Category Archives: Networking

Your Personal Branding Business Model

One of the most important aspects of creating a personal brand, is first attempting to determine what your goals are. Are you trying to become the President of the United States, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a serial entrepreneur, a social activist? This will certainly help you understand how to frame your brand, how to develop it, and how to continually move you towards your end goals.

In order to do this systematically, you should think of your personal brand just as a company does of it’s own brand; like a business.


It starts with the product

That’s right, it starts with the person. After all, it is a personal brand, and you ARE the product. Write down how you want to be defined. What are the attributes of your product. Are you innovative? Are you a trendsetter? What are your specialties? If you were sitting on a shelf at a store, why would someone choose you over the competition?

Make sure you can deliver

Great customer service defines companies. It also defines you. Great customer service means you are servicing people who have already given you a chance. That means creating deep, meaningful relationships. It involves listening as much as it involves talking and responding.

Personal service involves great follow-ups with great communication.

You have to remember that your customers have immense power, and if you service your following correctly, they should be creating word of mouth for you. If they’re not, then you need to either re-vamp your product or your customer service.


Coming to a Blog Near You

When I started to look at the people around me who have built successful personal brands, one thing is apparent.  They are great at building personal relationships.

Online personal branding is a bit more tricky.  It’s harder to build a personal relationship online.   Relationships online take more repetition, more pinging, and cultivating.  Joining Twitter was a good start for me as it gives those on the web a way to get to know me as a person rather than some distant blogger.

I’m looking for ideas that help build those connections.  Videos might be a good start as they give you a visual and audio representation of who I am.  Done right, and they can help build a brand and connection.  Anyone else have ideas?

I’ve Joined Twitter

Last month at SXSW, I met Andy Baio, founder of Upcoming.  He told me about all the great benefits of Twitter and how I had to be on it. I was SO skeptical.  Why would you or anyone else care what other people were doing at any given moment?

Andy gave me a quick demo of how it worked and it really clicked.  At SXSW, thousands of tech-junkies using Twitter were updating their statuses on where the hottest parties were, who was speaking where, and even updating the Mark Zuckerberg debacle as it was going down.  I was very impressed and told myself I’d join when I found the time.

I’ve found the time now and have already officially started to send Twits.  Is that what it’s called?  Either way, once I get the lingo down, I’m sure it will be helpful for Personal Branding and really giving people the opportunity to get to know me on a much deeper and personal level.

How to get an e-mail response

In sales, it’s very important to know how to get someone to respond to your email. In fact, I think we could all use some advice on how to construct a proper email in order to get a good response. I’ve learned that there are a few essential rules to follow to get a good responses.

1. Have an interesting, relevant, and provoking subject line. My favorite subject lines are ones that ask the recipient a question. Anybody who keeps in regular contact with me is probably familiar with the subject lines “Connecting?”, “Touching Base?”, and “Available on 4/21?”. I like these because the recipient knows the purpose of the email without having to read it. When this is the case, people are more likely to open your email and more likely to respond, because their call to action is very clear.

2. Be brief. If you are sending an email with the hope of getting a response, you should say hi, give a quick update, and get to the point of why you’re emailing. People receive hundreds of emails a day. If you get to the point, people will reward you.

3. Be Persistent. People’s lives are just as hectic as yours. Most of the time, if you don’t get a response, it’s not because people hate you–they’re probably genuinely busy. Be pleasantly persistent and make yourself convenient. I’ve been thanked countless times for keeping on people and making sure we’re making progress.

Follow these simple rules and watch how things get accomplished more efficiently for you.

The Art of Preparation

practice.jpgMy football coach in High School used to preach that the way we practiced was the way we’d play in games. Football taught me a great deal about discipline and work ethic, and it certainly taught me about preparation. While I don’t play football anymore, I do give presentations, speak at meetings, meet new people, etc. The main thing I’ve learned about preparation is that Preparation=Confidence.

I wanted to share a few lessons my football coaches taught me that can help you prepare as well. They all boost your confidence and help you succeed when you need to most.

1. Know your plays: Know what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. If you’re giving a speech, know what you’re going to say and how you’re going to deliver it.

2. Learn the big picture: In football, things constantly change. If you stick too close to what you prepared for, you might get burned. Get used to the unpredictable.

3. Know your opponent: Who’s attending your meeting? What questions do you think you’ll be asked in your presentation? Know what’s going to happen before it does, and you will succeed.

4. Relax…but keep focused: The best athletes and speakers are relaxed. Notice how the best athletes always have a sense of composure. Their bodies are almost limp because they are relaxed, focused, and confident.

5. Don’t be afraid to win: If you stay too rigid, you won’t be able to do anything amazing. Don’t be afraid of your audience or your opponent. Be flexible and allow yourself to make a game changing play.

Follow the coach’s advice and we can get you to deliver better than you could have ever expected. Know what you’re going to do and be confident doing it.

Heed that Recommendation

When I started my second job out of college, Brett Hurt, the CEO and Founder of Bazaarvoice recommended I read Call To Action by Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg.  He lent me the book from his personal collection and yet I didn’t read it.  In fact, it took me almost a year to even open the book cover.  It collected dust and wasn’t even used as a paper weight.

It took me two years to actually read the book, but after reading it, I immediately understood WHY he wanted me to read it.  In short, he thought I would benefit immensely from it.  He knew I was new to the e-commerce industry, and Call To Action is a great introduction into the terminology and mind-set of e-commerce executives.

I still don’t know why it took me so long to read the book, after all, I tend to read at least a book a week.  It only dawned on me recently after reading Winning, by Jack Welch that a recommendation is given for a good reason.  The person who gives the recommendation, does so because a) they thought you’d benefit from it, and b) they thought you’d enjoy it.  I was reminded again by that because David Cohen recently recommended I read  Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure – Larry Smith.

Well, it’s officially in my Amazon shopping cart, and I will give it a read.  I’m sure I will enjoy it. Launch

With Generation Y starting to enter the workforce, people are introduced to views about the world that they’ve never heard. Generation Y is marked as a generation that has grown up with social connectivity and technologies like the internet and IM’ing. We’ve seen those technologies evolve and have come to expect the world to evolve just as quickly.

Penelope Trunk, a member of Generation X, and author bestseller Brazen Careerist, launched today. Penelope Trunk runs her own blog where she helps navigate today’s young professionals through the corporate world filled with backwards tendencies and strict heirarchical structures. Given that there is so much content written on the web today, it is difficult to get a good feel about our generation, specifically as it has to deal with our careers and passions. wants to be the destination to help carve out our generation’s leading voices about career and life. It is also a way to help those not in our generation get a pulse on our lives and the way we view our world. I am proud to say that I am a featured writer on the Brazen Careerist network and am looking forward to the opportunities that the destination will provide to all it’s authors. I hope you will join the community, because I am positive you will get some great insight into some of the great voices of our generation.