! YOU’RE TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO! BOO HOO HOO! 😀
Fast forward 5 months to this week’s events… where a *different* person got penalized for video that HE posted to the internet. Did he post it ~ a year ago? Yes. Was he penalized for it this week? Yes.
So now, maybe people can stop CRYING and WAKE UP! 😀 It doesn’t matter if you’re having a so-called private conversation with a so-called friend of yours if it’s AVAILABLE FOR THE PUBLIC TO VIEW. People are going to look at the one video that you did and make their own decisions about your content and about YOU as a person. They’re going to decide whether they want to socialize with “a person like this”. They’re going to decide whether they want to HIRE “a person like this”. They’re going to decide whether they want to SPONSOR “a person like this”.
The point I was trying to get across, almost half a year ago, is that all of your content is standalone. You have to treat every video and every text post and every picture as if people are going to look at that ONE item and form judgements about you. You can’t rely on OTHER posts to pull you back into the frying pan out of the fire. You can’t rely on other people vouching for your character, ESPECIALLY when your video is viewed outside the realm in which your friends have juice. If nobody’s ever heard of your friends or they just don’t care what your friends opinions are, you’re short.
The reason people were CRYING is because they want the internet to be about freedom of speech. Unfortunately for them, they’re missing the other side of the coin…
Yes, you are free and clear to use whatever low-class terms you like when you make video, audio or text posts to the internet. What happens next is… PEOPLE SEE YOU AS LOW-CLASS. Good for you. You’ve achieved your goal. You expressed yourself, and people have a new image of you that you’ve created. Similarly, if you create a video that people see as offensive… PEOPLE SEE YOU AS AN OFFENSIVE PERSON. That’s the way it works. You express yourself, and then, as Otir pointed out, you have ZERO CONTROL over what other people receive and internalize based on what you posted. This is what’s simultaneously fantastic and unfortunate about communication, especially on the internet.
Does it matter that whatever video you’re getting penalized for is a year old? No. People that saw it for the first time TODAY… feel upset about it TODAY…. NOT last year. Unfortunately, the fact that posts, especially video and audio are STANDALONE items means that whatever the focal point is of people being upset can now be embedded ad infinitum all over the web. Guess what? Your context is GONE! The text you wrote on your original page with the video? GONE! The links you had on that page to supporting material? GONE! Your entire library of work up until and surpassing that time? GONE! Comments from posters and/or supporters? GONE! The only thing that’s left is the content that you uploaded and the thoughts of the person who’s newly embedded your video on their page so they can show THEIR FRIENDS that you’re “a person like this”.
I was having a conversation IRL just last night, in which I thought I was anonymous, and then the
chick… um… woman says “I’ve read your blog“, hahaha and it was time to change gears. Not because I was being inauthentic beforehand, but because now, I was aware that I wasn’t working with a clean slate. 😀 We still had a great and interesting convo, but it had already been tinted by her impression of who I am or what I’m about from reading my blog.
That’s the way it works. You express. Other people receive and take away what they want from what you expressed, regardless of your intentions when you posted the text, audio or video. I touched on this in a joking way in “Do NOT Let This Happen To You! :/”. I was saying “some stuff” and then Annie broke out her xacti and it was time for The Kid to say “other stuff”! 😀
That was my whole point back on Seesmic.
I couldn’t care ANY LESS how people express themselves on the net.
I wanted people to realize is that they eventually might have to OWN the consequences of their actions/words/videos, and that’s what we all got a front row seat to this very week.
Welcome to the real world, Neo.
I’ve had some really interesting experiences as of late, which all revolve around the question “Who Are You?”. Not the absolutely unknowing question, as in “Who IS that over there?”, but the arrogant question “Who are YOU?”.
Let’s get it straight off the bat. “Who you are” is relative and completely subjective.
Am I an Emmy Award-Winning video editor? Yes I am. Have I been a National *and* International Emmy Awards Judge for several years? Yes I have. Does that have *ANYTHING* to do with how I interact with people? No, it does not.
This is because what I’ve accomplished is NOT “who I am”. Similarly, what other people have NOT accomplished is NOT “who they are”, either. To take that one level further… Not knowing that someone’s accomplished something does not make them NOBODY or INFERIOR. Learning that someone HAS accomplished something doesn’t automatically make them SOMEBODY or SUPERIOR, either.
I touched on this topic peripherally in “Howâ€™s your logo working for you?” when I mentioned meeting Nathan Freitas. To expand… We had just come from a great frisbee game, and a bunch of us headed out to celebrate and socialize afterwards. I had played against Nate, and I thought he did well, and I hadn’t met him before, so I introduced myself to him. He didn’t recognize my name, and I didn’t recognize his, but he knew of ReelSolid.TV, and he and I had actually had text-based interaction way before meeting IRL because he had commented on a video I did about men’s suits. Interestingly enough, even though I knew NOTHING about Cruxy.com at the time, I knew I had a picture with Mike Hudack while he was wearing a Cruxy shirt. Nate immediately and adamantly informed me that I was mistaken, at which time I turned on my camera and produced said picture:
The point that’s relevant to this particular post is that I didn’t go from “nobody” to “somebody” when Nate figured out “who I was”. I went from “a person” to “a person that Nate had heard of, and whose work he had seen”. Same thing with me. For me, Nate went from “a frisbee opponent” to “someone I’ve met who runs a site where artists can upload their work and get paid for it”.
