How to Take Charge of Your Personal Brand

Dorie Clark

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Dorie Clark

Dorie Clark, Reinventing You @dorieclark

Dorie Clark, Forbes contributor and author of Reinventing You, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss avoiding being pigeonholed in your current job, how to make a career change organically that will make sense, and accurately representing yourself in your personal brand.

Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.

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Tweetable Moments

“It’s not so much about changing jobs but literally about changing yourself.” -@jaybaer (tweet this)

“We assume we know how other people see us. The truth is we don’t.” -@dorieclark (tweet this)

“There’s a lag between what the rest of the world understands about you and what is your current truth.” -@dorieclark (tweet this)

Putting Your Social Foot Forward

Dorie’s new book Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future explores the idea of changing yourself to change your career. She tells the story of Lisa Granik, who realized while completing her doctorate in international law that she was not at all happy with her path. After changing gears and following her passion to become a Master of Wine, she realized that she was not actually starting from zero.

“At the end it turned out that she now has, because of her past experience, competitive advantages that other people don’t,” Dorie says. “She’s working in her dream career as a wine consultant, helping international vintners bring their products to the United States.”

Of course, this makes perfect sense after the fact. But the process of changing gears in this way can seem overwhelmingly impossible.

People who work in social media – community managers, strategists, VPs of social media, etc – face a real risk in the next few years of being pigeonholed as “that social media person.” It’s a job that carries quite a bit of currency at this point in time, but it’s not necessarily the place I’d want to stake my flag for the next 20 years or so.

The key with transitioning, Dorie points out, is not trying to make too big of a leap. Use what you know to build something new. “With social, because the waters are lapping into everywhere, you can very easily use social as the pivot point and say well, because of my expertise in this area, and because of new business development in China, it’s going to be so critical, I have value to add in that specific place.”

Social Media Stat of the Week: 25 photos per second

25 photos per second. That is how many photos were uploaded via the Dead Yourself app from AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead. The app allows people to take photos of themselves and then zombify their faces. The results are disturbing and entertaining; it’s a whole new way to interact with a favorite show. The current “infection” rate is over 100 million worldwide.

Zena points out that the best part of the app is how “sticky” it is; this is not a “one-and-done” type app. “You’re staying in the app, and you’re staying engaged with The Walking Dead, and you’re looking at what other folks are doing.” Zena met up with Kenny Miller, CEO of KMco, the agency that put the app together. His job is to make sure your fans are having fun with your brand in the social space. And so far, he’s knocking it out of the park.

Four Your Information

How did you get involved in social media?

Dorie got her start in politics. She came out of traditional media to work on the Robert Reich campaign for governor. Their internet guy suggested they start a blog so people could write comments. “That sounds insane,” she said. “We should definitely not do that.”

What do you like best about social media?

“It allows you to really, as an individual, take control of your personal brand.” Sure, people are going to think about you what they will, but you can “stack the deck,” so to speak. Social media lets you put everything out there so that people can really judge you based on your merits. “You can be judged on the quality of your thinking. I think it’s really powerful.”

What, conversely, do you like least about social?

“In many ways, the public views it – not incorrectly – as one more modern obligation that we have to do. The truth is it does take time. If you’re creating content, it does take time to write and create thoughtful things.” Responding to messages and keeping up with everything can be time-consuming. “On the plus side, fewer people are bothering you with phone calls these days, so that’s good.”

If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who might that be and why?

“I think it would be awesome to do a Skype call with Gloria Steinem, the feminist icon. She’s so cool. She’s in her late 70s now, and she’s still rocking it, which I think is great… That’s what I admire: people who give others opportunities to advance through hard work and motivation.” She also mentioned Andrew Carnegie, 19th Century industrialist, who is most assuredly not on Skype.

See you next week!

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