Article

Olga Tsubiks
Olga Tsubiks 3 November 2016

Why Bother Creating a Personal Website? Behind the Scenes from Adventures in Personal Branding

One of my favorite things over the year was starting a personal blog. (You can find my website here if you are curious.) How did it happen? Well...

One of my favorite things over the year was starting a personal blog. (You can find my website here if you are curious.) How did it happen? Well, I was reading an article and one quote in particular really struck me: "it's not what you know it's who you know". 

That quote really resonates with me. Throughout my life I’ve learned a lot, and benefited a great deal, from meeting different people _ whether it’s for support, or the sharing of ideas, or just connecting with mentors. I've always tried to put myself out there and connect with people…

personal_branding-(1).jpg

From meeting a recruiter who helped me to get a job in China, to venturing out to California and making new connections there, to entering a post-graduate program in Canada, or, more recently, joining a data science community in Toronto… my life has been all the better for meeting people and putting myself out there. And when I'm not doing this, I'm just not happy. 

So one day I performed a little exercise: I created a visual graph of my "professional friends”.

ProfessionalFriends.jpeg

 

What I came to realize was that, because of having moved across multiple countries and continents throughout my life, I actually had several professional networks, rather than one large elaborate network of connections. I knew many people here and there, in this industry or that, but for any given industry or location I only knew a few people. Three people here, four people there, maybe… And yet a little lonely everywhere. I always tried to put myself out there, but it just wasn't enough.

And it’s not so surprising. If you are anything like me, you will find this story familiar. Any given day it’s possible to come across a few people you've never met before. Most of the time, you will never meet them again. Sometimes, you get lucky, and you meet a great person. Most of the time, you probably don't.

There is a limit to how many people you can invite for coffee, how many conferences you can attend, and how many interesting people life sends your way. And this limit is crucial. Why? I believe there are two things that create personal and professional growth: meeting interesting people and going new places. So when I was thinking about what I wanted to do this year, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to meet 1000 people in analytics, data, and technology. One thousand people in one year! Is it even possible? And so I created a list of ideas of things that I could do to meet more people. And I started to get excited about it. But when I looked at my current schedule – and I do have a family and a demanding job – I realized that it was an overly optimistic goal. It would mean having to meet 3-4 people a day. This would be the equivalent of hosting a birthday party every week for 20+ people!

So I figured that I should start a personal website and share my ideas – things that I work on, things that motivate and surprise me. In this way, I realized, I can meet many more people, or at least a part of me can, and I can reach a wider audience, with, hopefully, people responding with their ideas.

So, I started a website and a blog in February. And it worked! Since then, a lot of people have joined my mailing list, and I have received many emails. Some people have made contact to offer me a job, some have asked for my help with their project, and some  have wanted me to teach and advise them about data. There have been some people who I think just wrote to say hello. Evernote reached out and invited me to join their community. Guys at Whistler ski resort thought my data visualization was great, and their app got an update. I advised Digital Analytics Association on ways to improve their professional benchmarking tool. And I have a few more projects in hand. All this wouldn't have been possible without the website. At one point, I was at an event and I realized that people were coming to talk to me because they felt like they already knew me.

And this mutual support and communication is important – in fact, it’s really what keeping a personal website is about. If you are like me, you get motivated by hearing from other people in data, by solving their problems, seeing what they are able to achieve, what they are working on and where they are heading. And that's why I wanted to share my story and take you “behind the scenes” in what it takes to start a personal blog, and what it brings you as someone working in data. And I want to share the real, raw truth. You can see it all: the good and the bad, how much work it is, and how rewarding it is.

The most important part of it all is you. I want you to be involved. I want you to stop reading and get connected with the community. And you don't have to start a personal website. That was my goal, but you might just want to connect with a select few individuals.

I think it's important for us to make new connections and surround ourselves with interesting people. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met at a faculty meeting, Henry Ford developed his friendship with Thomas Edison through letters, poets Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetaeva met in person only once, but influenced each other’s work for years. Community is important. And it's easier to get off that couch and create something when you know that you have a supportive group of people behind you.

I had been trying to work out, what is a good way to highlight what's going on behind the scenes, and how best can I galvanize the community that is growing behind them? So I created a page where I share stats about my progress, and the website’s growth, as well as the growth of the community. Here, you can see how the community is evolving, who we are, and where we are from. So, yeah…it is growing, and it is very diverse. If you want to join the community, you are welcome to do so. 

Go to the website, where you can get onto the mailing list, and where you’ll hear about all the projects that we are planning to work on in the future.

Richa Shah
Richa Shah

Interesting! Thank you for sharing this amazing content.
It's my pleasure to inform you about BetaPage it is a startup directory where you can discover, hunt and upvote on various innovative startups as per your choice.

Thank you.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
14 Amazing Examples Of Brands Killing It With Facebook Ads

14 Amazing Examples Of Brands Killing It With Facebook Ads

How do you design the perfect Facebook ad that converts? A lot of people will start throwing money at Facebook, but not see any success. This comes either because they don’t have a proper strategy for their Facebook ads or their ads are not well designed. But for those brands which have a good strategy and work hard to test and refine their advertising, Facebook ads can generate huge profits. And we’ve found 14 of such examples.

Luisana Cartay
Luisana Cartay 11 December 2017
Read more
4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

4 Important Digital Marketing Channels You Should Know About

It goes without saying that a company can't do without digital marketing in today's world.

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 5 November 2014
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of traditional outreach methods to get in touch with targeted buyers or sellers.Here are some of the best and fastest growing global B2B platforms that are helping thousands of businesses in the world to grow and reach their international and local clients.

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Don’t be afraid of email testing. There are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. We feature 30 email testing tools in this article. Check out the complete list!

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 31 October 2016
Read more