Friday, January 31, 2014

Brand Smart excerpt - "Of Mentors and Mastermind Groups"

....The term Mentor is of ancient origins. Mentor is a figure from Greek mythology who during the Trojan War was the advisor of Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. The modern mentor/mentee relationship can be formal or informal. The fundamental characteristic of the relationship is that a more experienced or knowledgeable person (Mentor) provides some form of guidance to another person (Mentee).

Mastermind Group is a more recent conception. The idea derives from a term introduced by Napoleon Hill in the classic self-development book “Think and Grow Rich”. However, such advisory council type relationships have existed as long as human beings have formed organizations. Hill defined a Mastermind Group as follows: "The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony."

The concept of the Mastermind Group had been out of fashion for a time. Yet with the advent of other collaborative business and professional tools such as Social Networking, Coworking, and Crowdfunding the use of collaborative tools and resources are now all the rage. Conversely, until lately the Mentor concept has been in vogue. Yet in recent years the mentoring model and the associated expectations of such relationships are now being regarded by some as outdated and unrealistic....

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Brand Smart excerpt - "You Need A Bio!"

....Everybody loves a good story. More importantly, good personal or professional relationships are built upon people connecting with each other. There is probably no better way to get people to like you than to get them to connect with your story. Your resume enables a person to know something about you, but your bio compels them to get to know you....

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brand Smart excerpt - "Is Your Industry Dying or Changing?"

....Some people say that all change is good. Yet, that doesn't change the fact that sometimes it catches many people completely off guard. If you are unprepared for change you can become overwhelmed, anxious and even downright desperate. Change often happens in gradual recognizable steps, rather than rapid surges. Nevertheless, most of us tend to have change thrust upon us instead of being prepared.

The changes that I've already mentioned affect people not just as consumers, but also affect your current and future career decisions. Staying on top of changes and trends in your industry must become a vital concern, regardless of whether you’re a new-hire or a seasoned executive. In fact, knowing what’s going on in your industry can make the difference between whether you’re looking forward to receiving a big promotion or being abruptly laid off. A savvy, career-focused employee should put themselves in a position to recognize the signs well in advance....

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Brand Smart excerpt - "Using Visual Content to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile"

....Standing out from the competition is the primary objective for achieving success with your branding strategy on LinkedIn. In the process of creating a powerful LinkedIn profile, most people simply strive for completeness and accuracy. They rely on effectively communicating their skills verbally. The only advantage comes from hopefully doing this better than the competition. Yet for a decision maker examining one after the other text heavy profiles, using the right words just may not be enough to grab their attention. Effective writing is certainly a powerful tool, but in many casesUsing Visual Content to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile may be the best way to gain a leg up on the competition....

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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Brand Smart excerpt - "Taking Your Personal Brand “Global” through Networking and Publishing"

....Atlanta based motivational author and entertainment impresario Germaine Moody - the self proclaimed“King of Networking”, has produced the most ambitious book ever on the subject of Greatness. In the book “50 Seeds of Greatness” Moody addresses 50 vital topics that can empower readers to “....produce an abundance of whatever we desire, while also leaving a legacy of our presence on Earth." However what makes the book so remarkable is that he also amassed almost 400 Contributors from over 100 Countries around the world to take part in the project. This extraordinary accomplishment is currently being considered for inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest and most international publishing undertaking of all-time.

By writing this book, Mr. Moody has also come up with an ingenious way to expand his brand. This high-profile endeavor has enabled him to network with other movers and shakers around the world. The way that he accomplished this was by issuing an International call for authors to contribute their own thoughts about greatness to the book. Contributors from around the world were asked to answer the question "What does Greatness mean to me?" He presented this invitation primarily via LinkedIn. This enabled him to exponentially expand his network of professional contacts, while also creating an International marketing campaign for the book and acquiring high quality content for the project....

