Posted by: wingnut650 | May 7, 2009

Building a personal brand – the pitfalls

chasker and I were discussing an issue that one of our peers is experiencing due to one of their recent blog posts.  This person is a true ‘expert’ in their field (SQL Server database administration) and offers incredible insight via their posts into issues that affect DBA’s.  Their blog style can be labeled ‘off color’ or ‘tongue in cheek’.  In other words, they have the ability to offend – even though the content is viewed as quite valuable to the reader – of which there are many.  Due to the nature of these posts, the following question was raised by our peer “am I unhirable due to my blogging style?”.  This caused a great debate between myself and chasker, as mentioned. 

We don’t think that postings that would be considered off-color or tongue in cheek should be viewed as so negative that someone is “unhirable”.  That seems a bit ridiculous that this would preclude one from a job.  If a company is looking for (in this case) a solid IT resource who is incredibly active in their respective community and who is hungry for a position that offers growth, then they could do much, much worse in hiring. 


What it comes down to is and what we asked is this – what do you want your personal brand to be?  If you’ve already built up a personal brand as being an authority in a particular field who is left or right, take your pick, of center when it comes to delivering valuable content – then is that something you want to change?  If you cannot be yourself when blogging (which is a fundamental part of building a personal brand, being yourself), then why bother?  Do you change your style and run the risk of making the activity less fun for yourself and seem less authentic to the reader?

We landed on being true to yourself (kind of a no brainer) but being cognizant of the potentially offensive delivery of the content.


Blogged with the Flock Browser


  1. Ouch. I got asked that same question recently (probably by the same guy) and I’ve got a blog entry coming out on it next week. I heard a quote somewhere – brand is what you say about yourself, and reputation is what others say about you. That resonated with me: you can work blue to build your brand while still building a good reputation, but it’s certainly not easy.

  2. thgqnkn


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