A few weeks ago, fellow OnlineSpin columnist Matt Straz described his resolve to build his
personal brand by becoming more active in online networking.
I chuckled, because it coincided with my return to this column, following a deliberate year-long hiatus. I underwent a self-prescribed period of less online networking so I could invest myself in other areas.
Specifically, I halted my weekly appearance on OnlineSpin (after nearly five years). I posted less on my personal blog, and engaged minimally on Twitter and Facebook. I even began declining prominent and paid speaking engagements in the digital media industry.
My hiatus was not a full digital detox, though it was significant enough to prompt many people to ask: “You disappeared. Where did you go?”
I answered this question a lot. As someone in the business of creating awareness and desire, this question hurt.
The honest answer is, I had two priorities that resulted in less online visibility.
Yes, building a personal online brand may conflict with other, higher priorities.
First, I needed to invest more of myself into my late-stage startup. As a marketing guy, I’m a pretty good networker and very comfortable facing outward and being public. In fact, I’d been very public for a very long time. It’s part of being a marketing leader. But our maturing and scaling business demanded that I invest much more of myself inward, on operations and infrastructure. So I did. My personal brand suffered.
Second, I have young children between the ages of three and five. We’d been transitioning from a full-time nanny to full-day preschool. My workdays (and often nights and weekends) are intensive, and I needed to come home at night and dedicate more of myself to my children and my wife. So I did. My personal brand suffered more.
But over the past few months, my life has become more balanced -- enough so I can begin reinvesting in my own online brand.
And that’s why I’m back here, and happy to be so.
Thank you for your patience.
I look forward to sharing more honest musings about life as a digital marketer.