Sunday, April 12, 2009

FastCo Blog: Dan Schawbel on Personal Branding

I've been keeping up with Dan Schawbel on Twitter but hadn't had a moment to grab his book -- so it was great to run across a quick summary of Me 2.0 on Fast Company blog.

Whether it's GenY or Boomers, personal branding is becoming so critical these days -- especially with people losing their jobs and having to start their own consulting or freelancing businesses, as I've witnessed so much lately. So many are in a bit of a desperate mode they jump on the social networks fast and get started quickly without any regard to what is that going to look like? Or what is my personal branding strategy?

I occasionally recommend that a client spend some time with a business or life coach before getting to me for social branding, as often the person isn't clear on how to maximize their strengths. I might recommend they see a coach like Carroll King Schuller of Organic Blueprints to help them get on track first. It is only then that I can help them take that direction and build a brand out of it creatively and authentically.

I agree with Dan when he talks about the job boards. If that is all someone is doing to look for a job, they'll be out of work for a long time. People are much more assertive, even aggressive in their job search -- and competition for many of the very good jobs is fierce. If one doesn't have the perfect blend of education, experience and zeal needed for that particular job, then there's often someone else who does. Using the social networks and keeping your name and your strengths in front of your connections will go a long way toward not only getting a job but in starting your own business as well.

I've seen many people spend months -- two, three, even 6 months -- looking for a job only to become depressed and frustrated with the so-called system. If they were to put that same energy into building a business or partnering with someone else who is looking for work, they could be building an income stream very quickly. Again, thanks to Fast Company for providing Dan's perspective.

I'll be glad to answer any questions you may have about developing or marketing your own personal brand. Just shoot me an email anytime.
FastCo Blog: Dan Schawbel on Personal BrandingSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Twitter: Building Businesses Tweet by Tweet - BusinessWeek

"Entrepreneurs are finding the fast-rising microblogging site to be a useful tool for reaching out to customers" ~ Business Week Small Biz Tech

As a marketing strategist and personal branding director for both small businesses and speakers/authors, I've found Twitter to be invaluable to my clients. Not by itself, but in conjunction with other social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook, along with fresh content on their site and especially their blog(s).

If used correctly as part of a business owner's overall marketing strategy, Twitter can quickly and easily create awareness and consideration from those both outside and inside their target market with no media cost. There is still a cost, of course, in either time or paying someone like me to manage their social networks but it would be similar to paying for an ad to be created without paying for the media cost to run the ad on TV, radio or in print.

Twitter can be used (carefully) to drive qualified traffic to websites and blogs - and even make the phone ring. I've heard some pretty cool first-day stories. And it can support current online marketing efforts such as SEO, Google Adwords or banner ads in significant ways. If you're already committing marketing funds to those efforts as well as writing blog content, then Twitter with the social networks can put those efforts on steriods. You know, make the flywheel turn faster. Or get to the tipping point quicker.

Best of all, it helps businesses build relationships with current and prospective customers, as long as the business adds value along the way. The more value the company brings to the game, the higher the reward.
The businesses I work with who are using these tools effectively are quickly setting themselves apart from the competition and creating both their current and future success through relationships and referrals. Twitter is the new CRM tool and more. Business owners are getting attention and receiving opportunities they didn’t get before, because they are finding a way to let people know they are the go-to expert in their particular field by helping others in a very present, moment-to-moment world.

There are plenty of people who are getting on the social networking or twittering opportunity, making money from how-to seminars and getting everyone all hyped up, but very few who understand it from a branding and direct response perspective. Few who understand that the social network platforms (and there are many too numerous to mention) are simply new and inexpensive tools for customer acquisition, retention, lead generation, cross-sell, CRM and viral/WOM marketing.

If your "teacher" doesn't fully understand or can't speak deeply about those business and marketing strategies that have always been a staple to a company's success, then they're not the person who will help you build your brand and your business over multiple touch-points for the long-haul. Anyone can write a tweet but few who know how to write tweets and content that will pull customers in through the purchase sequence and keep them engaged for the long haul.

If you have any questions about Twitter or how to develop an effective social network strategy, call or email Sally Witzky, or find me twittering at In the meantime, the Business Week article provided some interesting perspective on Twitter itself as a social networking/micro-blogging medium and the effect it has had for business.
Twitter: Building Businesses Tweet by Tweet - BusinessWeekSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend