Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Self-Marketing Online: The Personal Branding Top 100 Tactics Remix

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If you have followed my article last week on how to format big lists you know already what I have in store for you today. Thanks to Chris Brogan open-mindedness and full permission to use, edit and remix his great original content, I have, as promised, taken Chris' original 100 Personal Branding Tactics and repackaged according to my own preachings.

Photo credit: 7thfloor

Actually, I went even further. Since one of the key elements of effective information design for big lists is never to have groups of seven or more points, I knew I had to sub-group some of those very long section lists that were in the original article.

This is when I first thought about remixing the content in a way that would have allowed me not just a significant improvement in the legibility and accessibility of the article but a way to contribute my own views and experience. As a matter of fact, I didn't agree with all of Chris Brogan suggestions. While still a superb list, I found the "100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media" to be sometimes repetitive, irrelevant, or even myths Chris had picked up himself without yet realizing it. Some are just plain wrong (at least from my viewpoint) and some others are just overwork: if you are a semi-God like Chris Brogan you may be able to do them, but if you are a "normal" person, you'd better clone yourself before trying to do all that.

And so I thought: since Chris has given me full permission to remix, edit and move this content forward why don't I slice these long lists in three parts for each:
a) Critical stuff to do,

b) Important, good to know items,

c) and to inject some controversy, What I didn't agree with Chris: myths, overwork, wrong or outdated stuff and so on.

So, here it is, the new, remixed version of 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media by Chris Brogan. The content is EXACTLY THE SAME. Intact. Untouched.

It is only the "packaging", visual formatting and content structuring of it that has drastically changed.


100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media

by Chris Brogan

I am republishing here below the original content from Chris Brogan original Top 100, fully reformatted according to specific advice I have shared in my recent "How To Format Big Lists". Compare the original article with this one and provide feedback in the comment section at the end, of if and where you see significant improvements.

1) Listening



  • Build ego searches using Technorati and Google Blogsearch.
  • Comment frequently (and meaningfully) on blogs that write about you and your posts.
  • Listen to others in your area of expertise. Learn from them.

Important - Good To Know

  • Don't forget the conversations hiding in Twitter (use and FriendFeed. Be sure to stay aware of those.
  • If you can afford it, buy professional listening tools, like Radian6 or others in that category.
  • Use Google Reader to store your ego searches.
  • Use Yahoo! Site Explorer to see who's linking to your site.
  • Use heat map tools like CrazyEgg to see how people relate to your site.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Listen to thought leaders in other areas, and see how their ideas apply to you.
  • Don't forget podcasts. Check out iTunes and see who's talking about your area of interest.
  • Track things like audience/community sentiment (positive/negative) if you want to map effort to results.


2) Home Base



  • Home base is your blog/website. Not everyone needs a blog. But most people who want to develop a personal brand do.
  • Buy an easy-to-remember, easy-to-spell, content-appropriate domain name if you can. Don't be TOO clever.
  • A really nice layout doesn't have to cost a lot, but shows you're more than a social media dabbler.
  • Load time is key. Test your blog when you make changes, and ensure your load times are reasonable.
  • Make sure it's easy to comment on your site.
  • Make sure it's easy for people to subscribe to your site's content.

Important - Good To Know

  • Your "About" page should be about you AND your business, should the blog be professional in nature. At least, it should be about you.
  • Use easy to read fonts and colors.
  • Claim your site on

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • A site laden with ads is a site that doesn't cherish its audience. Be thoughtful.
  • Pay attention to which widgets you use in your sidebar. Don't be frivolous.
  • Register your site with all the top search engines.
  • Use to make sure your site is well built in Google's eyes.


3) Passports



  • Passports are accounts on other social networks and social media platforms. It's a good idea to build an account on some of these sites to further extend your personal branding.
  • Get a account for social bookmarking.
  • is a must if you have a social media audience. It also connects you to other practitioners.
  • Get a YouTube account for video uploading.

Important - Good To Know

  • Facebook and/or MySpace are useful social networks where you can build outposts (see next list).
  • Get a Flickr account for photo sharing.
  • Get a LinkedIn account for your professional network.
  • Get a account for use with reader, calendar, docs, and more.
  • Get a account for voting.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Get a account for voting, as well.
  • Get an account to promote events.
  • Take a second look at Plaxo. It's changed for the better.
  • Get a account for its OpenID benefits.


4) Outposts



  • Email newsletters with some links to your blog makes for an effective outpost, especially if your audience isn't especially blog savvy.
  • Add a link to your blog to your email signature file (this is still an outpost).
  • Be sure your social network profiles on all sites has your blog listed, no matter where you have to put it to list it.

Important - Good To Know

  • Make sure your passport accounts (above) point to your blog and sites.
  • Use social networks respectfully to share the best of your content, in a community-appropriate setting.
  • Make sure your social media is listed in your LinkedIn profile.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Build RSS outposts on Facebook. Add Flog Blog, and several other RSS tools.
  • Build a similar outpost on MySpace, if your audience might be there.
  • Don't forget places like Yahoo! Groups, Craigslist, and online forums.
  • Podcast content can have links to your URL and might draw awareness back to your content, too.


