I am excited to keynote RecruitDC and talk about personal branding.
As many of you know, I don’t believe in personal brands. You are not a bottle of laundry detergent. You have a soul.
I’m skeptical about the concept of “personal branding” because it can go south pretty quickly. I have a bunch of friends who started juicing. That’s right. Their whole identities are wrapped up in using a Vitamix blender to lose weight. They pulp the hell out of fruits to make soft, mushy meals.
I’m like, “You know we have teeth for a reason, right? We need some of that insoluble fiber to poop, too. If you are not chewing your food, you are doing it wrong.”
My friends are like, “You don’t know what you are talking about, Laurie. Juicing is the new Atkins but healthier.”
Yeah, okay, I can’t fight that battle. I have learned that some of us discover new things later in life and go crazy to make up for lost time. Do you have friends with new hobbies, new relationships, and new experiences who can’t stop using social media to talk about it? Do you have that one friend who just found Jesus and wants to save everyone even though he went 38 years without caring about your soul? Do you know someone who is newly promoted, newly pregnant, or newly divorced and on a personal journey for truth and can’t shut up about it on Twitter?
So exhausting. But it’s also very common.
Whether you know it or not, you are engaged in an act of “personal branding” when you use social media to communicate your thoughts, feelings and preferences. I’m here to warn you to choose your status updates wisely.
I learned this lesson when I discovered guacamole. That’s right, it took me 32 years to learn that I love avocados. (Holy crap, they are so good.) I became tribal about it.
I was born for avocados! Nobody makes a better avocado sandwich than me! My guacamole is delicious and you can take that to the bank!
And it didn’t stop at avocados. I have been one-dimensional about Mexican food, cats, and running.
I’m running to the store! I’m running a 5K! I’m running a marathon! Running is my thing! How dare you say that you don’t like to run! Anybody can run! But nobody can love it more than I love it! I have 4,000 opinions on running, and even though I’m a novice, I’ll share it!
Jesus, like nobody has ever run before.
So I am coming to DC to share simple but important lessons about personal branding and communication. You can apply these lessons to your job or to your most important relationships. You don’t have to engage in an obnoxious, one-way blast to your “followers.” You don’t have to be a dick and start every conversation with an anecdote about yourself. But you can use the principles of branding to advance your career — and your life — while meeting cool, new people.