Posted tagged ‘personal brand’

Let me hear your four seconds!

September 2, 2009

How many times have you answered the phone and some telemarketer spends the first 30 seconds not taking a breath or allowing you to get a word in edgewise? Chances are, more often than not.

Experts say that we, the business professionals of the world, have a total of four–count ’em–four seconds to entice someone into doing business with you or buying whatever product you happen to be hawking.

Did you get that? You have to say something in the first four seconds of your conversation which will make someone decide if they are going to work with you. If you haven’t got them in four seconds, it’s time to move on to someone else.

I know I need to work on my pitch, and I’m having a hard time finding others who really know how to effectively pitch to prospects. If you’ve got a good pitch, let me hear it. If your pitch needs a little work, let me hear that, too, and we can offer hints or ways to improve.

Remember, YOU only have FOUR free seconds before someone tunes you out and starts playing computer games, so make ’em good.

How ’bout it?

Accountability: Becoming the person you want to become

May 7, 2009

AccountabilityIn starting this recent chapter of my blog, I decided to create some sort of accountability which would hopefully “encourage” me to write on a more regular basis. Each week, I’m making a (seemingly) feasible goal of action.

This week, I have aspired to make contact with people in the mainstream (traditional) media, since I’m working to become the next generation of “new” media. So far this week, I have endeavored to for connections with 15 people from Facebook who work for CBS. Several have responded, but the rest have either ignored my friend request or haven’t taken action. Should I move on with others, or should I keep asking those who haven’t replied?

My second goal from my last post was to become more accountable by making more frequent blog posts. That’s an easy one. By doing just this, I’ve taken action to make it happen.

My third goal is to use my time more wisely: I accomplished this goal by implementing the use of a timer when using online aps on Facebook.

A friend sent me this Youtube video which I found sadly true and a bit amusing:

After watching it, I started making a list of my goals for next week:

  1. I need to have a business plan, something to fall back on when I get into a funk. I have never written a business plan, but I understand that by writing others’ business plans, it can be very lucrative, but first I want to have one of my own. Any advice from those who are more seasoned in business than I would be much appreciated.
  2. I intend to continue making connections in the traditional media.
  3. I will begin/continue trying to sell my services and those of others via social networks and the Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

Making Changes

May 4, 2009

bk-powerofintentionOver the past couple of weeks, I have stated that I’m going to make some changes to my personal/business life. Here’s what I have endeavored to do:

  1. Make contact with mainstream media people on social networks like facebook and LinkedIn.
  2. Become more accountable to others in the business world by making posts like this on a fairly regular basis.
  3. Use my time more wisely. I’m beginning to feel guilty about the hours I while away playing online games.

Well, good news! I have been more accountable through my frequent posts. I have implemented using a timer on my iPod while spending time on social networks like Facebook. That suggestion was made by a friend who commented on one of my previous posts.

I have begun making contacts with people in the mainstream media. Today, I have already contacted a handful of people who have some affiliation with a major television broadcasting station.

And like I’ve already said, I’m making myself more accountable to those who read and respond to my posts by making more of them. So for this week, it’s a three for three! (I’ll try not to break my arm patting myself on the back.)

For this week, I intend to continue making connections and using a timer when I’m not engaged in something that is actively bringing me money.

  • Also, I intend to pursue contacts with people with whom I have spoken and have the potential to become clients of mine.
  • I will check out a website and provide a facebook “friend” with my opinion of his articles.
  • I will go tomorrow and finish up all the yearbook stuff going on at school. (Only have to give some yearbooks out and hopefully will be finished with it for a few months!)

How ’bout it?

How Well Do YOU Manage Your Contacts?

February 6, 2008

the-brand-you-50.jpgWith the host of online networking platforms and sites (Linkedin, Facebook, and of course Link to Nashville) and the number of so-called friends that we have on each, we have to “manage our Rolodex,” as author Tom Peters says in his book The Brand YOU50. Because he wrote this book before the turn of the century, Peters failed to address the challenge of managing our networks of online contacts. But if he were writing a book now,you can bet he’d devote at least one (and probably several) chapter(s) to managing contacts online.

