Twice last year, I was asked by job assistance agencies – one here in the DC area and one up in Baltimore – if I would speak about how to use social networking to help get a job. I spoke at both with a presentation titled “The Brand is You: Marketing Yourself with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google.” I spoke positively about how I had worked to create my own personal “brand” centered on my user research skills, why I thought that I had been reasonably successful at doing it, and how others could do the same. A key argument of that presentation was that it doesn’t matter who you work for, but it’s you as a person, with a particular skill set and background, that you should try to sell.
Now, though, I am realizing that in some cases “The Brand is You” is not necessarily the best thing for a small business owner. New projects are constantly coming my way, and work is continually an adventure for me. However, when projects come to me, they come to me, Cory Lebson, not to Lebsontech LLC.
I’m teetering on that “independent contractor” vs. “small business” line right now. I have met other small business owners who have done their time in the trenches but now have a greater interest in sales and marketing, with others doing the actual work. That’s not me – I so enjoy the work that I wouldn’t want to give that part up.
While I absolutely love doing user research and I thoroughly enjoy my work, I would like to move towards a model where I get projects, oversee projects, and do some of, but not all of, the work.
Maybe the dichotomy here reflects my own struggle with overseeing a business vs. doing the work itself. Of course there is no perfect answer, but maybe over time, these issues figure themselves out.
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