Tag Archives: personal branding

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Challenge: Spend 9 minutes a day promoting Jesus online

brand jesus

There was a while when I was tempted to buy into the idea that you should think about yourself as a brand. Who am I kidding – I bought into the idea. Once upon a time I would have read this suggestion to spend a magic nine minutes a day developing my own brand and thought it was dynamite advice for getting ahead in this world. Because it probably is.

I like branding. I like marketing. I like growing a brand. I like people to like me. So it made sense to think about building a tribe of devoted followers who want to hang off my every word, or like my every status, or whatever it is that people who are brands crave. But that’s a dangerous path to making yourself the centre of the universe. And I don’t want to be the centre of my universe – let alone anybody else’s.

You’re not a brand, you’re a human. You don’t have a brand. Cattle have brands. You’re not a cow. I know this because cows can’t read.

Brand Jesus

If you’re a Christian – you’re not out to make your own name, or craft your own image.

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.” – Romans 8:29

And you know you’re not the centre of the universe. Jesus is.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy” – Colossians 1

Paul, who spent a significant part of his life promoting brand Jesus (and not brand Paul) was also branded by Jesus – the scars he bore for his efforts were scars pointing people to his king.

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world… From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. – Galatians 6

So here’s a challenge. If we want to live out our new reality – pointing people to the centre of reality as we become more like him – why not figure out how you can spend nine minutes a day promoting Jesus online.

Nine minutes doesn’t sound like a lot – and it’s not (promoting Jesus is a whole of life thing). But as the people behind the 9 minute personal brand challenge point out – it adds up, and it’s better than nothing.

9 Minutes a day translates into three hours a month. Can you imagine the impact on your career if you focused on the brand called you for three full hours every month?”

So. Nine minutes a day. Can you do it? Will people notice? Who knows. But it will, at the very least, change you – because the way we use the mediums we use changes us as we use them. perhaps it will be part of the process of conforming you into the image of Jesus.

Some ideas

These are like the low hanging fruit. I’m just sort of riffing off (or ripping off) the tips from the Lifehacker post where I saw the 9 minute idea.

1. Write something about following Jesus. Engage with the world you live in. Share it. A blog post, a Facebook status, an email, a message to a friend. Create content that shows you don’t live for your own glory, but to glorify Jesus.

2. Read the Bible. Share it. Not in the weird contextless way that so many people seem to do. Even my eyes glaze over at those posts – and I love the Bible. But show how it hits your heart, not just your head.

3. Pray for people. Your friends. People who need to know Jesus. It’s God who changes people’s hearts, by his Spirit, not your pithy Facebook status. That’s part of realising that your own brand has nothing to do with it…

4. Read some things by other Christians. Curate them. Share them with your friends. Discuss them with others. Be an editor for your friends. Social media, like traditional media, needs deliberate editors. People are increasingly discovering content via social media, so why not supply it?

5. Encourage your friends. Post stuff on Facebook walls. PM people with a note of encouragement – ask how you can pray for them (and do it). Send encouraging emails. Invite people to catch up in real life.

6. Comment on discussions with your friends in a way that points people to Jesus (both in your content and manner), and that adds value to whatever the conversation is (too often Christians run into these forays spouting jargon that just confuses people, mind the gap a bit, explain why you think differently while being humble and loving those you disagree with).

7. Enter the fray in one of the countless discussions about Christianity (or anything) on other media platforms – like the one about the amazing woman who forgave her husband’s killers. Stand up for Jesus.

8. Be, visibly, a Christian online – in all your profiles. Write them so they’re about how amazing Jesus is, not how amazing you are. It’s a bit like sticking a Jesus fish on your car, it keeps you accountable when it comes to what you share, what you say, and how you say it.

9. Show that you appreciate the goodness of God’s creation. Share good stuff. Fun stuff. Not just overtly Christian stuff. Be grateful. Acknowledge the source of the good stuff you’re enjoying and sharing. Not in a super spiritual way, just in a way that cultivates thankfulness in your own mind and demonstrates it to others.

10. Try not to self-promote. We have a massive tendency to try to put ourselves at the centre of the universe, and social media seems designed to facilitate and amplify that tendency.

Will you join me in trying to do this? Nine minutes a day. What are some other ideas?

What your email address says about you

Via The Oatmeal… where else. But what he’s missing is what the stuff before the @ says about you. Which is probably more telling. If you thought sk8erboi45 was cool (like the 44 people before you), or anything similarly asinine, then you were wrong. If I were the type of person who hired people I’d look no further than the email address on most resumes before dismissing 85% of the candidates.

