Grande Guide to PERSONAL BRANDING by ORACLE´s Eloqua


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Grande Guide to PERSONAL BRANDING by ORACLE´s Eloqua

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Grande Guide to PERSONAL BRANDING by ORACLE´s Eloqua

  1. 1. The Grande Guide To Personal Branding
  2. 2. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Subscribe to our Blog What’s a “Grande Guide”? What is Personal Branding? As you probably know by now, our Grande Guide series of e-books is all about delivering subject matter proficiency in about the time it takes to drink your morning coffee. This Grande Guide explores the hot topic of Personal Branding and we went to a personal branding expert to give us the skinny. People don’t just buy from brands; they buy from people. More importantly, they want advice, services and even products from people they trust. Thousands of marketers spend countless hours building up organizational brands. They write copy for ads, craft storyboards for videos, maintain blogs, and run accounts on social channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But few put the same level of energy and enthusiasm into their personal brands. At Eloqua, we’ve long been fascinated by personal branding, how it can benefit professionals and for the companies employing them. (We’ve even hosted a panel on the subject.) That’s why Dave Cutler caught our eye. While the Web has provided new ways to tell a story, it’s also cranked up the noise volume. That’s what makes Dave’s story remarkable. An experienced marketer with a diverse professional background, he launched an ambitious personal branding campaign, using an array of social media tactics to stand out. It got the attention of not only influential marketers and potential employers, but also one of the most popular newspaper’s in the U.S. So naturally we turned to Dave to share his secrets. 02 The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Much like any form of branding, personal branding is about marketing. But it shouldn’t be confused with self-promotion. It’s about positioning yourself as an expert in a chosen profession or market by sharing your knowledge in a transparent way, earning trust with an audience over time. The rise of the social Web is making this possible for a greater number of people. While personal branding has only recently worked its way into popular lexicon, it’s not an entirely new concept. In fact, the Wikipedia entry on personal branding attributes its origins to the book Think And Grow Rich, written in 1937 by Napoleon Hill. However, the methods and tools used in personal branding have evolved, and the advent of Web 2.0 and social media platforms have led to more mainstream adoption of the approach. Today, people are using tools like blogs, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook to build personal brands across industries – from finance to fashion, from software to sports. The process eventually leads to the establishment of one’s personal brand. As Dorie Clark, Author of the forthcoming What’s Next?: The Art of Reinventing Your Personal Brand told me, personal branding “is the professional reputation you’ve created – what people say about you when you’re out of the room. Whether or not they recognize it, everyone has a personal brand, so it pays to develop a positive one.”
  3. 3. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Tweet This Why Should I Care About Personal Branding? Here’s the honest truth of modern marketing: You are who Google says you are. Millions of past, present and future customers are sharing their experiences online. The conversation goes on whether your brand joins it or not. Personal branding offers an opportunity for both individuals and companies to establish a greater bond with this audience of customers, potential buyers and influencers in the marketplace. For individuals, personal branding opens doors that a resume won’t. Whether you’re gainfully employed or looking for that next gig, employers and clients alike are looking for professionals who know their stuff. Consider these facts: executives from every company listed on the Fortune 100 are among the more than 100 million members on LinkedIn. 89% of US companies were expected to use social networks for recruiting in 2011, according to Jobvite. And more than half of all employees expect to change careers within five years, according Kelly Global Workforce Index. Despite the rapid changes to hiring and employment trends, one thing hasn’t changed: the need to demonstrate your experience. 80% of employees said their personal career development was due to their experience, according to that same Kelly Global Workforce survey. Personal branding is a highly effective way to tell the story of your experience, development and interests. Personal brands don’t just appeal to recruiters. Increasingly, trust is shifting away from corporate brands to individuals – not just friends and family, but even strangers with proven chops. In some ways it’s a generational shift, as a study conducted by Bazzarvoice found Millenials are searching online for experts before purchasing. For corporate brands, employing experts who buyers trust enhances their ability to reach and engage a skeptical audience. 2012 ELOQUA INC. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding 03
