How to Become a Brand. Or Not.

How to Become a Brand. Or Not.

Becoming a brand takes intention and thought. It is by definition a marketing approach. In our current era, this is not exclusively for products and organizations but individuals. Educators, specifically are often encouraged to "build their personal brand." I’ve seen others, incorporate strategies that have led them to successfully creating a brand. Let me share a few things that may help you to build your personal brand.

  1. The majority of your tweets should be links to other sites. A tweet without one has no value. Bonus if you auto-tweet them all day long. Make your brand 24/7.
  2. Never post personal content. No one wants to hear about your naps or golf game or shopping excursions with your wife. The more you tweet about yourself as a human being, the more your brand loses its focus. People use twitter for information, not your silly natterings.
  3. Blog like an expert. Your blog posts should be stand-alone artifacts of authority. Questioning your practice or showing ambivalence makes you look weak. Write as if you’re the smartest person in the room.
  4. Never engage in conversation on twitter. When people question you or reach out to you, ignore them. It’s a time and energy suck. Spend your time crafting your message. Don’t waste time talking to people.
  5. Retweet every compliment someone gives you. This is particularly effective if you’re a speaker and have just completed a talk or workshop. It’s easy to hit retweet. If you want to include a thank you, that’s fine but not necessary.
  6. Make your Instagram account a potpourri of awesomeness. This is the one time you might include some personal items. But use caution. A photo of you and your loved one sipping wine at sunset is acceptable. Remind the world that your life is perfect.

This is now a definitive list of strategies and you can retweet it to the world. For other posts on branding, see:

If I Ever Think of Myself as a Personal Brand, Slap Me
Anyone Want to Have a Real Conversation?
The Mixed Message of Digital Citizenship

So if you read this and didn't get the joke, let me be clear. These points will indeed put you on a path to becoming a brand. My belief is that's a bad and even dangerous idea. As my friend John Spencer says, "You are not a brand".

Be a human being. Leave the marketing and calculated messaging to corporations and institutions. We need more humans. Brands, not so much.

cross-posted at

Dean Shareski is the Community Manager of the Canadian DEN (Discovery Educators Network) and lecturer for the University of Regina. With 24 years of experience as a K12 educator and consultant, he specializes in the use of technology in the classroom. Read more at