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Digitizing Your Personal Brand

This presentation discusses the importance of personal branding in your career search and how to develop one. It then explains how to develop a personal website - the ultimate marketing communications tool.

Rick Steinbrenner - The Global Brand Guy

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Digitizing Your Personal Brand

  1. 1. Digitizing Your Personal Brand How To Build Your Own Personal Brand & Website Rick Steinbrenner Chief Marketing Officer 1
  2. 2. Look How Easy It Is To Get Lost Today! Two ways to overcome this commoditization: 1. You need a great personal brand 2. Need to take charge in getting found!2
  3. 3. Career Search Has REALLY Changed! Negative marketplace dynamics – company consolidations, slow growth, sustained unemployment. Candidate commoditization – A lot of candidates have similar skills and companies know it. Career search engine UNDER-optimization - not using the right “key-words” on your resume/online profiles. Employers aren’t really interested in your transferrable skills anymore. While 2/3 of new jobs still come from networking (source: Execunet); most people you meet don’t have the time or patience to “figure you out/who you are”. Net result: Old ways of looking for a job don’t work; you need to differentiate yourself. 3
  4. 4. What Career Experts Say About Personal Branding Don Schwabel: "The personal brand is, first and foremost, about the person, The clearer you are about your destination, the easier it will be to communicate why others should pay attention." William Arruda: “Personal branding is using what makes you unique and valuable to stand out from your peers and attract the attention of people who need to know about you.” 4
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  6. 6. What’s Driving The Change In Career Search? #1 Driver: Employers really want industry experience – they’re not interested in your “transferable skills”. #2 Driver: Employers need to feel you can lead high performing teams…they want proof!! #3 Driver: Your competition is working harder than ever to get visible in the marketplace…2/3 of executives surveyed are actively working to become more online visible. Source: Execunet 2012 Job Market Intelligence Report Thus: you must create for yourself a strategic & sustainable competitive advantage/positioning and be able to clearly artiulate this differentiation. What is a strategic & sustainable competitive advantage/positioning (SCA)? In short, it’s something that: You exclusively have Your competition doesn’t (or don’t realize they have it) Your customers/employers want it You need ALL 3 to have one or you don’t have it. 6
  7. 7. What Exactly Is A Personal Brand? It communicates exactly who you are and how you are different vs. everyone else. It’s to the point – communicates in 30 seconds or less – just like a good TV commercial should. It’s an expression of your unique selling proposition vs. other candidates – “Why should I hire you?” “Famous” Personal Brands Their “Positioning” Oprah Winfrey A good listener/counselor – role model Steve Jobs Innovative thinking outside the “high tech” box Martha Stewart How to live the “high life” at home Norm Abrams How to make/fix stuff in your home Neil Armstrong American Hero/Moonwalker 7
  8. 8. 8 What Defines The Business What The Products Provide The Products/Services The Brand/Sub-Brand Name First: Understand How Global Brands Really Work It’s all about positioning….. What the consumer/customer REALLY buys….defines the business(es) a company is in….. What consumers REALLY Buy The Benefit of What They Sell What They Sell The Company
  9. 9. 9 Eliminates speed bumps of everyday living Better way of doing things (Innovation Solutions) Power tools and home products solutions What consumers REALLY Buy The Benefit of What They Sell What They Sell The Company An example of how one global brand really works….
