We can all learn something about image and reputation management, I believe, from the Web site of versatile actor Jeff Bridges. He’s been online - www.JeffBridges.com – at least seven or eight years with the same clever, low-key, personal and interactive online style … and his site ranking stats confirm his popularity.
The Amazon-owned online ranking service, Alexa.com, lists JeffBridges.com with a global ranking of 130,000 and 81,166th among of all Web sites and blogs in the U.S. … indicating that his personal site has better numbers and is visited far more often than the sites of most corporations and organizations.
On one hand, you could argue that the site is popular simply because of his celebrity, and that no doubt is true … partly. Bridges won an Oscar this year for “Crazy Heart.”
Yet, while his acting career has been up and sometimes down, his Web site has remained consistently popular … and it’s interesting to examine the possible reasons:
- Jeff Bridges sends a clear signal that his site is not “about” him. While the owners of most personal and business sites (me included) have a need to say something about ourselves … for promotion, insecurity, vanity or needy reasons … the lack of anything about Bridges suggests a guy who is very comfortable in his own skin. It brings up the question why so many of us need to talk about ourselves online or in press releases.
- Bridges personally writes about people whom he admires, respects and loves, revealing a man of character and integrity … and, the more he writes about others, the more we learn about him.
- His passion for photography with a unique Wide-Lux film camera is prominent, together with his honest and clear use of words. He has taken us behind-the-scenes of many of his films through pictures and narrative for years, sharing moments with people that are important to him.
- Bridges understands that he has a responsibility as a citizen of the world to give back and support importance causes and issues he cares about, from the End Hunger Network and Amazon Conversation Team to Trigger Street in support of screen writers.
- The creative, understated and imaginative style of his site distinctively differentiates his brand … his stardom … from that of all others. Visit the site, and you get to know the man, not necessarily the Hollywood star.
Through his unique online approach, Jeff Bridges has transparently revealed humility, intellectual depth and maturity … signatures of his reputation. He’s one very cool dude.
More than that, it’s a good lesson in how to elegantly manage image and reputation – being understated often achieves greater favorable impact and lasting influence.