  4. 4. The Grande Guide to Share this Grande Guide on Facebook Tweet This Personal Branding My Story After being laid off in February of 2011, I had to devise a strategy to differentiate myself in a job market crowded with talented and creative individuals. I started by leveraging the power and reach of social media. Coming from a predominantly traditional marketing background, I was in the midst of rebranding myself as a social media marketer. I put a major emphasis on producing and curating content that demonstrated my knowledge and understanding of the industry, while demonstrating social media savviness. I built the website, featuring a video and PowerPoint resume, writing samples and references, to provide a more holistic view of myself than a traditional resume. I created a Foursquare venue promoting my search and an app that aggregated my various content channels. My efforts culminated in me receiving considerable media coverage as I was featured on the cover of The Boston Globe’s Sunday Business section and was interviewed on NPR, Boston’s Fox television affiliate and the Tonya Hall Radio Show. The day The Globe story ran, titled “Hire Dave!”, my website received over 1,000 page views. The video resume itself has been watched over 500 times and the SlideShare presentation of my resume has been viewed more than 3,000 times. My own promotional efforts, coupled with the publicity generated by the mainstream media coverage, resulted in a barrage of opportunities – including this Grande Guide. DAVE’S TIMELINE DAVE, LOOKING FOR WORK Dave! DAVE CREATES HIS “HIRE DAVE” WEBSITE PLUS AN APP Dave! Dave! Dave! PEOPLE START TALKING ABOUT DAVE Needless to say, the process significantly enhanced my personal brand and raised my profile, positioning me to receive continued professional opportunities above and beyond getting a new job. It’s worth noting that I combined online and offline efforts. While social media broadened my network, the most impactful interactions occurred at conferences, networking events, panel discussions and the like. 2012 ELOQUA INC. Dave! Boston Globe Dave! THE PRESS PICKS UP HIS STORY DAVE WRITES THIS GUIDE! The Grande Guide to Personal Branding 04
  5. 5. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Tweet This Personal Branding Best Practices Personal branding is obviously driven by the individual’s tastes, style and personality. But there are still some best practices that can help guide the process of building your own brand. Craft Your Niche Think in terms of an elevator pitch. Can you quickly and succinctly describe your knowledge and experience, either in person or through an online profile? Consider the colleagues, consultants or friends that you’ve recommended to others. More than likely, you thought of them because they demonstrated a mastery of a certain specialty. Identifying the appropriate keywords associated with your chosen niche across your entire online presence is critical. Being the foremost expert matters little if no one can find you by searching relevant terms. Remember…neither Rome nor Coke was built in a day Establishing a brand is not an overnight process for a company or an individual. It’s not merely as simple as flipping a switch. While taking control of your online presence, configuring profiles and/or building a website for yourself is a step in the right direction, it doesn’t mean your work is complete. Personal brands must be nurtured over time, especially as your career progresses and evolves. The Case for “Googling” Yourself Much of your personal brand is determined by what can be gleaned about you through a Google search. I would highly recommend the seemingly narcissistic exercise of Googling yourself on a fairly regularly basis to see what about you is featured most prominently. For optimal results, use a browser that normally lies dormant on your computer. Short of that, you should at least make sure to log out of any Google-related profile to ensure that you’re viewing a reasonable facsimile of what the average person performing a search of your name would find. Targeting Influencers Every field has established experts and influencers. Identify and reach out to those folks in your industry. You can learn how they achieved and maintained their current stature. Rather than immediately requesting that they share your content, engage with them via social media, comment on their blog posts, or introduce yourself following a talk. Over time the influencer will be more inclined to follow and share your work, lending you further credibility. Mix Business with Pleasure People want to work with individuals they know, like, and trust. Injecting a little personal info into your branding helps make your story more relatable. I try to give people a broader understanding of who I am beyond my professional pursuits. You never know what will resonate. I’ve had business opportunities that initiated with comments about my kids, dogs, and even the spot where I proposed to my wife. However, it’s important to strike a balance and find a happy medium. 2012 ELOQUA INC. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding 05
  6. 6. Guide to The Grande is Share th nal Branding Perso Grande Guide Subscribe to on Facebook our Blog What happens to influence when media institutions fall? It shifts to the individual. How Personal Brands Benefit Organizations It’s easy to see how personal branding benefits the person. But how does it help the corporate brand? Turns out, it can be the difference between winning or losing customers. Corporate brands have turned to tried and true methods like mass media advertising and PR to make consumers aware of their products and services. As the effectiveness of these strategies diminish, trust in corporate brands is eroding. That trust is being put into individuals. 06 The Grande Guide to Personal Branding
  7. 7. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Subscribe to our Blog Case Studies The proof is in the numbers. In just one year, trust in “a person like yourself” jumped by 22 points in Edelman Digital’s annual Trust Barometer survey. Trust in a “regular employee” now outranks the trust placed in a CEO. Buyers clearly relate more profoundly to individuals than logos. “Your people are your greatest asset” has long been a maxim in business, but personal branding makes it especially true for marketing. As employees build their own profiles and established credibility in the market, that authority can transfer to the employer. When your frontline employees serve as trusted sources of information about your product or space, their recommendations can go a long way in extending the reach of your content and messaging. And their personal take can grow trust in your brand far better than any jingle. To see these benefits, corporate brands should empower and invest in their employees’ personal brands. They can do this by giving them a platform (blogging, video, social media and speaking opportunities, for instance) to share their expertise. But they should also provide clear guidelines for employees, stating where the line between the personal and professional end. And at all times, employees should always disclose existing professional relationships. By tapping into employees knowledge, and by being fully transparent, corporate brands can benefit from the trust personal brands gain among prospects and customers. 07 The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Scott Monty Scott had a sterling reputation in social media marketing before he came to Ford. But since joining the company in 2008, he’s effectively leveraged his own influence to drive Ford deeply in the social Web. The brand has launched campaigns targeting influential bloggers in the highly competitive automotive space. Under Scott’s tenure, the brand has adopted a personal touch – going so far to convert an influential loyalist to their product with a well-timed phone call – and even unveiled a new model truck on Facebook. Scott’s personal brand is definitely a positive influence on Ford’s corporate brand. DJ Waldow DJ already had a solid reputation, but wanted to enhance his personal brand last year when seeking a new professional opportunity. He created a website, an interactive resume and secured references in the form of 30-second video clips from eight of the most prominent digital and social media marketers. Their snippets spoke volumes. DJ’s site went viral, boosting his profile and strengthening his personal brand, which served him well when he launched his own consultancy, Waldow Social. Lindsay Blackwell At 22 years old, Lindsay lacked a large portfolio. So she devised a clever and creative approach to personal branding. Over a 3-day period, she built a website directly targeting the hiring manager for the Social Media Director position at the University of Michigan. Featuring an informative and visually stimulating video as the centerpiece, she was able to secure an interview despite competition from more experienced candidates. She didn’t get the job, but garnered considerable social and mainstream media attention. A prospective employer contacted her through Twitter, and she landed that job.
  8. 8. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Tweet This Tools of the Trade About.Me About.Me is a highly useful branding tool that enables you to easily create a one-page website by uploading a photo, crafting a short bio and aggregating your favorite social profiles in one place. It’s simple but never crude. It brings all this content together in a visually appealing way. Blogs Blogging your thoughts on topics relevant to your chosen field is an excellent means of demonstrating your expertise. You don’t need to write long diatribes. A 500-word post commenting on a recent article exhibits your critical thinking skills. A blog can easily be created and maintained through popular platforms such as Wordpress, Blogger, and Tumblr. SlideShare, which was recently purchased by LinkedIn, is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. It’s a great tool for leveraging your existing content. You simply upload PowerPoint presentations, documents, PDFs, videos and webinars. After, you can easily embed your presentation within a website (or blog post) or share it through social media. It’s worth sifting through your past decks and slides to determine if you already have something to share. Video Video is a key tool in the personal branding toolkit. After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, with over 800 million unique visitors per month. Sites like Vimeo and YouTube 2012 ELOQUA INC. provide a visual way to communicate your subject matter expertise. Give some thought to the kinds of videos you should shoot. These could be video resumes, interviews with people at conferences, or “how-to” screencasts. LinkedIn A LinkedIn profile is a must-have component of personal branding and, more broadly, one of the costs of doing business in 