Tips & Tricks for Branding Yourself
from a Chick who Lives it!
GPM, Web Platform & Standards
Who am I?
31 year old female
Work at Microsoft; Former IBM & BEA
Live in Seattle
Former San Francisco Gal; originally from Upstate New York
Love good friends, good coffee, good technology
Areas of expertise
Languages & Tooling
Open Source Software
New and Emerging Technologies
Purses, shoes, and anything fashion
Tip #1: Transparency is KEY;
Personality is CRITICAL
Who are you?
What is your background?
What is your purpose here?
Focus areas of discussion/expertise
Do you have a picture(s)?
What are you interested in?
Remember… You ARE Your Brand!
The more people that can see your face and hear what you are talking
about feel like they “know” you and trust what you are about – helping
you to gain credibility.
Tip #2: Communicating with
Pick your method of communication
– Recommend 3-5 different networking tools
– Facebook/Twitter/Blog is recommended
– Ensure it scales! (people can find you/you do not lock your FB or
– Make sure the user-base is large enough/has enough
members/regular users to make you successful
Make it easy to remember/access: user names, links, RSS,
Commit to it
– Keep it up-to-date; people don’t read stale content
– Keep it relevant; off topic is okay, but not all the time
– Usually takes about 3-6 months to really start seeing results if
you are continuously active
Tip #3: Engage With the Community
Provide Interesting Facts/Tidbits/Information on
what you’re working on or who with
What are you doing? People are fascinated with
other people’s lives
Be polite and respectful
Take the time to respond to comments on your
blog; comment on others’
blogs, tweets, Facebook comments
Be relevant; be credible (back up with data if
From my Twitter Feed: This is how my last call just went... and I was Ben Stein. Fabulous:
http://tinyurl.com/chpzrf10:19 AM Mar 12th
Tip #4: What Are You Doing?
Engage the community in your life
– What are you doing?
• Work Meetings
• Commute Hell
• Parties with Friends
Make it FUN!
– Take Pictures, Videos
– Provide links to new content (youTube, Flickr, etc)
– Engage with other Users
– Participate in their discussions
But remember…. Maintain respect for yourself;
some things should remain private – it is on the
web after all – and that affects YOUR brand.
Tip #5: Dealing with PITAs
Can happen often working at large companies
Don’t attack your followers – be cordial, be
precise, and follow up with data
Be able to laugh at yourself and take a joke
Know when to step away: pick your battles
Look at the big picture – how will it affect your
Tip #6: Push the Boundaries, Safely
Pushing the boundaries can often lead to a
greater audience or community following
Have an opinion, but be prepared to back it up
It is the web – and what you say can be
written down/posted anywhere, anytime, in
any language – and taken out of context
Be respectful of your employer; if it is your
opinion, be sure to state that.
Remember it is YOUR brand you are
Take Time For Great Opportunities
Starting something new: Womens’ Bar Camp!
Tip #6: Create Your Own Opportunities
• Branding is about consistency, creativity, and
relationships are critical.
• Take the time to build the relationships that
matter; if you turn down opportunities ensure it’s
done in a way where you can always reconnect
• Attend conferences, network with new
people, reach out and volunteer for/start things!
• Always follow through; do not commit to
something you can’t finish – this hurts your
Tip #7: Have Idols & Reach Out
Your brand will change as you grow in your
Ensure that you have idols that you reach out
to and keep updated about what you’re
working on (ie, your brand)
– Idols should be relevant to what your brand is
– Good idols take interest/can act as mentors
– Careful research/listening to the community will
provide you with good prospects
You Never Know What Will Happen
(I was asked to be on the Advisory Board for Web 2.0 Expo!)
Tip #8: Ask the Community
Some of the best feedback comes from the
Why take a guess when you can ask the
Different opinions give you different
perspectives on you and your brand
Good way to test how effective your brand is;
what you might need to tweak
Tip #9: “Insider Resources”
Who do you follow on Twitter:
Advertising your blog:
9 Ways to Use Twitter:
• It’s not Perfection, It’s Passion.
• Your brand requires:
– Honesty & Transparency
• Have fun with it – the joy is in learning.