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Posts Tagged ‘Brand & Identity’

How To Invest in Your Brand, Wherever You Go

In Business & Marketing on June 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I announced on Twitter that I went to a job fair. (Exciting, right?) There were employers like Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and Civil Service tests there which aren’t in my career goals. But I learned a valuable lesson there: create opportunity at every turn and take action because there is something to be gained or something to be lost.

I collected four business contacts as freelance leads, which I will be pursuing privately. Aside from the potential for more business, I gained valuable insight into execution strategies. Particularly:

  1. How to engage prospective clients and business partners
  2. Establishing your brand and services through clear communication and voice
  3. Pitching or making your value known to organizations
  4. Find their needs, if you don’t know them already.

Points of Success

  1. Your success begins with identifying your goal. Going into this job fair I had no intention to pass out business cards or resumes. I was gathering information to research and connect, as potential freelance work. What are your objectives and intentions when you engaging your target market?
  2. Be knowledgeable about your environment and the people you talk with. In this case: Recruiters at job fairs are very excited to talk to you about your pursuits. They are there to promote their business and see how you might fit into their work culture (or bottom line). Knowing your environment and audience will ease you into a comfort zone for talking about yourself and what you want to pursue. Remember: communicate directly.
  3. You can learn to put the “useless” to use. Clear, commanding, and incisive communication is privy to business applications that numbers cannot achieve. Communication creates or accesses the numbers.

  4. Remember to shine. The professionals who were representing large companies that day were captivated by my ambition. Sometimes being young and hungry is the only advantage you need. I felt like I was pitching them. Know what you are looking for and be able to elaborate. If the employer cannot figure out what you are after, how can they help? The basics are important too (e.g. body language, smiling). Note: this isn’t something to be gained overnight. You’ll need to develop insight into your niche and field.

Here’s the twist.

I did not see one person there who was dressed casually. Everyone was suited-up! And that’s great for them. I was wearing quarter length black Nike socks, beige cargo shorts, a white Detroit Red Wings t-shirt (with Hebrew writing) and a bright red Valet Services windbreaker. I don’t suggest walking into your next board meeting wearing a Hawaiian shirt. (This goes back to knowing your environment.) Job fairs attract the full spectrum of income and social class. I just bent the rules, here. Know what is flexible and what is not.

I gathered that most of the job-seekers looked at me and laughed. But I was making advancements and creating valuable connections. Make yourself memorable and create a separate identity from everyone who shovels their resume on to every table. My information and what’s more my time is valuable.

Here’s a question I hope will be thought provoking, not discouraging:

If you will work for anyone and perform any task, what is your worth? Where are your values?

There are qualities and talents specific to you, which nobody else has. Never forget this, and make them work for you. This I’ll take the next thing that comes my way mentality is endemic to today’s job seekers. It’s sad. It’s time to find happiness in your work and produce great work, which happens when you’re doing it for more than a paycheck. I’m interested to see what correlation this has to the growth of service economies in the United States. It’s OK to be hungry—even starving. But be smart about how and what you consume. (And excrete?)

Moving Forward…
Time to begin cross-training. The job fair diversified my workout and exercised my muscles differently—making for a healthy day of spring training, leading up to the season. (I have interviews and applications that I’m very excited about.) What is your opening day? Do you have one scheduled yet? Get off of waivers, today!

5 Methods To Participate In Digital That Lead To Personal Growth

In Personal Development on June 6, 2012 at 8:00 am

This is the 2nd of two follow-up posts to #MakeItCount: How You Can Change The Digital Landscape. The 1st follow-up entry is: 5 Communities to Begin Your Digital Research and Participation. Below are 5 ways to participate in digital that lead to personal growth:

  1. Socialize. Join social networks to witness [and partake] in the value of sharing and distribution of information. On a very basic level: conversation will open up doors for you. Here, I would like to focus on Twitter. I follow people that are related to new media and popular culture. Yesterday I mentioned delving deeper into a news culture. Enter Twitter. Follow the guys and gals that make it happen, not just the organization itself. Just search a contributors name on Google. Here’s an example query for one of my Twitter crushes: Tim Carmody The Verge Twitter Account. Twitter is a great resource to aggregate content as a news source specifically tailored to your needs.
  2. Give Praise. This simply means to join the blogging conversation. Once you find your niche, start commenting. You do not need to be a kiss-ass but comments are gold for writers. Share your perspective and ask questions—just make sure it’s relevant. When posting comments be sure to provide an identity marker. Most blog platforms allow you to link your name to a website or social network account. A final note: if you haven’t started blogging, it’s a good idea to start.
  3. Subscribe. After you have found your sweet spot, subscribe to your favorite material. It’s conveniently sent to your inbox so you don’t have to go looking for it each day or however often you browse sources. This also increases your exposure to a different medium in how people connect digitally. Again, Copyblogger has great info on this.
  4. Network. Begin building your online presence with services like LinkedIn or Instagram. Focus on your brand when connecting with people. This does not mean promote yourself. This means connect with others, especially with mutual interest. Building a digital identity puts a “face” to your work, progress, and goals.
  5. Help Others. This is a form of paying your dues. Building a portfolio of content featured on prominent websites and organizations in your industry is a huge plus. I am building my portfolio by guest posting and blogging (“free”) for larger organizations. These are [in a way] like freelance internships. And it shows you are savvy in establishing business contacts, communicating clearly, and you have the talent to be featured for an established business.