2012. LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 150 million members. Its corporate hiring solutions are also used by 82 of the Fortune 100 companies. Job seekers, consultants and executives alike are all being vetted through LinkedIn in some form or fashion. Your profile should not only accurately describe the nature of past work and responsibilities, but also call out achievements. Fill out every available section of your profile, connect with people in your network, and ask for recommendations from people with whom you’ve done business. Q&A Forums There are few ways to prove your proficiency than by providing meaningful answers to people’s burning questions. Sites like Quora and Focus give you the opportunity to do just that. Founded by former Facebook employees, Quora provides a forum for experts to weigh in on questions posted on the site. Users can vote up or down an answer, and topics are wide-ranging, to say the least. Focus is similar to Quora, but is all about business. Folks can pose questions, and you can rise within the site’s expert community by participating and receiving favorable votes for your contribution. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding 08
  9. 9. Guide to The Grande is Share th nal Branding Perso Grande Guide Subscribe to on Facebook our Blog Twitter Twitter isn’t just about telling the world about your favorite sandwich. It’s an effective tool for offering your thoughts in a succinct manner. By becoming known as a subject matter expert, you can develop a loyal following and expand your network. But Twitter is not a broadcast medium. People gravitate towards those who engage with others and respond to follower’s tweets. Social Influence Scoring Gauging just how influential you, and others, may be on the social Web and on certain topics may not seem like an exact science. But there are tools, such as Klout, Kred and PeerIndex, that attempt to do just. These services use algorithms to attach a score to users sphere and level of influence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. Some call into question their precision, but they are worth monitoring. Moo is an easy and affordable way to create business cards. The site offers a multitude of design possibilities, including the option of selecting a “MiniCard,” which is half the size of a standard business card and stands out in a pile. Including a photo of yourself or QR code can help jog a contact’s memory. Do’s & Don’ts: >>Do: >>Demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of your industry by creating relevant content (blog posts, videos, images, etc.) >>Be consistent. Your brand may evolve over time as your career progresses, especially if you shift focus or industries. However, branding yourself in an entirely different fashion across various channels or repeatedly rebranding yourself over short periods of time can be extremely damaging practices. >>Be authentic. Labeling yourself as a “Social Media Guru” in your Twitter bio will do little to enhance your personal brand if your use of the medium proves otherwise. >>Don’t: >>Cross the line between proactively attending to your personal branding and becoming a shameless self-promoter. The line can be difficult to find and each individual defines things differently, but try to be conscientious of the balance between promoting and sharing your own content and accomplishments vs. those of others. >>Neglect the online representations of yourself that you’ve established. Failing to update the profiles, blogs or websites you created can lead to confusion and be detrimental to your brand. >>Be afraid to inject a little personality into your online and offline communications. Companies are focusing on humanizing their brands for a reason. Give people a chance to get to know you a bit. 09 The Grande Guide to Personal Branding
  10. 10. The Grande Guide to Personal Branding Subscribe to our Blog Experts/Resources in Personal Branding Dan Schawbel Schawbel is the author of Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing) and Managing Partner of Millenial Branding, LLC. You can find a lot of his content at either or http://www. He is also the publisher of the Personal Branding Magazine. William Aruda Aruda is the Founder & President of Reach and a thought leader in the field of personal branding. You can find further information from him and his company at both and http://www. He also has a number of helpful videos about personal branding on his YouTube channel, including one about how to use using video to build your personal brand. The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha (Book). Mastering The Uncomfortable Art Of Personal Branding by Amber Mac for Lindsay Blackwell’s personalized site mentioned in the above case studies. The First Step To Building Your Personal Brand by Megan Marrs for Boost Your Career with Social Media: Tips for the Uninitiated by Amy Gallo for the Harvard Business Review blog Why Personal Branding? Video by William Aruda Brand You: Personal Branding SlideShare presentation by Kristian Andersen Drivers of Career Choice and Career Progression Kelly Global Workforce Index Report Ten ways to build up your personal brand by Jay Palter for the Toronto Globe and Mail The Real World Marketing Syllabus by Eloqua includes several relevant chapters, including a section on personal and corporate branding. 010 The Grande Guide to Personal Branding
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