How to come up with a ministry job title

Mark Driscoll just wants to be a pastor. No. Wait. A preaching pastor. His executive pastor can do the other stuff…

Ministry titles are dumb. The title “pastor” is pretty dumb too. It’s a role not a title. Mikey ranted about this the other day. I agree.

But back to Driscoll – who is sick of people not wanting to be a pastor. So he put together this little tool for selecting a hip and relevant title so that you can “shepherd” your merry band of “Christ followers”…

New Rules

Wired has a great little feature called New Rules for the Highly Evolved – it features contributions from Brad Pitt.

It’s a feature providing all sorts of tips for how to use social technology in a socially acceptable way. I’m sure there are some rules that I’m breaking. But here are my favourites.

There’s this graph on when it’s appropriate to reveal TV spoilers…

And these great little articles (there are more that I wasn’t really enamoured by…

  1. Don’t blog or tweet anything with more than half a million hits – I’m probably guilty as charged, though I see my blog as a repository of things I’ve found on the internet and while I care deeply about you, dear reader, I’m not worried if you’ve seen stuff before.

    “The things we forward, tweet, or post send a message about who we are,” Berger says. “And you don’t want the message to be that you’re behind the curve.”

  2. Delete stuff you don’t want on your wall from your online profiles – While I’m all for freedom of speech the thing that annoys me most (almost) is being misrepresented. I do enough damage to my personal branding on my own, without people sabotaging it.
    An example: people using my phone to send stupid SMS’s to girls I was interested in.
    You’re judged as much by your associations as by your actions so take heed of this advice:

    The only way out is to police your wall, even if that’s awkward. Don’t be shy about deleting untoward graffiti, eliminating your name from tagged photos, or even asking friends to remove incriminating pics that weren’t meant for public consumption. “You might damage a friendship,” Donath says, “but that’s one of the costs of the collapse of social circles.” Then again, you could migrate to MySpace. Nobody pays attention to anything written there.

  3. And lastly, the great social conundrum of our time – knowing which ringtone to choose – that won’t ever be a problem again thanks to this handy flow chart.

Reader Poll – Into the future

Hello Readers,

I’d like your advice – yes – particularly you lurkers who never comment.

It seems increasingly likely that my geographically specific domain name will become redundant – and it’s problematic even if our geographical location maintains its status quo – because it gets picked up in all sorts of Google Alerts that I don’t necessarily want it to…

So, I’m plotting and planning a change. And I have two current conceptual options (to be narrowed down to specific domains) that would move this away from being purely a site for my personal ramblings and in to something more defined. I don’t want to write my suggested domains down in case some enterprising reader snaps them up and holds them to ransom.

But here are my options:

1. I like to think that the one thing uniting all of my disparate postings and rambling musings is an overarching appreciation of “cleverness” – some things falling into the “too clever” category. I see this site as almost a repository of other people’s clever ideas. This domain would have something to do with the study of cleverness pertaining to stupid and needless gadgetry, coffee and the rest… it also begins with the letter “c” which works given my categorical nomenclature.

2. I also am entertaining a mild fascination with the Biblical character Eutychus. Eutychus is the guy who fell asleep during one of Paul’s rambling sermons and fell out a window to his death – only to be raised by Paul (no doubt through some sense of remorse for being so boring). I hope this changed Paul’s preaching. I like to think of Eutychus as the patron saint of not being boring.

3. I could go down a more boring avenue and pick some other word, or combination that would remove both my name, and location from the equation – I don’t intend to become anonymous, I like the sense of transparency and accountability that comes from using my name. I would just like it to be able to be more permanent and less tied to a state of flux.

So, your thoughts – option 1, 2 or 3…

Beaten to the punch

Facebook’s vanity URLs have been launched. Some other Nathan Campbell beat me to the Nathan Campbell punch – so I, as in gmail, am nm.campbell.

It took me a few minutes to realise you had to go to www.facebook.com/username to sign up.

I’m a bit annoyed. I wanted Nathan.Campbell. Robyn didn’t even care, but got her preferred option just the same.

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Humility 2.0

I sometimes wonder why some people I respect in real life, and who show all the hallmarks of humility have such arrogant online profiles or personal webpages.

I won’t link to them – but as a general rule they’re as good as they say they are. It just seems a little arrogant to claim to be as good as you are – though I was accused recently of being a typical Australian with tall poppy tendencies – so maybe that’s it.

I wonder if having an online brand blows the idea of humility out of the water. Certainly social media encourage talking about yourself in the third person – but the fact that you feel compelled to write a bio of yourself on your webpage highlighting your field of expertise does not lend itself to humility.

That is all.