10 Reasons to Love Your Personal Brand

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.

The Value of a Website in a Social Media World

The Value of a Website in a Social Media World is the name of the presentation I gave for the Women’s Business Council on Friday, February 14, 2014. The Women’s Business Council (WBC) is a sub group of the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce. The presentation was given at the monthly luncheon of the WBC at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Marlborough, MA.

5 Questions about social media and websites were addressed:

  1. What is included in the Social Media umbrella?
  2. How do I know in which social media websites I should invest my time?
  3. Has the value of my website declined, increased or remained the same since I have been using the social media websites to get my message out?
  4. Does it makes sense to maintain a website and multiple social media websites? ( I’m posting everything on Facebook; can’t I just forget about my website?)
  5. If I keep my website, what do I need to do to it if I’m also participating on social media websites?

The Social Media World

Members of the audience shared which social media websites they use, and how they use them. Some use social media to raise brand awareness. Others use social media for first-line-of-defense customer service and support, to post job notifications, and to advertise new products and services.

Interestingly, each participant (or the business that they represented) had clearly defined reasons for using each social media tool. Not surprisingly, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn were the three most popular social media websites with which they engaged.

Websites

I shared 15 reasons for maintaining a website as well as participating in social media websites, and a chart with suggestions on how social media efforts can support website content and updates in ways that help a business gain visibility and credibility, and get found more easily (gain higher ranking on search engine results pages).

The SEOs

We wrapped up with a brief discussion about Social Engagement Optimization versus Search Engine Optimization.

Note: Discussion was limited to business use of social media.

Thanks to the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce and the WBC for inviting me to present. I thoroughly enjoyed the attendees and their engagement in the presentation.

Download the flyer about the The Value of a Website in a Social Media World presentation.

CrossFit of Marlboro Contest Custom Programming

CrossFit of Marlboro, Marlborough MA held a contest entitled 100 Push Ups for 100 Days

Business Requirements:

  1. Allow members participating in the Push Ups contest to enter the number of push ups they complete each day
  2. Allow members to access their own push up tallies and no one else’s
  3. Display tally of participants’ progress on the public website

Solution:

  1. Create a password-protected data entry screen to captures members’ push ups each day

    Password Protected contest data entry screen

    Password-protected contest data entry screen

  2. Use “Participants” table to manage privileges and shield other participant’s information
  3. Create a screen to display members’ progress (See Push Up Contest Progress ) so other participants and CrossFit of Marlboro members can monitor the progress and cheer for their comrades

Technical:

  • The contest data entry screen is defined in a custom PHP program that is referenced in WordPress’ functions file.
  • The built-in WordPress password-protection mechanism was used to control access to the contest data entry screen.
  • Participants and privileges are stored in a custom table inside the WordPress database.
  • The contest tracking data is stored in a custom table inside the WordPress database.
  • The contest progress display screen is a custom php program, also referenced via the functions file.

WordPress for Android App

I find myself traveling more and more with my Acer A700 tablet. It is compact, light and all I need when reviewing websites, blogs and PHP program functionality with clients.

Sometimes I find myself with time in between client meetings; not enough time to return to the office, but enough time to get a little something done, like updating my own or a client’s blog.

Until today, I have been logging into the blogs that I maintain using the browser interfaces (Firefox, Chrome, Dolphin) on my Android tablet. When I would write in the content box for a post, the ‘browser-accessed’ WordPress would have difficulty keeping the writing area in control. No matter how many times I would place the cursor, the cursor would move serendipitously to another section of the post and insert letters in the middle of words or in the bullet above the one that I wanted to be writing in. Even when I got the cursor into the correct spot, as soon as I typed one letter, it would float to another area. It has always been laborious to make even small updates to blogs.

So, I recently downloaded the WordPress for Android app to my Acer Android tablet. This is my first test using it.

The interface is familiar. Abbreviated list of dashboard menu items on the left. Writing area to the right. Plenty of room to write. When a menu item is clicked on the dashboard, the dashboard slides out to the left, and a list of the posts, pages or comments appears in its place.

