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The not so good side of digital media projection and a personal brand

There is something about social media, particularly video marketing that makes me wonder about this concept of authenticity, particularly in developing a ‘personal brand.’

There was a bit of discussion of ‘personal branding’ for employment purposes, in our lecture yesterday. If you can quantify your achievements and put them in a headline for everyone to see, then potential employers can see that we can walk the talk. If we got 10,000 views on a piece of content that we created, that shows employers or clients that we can actually do this stuff.

As an early 40s woman, seeing all those 20 year olds, so comfortable in front of a camera, with videos that go semi viral in the first couple of days, it makes me wonder if I really have what it takes to succeed in marketing.

I mean, obviously I do on some level. I am doing it. And it isn’t all hype. A lot of what works is analysis and strategy. But it makes me feel incredibly uncomfortable to publicly celebrate my successes. It is like some psychological burr that rankles me every time I encounter it.

Social media is a completely different reality to the 1990s

There is something about this whole thing that just makes me want to step back for a second. I developed into the person, and adult that I would become before the web was even commonplace.

And now, it feels a little bit weird to consider ‘how someone else might perceive such and such piece of media that I create.’ As I start to embark on a part of my career that requires content, buzz, video, personal branding and, I will say it – ‘projection’, I just want to be sick. I don’t want to be ‘seen’ as anything. I don’t want to do the mental arithmetic in my mind that starts to calculate how other people are going to react, respond, perceive and digest my content.

Brave new world

I just want to be authentic. It is one of the most important parts of my value system. That genuine nature that is open with people. Making videos is fun, but tonight, today, I don’t want to start becoming a person that changes themselves just to get likes, hits, attention – whatever is popular.

Maybe there is a place for that in digital marketing? So far, at least until I was introduced to LinkedIn and a ‘personal brand’ I got by just fine, trying to build a connection with people. What is it about this bothers me so much?

In the cycle of learning, I am at the point where all the pieces get thrown up in the air, and I have to change my ‘schema’ as it were to find a new way of organising the information.

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