Building your online brand, while being yourself?

Last week, I attended a free networking/lecture event put on by pdxMindShare, focused on “Building your personal brand through social media.”

This event, featuring the wicked smart Kent Lewis (and his dry sense of humor), was largely intended for use in professional settings, as a career-focused workshop. The intent was to learn to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and more to build an online presence, including boosting your own visibility and credibility.

After sharing some great insights on what platforms to use for what purposes, etc, I was able to pose the question:

How much of yourself do you share through social media, and where do you draw the line between personal and public profiles, let alone personal and professional?

This is a question I return to pretty regularly with regards to my own social media usage. As a marketer, I’m aware of the power of building a professional brand online. On the other hand, I’m a real person with friends and family I like to connect with, interests outside of work, and a sometimes quirky sense of humor. The example I used at the event was that, though I’m a marketer and want to show off my industry acumen, I’m a multidimensional person whose top blog post to this day is “DIY Hipster Tank Top“… and I like it that way.

There are a lot of articles out there about protecting your private life from exposure via social media, but what does this mean for a digital native who wants to share everything, from what they ate for dinner to their weird obsession with polka dot pants?

I’m not sure! And there is probably a different solution for every individual, industry, and preference out there.

I’ll leave this with an interesting comment I first read on Reddit’s “Shower Thoughts” subreddit:

“The future President of the United States probably has a Facebook account right now. And there will probably be some embarrassing photos on there.”




The creative to do list: where left brain and right brain thinking intersect.

(Post-it notes are particularly satisfying because you can crumple up the task and throw it in the recycle bin when you’re done. Unless you’re me. Then you miss the bin entirely and make a mini mess.)

Thinking about my work/creative/client process…

I wanted to find the magical “process” and contract that would make sense for every project. And maybe they do exist for other designers, developers or strategists. There are plenty of designers out there that list their process and pricing on their websites. But the reality is: There is no one-size-fits-all solution. My process, workflow, and contracts need to be a starting point, not rigid commandments.

I really enjoyed This Article regarding processes, workflows, organization—and when to let it all go. This is something I think about a lot, and am relieved to find another creative who works at it and tries to get a process down, but also recognizes that every project is unique unto itself.

And if we’re honest with ourselves, isn’t that why we’re interested in the work we do anyway?

For the grammar nerds

Are you familiar with the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks? Sometimes my life feels like this. As a marketing specialist in a large company, I end up copyediting a lot. And coming across a lot of grammatical errors. And really a lot of misused apostrophes and quotation marks. 

This week, I discovered one way of coping with my inner grammar nerd cringing every time I run across this. Then I made this reminder for myself, below:

apostrophes confetti-01

(image via Artistry in Motion)



Lessons learned in one year as a marketing specialist

This week I celebrated one year in my position as a marketing specialist with a locally based nonprofit. In that time, I have:
…seen my position go from part time to full time.
…moved offices. Twice!
…underwent my first acquisition by a larger nonprofit.
…moved from a local, Oregon focused company of 7 to a national company of 170+
…been part of a team essentially starting the marketing department from the ground up.
…developed branding, run webinars, written articles, developed social media campaigns, built countless pieces of collateral and mapped out nearly every health care facility in the state. Whew!

Okay, so this post is coming a few days later...

Okay, so this post is coming a few days later…

And as I think back and marvel at how quickly time flies, I also feel inclined to put lessons to my last year as a marketer. Sure, I’ve learned how to manage projects better and more efficiently. I’ve learned new systems and tricks of the trade- and I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way as well!

I guess my biggest lesson learned in the last year is that you can’t edit a blank page. 

I came across this idea at some point in the last few months, and something in my brain seemed to click. I’ve been working my butt off on projects- for work, for fun, for freelance- and receiving allllll sorts of feedback. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re handed back a page full of red marks.

But hey! It’s a start. At least you’ve provided the beginnings of something that can be made great- and that’s quite an accomplishment. Sometimes, the hardest part is just getting out that first draft- and knowing it’s not going to be perfect.

So rather than think of this as one year over, I’m going to think of this last year as my blank page- it’s a start. And from this start, there is just so much more I know I can do.