Week 11 — Personal brand
During week 11 of development practice, we touch a bit on workplace readiness, which I felt was valuable even if the point of doing the MA is to teach you more about starting up an indie studio (instead of finding a job in gamedev). I guess it’s good to keep your options open, and you might need to do a bit of freelancing to tide you over when the studio goes through a dry patch.
A particular topic I want to reflect on is “personal brand”. In the section “What employers look for in a CV”, a recurring theme is “be yourself” and “be authentic”, as collaborators want to work with real human beings (“Falmouth University” n.d.). This sentiment is also echoed by Michael R. Hunter, an expert on personal brand:
Today, authenticity is credibility. Gone are the days where credibility wears a suit and tie.
As a personal brand, authenticity is one of your biggest assets and strongest differentiating factors.(Hunter 2017)
World-class marketer, Seth Godin, says this about authenticity:
Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not "being who you are".
That's because 'being' is too amorphous and we are notoriously bad at judging that. Internal vision is always blurry. Doing, on the other hand, is an act that can be seen by all.(Godin 2009)
Seth’s quote really hits home for me, because I want Me to be about The Work That I Do.
I’ve been guilty of this in the past: endlessly tweaking my website, making the layout look right, the typeface neatly spaced, a good injection of colour to make it less dull, BUT not doing any real work. I might finally be in a place where I can focus on the work and rest assured the website is good enough.
In conclusion, the plan for the future stays the same as I’ve mentioned before, which is to keep on making, and sharing what I make, so I can keep on getting better at what I do.
Here’s my answer to this week’s spark forum on personal branding:
Perhaps there’s a spectrum of personal branding. On the hard-core side you have folks who has an expertly Photoshopped full body shot making up their website’s landing page, and they have things like agents and PR. Then on the other side you have folks like me whose personal brand merely boils down to what profile picture you use, and which 6 words make up your Twitter bio.
On the hard-core side, a personal brand sounds too much like a prison; something you have to keep up even if you’ve moved on personally. Unless the personal brand is “renaissance (wo)man” and re-inventing oneself every now and then is expected.
That all said, I’m nowhere near known on the web. I don’t know how I feel about public exposure, fame, etc and what one needs to do to maintain all that.
For now, I have a couple of low-key web presences, and basically try and keep sensitive subjects out of what I say online (e.g. politics, religion). I want Me to be about the work that I do and nothing else.
- GODIN, Seth. 2009. “Authenticity.” Seth’s Blog. Available at: https://seths.blog/2009/02/authenticity/ [accessed 3 Dec 2020].
- HUNTER, Michael R. 2017. “Why Authenticity Is Essential to a Personal Brand.” PersonalBrand.com. Available at: https://personalbrand.com/authenticity/ [accessed 3 Dec 2020].
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