While we are trying to build “Brand US,” we must manage the contact lists we have. Brand YOU (or ME, for that matter) is a living organism: it must be nourished, nurtured and cared for in order for it to survive.

The Relationship Economy demands that we maintain our connections with relationship capital – people who provide OUR networks with value of some sort, though not always monetary compensation – while we are growing our networks.

If your network is not growing, it is dying.

We all know a few people from the online networking platforms who look like they’ve just fallen off the map. Sure, they have two or three contacts, but their activity level – after the initial rush of creating their profile – is almost nil. Those people – who can honestly say “Yeah, I’m on Facebook (or Myspace),” just don’t get it. With the number of people online, on virtually any network, we have to reach out and connect to people with whom we’d like to do business or we don’t already have a relationship. Peters drives the importance of this fact home:

Reach out! Rolodex Communities must grow to be vital. Schedule at least one breakfast or lunch – per week – with someone new.

Even though he doesn’t mention the online networking platforms, Peters’ wisdom must be accepted and put into action. Granted, most of us can’t fly every week to a major city like New York to have breakfast with someone new, but at the same time, we need to find some way to grow our circle of influence to those whom we don’t already reach.

Another point we take from The Brand You50 is that we need to perform, at least monthly, an inventory of our Rolodex (contacts and connections list). Peters suggests that we “score” each important entry (1 = Hopelessly neglected. 10 = Absolutely!). Everyone has lost touch with members of the online social networking scene. Some to neglect, some to busy schedules we cannot control – leaving us stretched too thin.

The connections which are most important to us and to Brand YOU/ME are the ones which should have the highest ranking on the above scale. It’s a hard process to manage your entire client list(s). There are only a handful of connections with whom we can honestly say we are “Absolutely!” connected. Most connections we have are anywhere between three and seven.

How do I earn my connections better scores?

The best way to stay in touch with others is through email. We find it un-intrusive if we get a message in our in-box which states, “Your connection has sent you a message,” or something along those lines. Facebook does have a birthday reminder application, which can prove to be useful. The idea is that we take the information (reminder) and act upon it. Who cares if Billy is turning 21, 40, or 50 if you don’t do something about it? Nurturing the relationship by sending a virtual card or a simple email goes a long way to establishing YOU and your brand as thoughtful, kind and caring.

Though we think that we manage our client lists well enough, there is always something more to be gained in this exploding world of The Relationship Economy!

How ’bout it?

You ARE Your Clients!

January 18, 2008

the-brand-you-50.jpgWe’ve all gotten irritated by the clerks at the convenience store on the telephone with a line two or three deep. Customer/client service is not a priority for them. They just show up to work and get paid. There’s really nothing to make them actually want to excel. They get paid the same no matter if they only do the bare minimum or if they really provide the customers with awesome service and a smile!

In The Brand You 50, author Tom Peters advises all “Brand-You-Wanna-Bes” to become their clients. This is an especially poignant point and we feel it deserves its own post on The Communications Factors.

The issues which are most important to your clients should be the same issues which are most important to YOU. If your clients wants to have remarkable turn-around time with whatever it is that they sell, it needs to be of paramount importance to Brand YOU. If clients view grammatical clarity and correct usage of punctuation as important, YOUR brand needs to invest in The AP Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style, The Bedford Handbook for Writers etc.

Clients and customers want what’s important to them to also be important to those with whom they do business. When someone is in a hurry, he doesn’t want whoever is helping him to be involved with several different tasks – no matter how important those tasks are.

In essence, the customers’/clients’ needs and wishes should become the needs and wishes of Brand You. If the client values not making waves or not offending his clients/customers/beneficiaries, then, by all means, Brand YOU needs to concentrate on not offending others.