There are icons in different sections of the window. Pretty easy to figure out what each icon does: a Plus sign (+) for adding a post or page, three lines stacked on top of each other toggles the display of the dashboard menu that overlays the current listing of posts, page, or comments.

Already, I am impressed with the app. I’ve written quite a few words so far with my WordPress for Android test, and I’m typing as I normally would; two hands on the keyboard and always in control of the location of the cursor. I’ve tried portrait and landscape orientation, and both work as expected. I prefer the portrait because the QWERTY keyboard takes up less space and I can see more content at a time.
The icons for Bold, Italicize, Underline, Strikethrough, Link, Quote, and More… are located just above the keyboard on the left. The icon for including Media is above the keyboard on the right. Let’s try that out…

image

I just clicked the icon for media. There are four choices:

  • Select a photo from the gallery
  • Select a video from the gallery
  • Take a new photo,
  • Shoot a new video.

I chose take a new photo, and you can see the shot I just took of the coffee shop I am in. The photo was automatically included with a link to the full size photo on its own screen. The photo was included as 2000 x 1500 pixels. [Using my desktop machine, I edited the image to shrink to about 1/5 of that size.]

The WordPress for Android editor is in HTML mode. I’ve searched around and have not yet seen how I can edit the photo in WYSIWYG (View) mode to add an ‘alt’ and ‘description’ and remove the link. I have not found a way to generate the photo dialogue box.

The spellchecker/suggested spelling drop down list works well.


Okay – so I have edited this over several days. There were more paragraphs and I had manually formatted a bulleted list because there are no list options on the app menus. In the course of saving and logging in and out of WordPress for Android, I lost the version that I had wanted to publish. I had saved it for one more read-through, and now it is not available on my tablet nor in WordPress on my website. I can only imagine that I had had a bad connection and it really didn’t save, because just about every other version is listed in the “versions” section of my WordPress blog.

Truth be told, I am currently finishing this up in my office using my Dell ‘desktop’ setup. Not wanting to lose another version, I decided to take the safe route to getting this published.

So, moving forward, I will continue to use the WordPress for Android app for smaller blog articles and minor updates. As I learn more about the application, perhaps, I will be emboldened to write longer blog posts such as this.

What about you? What is your experience using the WordPress for Android app? Any insight into what I might have done incorrectly?

Do NOT Delete Blog Posts

Unless you have advanced programming skills or a programmer standing by,

  • Do not delete blog posts.
  • Do not rename blog posts.
  • Do not re-categorized blog posts.

Google and the other search engines have already indexed the post. It is possible that the blog post will appear in the search engine results pages (SERP) and that people will click on the link. They will be met with a 404 Not Found error page.

When visitors see the 404 Not Found page, they experience disappointment and a sense of failure because they did not find what they had expected, and they often internalize that to “I  set the wrong expectations (I failed)”. The negative experience gets associated with your quality of work, and they think that they will have the same disappointing experience with you.

404 Not Found error pages make Google, Bing, and AOL cranky, and can affect your overall rank in their SERP. They, too, have expectations. They expect your post to be at a certain web address, and, once a post is removed, renamed, or re-categorized, the web address changes, nothing is found, generating a 404 Not Found.

404 not found error page on cNet

c|net shows a sense of humor with their 404 not found page. Please note whose fault it is!

How to Delete Blog Posts, How to Rename Blog Posts, How to Re-Categorize Blog Posts

If you must delete, rename, or re-categorize a blog post, do it with the cooperation of your programmer. Ask the programmer to write a 301 Redirect statement and give the programmer the new web address of the post. What’s  a 301 Redirect statement? A 301 Redirect statement is a line of code that gets added to a system file. The line of code tells the browser that the post no longer exists in the original location and it redirects it to the new address.

Now, if you delete the blog post, there is no “new” address, so, you want to redirect to the most logically related post or page. If you re-categorize the blog post, the programmer (or you, if you have advanced programming skills) would redirect the address of the post when displaying by category, not the post’s web address. If you rename the post, no special thought or effort needs to be given, just use the new web address.

There are other ways to let browsers know that pages have moved or been removed, however, the 301 redirect method is recommended because it is universally understood.

If you are blogging using WordPress, this information is applicable to pages as well.

Happy blogging!