personal branding

I Think I Need to Work on My Niche Again

choosing a niche I feel like this blog lost a little something, that it's not what it used to be. I understand that part of it might be that the move to the domain name, where few followers transferred over from the Wordpress site to this one. The switch also prompted a swarm of spam comments, of which I have abated with an Akismet purchase, so that at least takes away the frustration and the time to clear these things away. But, I also think that it's more than that, and that primary something is the niche.

What About Identity Capital?

Although I love the idea of building identity capital, this site is meant to be more about building my own identity capital instead of helping others build it. The theme of chronicling my journey of building identity capital is just awkward unless I pick one or the other. I mean, we should be constantly building and thinking about our identity capital. Essentially, it's a fancy way of turning this into a diary, and this isn't Xanga so we don't need that sort of thing. I need a better theme, a smarter theme, a theme that does more than provide a good online presence and overload the search engine rankings with my random musings (there are worse things that could overload the search engine rankings). I need a theme that actually builds identity capital and positions myself as an expert in that theme/topic. Besides, the tagline for this website is awful.

So, Once Again, I Need a Topic

This part of the process is going to take a long time. I really shouldn't be having this glass of Almond Breeze Mocha Iced Coffee, but I am (and it's delicious) because this is going to take a while and it requires some serious thought. There are just so many topics to choose from, but the point here is to choose a topic that I want part of my personal brand. It also has to be a topic that isn't too competitive, or is something where there's an open niche. I could easily do a blog on content marketing or business blogging, but the competition is outrageous (and I don't really want those things part of my personal brand anymore). It also has to be something that I could reasonably position myself as an expert in. Sure, I could do a poker blog, but I don't play often enough to have anything to say about it or to have anything unique to contribute.

I don't know why I'm forcing myself to pick one right now, or even in the next few days. I might have to take the time to sort out my ideas, and save the ones that have the most money-making potential for the business and ultimately choose one that has little in the way of revenue but lots when it comes to audience value and current need.

Part of My Personal Brand

I need to recognize that this website is part of my personal brand, much like Stirring Media and Gateway Grounds are going to be, although I hope that those entities will become bigger than myself and will eventually not need me to survive. The same can't be said for this site, and even though it's not going to be the same as those other two, I think the perspective ended up constricting me. Because I didn't want this site to turn into another business venture, I was a bit more willy-nilly about the whole thing, when this site should have been given the same rigor and attention when it came to choosing a niche and to choosing a topic. That's all changing now.

Developing a Personal Brand

personal branding As I promised yesterday, I'm going to work on developing my personal brand and answer the pertinent questions to do that. I took these questions from chapter 5 of The Marketing Agency Blueprint: The Handbook for Building Hybrid PR, SEO, Content, Advertising, and Web Firm. With the way our digital world is evolving, you're missing out if you're not spending time at least thinking about your personal brand and what you present about yourself online. I highly recommend answering these questions yourself since personal brands are becoming more integral in building your career and in building your employer's brand and company culture.

  1. What three adjectives would people use to describe you? - Hardworking, crazy, and cheerful.
  2. What makes you unique? - "What about me isn't unique?" is the better questions, but I'll answer this one anyway. Well, I'm an Aquarius, and Aquarians are naturally unique people who think outside the box and do things differently. I'm also a native Hawaiian who lives in St. Louis, and moved here willingly from Hawaii, so that's something. I play poker, and not a lot of women play poker. I'm vegan, and went vegan three months ago after watching a documentary. The more colors something has, the better. I honestly believe my cat knows the secrets to life, but won't tell me because he only speaks Arabic. I aspire to save the world and be Martin Luther King Jr. Not enough people in the world want to do those things.
  3. What life experiences have altered your views and actions? - Starting my own business has definitely altered my views and actions. I no longer believe that it's worthwhile to work for someone else because building your business has too benefits that a typical job doesn't offer, and I think self-employment has more job security than people think. I also like that with your own business, you make the rules and you can be yourself without worrying about fitting into a company culture and getting along with your coworkers. I don't think I could just go out and get a normal job anymore, even if my current business were to collapse.
  4. What motivates and inspires you? - I am motivated by my own accomplishments and I am inspired by others who overcome hardship to accomplish something bigger than I've ever accomplished. I think about those women in Africa and developing nations who've managed to build successful businesses despite their hardships and I am inspired to do more and to be better because if those women can do it, then I have no excuses. I am motivated by my own accomplishments because they encourage me to set a new goal and to plan how to meet my new goal.
  5. What are you passionate about? - I am passionate about content marketing, blogging, poker, human rights, and cats.
  6. How do you balance your personal and professional lives? - I balance my personal and professional lives by scheduling my hobbies and personal activities as well as my professional activities. This ensures that I don't let my professional life take over by arguing I don't have enough time for anything personal. Also, since I work in a creative industry, I make it a point to take breaks and to get enough sleep so that I can create my best work every time that I am working.
  7. Do your friends and family have different perceptions about you than your professional peers? - I think that there are some differences, but for the most part there's a lot of overlap. I think the two parties would differ on how crazy and quirky I really am, or on whether I'm working hard or too hard. Other than that, I think their perceptions would match.
  8. Do you see challenges in life as obstacles or as opportunities? - Both, as challenges are opportunities to overcome obstacles and to become more awesome than yesterday.
  9. Are you stubborn and closed minded? Or, do you view each experience as a chance to grow and expand your knowledge? - The latter, naturally. Isn't learning and gaining knowledge the fun part. As the saying goes, "you don't know what you like, you like what you know."
  10. Do you take responsibility for your own success or failure? - Of course, although I might take more responsibility for a failure than a success. With success, there's usually other people involved who helped you to be successful. This is important in business as well as in poker. In either, it can be easy to blame someone else, but sometimes you can do everything right and still fail. In both you can also make a mistake that could ruin everything, or make a mistake that ends up turning out okay in the end.