Using WordPress to Craft Your Personal Brand
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Using WordPress to Craft Your Personal Brand

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The importance of personal branding in today's digital world and how to leverage WordPress to better tell your story. Cliff’s notes and a recording of the presentation available at:......

The importance of personal branding in today's digital world and how to leverage WordPress to better tell your story. Cliff’s notes and a recording of the presentation available at:

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  • 17 Year OldNaples FloridaAmateur Golfer
  • If you Google’d my name, this is all you would see. Some punk kid from Florida.
  • Your move “Ben Balter”
  • Passionate about the power of digital communication to shape how people interactNew Media at FCC, previously political communications
  • Survey: Who has a website? Under their own name? Under their own domain? Blog? Bio? Brand?Coke, Apple, WordPress… All BrandsImportant stuff: value of Brand is actually reflected on Balance Sheet at time of sale
  • Feeling, emotions, experiences, trust…
  • Product
  • Service
  • Experience
  • Person
  • Campaign
  • Idea
  • You’ve all just been hired as the CMO of brand you
  • In the olden days, people used to be scared to put personal information onlineThey felt the need to be pseudo-anonymous through psuedonyms (think SparklePrincess87)
  • Life online was distinct from life offline
  • Case in Point
  • As more of our analog lives become digitized, need for a second identity is diminished.No longer anonymous screen names, but rather our selvesCauses: Social Networking (real name on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter), Mobile (computer comes with me into the real world), etc.Radical Transparency; lifecasting proves (4square, pictures of food)See this in QR codes
  • Clothes, hair, gym, breath, etc. translate online
  • Shift from corporate brand association (lifetime IBM employee) to Personal BrandDeclare to the world who you are / Tell your story
  • Whether you realize it or not, you already have a brandUnlike in the real world where you are the only one in control of what you say, online, content has a life of its own
  • If you don’t brand yourself, other will do it for you (mac v. PC)
  • Friends /ColleaguesContacts in your Network (Favorite Journalist/Designer/Developer/Blogger) Opens doors (Documentary -> Groupon)Employers / ClientsGoal is to create a cohesive, accurate digital representation of you (think of it as having incorrect or incomplete grades on your transcript)
  • Differentiate from the competitionIf you’re here, you are ahead of the curveShow that you’re tech savvy, creative, and self-confident
  • Wordpress is nothing without content
  • Vanity Domain -> SEO++Your name, not your pseudonym (if you have a cooking blog, great, that doesn’t count)Literally, your own address on the InternetBonus Points: E-mail (GAFYD)
  • Keep SEO in MindCraft a personal narrative; tell your story to the world-> Deliverable
  • “Mullet” BioBusiness up front, all play in the backShow, don’t tell (I am a talented web developer vs. I love making websites that make customers say “wow”)Show personality, this isn’t a cover letter or chance to paraphrase your resumeShort up front, long in the backTwitter, Blog Bio, About me Page
  • Out of the box, WP gives you nine chances to brand before you user’s even clicked or scrolled
  • Keywords -> SEO++Create original contentGive people a reason to come backRSS Reader -> IdeasSet a schedule/Goal
  • Reverse pyramid, active voice, linking to relevant sources, etc.Tags -> Feedback
  • GA -> What works, what doesn’t
  • Resume has been viewed by 3,500 unique visitors since I put it online in September.Most people’s resume’s aren’t viewed by 3,500 people in their life.
  • This room provides a perfect opportunity for synergy.Journos know how to craft a personal narrative, geeks know how to broadcast it to the worldIf you’ve showed in the past week, find someone who hasn’t and exchange info
  • Attention as currency


