LESSONS IN PERSONAL BRANDING

Increasingly you are judged on your contributions to the web – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs etc.  You will gain an online persona – your personal brand – whether you want to or not.  This can affect large parts of your life and certainly gaining business and work opportunities.  Your personal brand really does matter and you can develop it as you wish!  If you make a positive effort it can make a major contribution to your success.

Benjamin Yoskovitz. is the CEO & co-Founder of Standout Jobs, a venture-backed startup founded in 2007. He is also a blog and social media consultant.  He has been an entrepreneur for 10+ years in the Web space, working extensively in web & software development. He is obsessed with creating things  and with customer service. The piece below is from his blog to which there is a link at the bottom. These are his thoughts, not mine, but I would love to hear what you think!

“ Personal Branding Lessons

Looking back, here are some thoughts from my own experiences building my personal brand:

  1. It’s never too late to start. In some respects I think it’s easier to start making a concerted effort to build and cultivate your personal brand once you’re older and you have a few years working experience. You know more, you’re more comfortable in your shoes, and you have some experience to rely on. There are still too many examples of young people screwing up in public (on Facebook or Twitter) and getting in trouble for it (although there aren’t that many examples, they’re just blown out of proportion.
  2. You know more than you realize. A lot of people seem afraid to speak up publicly and promote themselves because they don’t feel like they have anything to say. You’d be surprised what you know.
  3. What you know is valuable. And what you know is likely valuable to a bunch of people, even if you don’t realize it. As they say, Common sense isn’t all that common. Just think of the college graduate coming up after you into your field of expertise, and the difference between where that person is at and where you’re at…
  4. Connecting online is easier than you think. I was amazed at how easily I could connect online with people. I still remember some of those early connections – Liz Strauss, Becky McCray, Chris Cree, Mike Sansone, Terry Starbucker and so many more. It was easy to find people online (who shared my interests), get myself involved, and build out a valuable network.
  5. It takes time and commitment. Building your personal brand isn’t something you do once in awhile when you’re bored. It takes time and commitment, and it never stops. And doing it half-ass won’t get you anywhere.
  6. It’s fun. I’ve always enjoyed building my personal brand, and the activities that are involved with that online – blogging, connecting, helping others, asking for help. It’s a process you have to enjoy otherwise you won’t do it properly and invest the right time. Plus, there is a feedback loop – as you gain valuable connections, leads (for jobs or business), comments on your blog, etc. you’ll realize that all of that is worthwhile feedback on your efforts. And that’s motivating.
  7. Watch. Learn. Emulate. Do your own thing. Starting the process of building your personal brand doesn’t involve years of research or anything that hasn’t been done before. As Dan’s book proves – there are models for making this stuff work. I remember spending a good amount of time watching and learning, and then emulating what others were doing. It was natural to copy what seemed to be working. But over time you branch out, do your own thing, experiment and your own personality, brand, value emerges.
  8. Your personal brand will (and should) evolve. Don’t think of your personal brand as a static item. It’s not a resume that you submit once and forget about; it’s a living, breathing thing. It changes and evolves, just as you do. That’s OK and expected.

Personal branding works. I’m a perfect use case for it. And certainly not the only one! But ultimately, I’m convinced that building a strong personal brand can absolutely help in career success (be it finding a new job, moving up within your organization, changing careers, etc.) and in many cases is a necessity.”

Read more: “The Importance of Personal Branding” – http://www.instigatorblog.com/personal-branding-important/2009/04/15/#ixzz0DxJbbzQW&A

TWITTERING AT WORK IS GOOD FOR YOU?

An Australian study has shown that short periods using the Internet at work actually increases productivity – Study Author Brent Coker, Department of Management and Marketing, University of Melbourne.  Apparently Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing – or as Brent calls it WILB – gives you a break from concentrating on work, you return refreshed and so concentration is sharpened overall.  He studied 300 people who browsed for products, played games, kept up with the News and even watched YouTube videos.  I’m not sure what effect YouTube videos had on others in the office.  But this applied to those whose Internet breaks made up less than 20% of their time .  Those who were obsessed with the Internet were less productive.  So where does that leave those of us who love to Twitter?

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

I’ve been watching the debate about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with interest – mainly because I’m an avid user of the first and last.  But I do use Facebook too.  I like a comment that Facebook is about the past, Twitter is about the present and LinkedIn about the future!

Facebook is good for finding old friends and relatives – finding old school friends etc.  Although I suppose if you are over forty you are more likely to use Friends Re-United, but the concept still holds good.

Twitter when its good is very much about the present, what I’m doing now, what we are doing now or what the world is doing now. No one is interested in what you said yesterday – it’s lost out there in the clouds somewhere.

