What about Self Marketing and Personal Branding?

Taking my first stab at defining self-marketing. For a long time, I've seen wasted effort in promoting the "thing" or business entity rather than the individuals, selling them short.
Last Updated:
January 13, 2020
First Published:
January 12, 2020
VIDEO: Video stream of Colton trying to define self marketing, why it matters, and who it can benefit
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Hi there, it's Colton James Townsend again, coming with another uncut video because it occurred to me that I didn't really explain this concept of self marketing with much detail and although this is just an introductory look at self marketing, or self publishing, or personal branding online, personal SEO, whatever you want to call it. My aim is to communicate a little bit more about what that concept is, why we should follow it, and who it's for. So, at its basic level, I would consider self marketing to be "proactively solving and optimizing for what happens when someone searches for your name online". Now, Google comes to mind is the first place to search for things or for people, and that is absolutely where we focus, but there are tons of other social networks and websites that fit into that bracket too; Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, Instagram, all those social networking platforms as well as just some big content hubs like YouTube. So, what do we do? How do we begin to start looking at what's on the end of that Google search term for our name, plus maybe our area or our industry? We look at the results and maybe we don't like what's there because either we're missing entirely, which is a problem if we're trying to market ourselves, what's presented is misleading, or it's inaccurate or it's just someone else. So you're not really there or it's not who you think you were, for example. And then the last part is it could be stuff about you that's just embarrassing or that you really don't want showing, because it's private or it's somehow defaming you in a way, because if it's there and the only way to get rid of it is likely to outrank it with some of your own content. And that means producing videos, web pages, articles, images, any kind of media is going to help stuff the back end of the Google search results with positive self branding content. And that's what we're looking for. So, in a nutshell self branding is being your best self on the end of online search results and that's accomplished by creating the content, which is a process I'll be talking about fervently through my channels and through my website is: "How can we start developing content easily that best represents ourselves and our unique expertise to portray ourselves well and connect with the right people online?" Because, people are going to search for you. If you're doing your job of going out in the world and shaking hands and tossing out business cards or doing your marketing online or by mail or a TV commercial even, people are gonna be interested at some point, if you're doing your job, and they're gonna search for you so why not supply them with an outstanding amount of informative, interesting, useful content, whatever it is online, by their search of your personal name to delight them and serve to the best of your abilities. I'd say it's almost "selfish", maybe isn't the right word, but I think we do have a duty to represent ourselves and share what's unique about us and maybe help someone else out along the way. So, let's do that in this self marketing effort. We'll continue talking about this, I'm sure, but for now I'll sign off, I'll end the stream and I'll cut it into an entire stack of content that helps my own self marketing. So, let's hopefully prove with the concept in this. All right. See you next time!

This is an introductory look at Self Marketing, self-publishing, personal branding online, personal SEO, or whatever you want to call it. Let’s examine how this practice can benefit an individual seeking to market themselves.

I’ll define what the concept is, how we should apply it, and who it's for.

What is Self Marketing really about?

At its basic level, I would consider Self Marketing to be "proactively solving and optimizing for what happens when someone searches for your name online". 

Google is obviously one of the first places to search for things or for people that we're curious about. This is why we always think in terms of we can be seen on Google first. There are loads of other social networks and websites to consider additionally; Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. But remember, often times the content that lives on these platform feed into Google search results.

So, what do we do about Self Marketing?

How do we begin to start looking at what's on the end of that Google search term for our name, plus maybe our area or our industry? 

First, we just gotta take a look and Google your name, like "Colton James Townsend". I'll warn you right off the bat that searching on your own devices will likely skew the results based on your personal settings and history. There are ways to run unpersonalized search queries, which we'll discuss in another post.

Look at what results for a search of "Your Full Name". Are you showing up? Do you like the results?

There could be multiple problems that arise on your Google Search Results Page:

  1. You’re not showing up at all
  2. What shows up is embarrassing, misleading, unwanted, or should be private
  3. Someone else is beating you for your own name

In order to start overcoming these challenges, the most straightforward solution is to outrank it with some of your own content. This means you need to publish content! Videos, web pages, articles, images, any kind of media you produce and publish help to supply Google search results with positive, self branded content. 

So, in a nutshell, self-branding is being your best self on the end of online search result. You accomplish this by putting out lots of bits of your own content.

The process of content generation and distribution is a process I will discuss at length if you follow my work and this website. I seek to answer the question: "How can we start providing personal content easily, in a way that best represents ourselves and our interests in connecting with the right people online?" 

People are going to search for you. If you've piqued their interest in your real world encounters and other marketing efforts, they'll get curious at some point.

Go out into the world and shake hands,  pass out business cards, and get your name out there. Do that AND supply a wealth of personally branded Self Marketing material for those who search for you later. Why not supply them with a solid amount of informative, interesting, useful content? Delight and impress them before they even pick up the phone or email to follow up with you.

Who is Self Marketing For?

Honestly, everyone who expects to be “Googled” can benefit from a Self Marketing practice. Whether you’re a freelance business owner, applying for a new job, or 

It’s our duty as professionals to be well represented online with the content we want to be associated with our good names. We can’t settle for underrepresentation or perhaps even damaging misrepresentation. Imagine owning a stand-out business that loses in the search rankings to some local blogger’s opinion piece of who just wanted to rip on you because they they your sign looks stupid. Those kind of problems do happen!

We represent ourselves well, offer information about ourselves and our area of expertise, and produce all of that content in a way that’s uniquely ours. 

Let’s focus in 2020 on our Self Marketing efforts! More to come, I’m sure!

colton james townsend smiles for the camera with the seattle port in the background

Colton James Townsend

Storyteller and Teacher at coltonjamestownsend.com, "Fearless Story Productions" and "Wake Up & Do Me"

I live, work, and write in the fine city of Walla Walla, Washington. I help creative people and business owners publish stories and content for the web so they can achieve results online, personally and professionally. You're an expert in your field or a person with a strong story to tell — I help you broadcast your knowledge and experiences effectively. The results? Amplification.

MISSION: "Bringing Your Brilliance to the Whole Wide World"