Archive for the ‘Marketing Tips’ Category

10 Reasons to Love Your Personal Brand

Thursday, March 13th, 2014
meg-guiseppi-personal-brand-strategist

Meg Guiseppi

Today’s blog post is brought to us by Meg Guiseppi. Meg is an 8-time certified Personal Branding, Resume and Job Search Strategist for c-suite and senior-level executives. She is author of “23 Ways You Sabotage Your Executive Job Search and How Your Brand Will Help You Land. In her practice at ExecutiveCareerBrand.com, Meg partners with her clients to define, differentiate, position and communicate their brand and unique ROI to their target employers. (Connect with Meg Guiseppi on Google+.)

Meg’s tips on Personal Branding are helpful for existing and aspiring WordPress power bloggers. Each time you write in your blog, you have opportunities to tell your target audience and the search engines who you are and what you do. This is branding.
 
The article presents tips specifically in the executive-job-search arena. While you may not presently be seeking a new position, in your blog, you are still trying to “sell” yourself in a similar manner. Read on..

10 Reasons to Love Your Personal Brand

Are you someone who thinks personal branding is not for you because it’s all about self-promotion, and you never liked tooting your own horn . . . or people who do?

Besides, you think, branding is for products. You’re not a “brand”, you’re a person, right?

You may not like to think of yourself as a “brand”, but you do already HAVE a brand, whether or not you choose to take control of it.

Instead of thinking of branding as ego-stroking, think of it as educating people about who you are and what you have to offer.

With so much misinformation about personal branding bombarding us across social media, you may have read otherwise, but the concept of personal branding in job search is really quite simple.

It’s about defining, differentiating and knowing what makes you unique and valuable to the employers you’re targeting, and clearly communicating your value proposition and good-fit qualities for your target employers when you network and interview for jobs.

If you’ve done the back-end personal branding work, here’s what your brand will do for you:

1. Help you reconnect with your vision for the world, personal purpose, values and passions so that you can move toward career fulfillment.

2. Empower you to gain clarity about your authentic self and the talents, skills, strengths, and areas of expertise that make you unique and valuable in the marketplace.

3. Force you to be introspective and reflective, and to examine (and improve, when possible) the weaknesses that may be holding you back.

4. Help you identify good-fit target employers and your competition in the marketplace, and create personal marketing materials (resume, biography, LinkedIn profile, website, online portfolio, etc.) designed to resonate with those employers and differentiate you from your competitors.

5. Help you assess the personal attributes and qualities that make you a good culture-fit for your target employers.

6. Propel you to solicit feedback from those who know your value best (peers, management, staff, employees, clients, mentors, etc.), helping you understand the true measure of your brand — how you’re perceived by the external world.

7. Generate chemistry and excitement about you as a candidate through written and verbal brand messaging that has personality, and gives a feel for the kind of person you are and how you make things happen.

8. Lead you to create your personal marketing communications plan, embracing the 3 C’s of personal branding (health insurance for your career):

  • Clarity – Be clear about who you are, who you are not, who your competitors are, and who your target audience is.
  • Consistency – Consistently express the same personal brand message, designed to resonate with your target audience, across all communications channels you decide to use.
  • Constancy – Memorable brands are always visible to their target audience. Proactively stay top of mind with them through social media, real-life networking, and all other personal marketing efforts.

9. Help you establish yourself as the “go-to” person for your industry thought leadership and subject matter expertise.

10. Help you clearly communicate your value proposition and good-fit for your target employers when you network and interview for jobs, boosting your chances of landing the job you want or advancing your career.

© Copyright Meg Guiseppi, 2014. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Social Media Teleclinic

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

I recently participated in a teleclinic about social media called Get Connected. Get Found.™. Debra Murphy of Masterful Marketing in Marlborough, MA developed and delivered the program. The clinic included two 90-minute sessions, a week apart.  Participants dialed in to get connected via the phone, then followed along as Ms. Murphy presented the information in the packet of (over 40) slides she had prepared for each session. Participants asked questions and discussed as each topic was covered.