  • 1. Using WordPress to Craft Your Personal Brand
    Benjamin J. Balter
    twitter @BenBalter
  • 2. “ Ben Balter ”
  • 3.
  • 4.
  • 5.
  • 6. Benjamin J. Balter
    New Media Fanatic
    First WP login: 2005
  • 7. Why Brand?
  • 8. A Brand is
    Not a Logo
  • 9. A Brand is a
    Metaphor for Perception
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • 13.
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17.
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20. You’re Hired!
  • 21. Search result management
    Potential Clients / Employers
    You have something to say
    Why Brand?
  • 22. Old and Busted
  • 23. zOMG56k!
  • 24. Analog vs. Digital Brand
    Andrew Nacin
  • 25.
  • 26. There is noSuch Thingas Online.
  • 27. New Hotness
    People as a product (PaaP)
    Plant a flag on your corner of the Internet
    Take control of your online identity
  • 28. For the Developers, that’s:
    //establish brand elements
    $brand = array(
    ‘name’ => ’Benjamin J. Balter’,
    ‘photo’ => ’
    ‘bio’ => ‘J.D./M.B.A. Candidate, New Media Fanatic,
    Documentary Junkie’,
    //loop and add user meta
    foreach( $brandas $key => value )
    add_user_meta( $id, $key, $value, true );
  • 29. What’s Your Brand?
  • 30.
  • 31.
  • 32. Who Sees Your Brand?
  • 33. Who’s Looking at Your Brand?
  • 34. WordPress Makes itDumb Simpleto Tell Your Storyto the World.
  • 35. How To
    Grab your Domain
    Describe Yourself
    Start a Blog
    Be Social
    Give Your Resume an Upgrade
  • 36. Grab Your Domain
    The .Org Route
    Grab some shared hosting space
    DownloadWordPress from WordPress.org2
    Install and Configure
    Cost: ~$75 / year
    The .Com Route
    Register for and create a site1
    In your Dashboard, navigate to Upgrades -> Domains
    Register your Domain
    Cost: $17 / year
    Free as in beer.
    Free as in speech.
  • 37. Describe Yourself
    What makes you different?
    Find the big things that define you
    Mind map
    Word cloud
    Work backwards
    Ask your friends
    Just sit down and write
  • 38.
  • 39. Social Networks
    Site Tagline
  • 40. Author Bio
  • 41. Bio Page
  • 42. Examples
  • 43. Examples
  • 44. Examples
  • 45.
  • 46.
  • 47. Add an About Me Widget
  • 48. Customize Your Menu
  • 49. Give Your Visitors Background
  • 50. Give Your Site a VisualIdentity
  • 51. Start a Blog
    Express yourself
    Add value to the blogosphere
    Find topics you are passionate about
    Have a strong opinion
    Engage others in your network
    Share your work
  • 52. Blogging Basics
    Pretty Permalinks!
    Prune your slugs
    Tag, Tag, Tag (and categories)
    Hand craft excerpts
  • 53. The Nuts and Bolts
    All in one SEO Pack (Torbert)
    Google XML Sitemaps (Brachhold)
    Google Analytics for WordPress (Joost)
    Simple Facebook Connect (Otto)
    Simple Twitter Connect (Otto)
    Subscribe to Comments (Jaquith)
    For Geeks: Syntax Highlighter
    For Journos: Emphasis
  • 54.
  • 55. Be Social
    Be consistent
    Be on message
    Be tactful in your self-promotion
    Be linking to your fancy new site
    Be contactable
  • 56. Upgrade Your Resume
    Grab a plugin or throw it into a page
    Link to relevant content
    Same rules apply to resumes online
    Concise, easily skimable
    Situation, action, result
    Use the keywords employers will be looking for
    Make sure your site is featured prominently on your resume
  • 57. Next Steps
    Calling cards with QR code
    Networking (online and off)
    Digitize your portfolio
    Evaluate and refine
    Site’s Look and Feel
    Vanity URL Shortener
    Establish a Board of Directors
  • 58. Advanced Branding
    Crafting Your Personal Marketing Plan
  • 59. The Four P’s
    ProductYou, your ideas, your unique skillset
    PlaceYour site, your social networks
    Price What is the cost of following you?
    PromotionHow do you promote yourself?
  • 60. SWOT Analysis
    Strength DC’s best WordPress coder
    Weakness DC’s worst graphic designer
    Opportunity Going to SXSW next week
    Threat Drupal.
  • 61. Other Considerations
    Targeting Who visits?
    Brand Loyalty Do they care?
    Brand Extensions Do I have Partners?
    Promotion Stickiness Am I Catchy?
  • 62. Additional Resources
    The Brand Called You, Tom Peters, Fast Company, Aug. 31, 1997
    The Brand You 50, Tom Peters
    Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi
    The WordPressCodex
    The Internet
  • 63. Photo Credits
    Product logos courtesy captcreate
    WordPressGuy123 courtesy d_vdm
    Generic coffee courtesy libraryman
    Starbucks cup courtesy patrick_q
    Tap water courtesy joeshlabotnik
    Bottled water courtesy sskenne
    Coca-Cola can courtesy s0mpho
    All photos used under a Creative Commons License
  • 64. Photo Credits
    Geek Squad courtesy leonarchien
    Disneyworld courtesy expressmonorail
    Obama poster courtesy anthonybaker
    Modem courtesy markusram
    Anonymous user courtesy stianeikeland
    Mullet courtesy kennyferguson
    All photos used under a Creative Commons License
  • 65. Benjamin J. Balter
    twitter @BenBalter