Personal branding. As if the very concept of “branding” wasn’t tricky enough, they throw this other concept at you. Isn’t developing your business identity for your web site, business cards, e-mail signatures and voice mail accounts enough?
Even if it weren’t, just what is a personal brand? What makes it different from a regular old brand?
And – scariest of all – why does it have to be so personal? Isn’t just being professional enough?
As someone who’s making his first, tentative steps into the field of freelancing, I can tell you that I know what a struggle all this is, especially when you’re trying to do everything on a shoestring. It’s tempting to put it off until later.
But I reckon that working to identify your personal brand is one of the things you really need to tackle first, because it’s going to help the people you want to do business with realise just why they ought to do business with you.
You’ve probably noticed the headline that announces this episode as the first Brazen one. That’s because the Paid to Play Podcast has joined forces with Brazen Careerist!
They even made me up this neat logo, too! Now I just have to figure out how get it into iTunes…
The folks at Brazen and I have a lot in common. We both want to help folks get the most satisfaction out of their working lives as possible. Brazen’s team of bloggers – including my guest for episode 15, Kelly Gurnett – give out tips on how to thrive in the modern workplace without compromising what’s important to you.
Which, I reckon, is a pretty good definition of my guests on Paid to Play.
Once a month, I’ll contribute an interview to Brazen; I hope that my interviews can add to Brazen’s already massive library of work-life wisdom.
The first of these is already up; my chat with Trevor Longino, head of marketing and public relations at game distributor GOG.com. Formerly known as Good Old Games, GOG.com has expanded its mission from bringing classic computer games from the nineties back to life on modern operating systems into offering newer titles from indies like FTL to mainstream games like The Witcher DRM free.
Trevor and I discuss the classic video games of the nineties, just what marketing and PR involves in this social media age and how Trevor has handled relocating from the US to Poland in order to work for GOG!
Up until now, I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of spruiking anything, whether my own work or others’, on social media. ll the things I’ve read about about “social media strategies” and how anyone with an online presence needs to maximise their effectiveness in order to establish social media as a part of their sales funnel, etcetera, etcetera… they just leave me cold.
I don’t want to be another guy spamming stuff to my followers on social media. And even if I did, how would I still have the time to do all the other stuff I need to do, like actually reading other people’s postings? Just find random stuff? Put something up that doesn’t really come from me, but that pads out the figures and / or might wind up as a lead?
But I read something just recently that made a chunk of “social media strategy” not just make sense, but also comfortable.
It’s one thing to talk about getting paid to play, and another to turn your play into something that others will want to buy. But getting the word about how great your thing is and how it will help / entertain people? That’s a whole different kind of challenge, especially when you’re just starting out and your marketing budget doesn’t even have a brass razoo.
That’s where Tim Reid, host of the Small Business Big Marketing podcast, comes in. Tim is a longtime marketing guru who quit working for some huge agencies seven years ago to go into business for himself. Not only is each weekly episode a fun chat with a businessperson taking an innovative approach to connecting with his or her customers, it’s also a great advertisement for Tim’s marketing consultant and speaking services!
I have to thank my old mate Marcus Herstik for hipping me to Tim, who is the kind of guy I want to be when I grow up: Confident, relaxed, gracious and great to share one of his famous fireside chats with!
Okay, you gamers out there. What’s your favourite game design studio? You know you’ve got one, just like you’ve got a favourite game platform. Wouldn’t you just love to work there, making video games like the awesome games you love to play?
Have you ever thought that even if you score that dream job, you might discover that there are things that you want to do with your passion for gaming, programming, design that you don’t have the spare time or energy to do?
Henry Smith had a pretty awesome job at BioWare, the makers of awesome games like Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights and, more recently, Dragon Age and the incredible science fiction trilogy, Mass Effect. Yet six months ago he decided to take a year off so that he could work on the personal projects that brought him joy.
I caught up with him a month or so after he released his first game, a science fiction themed iDevice app called Spaceteam, where you and one to three friends try and save your starship from utter destruction by pulling levers, twisting dials and yelling technobabble at each other. Though the game itself is free, Henry is earning enough money from the pay-to-download add-on packs to look at extending his time working solo.
I thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Henry about getting paid to play – by quitting getting paid to play!
On the recommendation of Jeff Goins, whose newsletters I need to read more often than I do, I got my sorry self out of bed at around two this morning to join a webinar – my first live webinar ever – hosted by Danny Iny, the so-called Freddy Krueger of the blogosphere (’cause wherever you turn, there he is).
Though I’ve tried to get back to sleep since the webinar wound up at around four, I keep getting back up and making notes of the ideas that just wouldn’t let me nod off again.
(Even in sleep there was no escape – my God, he really IS Freddy Krueger!)
The webinar was titled, “The Brutally Honest Truth about what it’s REALLY Going to Take to Build a Thriving Audience and Business Online in 2013.”
After having authors and bloggers on the podcast, it’s fun to have someone who’s not only a full-time freelance writer on the show, but also someone who’s dedicated to helping others achieve similar goals – so much so that she not only blogs about making it as a freelance writer, she also runs a paid-membership web site that offers courses and tips on every aspect of the business of freelance writing.
Work-wise, Carol Tice done it all; she worked at a newspaper and as a movie script transcriber before going freelance and managed to blow away her own expectations of success when she started the Freelance Writers Den. On top of all that, she’s a wife and mother of three! Talk about doing it all…
Please listen to this interview, wherein I completely miss the opportunity to quiz Carol about her early work as a song writer (Brill Building Fail!) but find out plenty about what it takes to make it in freelancing.