The Slippery Slope of Self Branding

When internet newspapers started to really take over the media landscape, many journalists that worked with traditional newspapers were left stranded and looking for work. Some of them turned to the internet, creating blogs to build their craft around.

Some found success in this. Some failed miserably. Others found a happy medium, bouncing from site to site and contributing guest content.

Regardless of where they landed, the job of the online journalist highlights a sticky issue: self-branding.

For journalists or any other individual that writes or speaks for a living, there is a fine line between building their brand (which is really just their online personal) and blatant self-promotion.

For those of you that have had to wrestle with this—journalists, self-published authors, bands, artists, and so on—there are a few strategies to make sure you are simply building your brand and not constantly shoving news about yourself and how awesome you think you are down the throats of your interned audience.

Talk To People, Not At Them: This is especially important when it comes to social media. If you follow a person, make sure it is because you have an interest in them or their industry. Don’t do it just to follow people that you have no intention of really caring anything about. Engage in conversations by leaving comments or tweeting to others. Make sure that when you do this, it is because you are an active part of their industry and not just as a clever ruse to pick up more followers and attract attention.

Not Everything is About You: No matter if it’s blogs, tweets, Facebook posts or your Pinterest boards, make sure you are writing and posting about more than just you. To build a brand, you need to show others that you are well-informed on all things within your industry. This is great because it means you have several areas of interest to write and talk about—and not just you.


Have you had to wrestle with the beast of self-promotion? How have you been handling it?

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