  10. 10. 10 What Businesses REALLY Want From Their Employees The “top” of the positioning pyramid defines who you are and your areas of distinction. What employers/clients REALLY Buy The Benefit of What You Sell What You’re Selling Your Title It’s all about how you differentiate yourself at the top of the pyramid Results Oriented Performance Solving a business’s problems Your specific skills or functional discipline(s) Jobs and/or your work
  11. 11. Second: Need To Understand Your Core Competencies Example: B2C Marketing Executive Core Competency: Marketing Communications Core Competency: Marketing General Manager Advertising & Promotions Public Relations Web/Social Media Project Management Budget Management Effectiveness Tracking (Metrics) Collateral Marketing Research MARCOM P&L Management Supply Chain Management Make vs. Buy Decisions Trade Marketing/ Pricing Channel Management Intellectual Property Management Innovation: R&D/ Engineering You do this by developing your own problem, action, result stories 11
  12. 12. Personal Branding Process How Do I Get There? Define Your Strategic Competitive Advantage (SCA) Identify Your Problem, Action, Result Stories (PAR) – Core Competencies Final SCA/Brand Messaging Tools Current Industry Situation Analysis New Industries/Hunting Grounds (i.e. B2C and/or B2B) Who are you?What do you offer? Where can you go? How do I get there? 12
  13. 13. Positioning Statement Template To: target market, X is a brand in the frame of reference having a benefit/point of difference. Support/Reasons Why:  #1  #2  #3 etc. A well thought positioning statement should define your sustainable competitive advantage vs. others 13
  14. 14. How To Develop Your Brand Positioning Statement Key Elements of a Personal Brand Positioning Statement 1) Target Market(s) Challenged global brands/businesses 2) Who You Are Global consumer brand/product marketer – the “Global Brand Guy” 3) Frame of Reference Business to consumer companies 4) Benefits/Points of Difference Delivers breakthrough sales/profitability growth results 5) Reason Why a) Returns profitability for declining businesses in commoditized categories Reason Why b) Identifies and drives innovative new products from inception through launch Reason Why c) Develops unique MARCOM programs which build core brand equity Positioning Statement Example: The “Global Brand Guy” Global consumer brand/product marketer driving business-building initiatives and new product innovations delivering breakthrough results for challenged global B2C brands. 14
  15. 15. Career Profiles Flyers/Brochures QR Codes Third: Develop Personal Brand Messaging Tools 15
  16. 16. Going Digital Building Your Own Personal Website 16
  17. 17. Why Consider Developing Your Own Website?  Old communication tools are rapidly becoming:  More digital/online, less paper driven  More commoditized – it’s harder to get found  A lot of people now have their own sites – just look at consultants/bloggers  It’s now easier than ever to set up a site on your own – don’t really need an IT person. 17
  18. 18. Step #1 – Develop Your Site Layout/Content/Budget What do you want your website to accomplish?  Simple career or client experience summaries/case studies  Showcasing your work portfolios (i.e. TV commercials, print ads, brochures, websites, etc.)  Blogging – demonstrating your thought leadership/sharing content  E-commerce – lead generation, resource selling or service  Hybrids of the above How much do you want to spend? Drives customized sites vs. use of off the shelf “themes”. Customized designs will cost 2-3 times more than themes. Do an outline – a simple one will do and start gathering your content. Consider doing videos – they are now cheaper and can really bring your website to life. 18
  19. 19. Step #2 – Decide on Content Management System (CMS) A content management system (CMS) is online software which allow non “techies” to easily set up a website. It includes elements like:  Document management - images and other media  Automated templates or “themes”  Access control (portals)  Extensions to help with site functionality – i.e. plug-ins, widgets, modules, etc.  Easily editable/change  Collaboration/posting  Multi-lingual Notable CMS Providers (in priority rank): 1. Wordpress: The most popular CMS. Started as a blogger only CMS, now a fully functional CMS. 2. Joomla! More complex, but complexity does come with more functionality than Wordpress. 3. Drupal: Still even more difficult to use, but it’s the most secure. The White House uses this system. 19
  20. 20. Step #3 – Developing and Selecting A Domain Name Two basic types of domains:  Organic:  Means you want people to find your site “organically” with key words or phrases.  Two types: Using an unique name like: or develop an unique and memorable “brand” name like  Can also have aliases – sometimes called 301 re-directs/”parked” domains. This means when you type in the name of one site, it re-directs you to the main one.  Paid:  This means exactly as it sounds – you’re paying for a name already developed and owned by someone else  If it’s a good name, search engines will find it faster and easier; however can be pricey. Where do you buy domains?:  Largest domain provider – runs deals all the time – as little as $4.95/name for whole year.  Starting at $12.95/month  Network Solutions: can buy domain for as little as $2.95 for first year, then regular price takes over. Need to look at fine print when you buy domains. Some sites can buy it back from you if they become too popular. 20