Most people who meet me have no idea “who I am”, and I like it that way. They have no idea that I’m an MIT graduate. They have no idea that I’m DatingGenius.
I like it that way, because people are REAL when they don’t have a reason to sweat you. I love being “judged” by what people see when they look at me. 😀 I love it when people play themselves, because there’s no returning from that. It’s like “Before you knew who you were talking to, you acted totally differently towards me”.
Anyway… I’ve had several interesting interactions over the last three weeks, revolving around the question “Who are YOU?”
I ended up at this party, and I saw this random chick hanging out with three of my homegirls. Out of the goodness of my heart, I decided to introduce myself to her. What I intended to do was say hello to her and move on to hanging out with my actual friends. So I say “Hi. I’m Bill”, and her response is “You sent me a friends request on Facebook, and I declined it”. HAHAHA So I’m like ?????? because this is a totally new situation for me. Usually, when chicks don’t accept you on Facebook, that’s because they don’t want to talk to you AT ALL, so when they’re around you, they don’t say jack to you. So I’m like “Wait a minute… Let me get this straight. You just informed me that I friended you on Facebook so you could tell me that you didn’t accept it? :D” and she’s like “Yeah… Who the hell are YOU?”
So, this was really funny, considering that I have over 500 Facebook contacts and over 280 Linkedin contacts and over 650 Twitter contacts and over 600 MySpace contacts, not to mention people that know “who I am” all over the planet, from Hawaii to the U.K. to Tokyo to The Netherlands to California to NYC. Meanwhile, I introduced myself to this chick “cold”, not recognizing her face or body from anywhere, and not recognizing her as someone that I sent a Facebook friends invite to. In the future, when I figured out “who she was”, I realized that I had friended her because I saw that we had 17 mutual friends. There was nothing interesting or appealing about her. Similar to what happened IRL, I was extending the hand of friendship to someone who was friends with friends of mine.
So I found the question “Who the hell are YOU?” to be ridiculous, because it was as if she was requesting for me to audition to be her Facebook friend when I didn’t give a damn about her in the first place. It was like *I* had something to gain from it. Meanwhile, I could have ignored her completely and interacted with my actual friends and my day would have been exactly the same, except for a funny story to tell about how people get souped up and think they’re worth knowing for some odd reason. 🙂
Another interesting reaction I got recently was at a party. At some point, I took a picture with some chick that I had met that night. About 22 hours after I posted the picture to my flickr stream, I got an email from her with some sob story about the reason why she was asking me to take it down. I didn’t believe a word she said, but I gladly made it private, because every picture I take and post is with people that want to take pictures with me. Just the fact that she was asking me to remove it was grounds for removal. The question here is… Why the hell are you taking pictures with people and not expecting those pictures to arrive on the net? The only uneducated guess I can come up with is that because she had never seen me before, she didn’t figure that a picture she took with me would end up anywhere of note. According to her sob story, she didn’t want certain people to see her partying. The question becomes a) Why were you partying in the first place, and b) Why were you taking pictures with people if you didn’t want to be spotted partying?
Last week, I approached this chick who’s active in social media and is always asking her ‘fans’ for things. When she sends out mass emails, she’s all friendly and acting like she knows who it is that she’s interacting with and cares about them. However, when I arrived, not only was she completely disinterested in who I might be, but she failed to even state what her name was. I didn’t bother asking her because I already knew her name and what she does. I found it funny how someone could be such a beggar in social media, yet totally didn’t promote herself IRL. What sense does it make to make contacts with people via computer and then alienate them in person?
OTOH… There are lots of people that I met during PodCampNYC or at various Twitter Meetups or Meetup Meetups that are either AS GENUINE as they appear online or even MORE SO. 😀 A lot of what we experience of people on the net is merely the characters they’re portraying in their “shows”. When the cameras aren’t rolling, and it’s down to one-on-one communication and interaction, that’s where people really shine or they don’t. That’s where you get to see how people act when there’s nothing in it for them. No audience. No revenue-sharing. No business deals. Just you and them. Person to Person. Face to Face. What’s it like for you to be around them? What’s it like for them to be around you?
Ultimately, the question “Who are you?” is unimportant. What’s important is how you carry yourself and interact with others. On the spur of the moment, when you meet someone, how do you react to them? How do you interact with them? Do you act differently based on their accomplishments or who they know? Can you have a good time with people that are willing to have a good time with you? What’s the threshold above which you’re willing to interact with someone standing next to you? Someone that sends you a social media ‘friends request’? Someone that’s a friend of a friend of yours, but you haven’t had personal contact with yet?
Is social media merely a networking tool for you, or are you looking to enrich your life by meeting interesting and intelligent people and cultivating relationships with them?