5) Content



  • Create new content regularly. If not daily, then at least three times a week.
  • The more others can use your content, the better they will adopt it.
  • Write brief pieces with lots of visual breaks for people to absorb.
  • Images draw people's attention. Try to add a graphic per post. (Not sure why this works, but it seems to add some level of attention).
  • Consider adding audio and video to the mix. The occasional YouTube video with you as the star adds to your personal branding immensely, especially if you can manage to look comfortable.

Important - Good To Know

  • Mix up the kinds of pieces you put on your site. Interviews, how-to, newsish information, and more can help mix and draw more attention.
  • The occasional 'list' post is usually very good for drawing attention.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Limit the number of "me too" posts you do in any given month to no more than three. Be original, in other words.
  • Write passionately, but be brief (unless you're writing a list of 100 tips).
  • Brevity rules.


6) Conversation



  • Commenting on other people's blogs builds awareness fast.
  • The more valuable your comments, the more it reflects on your ability and your character.
  • Use your listening tools to stay active in pertinent discussions.
  • Don't delete critical blog comments. Delete only spam, abrasive language posts, and offensive material. (Have a blog comments policy handy, if you get into the deleting mode.

Important - Good To Know

  • Try not to brag, ever. Be humble. Not falsely so, but truly, because a lot of what we do isn't as important as saving lives.
  • Ask questions with your blog posts. Defer to experts. Learn from the conversation.
  • Disclose anything that might be questionable. Anything, and quickly!
  • Good conversations can be across many blogs with links to show the way.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Be confident. Asking for external validation often is a sign of weakness.
  • Try never to be too defensive. Don't be a pushover, but be aware of how you present yourself when defending.


7) Community



  • Your community knows more than you. Ask them questions often.
  • Make your site and your efforts heavily about other people. It comes back.
  • Make it easy for your community to reach you.
  • Contribute to your community's blogs and projects.
  • Thank people often for their time and attention.

Important - Good To Know

  • Treat your community like gold. Never subject them to a third party of any kind without their consent.
  • Celebrate important information in your community (like birthdays).
  • Apologize when you mess up. Be very sincere.
  • Be human. Always.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Remember that community and marketplace are two different things.
  • Knowing more about your competitors' communities is a useful thing, too. Learn who visits, why they visit, and how they interact.
  • Measuring your efforts in building community grows out your brand as a natural extension.


8) Face to Face



  • Have a very brief introduction / elevator pitch and practice it often.
  • Ask questions of people you meet. Get to know them.
  • Don't seek business relationships right off. Instead, seek areas of shared interest.
  • Doing homework ahead of time (finding people's most recent blog posts, googling them, etc) helps one feel "in the know."

Important - Good To Know

  • Know when to walk away politely.
  • Don't try to meet everyone in a room. Meet a half dozen or more great new people.
  • If you're terribly shy, consider finding a "wing man" for events.
  • Make eye contact. It's MUCH more powerful than you know.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Have simple, useful, crisp business cards to share. Always.
  • Clothes and appearance DO matter. Wish they didn't, but they do.
  • Be confident in person.
  • Never doubt that you are worth it.


9) Promotion



  • Promote others even more than you promote yourself.
  • Linking and promoting others is a nice way to show you care about people.
  • Sometimes, just doing really good work is worthy of others promoting you. Try it.
  • Use Digg, StumbleUpon, and Google Reader to drive awareness.
  • Try hard not to send too many self-promotional emails. Wrap your self-promotion in something of value to others, instead.

Important - Good To Know

  • Another promotion tool: make videos on YouTube with URL links.
  • Bragging isn't useful to anyone besides your own ego.
  • Don't digg/stumble/link every single post. Save it for your very best.

Overwork - Outdated - Myth - Leave Alone

  • Another promotional tool: guest blog on other sites.
  • Another promotion tool: use the status section of LinkedIn and Facebook

I would expect not everyone to like how I have grouped Chris original suggestions in a this new hierarchy of importance, but I do have different views and I don't buy or follow everything that Chris says. He is a smart guy, but he has different experiences and views on things that I have.

And actually, these very differences are the greatest opportunity to learn more about this stuff. It is in the cracks between Chris' original tips and my counterpoints that you can learn the most indeed. Which view is truer, mine or Chris?

Well, I guess it all depends what you are after, but I do think it would make for even greater learning if I would next explain why I have placed so many apparently untouchable items in the "overwork - myth" groups.

And video would probably be the best way to do so. I don't know if Chris Brogan will want to join in to this next remixing round, but he is surely welcome. What you should do Chris, is to record a short video clip for each one of the main nine points above, in which you video comment on why those I have placed in lowest level rank are so important. On the other hand, WITHOUT first waiting for your clips I will record nine short videos explainign why those tips are no good from my viewpoint. I will then do a new remix and place your clips and mine side by side for each of the nine areas you have covered.

What do you say?


Originally written by Chris Brogan on June 16th 2008 as "100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media" - Remixed, formatted, illustrated and re-packaged with permission by Robin Good

Chris Brogan and Robin Good -
Reference: Chris Brogan [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, July 22 2008, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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