Social Branding

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… Continue reading “Social Branding”

E-Stalking [Part 4]

Bill Cammack GSX-R NYC Night, by Jay BatistaI dropped my e-Stalking series in 2008.

At the time, I was talking about asynchronously getting to know someone by reading their blog posts, listening to their podcasts, watching their videos & live streams and coming to your own conclusion about who they are, what they’re like and what they like to do without them ever knowing that you exist.

e-Stalking makes perfect sense because people tend to share what they care about online to the degree that they’re willing to be judged by what they wrote. Trust Me.. You can learn way more about someone in 20 minutes of consuming their media than you can during 20 minutes of banter with them and three other people standing around at an IRL social function. Continue reading “E-Stalking [Part 4]”

Social Media: You’re Doing It Wrong

Let me tell you how Social Media works…

There are two layers. There’s the online layer and then the offline layer.

The online layer is where we all say whatever we want about ourselves and expect people to take our word for it. The offline layer is where you have to PUT UP OR SHUT UP. You’re either the same person IRL (In Real Life) that you claim to be online or you’re not. Continue reading “Social Media: You’re Doing It Wrong”

Stop Diluting Your Brand

Bill & NancyLet’s say you have something that you do well. One thing. Just one. Next thing you know, you find out about Social Media and all the good things that are now available for everyone to take part in. Before you jump in the pool, consider that you might not be able to swim. Don’t get in over your head with Social Media, because the effect is going to be *YOU* looking unprofessional, AND broadcasting that YOURSELF to the entire world.

Let’s say you’re a football player. Let’s say you have lots of IRL fans and it seems like a good idea to you to start utilizing sites/apps like Twitter, Ustream, Qik, Youtube, Livestream, BlogTV, Tinychat, Tokbox, Facebook, MySpace, etc etc to increase your numbers of “followers” and increase your international visibility. To a degree, this will work for you. If you overdo it, you won’t be able to spend the required amount of time to maintain your position in any or potentially ALL of your endeavors. If you don’t maintain your positions properly, people are going to start recognizing you for SUCKING at Social Media more than they recognize you for playing football.

Of course, this is infinitely worse if you’re supposed to be a Social Media Expert (SME). Do. Not. Get. Caught. Slippin’. in your Social Media if you want someone to pay YOU to handle THEIR SM for them. Continue reading “Stop Diluting Your Brand”

Branding: Name, Nickname or Company?

Everything you do in public adds to or subtracts from your cred, and is compiled in your virtual resume. Which resume are you building, and what do you hope to get out of that?

Bill Cammack - Channeling What Women Want!
Bill Cammack – Channeling What Women Want

When I got started, three years ago, in 2006, My idea was to make a site that started out as my making my own videos but would expand to a group of people collaborating to make videos for the site. This is why I was initially branding ReelSolid.TV instead of BillCammack.com.

Pretty much immediately, I started getting recognition for my videos, except *I* wasn’t getting recognition for my videos. People knew that ReelSolid.TV was producing them, but nobody knew who ReelSolid.TV was.

Once I understood that, I had a choice. I was either going to continue publicizing the group (which was only me anyway), or I was going to start publicizing MYSELF. I chose to publicize myself because the group is merely an umbrella.. a catch-all. Let’s say that ReelSolid.TV is defense and BillCammack.com is offense. ReelSolid is more saying “I’m not necessarily the one that created this, though it’s my site”. BillCammack is saying “I did this. Add it to my resume”. Continue reading “Branding: Name, Nickname or Company?”

Shilling Away Your Social Capital

There’s a lot of talk these days about each of us having a “Personal Brand”. Some consider this to be vaporware, while others take the concept rather seriously.

A few months ago, I was asked something to the effect of “Doesn’t having a personal brand limit you?”, to which, my reply at the time was basically that your personal brand is as limiting as your personal abilities. In other words, if you can’t do very much, your personal brand isn’t going to be very valuable. Your name won’t ring any bells. People won’t associate ANYTHING with your “brand”.

For instance, there is no such thing as a “Frisbee”. Frisbee is a BRAND NAME that was made up and applied to the actual item, which is a Flying Disc. There are lots of companies that make flying discs, but we call every single flying disc in existence a Frisbee. THAT’S “Your name ringing bells”.

Same thing for “Band Aid”… No such thing. It’s an Adhesive Bandage. However, we call every single adhesive bandage in existence a Band Aid. I’ve never asked ANYONE for an adhesive bandage in my entire life.

