20 February 2010

Sam Danger and my personal branding conundrum

After 6 hours of tick-tacking, I finally managed to get Bethany's blog configured properly last night.  There was a lot of back-and-forth between, Google Apps and Wordpress.  At the end of the day, I think she'd be better off using Blogger, which I must admit I'm partial too.

As I was working with her to help establish her brand I started thinking about how to tackle mine.  Personal branding seems to be a hot topic recently, and I'm actually going to be co-presenting on campus about it in the coming months.

The trouble I'm having is that there's another Sam Venable.  Now normally, this wouldn't be a huge deal.  Except this Sam Venable is a columnist at the Knoxville News Sentinel.  

We even look alike!  The Venable nose is unmistakable (side note: though I'm sure we're not related, I'd be interested to see if we have any shared ancestry).

But the real kicker is this - not only do we kind of look alike and have the same name - he's also a writer.  Of course, the primary difference being he gets paid to do so.

So I've been debating what the best strategy to tackle this is.  How do I differentiate myself from him?  

When I first started writing and created this blog, I thought the best way was to stage myself as the "other" Sam Venable - but the problem is there are probably a few hundred of us elsewhere in the world.  So, if I take the Seth Godin / Gary Vaynerchuk approach, I haven't really found a good niche.  I'm not specific enough, and I'm not positioning myself for success.

Secondly, as I started to contemplate my own domain, I realized that is a bit longer than I want it to be.  How do I concisely describe, differentiate and promote with a URL?

I don't have any answers yet, but I'm working on it.  

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