Branding & Being a Polymath

My business partner Andrea commented on Twitter this week that

I totally fail at branding. I tweet about rescue dogs, academia, early music, lampwork and jewelry, words, health care, and politics.

She’s not alone — I could almost have written that tweet, though mine would have said “I tweet about rescue cats, computing, lampwork and jewelry, bellydancing, chainmaille, and teaching.” The same thing is true of my blogging, as you know if you read Art of the Firebird regularly. I blog and Tweet and post about whatever I damn well please, which means I may focus on beads one day, cats the next, and my sore abs the third.

Of course, this goes against everything you see from the self-proclaimed “social media experts” who state that your Brand must be tightly focused and contain nothing extraneous or unrelated to your major product. By this theory, my blog/website/Twitter/Facebook should be focused only on my lampworking/jewelry business because everything else confuses my branding. I should have another set of accounts for animal rescue, and yet another for teaching matters (okay, I DO have a separate web site for the teaching, but still…).

I suspect that the people who say this either a) don’t have a real life into which they fit social media and marketing, or b) have no clue about being a Polymath (or, as Barbara Sher terms them, a Scanner). It’s just not realistic to manage multiple blogs or social media accounts for different things. There’s the time factor, of course, but there’s also the “keeping things straight” factor. Sure as anything I’d mis-post half of what I write to the wrong place.

I’m NOT only a lampwork glass artist, or a chainmailler, or an animal rescue activist, or a computer scientist, or a professor, or anything else. I’m all of these, and more. If I limit my postings to only one aspect, that isn’t the true me. Any polymath will tell you that we can’t be limited to one thing — even my brother the social media maven doesn’t manage to limit his Twitter and Facebook to one focus!

In truth my “Brand” is ME, ALL of me, and that’s what my blog, and my Twitter account, and my Facebook account, reflect. So SEO/marketing/branding rules be damned, I’m branding the Polymathic Me, all of her, because that’s what makes me unique!