Build that brand !



Seems like Dan Primack wants more (presumably loose lipped) young VCs to differentiate with strong online presence.  Will Twitter cut it ?  Nah, it' too easy and not differentiated enough.  Any dummy can download tweetdeck and post pictures of himself at random conference X.  Blogging is still hard work (comparatively) but you can push real content across.  Get Twitted, that's the way to go.   If you don't already receive this newsletter (probably applies to 1% of my readers) then subscribe now.   Here is Dan's encouragement from PE HUB:

Last week I moderated an ACG Boston panel discussion for younger private equity pros, titled “Managing Your Career in a Recession.” Near the end, panelist Jay Jester of Audax Group noted the importance of “building your brand.” He was referring to behavior within a firm — things like leading by example, not worrying about getting credit and being helpful to others when possible.

All good advice, but I began thinking about it in a more external sense. Namely, why don’t more young PE professionals take a page from the VC world, and begin blogging?

It’s great to be highly-regarded inside your organization, but the deal business is also about how you’re viewed beyond your walls. Not only who you know, but who knows you. What better way to make a name for yourself than by becoming a visible thought leader? The primary subject could be private equity, a specific industry sector, financing restructuring, etc. Whatever you’d like to be known for, with just enough of your own personality thrown in to distinguish yourself from a reference book.

Sure it may be a bit scary, but amateur bloggers aren’t expected to be literary stars. Hell, I’ve worked with “professional” writers who didn’t deserve to pass 5th grade English. All you need to know is what you’re talking about (and if you don’t, then perhaps you’re in the wrong line of work).

It makes sense that VCs were the first investment pros to embrace blogging, given their general tech knowledge and desire to be known to other first adopters. But it is fairly senseless that other types of investors haven’t followed suit — particularly younger ones who are tech-savvy and expected to be even more job-transient than their elders.

So go build your brand. Literally.

 

I am glad though that the bar is low on the required literary qualities since a 5th pass grade should get you there.  Phew ! And I thought grammar mattered.  Me not so stressed now.

So why don't more young people in our industry do it ?  I think it's simple: if you get out there and build your brand early on, you run the risk of getting your wings burned if your first few deals go down in flames.  Hence only seek PR when you have a good story to tell, which of course may take 10 years given the way the world is going.

Brand is not PR and risk IS our business, so get blogging !

 

<— Dad was a great innovator, great early PR post launch, did not last, became a well known case study post failure, all for the betterment of mankind (C: VinerStudio)

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One Response to Build that brand !

  1. I think what Dan was getting at was the lack of buyout pros blogging in the States, while simultaneously it seems that virtually every VC in the U.S. now has an online presence.

    From a European slant, it does strike me as a bit odd that there aren’t more VCs (or PE folks) blogging here in Europe despite the apparent popularity of the medium in countries such as France. I’m sure we could come up with a whole host of reasons why it’s not more common on this side of the Atlantic, but I strongly believe that the benefits in building a “brand” in the blogosphere outweigh the risks, particularly in Europe where VC “brand” recognition is not nearly as strong as it should be.

    Oh well. I could go on about this for awhile. I enjoy your blog!

    Best regards,

    – MAJ.