It’s an interesting list, to be sure. Ranking is based on a "multimetric algorithm," as the about page explains: basically, an aggregate of points accrued via various measurements (e.g. Technorati ranking, Google Page Rank, etc.), with Todd’s own subjective system used as one of eight metrics.
I guess I’m less interested in even a so-called objective ranking than I am in the outside-the-box thinking involved in coming up with the list in the first place. Andrlik has a background in PR and marketing, and is currently the director of marketing and PR for a large construction firm. He’s created various social media outlets on their behalf, of course, but he’s wisely out there building his own brand as well with his blog, Todd And; much like the King of Social Media (and one of the best networkers I’ve met ever), Chris Brogan, does with his own efforts, even when he’s also working for someone else.
The point (to me) is this: in an era of unprecedented flux and uncertainty, you need to be putting a goodly chunk of time into building your personal brand. And the same thought applies to you as an entrepreneur: what are you doing to build the core message of you, and what you bring to the table? Not you in your capacity as design studio owner or copywriter or marketing consultant or (your-biz-here), but what you at your core stand for.
I guess I’m thinking about it because I’m in the midst of some big shifts with my own work, and I’ve been really staring hard at the common thread running through the various businesses I’ve been involved in. I’ve moved from advertising copywriter to commercial actor to graphic designer, and I’m still evolving. But unlike my first two career rejiggerings, this one feels more organic and even less scary, largely (I think) because I’ve been "promoting" myself as the communicatrix for the past three years, and a positioning like that lives outside the narrow walls of my design work or my copywriting or my acting.
I think that’s also why my newsletter, which I launched in May of last year, focuses on how to improve communication skills rather than graphic design issues. I’ve had a number of people ask why I don’t put out something that promotes my business better; I’m beginning to realize that what I wanted was to promote me, or at least, my ideas. (Back issues here; signup here.)
What do you think? Do you use social media and marketing to promote your business or yourself? Or both? And how do you divvy things up, if you do?
Bonus Brogan linkage: