The Reach Personal Branding Newsletter – July 23, 2009
Editor’s Noteby Rachel GogosBuilding a Site to Express Your Brand You know you need to develop your presence online but you’re not sure how. Where should you begin? After contacting a Reach-certified personal brand strategist (wink, wink), you might want to consider developing a website or blog site for yourself. While working with a personal brand strategist you will clarify your communications goals, target audience, mission and purpose – all very necessary before developing a website. The next step will be to develop tools to help you convey and exude your personal brand. One of the most popular tools is the blog site or website. The only difference between the two is that a blog site is a website and blog in one. If you’re going to be a blogger definitely build the “all in one.” If you haven’t already done so you should purchase your own URL – preferably your name – ex: www.rachelgogos.com. If your name doesn’t exist because it may be more popular ex: www.MarySmith.com you can purchase www.MarySmithDentist.com or something like that to describe your profession or expertise. Many sites exist where you can acquire domain names. The one I use is called www.mydomain.com. It will cost $9.95 to own the domain for one year. Your brand attributes and other results from your Reach360 will help you and your personal brand strategist determine the color palette for your site. William Arruda developed an excellent video on YouTube to let you know what personal attribute is associated with a specific color. Developing the navigation, content and logo for your site are the next most important steps. The navigation will be determined by the purpose of your site, the content and your target audience. Your content is completely driven by who your ideal target audience is. Content you should include on your site are a bio, photo of yourself and your contact information. Your logo or signature look can be developed with the help of a graphic designer and your brand strategist. The site itself should be developed by a programmer or a very talented graphic designer who can do both. The most popular tools to build blog sites with these days are WordPress and TypePad. One final VERY important element is search engine optimization or SEO. This too is something your programmer should help you with. It involves meta-tags and adwords if you want to pay for them. If your site is built with SEO, and it should be, it will help it get recognized on Google and other popular search engines. This is a lengthy topic so I will write more in about it in a future issue. This is the super simplified version of building a site for yourself that is developed, branded and exuding your characteristics. It’s a big step towards establishing your presence on the web. It’s a time consuming project but will fill you with great happiness once it’s done.
EXUDE Your BrandBy Kristen JacowayOnline and offline tips on how to grow your brand and make it glow. “Talking” on Twitter In an earlier column, I promised to share some strategies with you to help you “talk the talk” on Twitter and get involved in the conversation. People often tell me that Twitter seems like a place where everyone is talking at the same time and they don’t know how to join in the conversation. TweetDeck is one of my favorite applications which helps make Twitter more manageable. You can download it free at http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta. TweetDeck, really helped me to answer the question, “I have Twitter followers, now what?” In the early days after joining Twitter, I couldn’t understand how to “engage in the conversation” as everyone kept saying that I needed to do. TweetDeck (there are other similar applications) is truly organizational genius. Let me highlight for you a few of my favorite features. In the upper left hand section, you will see a toolbar that looks something like the above image. When you click the button circled in red, you can create a group. I have created various groups of people that I have found that tweet things that are of interest to me. My groups include “Personal Brand Strategists” where I have established a group for my colleagues at Reach Personal Branding. I have one group called “Career Experts,” one for “Social Media,” “Favorites,” etc. Under each column, you will see a small toolbar that looks like the one above. The button I have circled in red is called the “filter” button. When you click this button, it brings up a search box. Try typing a “?” in this box. You will see all the tweets that have a question mark in it (keep in mind that people type rhetorical questions,). If you see questions you want to answer, mouse over the person’s face and click reply. You have started interacting with your Twitter community! Another good search is “http” which will bring up everyone who has posted a link to an article, blog post, website, etc. You can scan through and see if you want to re-tweet any of these links. Play around with this box and you will discover that it is a great tool to help you talk on Twitter.
Commercial BreakBy William ArrudaWhat can personal branders learn from TV advertisements? Take a break and take a peak.Target: Brand New DayI love this ad because: I love every Target ad. They are always on-brand – demonstrating their creativity and touting their value.
This ad and YOUR personal brand: Consistency is key. You recognize an ad is coming from Target within seconds of watching it. Is it the same for your presentations, articles, newletters, etc.? Strong brands are consistent in what they do and how they do it! Make sure your communications are consistent with your personality and deliver on what makes you exceptional. Use the same symbols and design templates for everything you do (presentations, proposals, marketing collateral, your web site, etc.). To see more of William’s “Commercial Breaks” click here.
A Day in the Life…of Megan FitzgeraldEdited by Rachel GogosA monthly column that brings you up close and personal to a Preferred Personal Brand Strategist.Geographic location: Rome, Italy URL: http://www.careerbychoice.comTarget Audience: Expat professionals and entrepreneurs Began her business in: January 2006 Became a brand strategist in: Spring 2007 1. Do you work from home or an office? Tell us about your workspace. I have a home office filled with light, books, plants, and pieces from my travels. A lover of all things Apple, I have my MacBook Pro and my iPhone on my desk, as well as a Skype phone. There’s also a large monitor for when I work with clients on their online profiles, blog or website. From my desk I look out the sliding glass door and across my terrace to an incredible view over Rome. I can see a monastery surrounded by cypress trees, the twin domes at Piazza del Popolo and on clear days, mountains in the distance. My view keeps me inspired all day! 2. What is a typical day like for you? Since early morning sun shines through my bedroom window I am up early whether I like it or not! The day officially begins after at least one double espresso macchiato on the terrace with my husband. Some days I’ll travel to a client site within Europe or receive clients at my home office. More often than not I’ll be working with my clients via Skype, responding to email, doing research, writing a blog post or connecting with people using social media like LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. My schedule does not lend itself to a neat and tidy 9 to 5 workday. I love the fact that no two days are alike and I have the flexibility to define my own schedule. 3. Tell us about your toughest client and how you dealt with it? The toughest clients are ones that don’t embrace personal responsibility as a cornerstone to making changes to their career or business. When they don’t take action on the commitments they set for themselves, they don’t see the results they are seeking in their professional life. By bringing their attention to how their choices are perpetuating the things they want to change, they begin to take ownership of their situation. From there, the possibilities are endless. 4. What do you do really well? I have an uncanny ability to see how people’s values, passions, skills and strengths can translate into a powerful, unique offering. As a result of my work I have developed a deep understanding of communicating online with people around the globe by using various social media. Social media tools help me help my clients build strong brands and networks online. 5. What is your favorite part of the day? In the morning when I sit with my husband on our terrace overlooking Rome. We enjoy our espresso and discuss what is on the day’s agenda, or the details of our next travel adventure.
Reach Personal Branding Speaker SeriesLeadership Branding for 2010 and Beyond: The 5 Critical Leadership Skills to Drive Performance and Deliver Ongoing Value for Your CustomersPresented by:Bea Fields, President of Bea Fields Companies, Inc. Date: Thursday, August 13, 2009 Time: 9:00 AM Los Angeles; 12:00 PM New York; 5:00 PM London; 6:00 PM Paris NIKE’s “Just Do It” brand is a phrase that easily slips off the tongue of the majority of today’s consumers. But did you know that the decision makers at the helm of the company also live their life with a “Just Do It” leadership style? With this mindset, NIKE has been able to differentiate its company to customers, investors and employees. During this presentation, Bea Fields, author of EDGE! A Leadership Story will present the 5 critical leadership skills needed to create a magnetic effect, drawing top tier customers, employees and investors to your company. During this presentation, participants will: -Understand the difference between building a strong company brand for marketing purposes and building a strong leadership brand, -Learn the 5 critical leadership skills needed to develop a rock solid leadership brand – one that will drive performance and deliver ongoing value for both your internal and external customers, -Understand the 3 steps required to begin designing a strong leadership brand, -Learn the 5 main leadership derailment factors which can destroy a leadership brand, and -Gain insight into how a strong leadership brand can strengthen the marketing and branding strategy you present to the world. Look for additional information on this fascinating event soon by clicking here.
The Reach Personal Branding Newsletter – July 9, 2009
William’s WordsBy William ArrudaA note from the Founder of Reach Personal Branding.Become a Published Author Sometimes, during a recession, we find ourselves unemployed or underemployed. Although this may not be the ideal situation, it can provide you with more of the most valuable commodity on earth – time. That time could help you achieve a goal that just never made it high enough on your priority list. In my business, I come across a lot of people who want to write a book – but can never find the time. Perhaps this economic downturn is the opportunity. Writing a book – although a major endeavor – is one of the most rewarding things you can do and one of the best personal branding actions you can take. Steven Van Yoder, the author of Get Slightly Famous, interviews authors to provide his contacts with information and advice on book publishing. Recently, he interviewed me about my experience in writing Career Distinction. Below are some excerpts from the interview. 1. What prompted you to target the personal branding niche? I read the article The Brand Called YOU by Tom Peters in Fast Company back in 1997. Tom coined the term and on the day I read that article I decided I was going to have the first and leading personal branding company. It’s at the intersection of my expertise – branding – and my passion – developing people. 2. What steps did you take in devising your niche marketing strategy? I wish I could say I did a lot of research or had a fully thought-out business plan when I launched Reach Personal Branding. I didn’t. What I did have was a fervent passion for the concept of personal branding and unwavering belief that personal branding was going to become critical to having a successful and fulfilling career. My marketing strategy was: I am going to tell everyone I know and everyone I meet about this cool concept called personal branding (not a strategy you see in many MBA textbooks!!!). 3. How successful has the personal branding niche been for your business? When I started Reach Personal Branding, I was one of about five personal branding experts in the world. For the first few years, it was a struggle. I launched Reach a little before the world was ready for it. Now, there are thousands of personal branding companies (over 400 people in 25 countries have been certified by my company alone). None of the other original players are still in the game, but I stuck with it. I don’t know if it was optimism or naivité, or stubbornness – but I stayed in. Perseverance has been great for my business. Now, personal branding has emerged as a proven technique not only for job search but for talent development inside companies (most of my business is with Fortune 500 companies). When you are the pioneer and have had all those years of proving your methodology, building the business and creating visibility, you have a great competitive advantage. That has positioned Reach as the global leader. 4. What role has your book played in growing your business? Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand (the third name for the book) has done things for Reach and for me that nothing else has. It increased credibility, opened conversations with the press and potential clients and further separated Reach from the competition. Being a published author has also been on my long list of goals; so the release of Career Distinction allowed me to remove that goal from the list with an incredible sense of accomplishment. 5. Please describe your overarching PR strategy, both before and after publication of your book, and results you’ve achieved? Before the launch, our goal (I wrote the book with Kirsten Dixson) was to develop a huge list for pre-orders. If I had published the book back in 2002 as originally planned, I would not have had the long list of contacts. By 2006, there were almost 100,000 names on our contact lists. This was a great start. Then, we hired a new publicist – Newman Communications (Boston based). We wanted to have all the press stories and talking points ready before the release. This was easy to do because months went by between submission of the final manuscript to Wiley and the actual book release. It’s a slowwww process! Lastly, we built a web presence for the book – www.careerdistinction.com – web-based marketing was a major element of our book marketing strategy. We wanted the web site in place before release. After the release, I incorporated the book into every one of my speaking engagements, wrote lots of articles based on topics in the book and did lots of radio TV and print interviews. I convinced many of the clients who hired me for keynotes to buy books for participants or make the book available at the event. This had a huge boost on sales, making it a careers bestseller. 6. Can you describe the process of conceiving and writing your book? How did you fit it into your overall schedule? I started writing the book in 2001 with a colleague and incredible coach, Andrea O’Neil. Back then it was called Bulletproof Your Career. A few months into it, she realized that the book didn’t fit into her long-term goals. So I shelved it for years. Then I started writing again in 2006 and asked Kirsten Dixson (one of the first people I certified in the Reach personal branding methodology) to be my coauthor. One of my brand attributes is collaborative. Because I had been in business for so long and had created so much content over the years, it made it easy to write the book. It was more a matter of selecting the right content and refining existing material than creating content from scratch. Although the two chapters on online branding were completely new. When writing a book you have to be willing to say ‘no’ to things – even to potential business. If you want your book published enough, it’s not that hard to say no. 7. How has the internet advanced your reputation as an author and personal branding expert? It has been the single best tool for increasing visibility and credibility. I am the same person I was before the book, but clients, audience members, the press – pretty much everyone (except my parents) – see me a little differently. Being a published author brings more career cache than virtually any other activity. Being a personal branding expert, I knew of the power of publishing, but I am surprised at how impactful it is. 8. When did you first realize you were slightly famous? Several years ago, I was in the British Airways lounge at London Heathrow and someone came up to me and asked “Are you William Arruda? I saw you speak at the Tate Modern last year.” Because a major part of my business is public speaking, I meet tens of thousands of people each year. Of course, I can’t remember everyone in every audience, but clearly, some of them remember me. It’s a good feeling. 9. Any advice to others considering a book as part of their marketing strategy? Write it. Now! Don’t delay. The old adage says that everyone has at least one book in them, and I believe that. It’s the single best way to express your personal brand while increasing your visibility and credibility. It changes everything! **By the way, if you have read Career Distinction, please consider providing your review of the book at Amazon.com (it’s good for your online branding!) Thanks.