LinkedIn at the end of the day is about future work and business opportunities; even the group comments and debates have an edge to them which is around building your image as a potential employee or business partner – there aren’t many jokes! Increasingly Facebook and Twitter are about marketing but that is different from the professional focus of LinkedIn.

You can, of course, use all three  for finding old and potential new friends and for keeping in touch.  Personal and business email addresses change but many people make sure they update their email address on LinkedIn, for example.  But friendship depends upon some degree of self exposure and for me that is the trouble with Facebook.  Facebook becomes interesting when you give just a little too much of yourself away – the tag on the photo at the office party from hell, for example.  I keep up my Facebook account but it has got real potential to make me squirm and I have joined some rather odd groups in my time on the spur of the moment.  I’ve not got round to leaving them cos its all too complicated.  LinkedIn should keep you on the professional straight and narrow on the disclosure front, so you may make business contacts but I’m not convinced you will make many friends.

Oddly enough although I’m fairly new to Twitter I have a feeling that it probably has the strongest case in terms of making on-line friends.  There is a limit to how much you can expose to the world in a relatively short message and although a picture will build up, it will be in real time – just like in the off line world,  face to face!

It will be useful to see whether I think the same in a few months time.  In the meantime I shall go on tweeting on Twitter (find me as WWisewolf) and networking on LinkedIn.  I suspect its going to be Facebook that goes by the wayside soon.  Except, of course, for the odd check up to make sure there are no embarrassing tags in photos I’d rather forget.

Spam or Social Network Marketing?

Well, what is the difference?

Wikipedia says spam is simply unsolicited or undesired electronic messaging.

Well if you signed up for Twitter etc, you should know what to expect!  But you can decide who follow, or have as a friend.  You should realise, you won’t like everything all the time!  People will have views you don’t like, some things will be boring and, yes, some of it will be promoting something you don’t want.  But things move on so quickly and certainly I can live with that.

Many do use Twitter to advertise their longer blogs but you have a choice whether you follow the link. At least no one is clogging up your inbox unless you want them too.  If you think you get too many Tweets from one person,  then switch that person off!  As for those longer blogs, well, you might learn something or even just be entertained.  People are just incredibly generous in sharing their knowledge, so long as you respect their intellectual property!

Of course, Social Network Marketing is an advertising tool.  But you have a choice whether to take part!  Its up to the social network marketeers to make it interesting enough for you to want to find out more.  There is far less psychological pressure in a Tweet than in a television advert.

I would love to hear what others think – is social network marketing just spam for you?

And what do you really think about people using social networks to advertise their businesses?

Recession health Q&A

Recession health Q&A

Everyone should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day

“The recession is bad for your health,” The Daily Telegraph has warned, reporting on a review of the health effects of unemployment. This newspaper also covers a report from the Which? consumer watchdog, which says that although four-fifths of people want to eat healthily, the economic climate is preventing them.

The report by the non-profit Which? consumer group reviews the progress towards its 12 ‘demands’ to encourage healthier food choices, made in a 2004. The report examines the efforts to tackle diet-related health issues by a number of organisations, including supermarkets, food companies and the government. The report also reveals that one in four are making healthy eating a low priority in the wake of the financial crisis.

The second report, an editorial in the British Medical Journal, focuses on unemployment and its effect on health. It reviews past studies conducted in previous times of high unemployment, reporting mortality rates and other detrimental effects, and concludes that recessions are bad for health.

What did the Which? report say?

More at  Recession health Q&A.

Debate: Bonus culture – force for good or unnecessary evil? – Banking, Financial Services & Insurance – Management Today

With bonus rows still raging on both sides of the Atlantic, MT debates the pros and cons…

At the Cass Business School on Thursday March 26, MT will chair a debate about one of the most controversial issues of the day: does the bonus culture that has become prevalent throughout UK plc act as a beneficial force, driving market participants to greater heights of achievement? Or is it a pernicious influence, encouraging dangerous and unnecessary risks that could cripple the system? MT, along with Cass and editorial intelligence, has put together a panel of experts to discuss this thorny topic.

MT editor Matthew Gwyther will chair the breakfast debate; he’ll be joined by Tim Harford, the ‘Undercover Economist’, Sir Peter Viggers MP (whose role on the Treasury Select Committee has given him a front-row seat for some of the recent fireworks), Alan Leaman, the CEO of the Management Consultancies Association, Telegraph business commentator Tracy Corrigan and Spectator Business editor Martin Vander Weyer.

They’ll certainly have plenty to discuss.

Continues at  Debate: Bonus culture – force for good or unnecessary evil? – Banking, Financial Services & Insurance – Management Today.