Can I harm my personal brand by being too accessible?

My amigos… I would like your thoughts on this.

I have turned into the 7-Eleven of personal brands. I’m practically open (online) all hours of the day, anyone can walk in and engage with me and then walk away with something to consume. This could be a good thing but it is disposable so what’s the long-term love? Every sale has a small dollar amount but processing can take a lot of time. I’m popping up everywhere – events, conferences, club meetings, forums, boards – a little booth offering refreshments. Every Melbourne-based meal you have (and sometimes Sydney)… breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, after-work drinks, etc. – I’m there. Heck, my colleague’s friend once asked him if my full time job was to implement SEO on my own name and this is an impression that I did not set out to give. Do people need to be so findable online?

In contrast, when I first thought of an online presence, perhaps I wanted to be in the Hermès bracket. (I wanted to use an anti-7-Eleven analogy but my non-foodie brain doesn’t extend that far.) Basically something exclusive, rare, well-paced, luxurious – you know the drill. People desire and aspire. People appreciate it.

So, Mr and Mrs Brand Manager – is there a repositioning strategy involved?

Or is one of the beautiful things about the internet its accessibility and should this extend to relationships?

10 thoughts on “Can I harm my personal brand by being too accessible?

  1. I feel that by being accessible, you can only help your personal brand. Think of it this way, people generally like to do business with entities they know/trust/have some sort of relationship with. Being online enables these relationships to develop between you and your customers. If their experience is a positive one (and I have no doubt it would be), then guess who they are going to choose and recommend to others?

  2. Thanks Steve. Great points.

    On another note, I’ve just been informed by THE Edward Harren, that ‘personal brand’ is no longer the best term due to the inhuman aspect. He’s been using “self-affirmation marketing instead”.

  3. Hi Kate,

    Nice thoughts but I think there’s a difference between ‘exclusivity’ and ‘invisibility’. If you push too much for the former, you may end up with the latter!

    Also, it depends on what the objective is. You want to be exclusive – why? For more influence? Remember that celebrity is currency, not exclusivity. The purpose of exclusivity is generally to create a higher perceived value and hence price… given that you’re not charging for your interactions anyway, I’m not quite sure why exclusivity is the goal.

    If it’s to minimise the amount of time you spend managing your online presence, then that’s a different question!

    Either way, whatever your (and others’) thoughts, I love the way you interact online and am not about to suggest you change it. :-)

  4. Hi Kate
    I think Personal Brand is in the eye of the beholder. Some say I tweet too often, others say not enough. If I know what my purpose is with my online activity then I personally have a way to figure out if it makes much sense during those 711 moments at all :)
    then, if I am damaging my Personal Brand through being TOO active, it’s for good reason!

  5. If you were more exclusive and rarely seen, what would you spend that time doing? And would that time provide more value in the aggregate form?

    If you were to disconnect and #godark for a piece of time each day I would suggest it might lead to a calmer mind. Try it and see (and share the results here)!

    @kate re Eddie haha love that man #thevoice

  6. Hi Kate,

    I think it depends on your brand objectives. For example Oprah would arguably have the highest valued personal brand in the world – yet she is inaccessible – the value of her brand is driven largely by her inaccessibility – if it was easy to access Oprah and earn her personal endorsement then her brand value would be limited – she has used scarceness to create brand value.

  7. What about only going to the events / functions conferences where there is a clear purpose around why you are there and there is obvious value you are getting from turning up.

    If the reason for attending or being in a certain place is really just because it’s another thing on the industry calender then there is little point in showing up. You will see people at the next event or function that there may be more purpose in turning up to, maybe it would be because there is a specific speaker or somebody attending that you may not get another opportunity to engage with.

    As for leaving yourself open, you can make your self accessible to other by leaving an email address on your website. If people want you, they will email you… Providing lots of touch points is confusing and could be overwhelming because if several people try to get in touch but all do so through a different touch point you might feel like you’re be attacked from all angles.. but if you centralised this, so that anybody wanting get in touch came to the one email addres the same amount to trafic may sundennly seem much more managable…

    Just thoughts :)

  8. Well I’ll weigh in with my 2 cents worth. I guess there is always the issue of “brand dilution”. If you are doing too much with the wrong audience, you weaken your impact, and lose your energy and therefore, not able to serve your brands objectives well with target audience.

    I think the others have said it better. It comes down to know your purpose / objectives, define your key audience, define your boundaries, live life online with joy and energy. Take a breath when it’s not so fun, or is tiring.

    But, yeah, from what I see, I wouldn’t change a thing. Top quality brand engagement all the way ; )

  9. Kate, If you’re ‘everywhere’ you and your ideas and values are appreciated by others, adding another dimension to their experiences. Go with it. Aspiration is about perspective anyway. Hermès could be a 7-Eleven to someone in the world of one-off, custom mades. If it’s about time pressure, you might need a manager :)

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