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Brand Smart excerpt - "Using Pinterest to Promote Your Personal Brand Identity"

....Pinterest is an excellent way to display your professional portfolio and accomplishments. You can pin videos that you’ve created, covers of books that you’ve written or images of infographics and images that you’ve designed. You can pin them to Boards with straightforward names like “My Books” or give your boards eye-catching or though-provoking names that showcase your creativity. Some examples of other ways that you can use Pinterest as a personal branding tool are as follows:

1) Create a shareable online Brand Identity Package by pinning images of your logo, business card, brochure, etc.
2) Create a shareable On-line Resume. (You might do this by sharing an image of each school that you've attended and job that you’ve had, along with explanatory text for each pin in the “Description” field) 
3) Create boards that tell your unique “Personal Brand Story” (The potential ways to use Pinterest to do this are unlimited)....
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Brand Smart excerpt - "Using Toastmasters International to Become a Competent Personal Brand Communicator"

....It has been said that Public Speaking is the greatest fear of most people. This is very unfortunate, because public speaking is probably the ultimate tool that can be used to establish your Personal Brand. Actually, getting to the point where you are sought after to speak publicly signals that you have accomplished the ultimate goal of Personal Branding – achieving “Brand Leadership”. According to Brand Leadership is defined as becoming the “....Most widely....recognized product in a particular market segment....” The kids these days would call that being a “Boss”....

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Brand Smart excerpt - "Using "LinkedIn Skills" to Showcase Your Personal Product & Service Offerings"

....Just like any other enterprise, building your Personal Brand consists of identifying your product and service offerings. Your "Personal Product & Service Offerings" may be as simple as Meat Processing or as complex as Investment Banking. Whatever your skills and abilities may be, it is important that they accurately reflect what you have to offer. The salable skills and areas of expertise that you claim to have, they represent the personal goods and services that you have in inventory for sale to a potential consumer. It is important that they be relevant to the type of opportunity that you are pursuing....

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Brand Smart free chapter - "20 Questions – Identifying Your Brand Personality"

by Vince Rogers 

Many of us have played the game 20 Questions. In this game of deductive reasoning, multiple questioners ask up to 20 questions to a single person. The person must ultimately reveal the secret answer that they are holding onto, if the questioners ask the right questions. Asking the right questions can help you to reveal the secrets to discovering your Brand Personality as well.

In their efforts to empower clients, Alphonso Whitfield and Margaret Diggs of Waycross, Georgia based The Vital Portal have devised 20 essential questions that you can also use to help uncover your Brand Personality. According to Whitfield, the Vital Portal is used by “ventures of all sizes to climb the business conditions learning curve quickly and efficiently.” Investopedia defines Brand Personality as “A set of human characteristics that are attributed to a brand name.” Therefore, when it comes to building a Personal Brand, understanding your Brand Personality means understanding YOU.
The 20 Questions that the team at Vital has devised are as follows:
1) What did you aspire to be as a child?
2) If you could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be? 
3) What would you say to them?
4) What is your vision of a perfect team?
5) Give us your definition of success.
6) Tell us about the best part of your work.
7) What keeps you awake at night?
8) If you could be a dessert, what would you be and why?
9) What is your favorite word or phrase, the one you tend to use most often?
10) Walk us through a typical day at your current/previous position.
11) Who has been most influential in your life?
12) If you could go back to a specific era in history, which one would you choose and why?
13) What have been the biggest disappointments of your career?
14) What is your favorite way to relax after a long hard day at work?
15) Tell us how you think five co-workers/team members would describe you.
16) What career accomplishments are you most proud of?
17) What are/were your favorite things about your current/previous position?
18) What made you choose this occupation?
19) What behavior(s) did you inherit from your parents?
20) What would be the FIRST thing you would do if you knew today was your last day?
The answers to these 20 Questions can help you to gather the vital information that you need to understand your Brand Personality. Understanding your Brand Personality is an essential, yet often overlooked component of building your Personal Brand. These 20 Questions were designed by Vital to help you gather the information you will need to navigate this process successfully.

Information is without a doubt the most important of my Six Keys to Success. Obtaining the right data in order to make the best possible decisions (not the most conveniently available data) is the key to formulating a winning Success Strategy. This is true whether you are embarking on a personal endeavor, a professional enterprise or taking a risk in any area of your life in which you are seeking to be successful. Ultimately, if you input good data into the formulation of your Success Plan, chances are excellent that you will end up with a plan that should lead you to your desired result.

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