April 15, 2009 - Comments Off on Personal Brand Building: Make Yourself Notorious

Personal Brand Building: Make Yourself Notorious

Your boss may fear it, your colleagues might mock it, everybody’s doing it.

Obviously as a freelance/self employed SEO this is a no-brainer. If however you work in an agency (or inhouse) there still seems to be a fear of personal brand building.

So can you, and should you be this notorious?

The Personal Brand Building Battle

The SEO industry is not unique in being invaded by celebrity, however it is different from some others in the value of becoming an ‘industry figure. There are many ways to build your own brand which I won’t go into here.

The question I want to address is should you do it, or should you work solidly on your agency/company brand.

Personally I think all SEO agencies fall into one of two categories (increasingly so as the industry grows):

1. Well Known Agency, Little Know Staff

Well known agency brand supports unknown/little known staff members

This agency uses its reputation to strengthen that of its staff members, passing the value downwards. The staff may build their reputation but only under the umbrella of the agency brand.


2. Well Known Agency, Well Known Staff

This agency has a strong reputation because of its staff; while it passes the reputation of the agency down to them, they also pass it back up. The ‘individual brands’ all contribute to the overall strength of the agency brand.

I believe proposition 2. is the stronger; in allowing your staff to build their own brands within the SEO community they not only train themselves for free (whilst indulging in their passion for SEO), but strengthen your agency proposition when you meet with clients.

I know there are worries from MDs and colleagues about dedication, freelance work or headhunting but this can only be a good thing; it means that as a notorious SEO staff member you will be fully appreciated!

Rand touched on this in his Whiteboard Friday post about differentiating services, but I’d be very interested to hear the thoughts of MDs, staff and everyone in between on this subject.