How ’bout it?

Personal Branding and YOU, inc.

January 8, 2008

the-brand-you-50.jpgYesterday, I went out and bought The Brand YOU50 by Tom Peters. Though I’m not very far into it, I can tell you it was a good investment. Written in 1999, The Brand YOU50is a forward-looking/thinking book that is “on the mark.”

When I first heard that “You have to brand yourself,” I had visions of hot iron and a ranch in Texas or somewhere. Noticing my puzzled look, my mentor and friend Jay Deragon explained it further: “You want On the Mark Writing to be a name people recognize. Like Disney or Oprah.” Then it started to click.

Branding shouts distinction, passion, and commitment. The “Brand YOU” needs to systemically join all elements of your being with what you do. The message must be something about which you are an expert, and you must have the credentials to back up your message.

It doesn’t matter if you are a writer, a chef, a rock star, an athlete, or a musician, you just have to brand yourself – without hot iron – in order to be successful in the professional world. Once you have decided what you want Brand YOU to convey, you then should strive to achieve the marriage between what you want to convey and what your actions do convey about you.

Take, for example, the anger management counsellor. What would it do to his/her business if he was seen cussing and throwing a temper tantrum in rush-hour traffic? The results would not be very good.

Dan Schawbel has an excellent blogon the subject of Personal Branding, and I highly reccomend it.

Trump Trumps with Personal Branding

January 4, 2008

trump.jpgBillionaire business-guru Donald Trump has known about personal branding for more than a decade, and during the premier of The Celebrity Apprentice he began to solidify people’s idea of Personal Branding.

For those who missed the first episode, two teams were formed to compete in a challenge where they were sell hot dogs on the street corner from a vender’s cart. The teams each selected their location based 0n a collaboration of the teammates.

As the men’s team, Team Hydra, led by Stephen Baldwin, was discussing the price they should set, rock star and legend Gene Simmons, KISS frontman, struck gold. He was shown on his cellphone calling one of his contacts. “I need you to buy a hot dog for $10,000. It’s for charity.” Simmons’ brilliant idea led Team Hydra to victory, “selling” somewhere around $52,000 worth of hot dogs.

As Team Hydra was on the street trying to make sales, Lennox Lewis and ultimate fighter Tito Ortiz were sparring – complete with pads – at Rockefeller Center. When someone would make a purchase or donation, a member of the team would say, “Get your picture with any one of these guys.”

They were selling themselves. They are celebrities. They weren’t really out there to sell hot dogs; it was a test to see how the fourteen celebrities could think “outside the box.”

Team Empressario – led by (groan) Omarosa – missed on that point. For the most part, the women’s team was approaching the challenge as non-celebs – simply trying to establish the balance between cost and demand.

But Tiffany Fallon – (former?) Playboy Playmate of the Year – wasn’t selling her brand. Not just taking off her clothes, but she didn’t seem to understand that “sex sells” and for someone to have a picture with her – fully clothed – would be an incentive for making a purchase.

simmons-pastore.jpgIn the boardroom, Trump said that the teams should have sold their brand. Lewis and Oritz did. They were showing what they do for a living. Gene Simmons, with his signature seven-inch-tongue, was seen horsing around with “Sopranos” star Vincent Pastore.

The Personal Brand that individuals from both teams should have exploited was their celebrity. With Simmons’ recent show, “Family Jewels,” the KISS frontman has pretty good face-recognition. Piers Morgan, from “America’s Got Talent” should have insulted people; it’s what he’s known for.

Country singer Trace Adkins should have gotten his guitar and started a sidewalk concert. Pastore should have cashed in on his New York/New Jersey accent and say some colorful expletives or “Forget about it!”

Your Personal Brand is what you do and the experiences that people have with YOUR brand – YOU. By giving people something by which to remember you, you have the ability to establish your own Personal Brand. And an important aspect of establishing you personal brand is the marriage of the product or service with the experience others have with you!