I see this as the great dilemma of our times – Personal Branding vs Private Space. There is no question in my mind that personal branding is a must for anyone choosing to conduct their business in the world of social media. And yet some of us like the idea of retaining our privacy. Is it one of those cases of “the twain shall never meet” or is there a way to bridge the necessity of personal branding and the impulse for privacy?
I love ghostwriting because I like the privilege of retaining my privacy while researching and writing, while analyzing and offering insights. It took me a while to decide to start a blog because I was not sure where I would draw the line of what I wanted to share. I have taken the path of selective, very selective, sharing. I realize that the most successful personal branding strategies are those where the readers/audience form a connection with the person behind it all. It helps to relate to this other human being in terms of what they had for lunch and what they do for recreation. However, I also understand that I cannot comfortably share everything about myself in public forums. The line between private and public seems to be drawn differently for different people. Given what teenagers share on Facebook sometimes I feel that there is no line at all for some of them! I think each of us has to figure out how far we want to reveal ourselves whether on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.
Now that I have been writing here actively for over a month, I also realize that sharing is a habit. Once you are willing to step out and share a thought, you realize that it is not as difficult or painful as you anticipated. It is a thought and, the reality is that, most of the world carries on without even realizing the momentousness of your sharing! Start cautiously and you may find soon that some of it is not as hard to share as you thought.
So, for those of you still on the verge of Web 2.0 – the ones who enjoy reading blogs and appreciate Twitter updates – this is what I say: Jump right in! You will find that you can still create a distinctive brand without listing out your family tree and your dog’s name. It will be a fun read if you choose to share that too, but there is an audience and a need for other kinds of sharing also. You can create a personal brand without losing your personal space! And that hopefully explains the use of Mr.Wilson from Home Improvement.