Yeah that’s right, I’m just another blonde guy with a cause…
Here is my tale. After I left corporate life in 2005 and decided to take a full bite out of the digital apple, the daily grind of business networking, producing content, sharing ideas and getting your name out there actually seemed pretty easy to me. There were fewer channels to cover off. The real authorities in this digital space numbered in the tens, if not hundreds – you could connect to them without the slightest suspicion. And the blogging age allowed even the independent underdog to look big.
Given how seamless it was to connect myself with people and prospects on these nascent spaces of LinkedIn, blogs and Facebook (once it opened up to us now graduated types), it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I thrived. It made sense to spend only a bit of time on my personal brand and a lot of time, working on my various startup and business endeavours. After all, I am a business person and value creator, not a social media ninja (shiver).
Dial forward 10 years, and it is so much more murky. As much as I feel so much smarter about the broader palette of the digital environment, there is always more, more, more. I check out for a month on client projects, and it feels like I’m already out of date.
The personal brand pin dropped for me a few years ago, almost by accident. I started getting weird messages in my inbox and misdirected tweets. It was about this guy Sean Moffett.
Damn! I thought I had been blessed with a distinct name (Sean Moffitt) and yet Sean Moffett, born in the same town as me, had just rocked up the personal brand Moff- charts with a radio show, a can’t miss, global sales training model and a Twitter account that had zoomed up past 100,000 followers in less than a year.
I’ve never met him before, but i have to say I was a bit envious and frustrated by the misattribution of our work. C’mon – I had written hundreds of blog posts, invested in daily media channels, wrote some serious thought leader content, spoke on many stages and even wrote a very weighty book. Was I destined to be the second most popular Sean Moff— in my very own town?
Now thankfully, it appears Sean Moffett’s bubble burst quickly, his Twitter account was suspended for some presumably nefarious practices and his international sales training business came to a close. His LinkedIn account suggests he has gone back to being a financial services manger for a local Honda dealer. I wish hime well. Personal brand identity crisis averted!
It did give me pause for consideration, if fame was so fleeting in a socially connected, always-consuming Snapchat age, what was I to do? 2016 marks a turning point for me. The industry around me has matured and so have I. I can’t just be present, need to invest in my personal brand and it starts here.
I have decided on seven future directions to burnish my SeanMoffitt brand that have crystallized in the post you are reading here (hopefully some of the takeaways resonate with your own personal brand):
1.Welcome to SeanMoffitt.com – All my content, all my services, all my recent thinking in one place – people may doubt that websites are important anymore, but they are when you need a hub for people to more deeply chew on your stuff or get a full sense of what a generalist like myself does. And the themes and software are so much easier to look good and stay updated. Welcome to my personal brand home – please kick off your shoes and stay awhile.
2.Personal Brand Takes Centre Stage – I have never been comfortable with being the self-promoting carnie act that is represented by the worst of my social media peers (you know them, I won’t name them). Perhaps it’s my awshucks Canadian-ness. Or I’d rather have merit versus bluster shine through. So I promise I will never become the Klout-chasing, spamming, douchey blowhard, but my pendulum does need to swing back. I undersell myself and shed the spotlight too often to others. I am going to climb out from behind Wikibrands, CSW and a host of other corporate brands I am affiliated with and spend time on promoting my own.
3. The Sean Moffitt Brand Proposition – hopefully this new focus brings some clarity to the age old question “what is it you do?”. The great thing about producing your very own personal brand site is that it pauses you to think what value do I bring to people. These are my six:4. Sean Moffitt – The Global Thought Leader and Stage Act – I have been blessed with the benefit of speaking at as many as 45+ keynotes per year in some exciting locales, alongside some truly great thinkers and performers. All of these bookings happened through word of mouth – no peddling myself and no use of speaker’s bureaus. Being that loosey goosey has its advantages, but definite downsides. My personal brand move aims for better clarity, nimbleness, globalness and selectivity in my future consulting and stage gigs. Contact my publciist here.
5. New Business Chapter and Innovation Focus – after a recent trip to sunny part of our world (sidebar: I really should have used more SPF), I asked myself the question “what do I really want to do over the next 5 years?”. The mores? I will be doing more global work with impact, working with more teams and partners with more dedicated clients, delivering more C-suite innovation, emerging technology and strategic planning work, becoming a bigger bridge between digital and marketing – see my post on “the Rise of the CDO”. The lesses? I will be spending less time on new media tactical work, fewer pie in the sky projects and less energy pulling out my hair with crappy clients and valueless administration. More exciting news on all this later.
6.The rise of Content-driven Personal Brand Success – I am going to be more regimented in getting the content wheel moving again and keeping it moving. If I have promulgated the rise of inbound marketing, wide content syndication, smart content curation and partner affiliations, i should probably live the part, right? SeanMoffitt.com shall be my HQ. Check out my posts, the 4+ research projects I coordinate each year, the 12+ topics I consult on and the 40+ topics I speak about.
7. Purpose and Passion …together – this new direction and new site will act as lightning rod for people who think like me and more easily help link people who want to work together and think collaboratively. if you are heavily invested in customers, brands, technology, innovation and the future, we are aligned. Let’s have a conversation.