The best personal branders it seems live more than one life.
Take Sree Sreenivasan who at age 37 has accomplished enough for 12 lives and in the process become an Internet phenom and the brand, “Sree.”
Dean of students and new media professor at Columbia University’s Journalism School, WNBC-TV’s tech reporter, co-founder of the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA), weekly columnist for Poynter.org, blogger…You get the idea. It’s an endless list.
Besides being a marvel of personal achievement, Sree, by dint of hard work, personal generosity, savvy and smarts has distinguished himself in a field, academia, known more for its blahs than its wows.
Recognizing that “the days are gone when you can rely on your work to speak for itself,” Sree has branded himself by becoming a “go to guy” when it comes to journalists dealing with South Asia, minority news and technology.
“I didn’t set off to become known in these areas,” he says. “Instead I set off to help people in these areas.”
Like all great personal branders, Sree understands that the currency of branding is connectivity. Serving as a sort of a personal Google for the uninitiated, Sree is artful at providing information, no strings attached, and at connecting disparate people. As he puts it, “The key is giving information when it doesn’t benefit you. That’s what people remember and what wins you their trust.”
Of course, being Sree, he doesn’t simply share information with a few good friends. Over the last dozen years, he has helped demystify technology for more than 20,000-plus students, journalists and other professionals through workshops in eight countries. His workshops, custom-tailored to the group at hand, include topics such as “Smarter Surfing: Better Use of Your Web Time,” “Figuring Out Blogs and Whatever’s Next” and “10 Tech Things To Try Today.”
Even if you can’t get to one of his workshops, not to worry. You can find Sree’s tips at
among other sites.
While Sree is a force of nature, there are some things we everyday mortals can learn from him.
Become a source of information without expecting anything back.
Give information away freely. Sree posts everything he does online including links mentioned in paid speeches. He believes you will get more new business that way.
Be accessible. Sree posts his calendar online making it simple for someone to request an appointment.
Be where the conversation is taking place whether online or off.
Join services liked LinkedIn.com- – Sree says it’s “MySpace for professionals.” and is very useful. “I used to call it ‘MySpace for adults,’ but that sounded like something else,” says Sree.
Blog. It’s a great way for someone to see how you think, to size you up and to become intrigued enough to follow up.
What do you think about Sree’s ideas? What are your favorite ways to get the word out about yourself?