SXSW09: Building The c.t.overdrive Brand Thursday March 26, 2009

Alright, so here is the long over due and last of the SXSW09 posts. Hurrrah!

While, I’ve posted a lot of SXSW nonsense on the ol’ overdrive and most of the dirty details from each day at the Corporation’s Blog, I’m going to talk about one of the most prevalent themes coming out of Austin this year – the evolution of Personal Branding.

Personal Branding

If you are a writer, a poet, a photographer, a student, a creative, a musician, a developer, an engineer, a graphic designer, a consultant, a marketer or anyone who is trying to make a living trying by sell themselves – it’s time to listen up.

Because whether you like it or not your personal brand is already being built online. Whether it’s the blog you started five years ago or your handle on a forum or your Facebook account – all of your online activity is slowly building a personal brand.

The theme from Austin was that as professionals, you need to start leveraging all the information being collected into something beneficial to you. You need to take control. You need to take these social media tools (Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, et al) and focus them into a network of sites you can potentially utilize to promote yourself.

Your Blog is Dead! (Well Sorta)

One of the key sessions I went to at SXSW was the core conversation – Is The Personal Blog Dead?

Throughout the conversation, it became apparent that the old idea of the personal blog – the place where you write about your daily life – appears to have died a slow death. What is really happening now is that your blog is now a place to express long thought out and rational thoughts in between smaller informative posts to Twitter, Tumblr or Flickr. Your blog is a place where you need to really refine your knowledge and express your opinions in a concise manner, which you should complemented with the short snippets of information published on other social media sites.

Your personal blog has now evolved into a focal point to channel your online connections (via other Social Media sites) to showcase your personality and better yet your services. It has become an aggregate for your larger thoughts and opinions – the center for your personal brand.

The c.t.overdrive Brand

All of this got me thinking about the c.t.overdrive brand. Which has evolved into my brand and now seems to be how the online world views Mr. Connor Turner.

Over the past year, I’ve apparently made a subconscious effort to solidify the c.t.overdrive brand. My twitter account mimics the c.t.overdrive home page. My avatars on Facebook, Britekit and comment Gravatars all link up to The Story’s picture profile. Every account I create has some derivative of c.t.overdrive in it.

And again, I want to emphasize that this has been completely subconscious. But through all of this it appears that the c.t.overdrive brand is developing online.

Now, don’t ask me what it’s developing into? For all I know it’s probably developing into a personal brand of mish-mash of bad grammar, obscure zombie t-shirts, odd comments about old Calgary news reporters, bold fonts, sketch drawings, far too much twitter talk and the occasional rant about music. But either way it appears to be my brand.

Why is Your Personal Brand Important?

The reasons for having a concise personal brand are simple. You want to be able to have some control in the way people view your talents.

I’ll give you a quick personal example.

Over the past month I have been linked and featured in a variety of different ways. One of my tweets was published on a PBS article about SXSW. Johnny Tran quoted the c.t.overdrive in an interview with Blu’s Daily blog (BTW Johnny, thank you! I’m so honored for the link). And last but not least a quote of mine was featured in a recent Metro article on Twittering.

I have really appreciated each of these links, but it does demonstrate that in the online world will live in, we have less control over where our thoughts and ideas are spreading.

Which is why you need to have some control over how the world views your personal brand. Potential clients and potential collaborators are going to be finding your ideas online and with out a clear and concise brand, you might miss out on some golden opportunities.

Anyways, I’ve probably talked about this idea enough for one post. So I’m going to continue on this stream about personal branding in another post. But this time I’ll include some great local professionals that are really taking control of their personal brand.

Categories: SXSW-2009, The-Personnal, The Blogosphere, The Calgary Vibe, The Inane, The Personnal, The Pop-Culture, The Twitter-verse, The World, Want To Be A Web Designer

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