As I wrote last week’s story about Gary Henderson’s #ID2013 conference, and his ill-thought-out video that made a lot of industry big wigs look like douches as he spliced and diced footage from the conference taken months earlier, and then how his subsequent social media rantings about the negative reaction to the video turned a bad situation even worse.  It also got me thinking how people post and interact on social media influences not just their personal brand, but also the corporate brand of whatever company they represent.  I am sure many of us formed opinions on Gary Henderson, his company, and his conferences, all due to the way he reacted to the whole #ID2013 conference video fallout.  But then again, it was a nice profile build since a ton of people had never heard of him, his company or his conference series before the video, so maybe the whole thing was a planned profile build, although I (hopefully) suspect it was hoped the video would go viral as “wow cool” not “so not cool”.

bitching_1But it definitely got me thinking about how the things people rant, bitch, or snarky response can really hurt an overall business brand, even if the person isn’t necessarily the brand.  Damage by association, so to speak.  It doesn’t really matter if someone disclaimers a rant with “my views are my own and not that of {insert company name here}”.  But should people really need to censor what they say just because of how it makes their company brand look?  Can one person taint a brand for bitching on their personal brand?  The answer is hell yes, especially if they like their job and want to keep it.  Because people have been fired over what they say on their personal account, most recently Pax Dickinson, so it’s clear that people have issues with their brands being associated with employees being asses even in their offtime.

Looking back at the #ID2013 from last week, Henderson’s attitude that no one except the first complaining speaker who disagreed with him was owed an apology rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.  And many people weighed in on their opinions, however none as hardlined against him as Miranda Miller.  But which begs the question, was it Miranda’s place, as someone who was not even in attendance at the event in question, to bitch about Gary Henderson to the extent she did, in defense of her friend(s)?  The majority of the responses by people were of the “Geeze, this isn’t cool,” or “You know Gary, an apology would go a long way here.”  Or was it simply an attempt for Miranda to profile build in a Facebook thread by a well known industry person (Simon Heseltine) when the comments were definitely a “who’s who” in the industry.  Or does she (and some others) thrive on confrontation?

There are plenty of people who try and profile build by going the bitch-route, none more apparent as the Google tin foil hat crowd.  True, it can get you noticed, but not necessarily in the way you want to be noticed.  If you are trying to make a name for yourself, do you want to be known as “the guy who only ever bitches about Google” or “that chick who is always bitching about something?”  Probably not unless you just don’t give two shits about what anyone thinks of you in the industry and you have no aspirations to be a speaker and don’t need clients.

There are definitely those who have managed to build a profile and personal brand for themselves by going the bitch route throughout the years.  Think about Michael Gray (although he has mellowed out over the years {duck}), Rae Hoffman (has never mellowed out!), Lisa Barone (and yeah, why does it feel like she has fallen off the edge of the planet, even before her wedding/honeymoon?), Rand and the original bitcher, Danny Sullivan.  When Danny Sullivan rants about something Google has done, does it raise Search Engine Land’s profile or do you simply think “there goes Danny bitching about his flavor of the month Google issue again?”.  Or when Rae Hoffman goes off on one of her many tirades, do people outside of her groupies really pay attention anymore?

Do you think negatively about their businesses because of their personal bitching?  Many people refuse to have anything to do with iAcquire because of the arrogant Michael King (aka My Cool King).  I know that there are certain people who refuse to refer clients to many otherwise kickass businesses, simply because they are associated with people who always bitch and have a bone to pick about the stupidest shit with people.

A rare but well deserved rant by someone who rarely ever rants will draw a lot of attention, do doubt about it.  If someone I respect who never ever rants about anything suddenly rants about something in the industry, you can bet everyone will be paying attention. If Danny rants, I barely pay attention anymore.  Now if Matt Cutts were to rant, you would be I’d sit up and listen.

But if everything you post on Twitter or Facebook is a “fuck this person” or just bitch bitch bitch, people begin to tune it out to the extent that when you have something really worthy of that rant, most people just aren’t even aware it was as big of a deal as it could be, because it’s passed off as “oh joy, there goes ___ bitching again.” And when you get fired, chances are good part of that reason was the company you work for was sick of seeing how you loved to piss off people in the industry, and even though you were a “name” (or trying to be).

By seobitch

Seobitch is a pen name for a well known female expert in the SEO industry that most of you likely already follow. She has more than a dozen years experience and is a very respected expert in the field. Seobitch can be controversial but writes about issues that most people are afraid to talk about due to their employers, clients or friends. She also loves to tackle industry issues from a different point of view than what you normally see the "complainers" of the industry complaining about. She is also open to suggestions for future topics you would like to see the SEObitch tackle.

15 thoughts on “Should you profile build by being a bitch… or will you just piss off your company instead?”
  1. Going to guess you’re one of the ‘not giving a fuck’ people since you’re always bitching.

  2. So what’s your take on the whole thing bitch? I mean you are always whining about something aka bitching but you hide behind a curtain/alias so no one knows who you are.

  3. This is an interesting take on image building. It reminds me of that child’s story of the boy that cried wolf. All the people complain so much that no one ever listens.

  4. I know, I personally, don’t listen to people who bitch all the time. Its like shut up all ready…which reminds me, why the hell do I read your posts again? :p

  5. iniitally i think that it can be good to make your initial mark anyway you can even if that means bitching about stuff, but you have to get away from that eventually or that’s all your known for and people get sick of taht

  6. You must really have it out for Gary to bring him up AGAIN after the mess you made of that situation last week.

  7. Working in an industry that is hyper competitive and very much relationship-based it is critical that candidates keep an eye on the “personal” brand they put out there. They might not need a new job now but down the line they likely will and you never want your social profile to haunt you. Hippies turned into CEOs but they did it before the Internet documented every time they took a walk on the wild side.

  8. unless you just don’t give two shits about what anyone thinks of you in the industry and you have no aspirations to be a speaker and don’t need clients.

    I’m cool with that.

  9. In my opinion, I think there is always a better way of addressing a situation then bitching about it. But then again if once, you get in a dispute with someone on the internet because you don’t agree with they are saying and how they are saying it, I understand. There is no reason for the company you work for should let you go. Because you are standing for your principle, the same way they should for their values. But if you do this as a daily routine… well it’s not cool man, totally not cool.

  10. I dont want to call it a personal bitching. The marketing in multiple media has become a social trend today. The article can be found seemingly interesting.

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