  21. 21. Step #4 – Decide Where Your Content Resides To make your site visible, you need a web server - two approaches:  Hosting your own site: You need to consider hardware/software costs, 24 hour connection/power source.  Web Host Shared/Managed/Cloud-based Providers: Can be more stable, better response time/bandwidths. Things to think about when selecting a web host provider:  Toll free 24/7 hour support – look for US based support.  Reliability and downtime – Site needs to be up 99.99% of time (means only 1 hour/year downtime).  Daily backup – you might need to restore your site without recreating it AGAIN! (hacking).  Traffic Restrictions/Bandwidth: – Look for “unlimited” – especially if you’re using photos or videos.  E-mail capabilities – Use your domain in your e-mail address – helps with branding. Top 3 Web Hosting Shared Providers:  #1 – 24/7 toll-free support (US based); unlimited disk/bandwidth; starting at $3.96/month.  #2 – Ideal for Joomla sites – good for small business; online support only; $8.95/month.  #3 – Best for larger sites when you outgrow the other two. Expensive and you need to configure your own servers. 21
  22. 22. Step #5 – How Do You Want To Build Your Site? Best approach might be a hybrid of DIFM and DIY – Use a designer to help set up site; then let them teach you how to maintain/change it. Also – your site will need to be maintained for version changes, upgrades, etc. Need to consider on- going technical support. “Do It for Me” Get exactly what you want – endless design choices. You manage the process vs. doing the legwork – which can be time consuming. Will be more expensive than DIY – usually $3-5M. Need to be absolutely clear with designers re: site outline/content/design. Future site changes might not be so easy since you might not know where things are or have know-how to do them. “Do It Yourself” You can easily do it yourself without web designers or IT support. Can be inexpensive – a few hundred dollars to $2M at most. Most CMS templates are very intuitive and easy to use. Customization is limited only to theme design and available plug-ins/widgets. Some CMS templates might require some understanding of programming language (PHP). If you’re not used to powerpoint/photoshop, you might be technically challenged. Most themes are “one size fits all” – a simple change might not be so simple. 22
  23. 23. Step #6 – Importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Goal: Show up on page 1 of search engine results like Google – must optimize your site for SEO First step, develop a sitemap XML file and register it with search engines:  Google  Yahoo  MSN/Bing (Microsoft)  Be sure to register it with and without “www”. Second, pick and install SEO plug in on your site – Yoast or All in One SEO pack – both can be free. Third, edit SEO copy for your pages/categories/posts:  Permalinks: permanent URL’s for your pages or posts.  Key Words: Words people use to find content. Use phrases not single words.  Tags: Describes a SPECIFIC item like a thing, item or person.  Meta Descriptions: Gives page summaries underneath headings in Google. Finally, optimize your inbound links on sites more popular than yours – like Google, Facebook, etc. But remember, Google search algorithms are now focusing on REAL content people WANT to read. It may take some time – maybe up to a year – before you start showing up on Google. 23
  24. 24. Step #7 – Protect/Maintain Your Site Backing up your site is important – it’s an insurance policy against recreating your site.  Hacking.  Technical glitches or malfunctions by the web host provider or CMS.  Protects against unforeseen version upgrade compatibility issues How often you back up depends on how often your site content is updated. Back up not only with web host provider, but also put file on your hard drive. Protect your site against spam – – particularly helpful if you’re using your site for blogging. Only $5/month. 24
  25. 25. Summary Identify your core competencies/SCA , develop your positioning, and then your personal brand. Have a website content/layout strategy – be clear on what you want and how you want it to work. Develop relevant content – work examples, case studies, best practices, white papers etc. Pick the “best” domains, web host providers and CMS that fit your needs. Decide if you want to do the site yourself, have someone DIFM, or something in between. Once you finish building your site – you’re not done. Optimize the site from a SEO/SEM perspective. Protect your site and have some type of maintenance plan to make sure your site continues to work. 25