Control a channel

I was reading this post from Seth Godin today. it got me thinking about the channels we use to publish our thoughts and to control our personal brands. On the one hand it makes total sense to choose a popular digital channel or two so that ‘we’ can leverage their audience. But their is a flip side risk that it might be time to consider as enter the back end of the social web decade.

What if these channels just disappear? Or more specifically, what if a channel we have chosen to invest in just disappears?

It is not as if it isn’t possible. The digital graveyard is full of potential and one time behemoths that got it wrong and evaporated. While some may not have died completely, it is certainly true that when they die (the host) then we (the parasite) are very likely to die with it.

The answer is in the question. We must have a channel or repository where we retain an element of control or ownership. Maybe it’s our own .com address. Maybe it’s our own forum. The point is we must reduce our personal brand risk in the same way reduce our investment mix through diversification. Have assets we control, assets where we share control and assets which others control. Sometimes I worry about the investment I have made in twitter while they still struggle to turn a profit.

Given our digital footprint and personal brand are now as important as formal qualifications and career experience these days, our portfolio of personal digital channels should replicate any good investment strategy, where we have a mix of control and leverage. While it’s never a good idea to invest in too many areas, it’s also good to invest in some assets that we have total ownership over them, rather than something we just have a share in or make a contribution too.

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2 Comments Control a channel

  1. Jonny Day

    Great article Steve.

    I too have been having a similar feeling. I have been committing a lot of training time to social media and my job role has began to specialize in social media marketing.

    I constantly wonder what happens if some of the major tools such as FB disappear or get flooded with advertising etc.. and clients choose not to go with these options.

    Where is the value in your skills then?

    Do you just make sure you are at the forefront of all trending communication tools or do you only commit a certain percentage of your training time to new and innovative yet possible unstable channels and the rest to traditional marketing?

  2. Steve Sammartino

    I’m less concerned about social media skills – b/c they are simple and learnable on any popular forum – I’m more concerned about my thoughts & group of colleagues getting lost. I think we need to own a digital space where our thoughts can live permanently.
    Steve.

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