Summary of the content featured above:
These five methods seem like they are promoting others, and not your personal brand, but it is quite the opposite. Money isn’t the only currency available to promote yourself. Larry Stybel, writing for HBR, offers further insight in How to Get a Job Without Experience. Surrounding yourself with people who are successful and making it count is a reflection on you and your character. Please share your methods that have brought you both success and failure in the comments section. There’s room to grow from experience in both ends of the spectrum.

5 Digital Communities To Join and Begin Your Research

In Business & Marketing on June 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Yesterday I posted an article, #MakeItCount: How You Can Change The Digital Landscape, which highlighted (1) participation, (2) workflow analysis, and (3) observation as key roles to changing digital culture, while promoting your brand. Remember: the focus here is development in digital. If you would like help researching a different field, please contact me.

I’ve assembled an ordered list of 5 communities and networks for you to begin your research and observation, all of which I use. I will have specific activities you can take to join the conversation tomorrow. Check back with us.

  1. HBR Blog Network. I discussed the benefits of HBR Blogs on May 19th 2012. Why this network will help you succeed: personal development, strategy, insight from people who have been there.
  2. Radian6. I don’t own a business but I am in the business of the self. Stay tuned with Radian6 for their Webinars, which focus on social media, digital, sales, marketing, and customer engagement. From Boring to Story: How to Make Your Content Rule is coming up on June 7th. (Click the link above for more information.) Why this service will help you succeed: strategy, hone in on your craft.
  3. W3 Schools. If you plan on working in digital, especially blogging and editing, it’s a great idea to have a background in some coding. They offer tutorials that are straight-forward and information that is simple to digest. Why these tutorials will help you succeed: foundations in understanding how digital operates.
  4. Wired | Mashable | Gizmodo | Tech Crunch If these were people, they would be a great golf foursome. Developing a regular news diet tailored to your interests is paramount when pursuing digital careers. These are my personal favorites. Find what yours are with Google. I will discuss how to get deeper into their culture later in the week. Why this information will help you succeed: strategy, keeping current with your industry, learning from the pros.
  5. Copyblogger. These guys (and gals!) are the bomb! They offer tutorials in copywriting, content marketing, SEO copywriting, email marketing, keyword research, landing pages, and internet marketing. Many claim to be the Bible when it comes to these topics, with catchy slogans like The all-in-one to becoming a marketing guru! Just …. Don’t. Copyblogger doesn’t claim to be a Marketing Bible because they don’t need to create hype. Why this site will help you succeed: their content speaks for itself.

Summary of the content featured above:
(1) blog network, (2) industry service: webinars, (3) code tutorials, (4) stay current: develop a news diet, and (5) building skill sets. There are plenty of other great sources to explore by way of performing Google searches. Add your favorites to this list in the comment section below.

Update: 06/06/2012 9:44 a.m.
As promised: 5 Methods To Participate In Digital That Lead To Personal Growth.

Business Aside, Everyone Should Read HBR Blogs

In Business & Marketing on May 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I follow @HarvardBiz for the diversity. It’s simple: Harvard Business Review attracts smart people across the entire spectrum of the human experience. (Note: they don’t have an “About” page to tell you this. And that’s cool.) Their mission, it seems, is to garner unique perspectives and paths traveled to help you get there.

And the result is? Valuable insight with style and form that’s useful to the reader. Harvard Business Review is “A to Z” (sorry Amazon), not just B (for business). They know that insight comes from all directions, and business is almost happenstance, because a business background isn’t the only shtick worth wielding. Business does not have to be your thing or interest, HBR has something to offer you. Don’t be foolish: visit HBR.org the next chance you have. (Which is right now, if you’re reading this.) I can only tell you to go there, you must see it for yourself.

What blogs do you follow? Have you visited The HBR Blog Network?

Why Chopin Vodka is the World’s Finest Single Ingredient Vodka

In Business & Marketing on February 16, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Chopin Vodka Screenshot

It’s clean and they don’t care about data mining. (Or at least make this known.) It’s chic. This isn’t Svedka. Chopin isn’t concerned with collecting your age because age doesn’t matter. A modern day marketer might say: that’s part of their “brand”. It’s common knowledge that you are of drinking age exclusively because you drink this brand of vodka. It’s a type of person that drinks Chopin, not a target market age bracket.

Image property of Chopin Vodka.
The World’s Finest Single Ingredient Vodkas.