So, think about what people associate with YOUR name… YOUR “personal brand”. Even if you haven’t tried to cultivate one, you have one. It’s merely a question of how weak or strong it is. Interestingly enough, you don’t even necessarily KNOW what your own personal brand actually is, because you might attempt to cultivate one thing, but what people take away from your internet presence is something entirely different. Continue reading “Shilling Away Your Social Capital”

Sarah Cooley – “Drawing The Line Between Personal And Brand”

Speaker: Sarah Cooley (randomsarah.com / @sarahcooley)
Title: “Drawing The Line Between Personal And Brand”
Date: March 19, 2009
Conference: “Social Media Jungle: New York City” #smjnyc
Recorded By: Bill Cammack

 

Talkin’ LOUD, and Sayin’ NOTHIN’! (sayin’ nothin’)

Bill CammackPlease keep your eye on the ball, people. Wake up. Stop letting people tell you gibberish that clouds your minds to the facts, if you’re going to hire them to work for you or even associate them with your brand.

Some people in this space are always “Talkin’ LOUD, and Sayin’ NOTHIN’!”. The funny thing about this is that since for the most part, there aren’t real professionals in ANYTHING strewn across the Social Meda Expert world, the only thing that businesses have to make their hiring decisions on is what people tell them who know only marginally more than they do to begin with.

As an example, let’s look at the video aspect of Social Media. Basically, video on the net is an extension of the fad of emailing jokes to people in the mornings. You would come to work and turn on your computer and there would be several jokes emailed to you from people that thought the jokes were funny. Eventually, this style of passing an email from person to person was termed “viral”, and the goal became to make “viral videos”. Continue reading “Talkin’ LOUD, and Sayin’ NOTHIN’! (sayin’ nothin’)”

Personal Brand? No Crossover

I just read this article by Sarah Lacy where she describes part of her journey into becoming a brand and then attempting to leverage her new positions. The pivotal paragraph for me was:

Sarah: That take-on-the-world morning, I was having coffee with Steven Levy, then of Newsweek, now of Wired, who challenged this whole idea of whether this “Sarah Lacy” brand was actually translating into things that mattered, like book sales, money, something real and tangible, or whether it was a just smokescreen of hype. And I granted his point. I’ve long been dubious of Internet celebrity’s staying power. It seems the Internet famous hit that moment where they’re on the Today Show, and just about to close a deal with ABC or HBO or pick the big money, you’ve-made-it acronym, but it never really materializes.

I’ve watched this happen several times since I entered the scene in 2006. Internet Celebrities attempting to take their game to the next level. The first, and most obvious example from the paragraph above being Amanda Congdon, formerly of Rocketboom fame, who went on to do Amanda Across America and then a derivative show for ABC where they attempted to emulate Rocketboom, but severely overproduced Amanda, stomping the life and fun out of the personality that she had brought to the Rocketboom anchor chair AND forcing 30-second pre-roll advertisements that had lots of people clicking off the site before they ever got to Amanda’s performance.

Another example would be Lisa Donavan (LisaNova), who went from YouTube to MADtv and then back to the internet. Then, there’s Ze Frank, who made up his own brand of show and viewer interaction, soared to immense popularity, deliberately quit his show after a calendar year and last I noticed, was on the lecture circuit.

So the question is whether the Personal Brand you’re creating “is actually translating into things that matter”. I touched upon this in August, 2008, in Conversion of “Cred”, but Sarah sums up my own personal experience here: Continue reading “Personal Brand? No Crossover”

How Much Does It Cost To Borrow Your Brand?

My friend Chris Brogan has inadvertently caused a stir. 😀

Chris Brogan & Bill Cammack

From the little I’ve read about the situation, (you can read about it yourself, on Chris’ site) basically, he accepted a $500 gift card from Kmart to write a blog post about Kmart. He was completely transparent that he was writing a sponsored blog post. As part of the deal, he also received the opportunity to give away a second $500 Kmart gift card. Here’s what Chris says he did with the money:

“I realized really quickly that I could do two good things while satisfying the project request: I could give someone else a $500 gift card for the holidays, and I could use my shopping experience to buy toys for the Toys for Tots program. (My kids kept the jackets and my boy kept some pants.)”

This kind of thing was discussed AT LENGTH exactly one year ago, when Cheryl Colan made a post questioning Steve Woolf & Zadi Diaz‘s sponsorship & advertising practices with regard to their show Epic-FU in her post “What Up, New Media?”. Cheryl posted a video on that page speaking about her issues if you want the background on that 99-coment-long saga.

The point in both cases was whether bloggers or content creators can GET PAID and talk about products with integrity at the same time.

While I personally don’t see anything wrong with Chris getting paid to blog about something, I see the problems that some people are going to have with the situation. Continue reading “How Much Does It Cost To Borrow Your Brand?”