Thursday, October 23, 2008

Master of our own brands? Maybe not quite yet.

Social media DIY unearths some pretty exciting opportunities for individuals to express themselves and shape their online profiles and reputations. Not only can we have an online profile, we can present different versions of that profile to different audiences based on the community where it lives. We can communicate in code, in full sentences and in published written works. We can bring our personality to life with audio, video clips and music. We have so many options now that building and managing the online profile can be a full time job.

Perhaps the key distinction is where this brand originates. To have a personal brand pre-supposes that there is some thought that went into the original brand platform. Be sure the your personal brand strategy resides and starts with you. You have the opportunity to steer this as you go but once launched, that digital thumbprint lives on and will be shaped by the communities that you engage with and the ongoing dialogue and storylines that define you.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Marketing Yourself Smarter. The A, B, C's

If there was any doubt that marketing yourself was important, the recent American presidential race has brought style and substance into the spotlight like never before. Marketing yourself has long taken a bad rap. Perception being those who marketed clearly needed the help or were shameless self promoters. And... we certainly didn’t talk about it. Well, not so. Marketing and emphasizing your unique, sellable attributes is an important part of your strategy and just makes good business sense. And, if you have a particular area of weakness, you can draw on your marketing package to emphasize your strengths. Take Sarah Palin for example. What Sarah lacks on the substance side, she makes up in the down-home personality and approachability in her overall look and delivery. Mind you, we don’t all buy it. But that’s another story.

So, what does marketing yourself entail? Part one: your package, Part two: your approach to ‘market’. The rest is out of your hands. So, for today let’s focus on part one. Your package involves many things. Your unique message, your communication style, your relational style, your personality, your physical presentation (overall look, trademark style?) and then focus, consistency and repeatability to enforce and reinforce your message.

We could all benefit from a little packaging. Take a minute and start thinking about each of these points and whether you can describe each one as it applies to you. For the ones that you are struggling with, spend some time thinking about what your unique selling opportunities are given your strengths. And remember, whether you are an employee working your way up the corporate ladder, an entrepreneur, author or politician, marketing yourself will give you the stand out platform necessary to accelerate your career goals.

Stay tuned for part two: your approach to market.

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