The slides included:

  1. Detailed information about the social media websites
  2. Step-by-step instructions on how to set up your social media accounts in a way that presents you in the best light.
  3. Tips on how to get the Big 3 (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter) to play together (so you can avoid duplicating your efforts when updating). Come to find out,  you’ll need a Google account and Google Alerts to help.
  4. And, so much more.

I signed up for the teleclinic because I had set up accounts at the Big 3, and over the past year and a half, have dabbled at each site, not really understanding how to make them “work” for me. My original intent was to focus on LinkedIn and Facebook, and maintain a presence at Twitter – because I had to. Turns out that what I considered to be the black sheep in the trio (Twitter), resulted in more connections, more immediate responses, more information being shared, and yes, more community. That was an eye opener!

I came to the teleclinic thinking, “I’ve got my accounts at the Big 3 – Now What?” I learned that it is not enough to just have “accounts” set up with each of the social media websites. It is important to present a consistent “persona” across all of the social media websites – and that involves defining your “message” and “image”, strategizing, and planning. I also learned that the Big 3 (when set up correctly) play together well, and, that there is a plethora of adjunct tools that are available to help you keep the websites updated and in synch, and track interactions.

So, the teleclinic is chock full of information and tips that guide you through the social media experience. In addition to the slide packets for each session, participants received recordings of the sessions – and – a copy of Ms. Murphy’s e-book entitled, Get Connected. Get Found.™: The Practical Guide to Marketing Using Social Media. 

I highly recommend that web professionals and web diy’ers participate in this social media teleclinic. The next sessions are June 16 & June 23, 2009. To learn more about the teleclinic and/or to sign up visit Get Connected. Get Found™.  More information about Debra Murphy of Masterful Marketing.

Ego Searches and Reputation Management

Monday, May 4th, 2009

Ego searches are searches that you perform looking for information on the Internet about you (your company and/or products). They are referred to as “ego” because they are searches to find out what people are saying about “you” (as opposed to what they are saying about your peers and competitors).

Three popular ways of performing ego searches are:

  1. Active: Going to a search engine and entering your name in the search box
  2. Passive: Adding a Google Alert
  3. Passive: Entering your name (company name and/or products) in your RSS reader

You may want to start your search with an active (manual) search. After you do that several times, you will realize that a passive search will help tremendously – from a time management standpoint. 

When implementing a passive strategy, the references to your name are searched for by Internet tools and the search results are delivered to you (your reader or e-mail). Then at your convenience, you read the e-mail or go to your reader, and choose the listings you want to read in their entirety.

I have found that as comprehensive as the search results from the automated searches (passive searches) are, they do not report everything that is on the Internet about you. Therefore, my recommendation is to implement a passive strategy, and once every 6 – 8 weeks, perform an active (manual) search in order to discover anything that may have fell through the automated cracks.

What if your ego search reveals something that you do not like?
Okay, I’m going to cut to the chase on this one. The best way to combat unflattering information is through content, content, content. Add so much content using the same keyword term (your name? company name? product name?) as with your ego search that the offending information gets moved to the distance realms of the search engine results pages.  Indeed, the information may not have been created by another. It may be information created by you… when you were another person…maybe some college antics or sports team banter or you lost your temper in an online forum.  The point is that the information does not serve your best interest today.

If the unflattering information was created by another, my experience has been that offenders defend their “truth” and refuse to remove any of their statements. Cut your losses and develop a program to bury the offending statements.

Reputation Management Strategy: Bury the unflattering information
Write articles, issue press releases, add content to your blog, ask colleagues to write about you in their blogs, request that you become a guest blogger in another’s blog, actively participate in forums, add videos to YouTube, become a reviewer for Amazon, etc. Do whatever it takes to get your name out there in a legal and positive way.

