Branding And Personal Identity Are Unnaturally Intertwined

by | Aug 11, 2011

I sometimes stumble when meeting new people. At a conference, for instance, a well meaning person will eye my badge and ask, “What’s AdPulp?”

There’s no succinct way to say AdPulp is an industry website that reaches thousands of people around the world every day…but it’s not my main deal, I also run a marketing services company that specializes in brand identity, social media activation and content development.

Sadly, a variety of gibberish falls from my mouth at these crucial first-impression occasions. I won’t try to repeat my awkwardness in writing, you have to see it to believe it.

When you have a job, of course, the awkwardness isn’t there. You say, “I’m a mechanic, or I’m a copywriter” and you’re done with it. Why is it so different when you are self-employed? And why is that difference magnified when you’re a writer?

The answer is not pleasing to me. It’s tougher to deal with because words like “writer,” “freelance” and to a lesser degree “entrepreneur” may leave the listener with a negative impression.

The reality is I ought to be happy and proud to say, “I’m the principal of a brand identity concern and editor of a widely read industry pub.”

When I was in college, I had the same issue. I would meet someone and say, “I go to F&M.” Blank stare.

All those years ago I would want to explain what F&M is to people who’d never heard of it and didn’t particularly care. Now I meet a stranger and walk away feeling like an ass if I oversell AdPulp, just like I did 25 years ago when overselling my college.

Why do I let my insecurities get the best of me? I don’t know, but I do know that sharing this truth about myself is one step out of the shadows that ego casts.