Mar 25, 2009
I’ve got personal branding on the brain these days, and not just thanks to Dan Schawbel. Yesterday, I posted something on MarketingProf’s Daily Fix blog which I intended to be humorous but was not read (by everyone, anyway) as such.
The (to some offending) post, “Matthew T. Grant, SMexpert (TM), Now Accepting Offers,” attempted to parodize the hyperbolic promotional rhetoric of self-proclaimed “social media experts,” which I cleverly dubbed “SMexperts,” but was instead interpreted as a legitimate ad for my services. I was surprised because it included things like, “This guy is electric. He’s on fire. He’s the real deal. He’s a magic man and he’s got the magic hands. Accept no substitutes!” And ended with, “You want some of what Matthew T. Grant is cooking? Then let’s cut to the chase: Money talks and bullshit walks. Make him an offer. At the end of the day, you can’t afford not to.”
Sadly, this kind of self-portrayal is more par-for-the-course than over-the-top on the interwebs. While some did actually LOL, others said that, not knowing me, they weren’t sure how if it were a joke or not. One commenter said for this to work as parody I should have taken it up a couple notches. And one thoughtful soul simply called me “the most pompous ass on the internet.” Well, at least I’m the most something.
In the end, the comment that really got me thinking came from Mr. Lewis Green. My post really rubbed him the wrong way but when I explained my original intentions, he “got it” but then proceeded to ask a most intriguing question, “How does the post help or hurt Matt’s brand?”
Trouble is, I still have a hard time thinking of myself as having or being a brand. I’ve got personality (to spare!) and a certain style (“that is SO Matt!”), but if Coke is the “pause that refreshes,” and Florida orange juice that substance the absence of which on a particular day is akin to an utter lack of sunshine on that selfsame day, what is Matthew T. Grant?
For now, I’m going with, “Matthew T. Grant, the tall guy with glasses.” It might not be super compelling, but at least it’s accurate (see above).