It is amazing how over the past 11 months I have focused on building up the name of Krispy’s Rants and getting known in my own little circle. I think that I have done quite well considering everything I have done has been on my own time, with my own investment and while it has been about ME it has also benefited the company that I work for. But what is the difference between a Personal Brand and a Corporate Brand? Can they not work together? Is there not obvious benefits for me and for the company that I work for to walk the path together?
I did some digging on the topic and I can see that some of the arguments that while the personal brand stands to achieve much more of an initial boost from the connection to a corporate brand (i.e. Mark Shuttleworth’s personal blog is all about his connection to Canonical and Ubuntu the Corporate Brand that his Personal Brand built) but over time the two become so inexplicably intertwined that there is great benefit to being able to walk the path together.
I am in no way suggesting that every employee of every company go out and start to build their own Personal Brand without a very structured and methodical plan. Other than a few of my original posts, you will notice that I do not mention who or where I work for and that is by design.
When I started my “second career” as Krispy the Tech Sales Guy I went to our Marketing Department and asked for some directions. I had my own plan of what I wanted to achieve, had set out my own targets and goals and wanted to ensure that I did not step over any invisible boundaries. This was not something that I think they were prepared for but there was interest in observing the direction I would go.
This was an important step as I was the first to embrace Social Media this way and there really was not a precedent of someone moving this way in the past and over the past year there has not been anyone who has really tried to duplicate it (realistically…who wants to invest an extra 10-20 hours per week). My power play into leveraging Social Media to increase my interaction as well as visibility was cautiously accepted as an interesting experiment but not something that would likely be duplicated.
What is more interesting is that my extracurricular work attracted some interesting new connections both locally and internationally. My plot, plan and work ethic were starting to pay off. I look back at the investment that I have made which beyond the headaches of switching blogging platforms a few times over the past year has really not been a tremendous financial burden (total expenses $65.00), time invested…well I read a very eclectic mix of Technology, Sales and Self Improvement Books, Subscribe to 20+ Tech Magazines and about 50 Mailing lists so the investment in Time…really did not change too much but if you were to put a dollar figure on the time based on my “Salary” an additional $3-5000 has been placed into the trust of Krispy’s Rants.
So all said and done…I have an $5065 investment and what has that investment done for me? Well let me tell you…as a Tech Sales Guy I love to track Statistics and Measures ROI on everything that I do so over the past 11 months I have:
- Added 500+ people to my personal network (through various channels)
- Commissions as a Sales Person that I could track back to a Social Media Interaction – $15,500
- Increased Interaction with current clients – up 30% both with the Account Owner and Secondary Users
- 3-5 “call outs” from potential customers direct to me without solicitation on my part each month for the past 6 months
So if I invested just over $5000 of my own money (some of it not really being a matter of money actually being spent) and I have tracked that to over $20,000 in sales, upgrades and renewals…and then plugging it into the ROI Equation that I located (ROI = (Gains – Cost)/Cost)
I really like the look of that number. My other investments over the past year have not faired nearly that well (last report that I got from my RRSP contribution was net loss of about 0.2%). So the way that I look at it, my time will remain fixed at about the $5000 mark but if I put some real effort behind Krispy’s Rants…well lets just say this Sales Guy will be very, very happy.
Now what am I projecting as I am preparing to close out year one of Krispy’s Rants and Musings of a Tech Sales Guy? Well…I have mentioned it before but it is worth saying again…I will continue with building the online Persona of Krispy (who in reality is Me…there is no difference between Krispy and Chris J Powell) but I do plan to increase my investment a little bit. Time wise, I have found the right mix that does not interfere with my personal life too dramatically (working in the morning before work, researching in the evening after work).
The biggest difference between Year 1 and Year 2 is that I no longer need to make the time…it is now just part of what I do. I think my style resonates with who I am…I don’t think that perfect Grammar and Syntax is important in the space that I am in right now…this connection that I make with you the reader…is about just that. Can you Trust that Krispy will do what he says he will and will I achieve a positive ROI on working with him…I like to think so.
As for that canyon that separates the Personal Brand from the Corporate Brand…the day will come that we can walk that path together as the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.
Chris J Powell