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Do I Need A Personal Brand? If So, How Do I Know It’s Working?

Mary Rosenbaum | March 19th, 2010

An interesting question came up in a conversation I had last night with an HR representative of a major corporation: “Why is it important for people who work in corporations to have their own personal brand? After all, doesn’t the company itself have a brand?”

Corporations have their own brand and you, as a representative of that corporation express this brand wherever you go, whether it’s dealing with internal or external clients.

Yet each of you brings something unique to the table whenever you promote or provide the services your company offers. Your brand, the way you communicate with others, the way you do your work, the way your successes and failures are viewed by those who matter, have tremendous implications on your career. Understanding the underpinnings of your brand, what makes you unique and what helps you stand out enables you to create your career by design.

Consequently, it’s important to understand how you are viewed, both internally as well as by the outside world. These are some questions you should be asking yourself.

1. Is my reputation, what people think of me, equal to how I view myself?

2. How do I really want people to think of me and to respond to me?

3. Have I been able to differentiate myself and what I do in a positive and productive way?

4. Is the way I am viewed going to help me achieve my professional goals?

5. Is my reputation helping or hurting my work and my future?

6. Is my personal brand (my vision, purpose and values) in alignment with that of the company?

Understanding your personal brand is integral to obtaining satisfaction from your job, enjoying the company you work for, and in obtaining the career goals you set for yourself. Having a strong personal brand plays a critical role in your success in managing your career.

So ask yourself these hard questions. If the answers are not what you expect then you have some work to do; it may be difficult but worth it.

How do you measure whether your personal brand is working for or against you? I would love to hear from you.

Follow me on Twitter @careersguru

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps entrepreneurs and careerists position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.


Blog Your Way to Success

Mary Rosenbaum | March 13th, 2010

In my last post on Social Media Marketing I discussed the importance of using a blog in your business whether you are an entrepreneur, a solopreneur, a small business owner or a professional interested in career management. In addition to increasing the penetration in your particular market, the benefits of blogging are many and include developing brand recognition, exhibiting expertise, creating greater inbound traffic to your website and business, and learning about the needs of your target audience (see an earlier post To Blog or Not to Blog for more insights).

According to Hubspot, companies that blog get 55% more visitors and 97% more inbound links. So if you want to grow your business and create greater credibility the time you spend on this endeavor will be well worth it.

Here are some typical questions, and hopefully some answers, on how to get started building a blog.

1. How can I develop the content?

Research and Read- You can’t get into the conversation if you don’t know what it’s about.

–         Join those groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook whose members are people you want to reach – potential clients, customers, employers, and those who influence the decision makers.

–        Read the postings on these sites and learn about the issues, needs and wants of this community. What questions are being asked? What is being addressed? What is missing from the conversation that you believe would add  value to this audience? Which topics are over-exposed?

–    Which links are being resent and retweeted? What information and type of format resonate with your particular audience?

The research stage will provide you with ample opportunity to read and learn more about the community you want to join.

2. Once I have the content, then what?

–  Make it relevant.

–     Write as if you were having a conversation with someone.

–     Be authentic – write about what you know and what you believe.

–     Write about something you are excited about – excitement is contagious.

–     Be generous with information.

–     Always be on brand and on topic in every post.

–     Always edit, edit, edit and then proof read your work.

3. How often should I write?

Put reading, research and writing into your daily or weekly calendar in the same way you schedule other appointments or meetings.

–     Be consistent – write as often as you can, weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly.

4. How should I deliver the message?

By now you have seen many examples of ways to structure your blog postings. Although this is far from exhaustive, here are some ideas for structuring your content:

–         Articles on how-to in your area of expertise.

–         Provide resources and links that can help your readers.

–         Provide your expert opinion along with the opinion of others on current news and events of the day.

–         Discuss case studies or client issues you have successfully dealt with that might resonate   with your audience.

–         Connect your readers to articles, blogs, reports published by others.

–         If applicable, write about aspects of your personal journey and how you got to here from there.

–         Use video to deliver your message.

–         Interview a thought leader in the industry.

–         Use some combination of all of the above.

5. How do I get people to read what I write?

–    Participate in your community of groups – comment on other postings, answer questions generously, establish credibility and visibility.

–    Once you have gained credibility and trust, inform your groups whenever you publish a new post.

–     Learn from each posting which subjects and styles resonate with your audience based on comments they provide, number of visitors to your blog, and retweets.

I know these lists are far from exhaustive. I welcome any additional ideas you have for creating a blog that is interesting, well read, and delivers the message of who you are and what your personal brand is all about.

Follow me on Twitter @careersguru

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps entrepreneurs and careerists position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead


Social Media Marketing is Here to Stay

Mary Rosenbaum | March 5th, 2010

When I started up my executive recruitment business in the early 80’s the only way to expand and develop my business was through real world marketing and by extension, word of mouth marketing. Much time was spent meeting with prospective clients, candidates, and those who influenced the decision makers. My marketing plan was centered almost exclusively on in-person meetings and presentations. Although my business grew over the 20 years I spent building it, I can only imagine the growth I could have achieved had social media marketing been around in those early years.

Real world marketing is still vital to growing your business and making those sales. However, in today’s world you must incorporate social media marketing in order to obtain many of the in person meetings and presentations that help you close the deal. Because consumers are inundated with messaging coming at them from all directions, they have developed screening mechanisms preventing old world marketing tools from being as effective as they once were.

What are the benefits of social media marketing?

–         Build trust, credibility and relationships in the virtual world in far less time than in the real world.

–         Reinforce your personal brand in ways that demonstrate your expertise – build brand recognition.

–         Find and build a like minded community that enables you to learn new tools and share ideas.

–         Engage your target audience across geographic borders without leaving the comfort of your keyboard.

–         Convert virtual relationships into real world contacts easier than through cold calling or other previously relied upon methods of spreading the word – they already know you and what you can provide.

–         Gain visibility in a more focused targeted way.

How do you start participating in the social media world?

–         Create a blog that reinforces your brand and demonstrates your expertise – this is where you give away information that your potential clients/customers WANT to know about. Crafting your blog so it markets your expertise rather than sells your service is the key to success.

–         Join Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter to engage and communicate with your target audience as well as your like minded community. Use these networks as a way to disseminate your blog postings, share ideas with others in your field, and respond to questions in your area of expertise. This will help you will increase your universe of potential clients, get the word out and create word of mouth buzz.

–         Participate and comment on other blogs that relate to your area of interest and expertise – demonstrate generosity as this often results in reciprocity.

What social media tools do you use to get the most visibility in your target market? Please share your ideas and comments with all of us.

My next posting will focus on how to write a blog that helps expand your following and your business.