This strategy takes time and patience. It will take the search engines a while to add listings with the new content.

What online activities do you recommend to get your name out there in way that will interest the search engines? 

How Does Your Blog Survive the Social Networking Craze?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

The social networking websites are very popular these days. Business people as well as the general public are spending more and more time on them. Each person has limited time, and yet they are choosing to spend their time at websites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Why? Because they are fun. You can interact in real time, voice your opinion, leave comments, vote on others’ comments,  help others get connected, share photos, get answers to your questions, answer questions, give and receive recommendations, and well… network!

Now let’s talk about your blog. How fun is it? Not meant to be fun because you are a serious business person? Well, look at what you have for competition. Imagine that a prospect in your target audience spends “fun” time at one of the social networking websites, and then decides to buckle down and “find that widget/business person” they’ve been meaning to purchase/connect with. Assume they do a Google search and one by one they click on the links presented to them on the first page. In any given category, they will probably search until they find 3 – 5 contenders.

What if your blog, instead of being just like all the others in your field, included components familiar to your prospect at the social networking websites? You would not only set yourself apart from the competition, but, also engage the prospect by simulating the “fun” aspect of the social networking websites – even if your topic is very serious. So now you’ve got the content of the blog to distinguish yourself as well as the participatory aspects of your blog.  The message you send by including social networking components in your blog is that you care about your clients/customers – and – that you know what is going on in the world; you are with it!

So how do you get there? Here’s some ideas for helping your blog thrive during the social networking craze.  

  1. Encourage communication
    • End your posts with a question soliciting input from your audience
    • Allow comments on your posts
    • Add a comment notifier like Subscribe to Comments by Mark Jaquith
        
  2. Encourage people to voice their opinions
    • Add a plugin/widget that allows you to create Polls. Search the WordPress Plugins for “polls” and “vote”.
    • Add a plugin/widget that allows readers to vote Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down on each post. Search the WordPress Plugins
    • Add plugins/widgets at the bottom of each post for your readers to be able to add the post to digg, del.icio.us, stubleupon, reddit
        
  3. Build Customer Loyalty
    • Add a Feedburner Chicklet  for “Subscribe” to my blog, and a Feedburner link for “Receive updates by E-mail”
    • Add a comment notifier like Subscribe to Comments by Mark Jaquith
    • Add plugins/widgets at the bottom of each post for your readers to be able to add the RSS feed to a reader so that their reader is automatically updated each time you post

Remember your goal is to remind visitors of the pleasant experiences they’ve had at the social networking websites. You do not want to junk up your blog nor add so many widgets that your message (posts) can’t be found. Choose the components that will engage your audience in a manner that is comfortable and managable for you.

Which plugins and widgets do you recommend in order to engage a target audience and build loyalty?

Personal Branding: Pausing to Reflect

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Last week, I attended a workshop about Personal Branding. We were asked to list 3 adjectives that describe our personal brand. Some struggled to choose the “right” three, so, the instructor guided them by asking, “Well, what do your clients say?”

This got me to thinking about the comments I have heard repeatedly over the years. The top 4 comments are: 

  1. “You explain technical stuff in terms that I understand.”
       
  2. “We are suprised at your abililty to interpret exactly what we want and develop a solution that melds seamlessly with our website”.
      
  3. “The thing I like most about working with you is that you do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it – and – if there are any changes, you contact us and let us know the situation and solution.”
      
  4. “The administration modules you created make updating the information on our website so easy.” 

It was nice to recall those comments, and reflect on them then and now. In the course of the day, trying to meet deadlines, managing projects, and responding to last-minute requests, I forget about the things that I am doing “right” – that service my clients in a most satisfying and sometimes suprising way! I think I’ll sit with that for a while 🙂

BTW – The three adjectives I chose were sincere, reliable, and thorough. On another day, I will explore how those match with what my clients are saying and with the image my website portrays.

Happy Blogging!