Bloggers Corner By Kristen JacowayThe best of the blog world related to personal branding. If you have any questions or blogs that you recommend keeping an eye on email me at YOUniquenewsletter@reachcc.com. A must read – Chris Brogan shared 19 daily tasks to build and maintain your online personal brand. You can read his 19 tips by clicking here. Krishna De of Biz Growth News recently wrote an interesting post for people who express their personal brand online via blogging. She provides a link to a plug in for Firefox called SEO Blogger. Krishna writes, “It is free to install and you can type into SEO Blogger the words that you are considering for your blog post and it will provide you with research about your key words and alternative key word phrases so that you can add them to your blog post.” Her full post can be read here. I recently discovered a blog post by Nick O’Neill from February 2009 in a book that I am reading. The post is about privacy settings within Facebook. Nick O’Neill shares screenshots and helpful step-by-step information on how to safeguard your account to a level that you are comfortable with. Click here to read his post.
Commercial BreakBy William ArrudaWhat can personal branders learn from TV advertisements? Take a break and take a peak.Apple: I’m a MacI love this commercial because: It pokes fun at a competitor’s weakness – and most people who know me know that I am an Apple brand ambassador! This ad and the others in the series hit Microsoft so hard (BTW, I am a Microsoft fan as well) that they created their own series of ads rebuking Apple’s claims.
This ad and YOUR personal brand: While I think it’s most important to tout your own strengths and what makes you exceptional, when it makes sense, it’s valuable to demonstrate your differentiation by highlighting a glaring weakness in a competitor. What do you do that your competitor’s can’t? To see more of William’s “Commercial Breaks” click here.
Reach Personal Branding Speaker SeriesEight Steps to a Career Transition and Reinventing YourselfBrian Kurth, Founder & President of www.VocationVacations.comDate: Thursday, July 23, 2009 Time: 9:00 AM Los Angeles; 12:00 PM New York; 5:00 PM London; 6:00 PM Paris The “vocationing process” is a proven, action-oriented and step-by-step process for making career and life transitions. Used by thousands of people across the US and internationally since 2004, when Brian founded VocationVacations.com, this process helps people define what their “great” job is; learn how to deal with their fear; create an action plan; find a mentor; “test drive” their dream job; create their professional brand; utilize networking opportunities, and establish a tolerance threshold. Brian believes that happiness and passion can and should be an integral part of your job. In this guest interview with Brian you can explore this further; specifically, you will learn: -What you can do to discover what truly would make you happy and fulfilled, -How you can address your fears, -What you can do to get moving in the right direction in pursuit of a career or lifestyle transition, -How you can go about finding a mentor, -Why a hands-on, “test-drive” experience of a potential career is beneficial, -What you can do to reinvent yourself beyond rewriting your resume, -How to identify how much risk, uncertainty and challenge you can live with in pursuit of a new career or life style. To learn more about this inspiring event click here.