Bill Cammack & Annie Boccio
Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances (all of my own creation), this video was filmed by Annie Boccio and uploaded to the internet. We are going to discuss the errors I made that led to this and how YOU can avoid this from happening to YOU in the future. 😀
Error #1: Do NOT hang out with people who post pictures and videos to the internet. 🙂
I wasn’t paying attention and started doing my usual bar routines that I do to people who never record it. I always leave the situations feeling like I had fun messing with people’s minds, and that by the next morning, it would all fade away and I can forget about it or do it again the next night if I so choose. 🙂
What I wasn’t paying attention to was that we were @ PodCampNYC and I was literally SURROUNDED by media-makers. I’m used to being the only one in the room interested in documenting hangouts, and since I had no intention of recording anything, I was just flowing and enjoying some mental recreation… Next thing I know, I notice a small red camera in Annie’s hands, and as Roxanne CoughBenedictArnoldCough Darling mentioned, it was time to change my tune! 😀
Error #2: Make sure you have a feasible and smooth-sounding counter-statement to what you were saying before the camera was turned on. 🙂
When I saw Annie’s camera, I blanked. 🙂 Whatever I had been talking about completely left my mind, and I had the choices of either saying something opposite or saying nothing at all. I really wanted to say NOTHING, but I decided to “go big or go home”. I decided to challenge myself to come off smooth and convincing at the drop of a hat on a topic that I never talk about = EPIC FAIL! 😀
If you’ve read any of the DatingGenius series, you know that the basic premise is that people suck in general and that the sooner you realize this, the better you’ll be able to handle the curveballs that relationships throw at you. The opposite of “people suck” is “people are good”, and I realized practically immediately after accepting my own challenge to GO FOR IT that I have no rolodex of GOOD things to say about people in general.
To go off on that tangent for a second… I believe that people SHOULD be “good” to begin with. I hardly see ‘doing the right thing’ as a reason to give someone props. It’s like Chris Rock said… Don’t brag about taking care of your kids… You’re SUPPOSED to take care of your kids! 😀 (for the reading-impaired, CoughTymeCough, I am making an example. I do NOT have any kids! :D) So, naturally, what’s wrong with your relationship or your perception of reality is that you fail to recognize how wack people can really be. Without that recognition, you can’t solve the problems of your own relationship because you never look in the right places. So, when things are right about a relationship, they’re SUPPOSED to be right, so there’s no reason to talk about them or have them readily mentally available. This is why I was suddenly at a loss when I ordered myself to “say nice things”.
Unfortunately for me, as I scanned backwards through history for something nice to say about women, I initially slid back to the 1960’s and Women’s Lib (apparently known as Second-Wave Feminism), but quickly landed on the rocky bottom of Women’s Suffrage. I then produced some drivel about equal pay and women driving tanks in the military. Pathetic. 🙂 My mind was racing too fast to notice the look on Rox’s face, but that brings us to error #3.
Error #3: Do not try this 180-degree style with someone with whom you’ve already had intelligent conversations. 🙂
In another split-second, spur-of-the-moment calculation that occurred at the same time I decided to try to talk my way out… I had been counting on Rox to back my play. Unfortunately for me, I’ve had hours of genuine, intelligent conversation with her over the time we’ve known each other, so it was clear to her that I was merely spewing propaganda and poorly-prepared propaganda at that! 🙂 The look on her face is “I don’t even BELIEVE that he’s saying this stuff! :/” So that backfired as well, and she mentions on tape that I was saying something completely different before Annie pressed REC.
Error #4: Do not hope that the fliming is over and go back to what you were talking about. 🙂
Clearly, by clip #2 in Annie’s video, I was no longer thinking about the camera, which is why a) I’m back to my regular mode of conversation and b) I’m suddenly wearing glasses. I’m clearly restarting the “on camera” mental functions because I speak ambiguously and appear to make an error. I say
“Dating and women in New York City? (stalling) Well… (stalling) um… (stalling) Women… should be, uh… (thinking) nice as possible to guys in New York City because… they’re outnumbered…”
Jonny Goldstein calls me on this “error” before I get to continue my statement, and I end up agreeing with him about the mistake, making myself look worse! 🙂 The “they” that are outnumbered are the men. The proper continuation of the sentence is “Women should be as nice as possible to guys in New York City, because they’re outnumbered and can choose any women they want out of the 210,820 surplus single females in this town. BUT… Of Course… That didn’t work out for me either, because I was winging it.
Having said all that… How many preparations have I made in case this ever happens again?
This was a complete anomaly. We were at a social media gathering. We all knew of each other to some degree because of blogging and videoblogging. There were cameras all over the place. I don’t think I’ve ever shown up in so much random media at one time. I got lax and stared entertaining our little group of Rox, Joe, Annie and Jonny with some DatingGenius shenanigans and received a visual lesson in how poorly I play things off when I’m trying to talk about things I never think about.
Maybe I should practice filming telling a chick I love her… In case I ever mean it! 😀