“Customers build an image of a brand as birds build nests. From the scraps and straws they chance upon.” - Jeremy Bullmore
I heard the above quote from Bullmore a couple of months ago and since then have continued to mull it over as I think it applies to bloggers pretty well.
I received the following email from a reader last week (slightly modified for anonymity):
Hi Darren, I’ve just subscribed to your ProBlogger blog after a strange line of coincidences that I thought you might like to know about.
I first heard of you via a family member who lives in Melbourne (I live in Sydney). They suggested I check out your church blog as we’re thinking about similar issues to you.
Three weeks later I saw an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that was a profile of your photography site.
A few days later I was searching Google as I was researching the purchase of a new camera and your site came up as the number 1 result.
About a month ago I stumbled upon your facebook profile as you are one of my friends friends. I added you as a friend.
Two weeks ago I saw one of your photography articles on the front page of Digg. I decided to subscribe to that blog that day as I thought it was a bit of a coincidence.
Last week I was chatting to a friend about my blog and he was telling me about some Aussie guy who was making a full time living from blogging. He gave me the URL of the site to check out. Imagine my surprise when I saw your photo on the site. Up until this I didn’t realize that you wrote about blogging.
After finding you in six different ways already I decided I should probably subscribe to your blog.
PS: Is there anywhere else that I’m likely to bump into you? You seem to be everywhere! For example I just discovered your Flickr account and Myspace page. Where else are you?
It strikes me that Jeremy Bullmore’s quote has a lot of truth to it and in this case it’s pretty well illustrated.
Every online interaction you have, every social networking or bookmarking site that you participate in, every comment that you leave on other blogs, every interview that you do, every decision you make about your own blog, every comment that you leave on a forum, every guest post that you write on another blog – all of these things (and more) add to your own personal brand.
Combined these ‘straws’ build an overall brand that people assemble in their own time, order and way.