Tag Archives: personal branding

Visualization: Make the elevator go up and down

17 Jan
Introductory elevator speeches have become typical and almost have the opposite effect.

Credit: Roy Luck

I learn by listening to others tell their stories. I learn a lot when people give details of their successes and failures. That saves me a few iterations and unhappy clients.

My local church networking group is struggling with providing the most valuable information for job seekers and networking business people. Introductory elevator speeches have become typical and almost have the opposite effect. I’m not learning anything new that I can share with others. We all get used to positioning our labels and revealing what others might want to hear or what might help us sell.

How about we add a gear to that short statement? “I’m a web project manager.” Now, instead of what I do, how about here’s what I’ve done. “This week I helped build a website that helps this client speak to these people. It has this one great feature. Google it, discover it and try it out.”

Give others something to do, something to imagine. Let them visualize what you do instead of trying to memorize your label.


Content Strategy Toolbox

2 May
Inspired by Ahava Leibtag and her wonderful Creating Valuable Content Checklist

Inspired by Ahava Leibtag and her wonderful Creating Valuable Content Checklist

You tell great stories about your business every day. Make them so good and interesting that your customers will repeat them for you. Before you build fresh content or before you deploy it from your content inventory, ask yourself if you have these tools?

I originally wrote a post – Content strategy for personal branding checklist – organizing content strategy by tasks. Your content strategy builds valuable organic content (text posts, photo galleries, storytelling video, audio/podcasts, etc.) so that people can discover awesome things about you and your company. View the Content Strategy Checklist for the overview.

Building your personal or company’s brand with content strategy means introducing yourself with content that tells people exactly what you’re passionate about. How do you tell great stories consistently?

Research the best places to find your content, build content hubs to anchor your content, create unique, nimble and usable content, then curate and share your ideas.

Hope this takeaway is helpful.

Download the Content Strategy Toolbox


Content strategy for personal branding checklist

7 Apr
People build different kinds of content for different people.

Photo from The Library of Congress - Build the right content hubs. They will be your anchors.

Build your personal brand with content strategy. Introduce yourself without a business card or resume with content that tells people exactly what you’re passionate about. Tell me a story. Your content must be three things to tell your brand’s story effectively:

  • Friendly
  • Honest
  • Consistent

Research the best places to anchor your content, build content hubs to anchor your content, create unique, nimble and usable content, then curate and share your ideas.


Introduce yourself in social media, listen, ask advice, and comment on others.

  • Calibrate (Practice engagement, build your tribe)
  • Realize usability (How do I read, act on content)
  • Keywords (Note how people search)


Place your content online where people will find it.

  • Build the right content hubs (Facebook, blogs, LinkedIn)
  • Become an active member of groups and networks
  • Use analytics for benchmarks (Insights, Hootsuite)


Build different kinds of content for different people.

  • Unique stories (background detail, anecdotes)
  • Quick and nimble (brevity, people scan)
  • Usable info (thank you, I’ll be back)


Weed and feed. Give your precious content life.

  • Revise and improve (How can more people discover this?)
  • Share and circulate (Does my idea mesh with others)
  • Keep building (Don’t stop creating)
Continued to be inspired by Ahava Leibtag. Thinking of ways to make her wonderful Creating Valuable Content Checklist better.

What would you add to this list?

Five things to avoid if you stage a get-to-know interview

13 Oct


Cold call vs. warm call

The Library of Congress


You want to break the ice, gain information, and meet someone for a one-on-one discussion. Social media provides an opportunity to produce a ‘warm call’ and collect basic information on a connection before your first conversation. Thanks to social media you will never again waste time nattering about the weather or looking for visual clues to a build a conversation.

A Google search provides a quick summary of LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, Twitter and YouTube channels, blogs posts and comment threads. You’re golden, unless you skip this step.

Five things to avoid doing in a first meeting

  1. Call someone by the wrong first name, repeatedly, even after they have handed you a business card (with their name on it).
  2. Accept a business card (and pocket it) without looking at the card.
  3. Claim that you’re familiar with their blog and that you’ve read their blog . . . and then ask them what they write about.
  4. Be mystified by a term that was discussed in an introductory email and found in multiple blog posts and tags.
  5. Talk a lot. Listen a little.

Cold calls are out, ‘warm calls’ are in – if you actually use them to your advantage.

Branded media and branded grads

2 Jun

Personal BrandingIt’s on. Tell me a story.

Before my eyes glaze over from one more Spam blog each and every one of you is tasked with creating content that will thrill and impress. Only content strategy and solid web writing can save us now. We need to explain ourselves in gleaming detail so that we never have to stamp an envelope holding a résumé ever again (sorry postal service, it’s over – next!).

College (or soon to be) graduates, displaced workers and soon-to-be-displaced workers need to create great content that reveals their background, expertise and passion. Don’t farm out your story.  Create your content cache, and in an era of user generated content, share your great ideas on social media channels.

Congrats Tippingpoint Labs on your new media agency. You understand that there is a wave of over 6,000 new blog posts (every 10 minutes), 1 billion YouTube videos and more than 1.5 million pieces of Facebook content (every day). But it’s the solid content that muscles its way to the crest of that wave.

The field is crowded – with junk. The bar is not that high for just mediocre. But we aspire to so much more.

Navigating the job search with social media

20 Apr

Join Social Media Breakfast Toledo on April 29 at Thread Information Design in Maumee.

Building a personal brand, sharing it in the correct spots and smartly navigating the employment landscape have never been easier because of social media. Unfortunately, there’s that wicked economy. Join us for a conversation about the options and tools for employers, and tactics and personal branding for employees.

  • Social Media Breakfast Toledo No. 8
  • April 29, Thursday (7:30 a.m.)
  • Thread Information Design (1700 Woodlands Dr., Maumee)
  • Panel discussion – Social Media’s Role in the Search for Employment and Employees

In light of the topic and SMB Toledo’s success since 2009, the organization is waiving its registration fee for this event as a thank you for your ideas and continued support. Meet the panel:

  • Don Leith (National Sales Executive with CareerBuilder.com) is responsible for partnering with Fortune 1000 enterprise clients based in Michigan and Northern Ohio to create customized recruiting solutions for top talent and HR processes using social media. Don is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Packaging and has worked for Kraft Foods, Georgia-Pacific, and International Paper.
  • Kevin Cesarz (Director of Social Media at Thread Information Design) has been a writer, web editor, and manager for news organizations like The Detroit News, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and toledoblade.com, and is one of the founding members of Social Media Breakfast Toledo. He has used social media and content strategy as a Digital Editor for Campbell-Ewald with clients such as Kaiser Permanente, OnStar and Navy.com.
  • Patty A. Wise (Labor and employment lawyer) is a frequent speaker for state banking associations and serves on the faculty of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Patty is a Visiting Professor at The University of Toledo College of Law, teaching employment law as well as civil and political rights and recently completed the second edition of her book, Understanding and Preventing Workplace Retaliation.
  • Brandon Croke (Founder of Career Bull) is a Toledo native and graduate of Ohio University’s College of Business (Bachelors in Marketing, minor in Psychology). He helped to found The Empower Campaign, a hybrid non-profit model run by university students throughout Ohio. He founded Career Bull, a free service to help young professionals find rewarding work, and has been recognized as a 2010 Fulbright Scholar Finalist.

Registration is free but required to help plan for the light breakfast and drinks.