Forbes published a list of 25 influential people generating traction on the web. Perez Hilton, is the “queen of media” and ranked number one. Michael Arrington ranks number two. It’s interesting to look at their last ranking to see who fell off and moved up on the list. I too am ranking Perez Hilton at the top of the list for this article on personal branding. This is a list of people who have strong brands.
Om Malik- Giga Om
Kevin Rose- Diggnation
Veronica Belmont- Mahalo
Morgan Webb- WebbAlert
Marissa Mayer- Google
Michael Arrington- Tech Crunch
Brian Solis- PR 2.0
Natali Del Conte- Cnet
Leo Laporte- Twit
Chris Brogan- ChrisBrogan.com
Violet Blue- Tiny Nibbles
Cali Lewis- Geek Brief TV
Jeremiah Owang- Web Strategy
Chris Pirillo- Ustream.tv
Building a brand doesn’t come easy, but it is more possible than ever before. Personal Branding is achieved through clearly defining your key attributes, image, and level of integrity. It’s the same when promoting products. Let’s look at one example of a personal brand, Paris Hilton, and then at a couple brands that have built up and gained many partner promotions and brand recognition.
Paris Hilton is ultimately an international brand as big as the Hilton Hotels. She is one of the first strong examples of the power of personal branding. She has taken advantage of all forms of media in her personal and public life. Her key attributes begin with her face. She represents one face, one image of excessive wealth and extreme fashion. Partnering with brands helps to promote their brand and the brand name doing the promoting.
Product promotions and partner promotions increase Paris’ reach to a wider audience. The press will pick up on the announcement of stories regarding personal branding with corporate branding. For example, Beyonce Knowles, pop singer, just signed on to be the face of American Express for 2008.
Julia Allison promotes her brand name with Time Out New York, where she writes a column, at Star magazine she is the editor at large, and Fox news she is a regular. Her platforms give her a reach and brand association that will influence what others think. She’s an influencer and cannot be replaced. In an article by the New York Observer Julia worries she’d be replaceable if she didn’t brand herself. Her website includes a blog that is like a photo album of her life where she shares intimate details with her audience.
Robert Scoble celebrates entering his eighth year of blogging and says, “when I started I had absolutely no idea I’d have worked at two of the worlds biggest technology companies.” His pen name, Scobleizer, is the name many of his close friends call him in person. He’s developed one of the strongest brands online. One thing is sure, he wouldn’t be what he is today if it were not for his product and partner promotions that got him going. Microsoft has made him one of the few personalities spokesperson to come out of the company. Robert Scoble’s key attributes are his honesty, sincerity, transparency and his positive influential message. His tag line is: geek blogger. He has a lucrative partner promotion with Seagate through 2008.
Transparency is one of the most important attributes to consider when looking at one’s personal brand. It’s not an easy thing to do wisely, however, it will make one more valuable in the long run. Finding key attributes, getting a message out, and building partner promotions are things these people have done to establish their personal brands.