You’re too lazy to make a personal brand, Part 2. What’s in a name?

Reader Allison Najman made a great point in the comments on my post on personal branding.  She wrote:

It also helps if you have a unique name that no famous person or sports player has. You know, something like Najman :)

Allison is a great point. You need a name that stands out, so change your name.  If your parents were cruel and gave you a name like John Smith, change it to something more exciting.  Velociraptor Smith is a much better name.  Not only does it recall a prehistoric, flesh-eating dinosaur, there just aren’t that many Velociraptor Smith’s.

Given the choice between hiring John Smith and Velociraptor Smith, I’d go with Velociraptor.  Why?  It’s unique, it’s memorable, and it strikes fear into the hearts of my competitors.  Changing your name not only improves your search results, it essentially rewrites what your personal brand is.

So be lazy but unique and make your name stand out so your work doesn’t have to.

You’re too lazy to make a personal brand

It’s hard to make a personal brand.  Take it from me.  I’ve been using the internet for over a decade, and I’m still number two on Google, and I’ve tried my damnedest to be number one.

With things such as search engine optimization and shameless whoring self-promotion, you can bump yourself up in Google’s rankings.  But that’s only going to do so much.  You can tweak the system, claim your identity as much as you want, but there’s still something missing from all that to make yourself number one.

To make a good personal brand, you have to consistently turn out amazing work.  Not mediocre, not good, but AMAZING.

And that is hard as hell.

You have to do it every day.  You have to be likeable.  Even worse, you want this to happen online, so you better work your ass off on the internet.  You’ve got to be smart, timely, and worst of all, social.

This isn’t fun and games.  It’s hard work.  You’ve already got a great life.  Why do you need to work your ass off for a slice of online glory?