Are You EPIC? 6 Epic Personal Branding Tips
YOU are a brand. Congratulations. Move two steps forward. You are now standing ahead of some, but your row is crowded. Others realize SELF = BRAND too. This post shares 6 “could tell you, but would have to kill you” EPIC Personal Branding Secrets. At least one of them did try hard to kill me.
Epic Personal Branding #1:
Big Hairy Audacious Goals
My generation, I graduated from Vassar College in 1980, believed in the deferred dream. We traded working for the MAN for “security”. We would live dreams later.
A funny thing happened on the way to the circus. Everything changed. Even the most powerful “MAN” (company, brand, business vertical, skill set) wasn’t secure. Security, it turns out, was a myth.
The fast, dramatic and horrify technical tsunami swept my generation’s bet from the table impacting every “next generation” too. “The Man” peddled so hard to catch up major things had to be thrown off his balloon.
Things that got tossed:
- Training Programs.
- Hiring the inexperienced or the uninformed.
- Connections not tied to immediate Return On Investment.
- Ethics (lol).
How can you train yourself? CATCH-22. The inexperience needs experience and is denied it because they have no experience. Want to beat CATCH-22?
Create your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) NOW!
Begin the minute you stop reading. Heed the advice of Dr. Wayne Dyer – you already have EVERYTHING You Need. Go, Go, Go.
You could come work for our new startup, CrowdFunde, and we would run you ragged for a year. You would learn a lot too, but nothing compares to throwing yourself into the deep end of the pool. Tossing in all you are and all you have takes a special courage.
Achieve your BHAG now!
Epic Personal Branding #2:
Video and Pictures
We are entering a new time, a highly VISUAL time. When you bite off more than you can chew to achieve an impossible BHAG take pictures, use Instragram filters, share on Facebook, GPlus and Twitter. Shoot video. Share on YouTube and use BrightCove to host some of your videos (and read why hosting some of your videos is important).
Long time ago I wrote a piece about how PROCESS is product. COPE is Create Once Publish Everywhere. Learn the “native language” of Facebook (pictures and questions), Twitter (radio of the web) and GPlus (conversations and long form content). Video Blog, picture blog and toss in power Q&A blogging (500 words or less, you need LOTS of content leave the long form to old dogs like me lol).
Share, Share and Share.
Epic Personal Branding #3:
Marketing is tribe building. If your BHAG, like mine, is riding a bicycle across America make it BIGGER by including others. I rode for the Duke Cancer Institute where I’ve been treated. I met up with riders, riders whose lives have been touched or smashed to bits by cancer. What do you get for $40K and 60 days of riding? An amazing adventure and personal brand distinction.
Everything requires TEAMS. More often than not I’m trying to create SOMETHING of significant value from nothing. Learn to create fire by rubbing two sticks together. Your personal brand will be sought after, discussed and the headhunters will call like you are the GOLD you are.
Epic Personal Branding #4:
Use Special Social Weapons
Imagine you in an interview. The interviewer asks about your BHAG. You share how you used G+’s Hangouts On Air to create live interviews once a week, curated content from experts with Scoop.it (my favorite content curation tool) and your Twitter following is now in the thousands with relevant followers who don’t churn.
The next candidate preferred waiting for their employer to train them, to pay for training. As a result your brand’s competition knows their employer’s proprietary CMS (Content Management System) and little else.
I’ve been the hiring manager in this interview. The BHAG disruptor gets the offer every time and at the top of the salary scale. Oh, and about half the time the offer is left since the candidate is so sought after we may have to get into a bidding war. Think personal branding matters now?
Epic Personal Branding #5:
All things being equal, which they never are, We hire the person who has been DESTROYED by failure over and over. Failure happens. When you KEEP GOING you create brand distinction. Many (most) will fall off, give up, go home.
Internet marketing is TOUGH.
If you aren’t failing 80% of the time you aren’t trying hard enough. If you don’t FAIL enough you leave money on the table. Money never stays on a web marketing table long. Competitors are always ready to take advantage of mistakes.
Have your 3 biggest failure stories ready for your next interview. Don’t patronize or try and spin your failure forward. Failure should be nasty, awful and confidence crushing. Share your blog post about them.
See the importance of “process as product” now?
Blog your ups and downs and you have content that adds to anything. I pull a story from 2009 about Process Is Product and readers trust me more.
Note there are no social shares of my Process Is Product post. An astute interviewer would certainly ask why no shares. I have a painful story about creating a blogger blog in 2007 and the difficulty of moving a “temporary” and “experimental” blog that received almost half a million page views and over 100 unique visitors. BTW, always be SPECIFIC even when using analogies. Being specific creates trust.
Epic Personal Branding #6:
Give Your Skills Away FREE
By riding a bicycle across America I accomplished a 25 year BHAG. Every Saturday I invite SMBs to bring Internet marketing questions to lunch. One to five people come have lunch, ask marketing questions and the people at our “Free Web Consulting” lunch attempt to help each other understand the mystery wrapped in an enigma that is our chosen profession.
I know an army of great Internet marketers.
We’ve been asked more than 500 questions during a year of “Free Web Consulting Saturdays”. We haven’t been stumped yet.
You might think, “I’m too new to give anything away, I don’t know anything”. Nonsense, give your time. Go build a house with Habitat or work with the Red Cross.
Your story, your brand, becomes more valuable and fascinating by DOING STUFF even when you FAIL miserably. Remember I hire the man or woman who has failed, failed and failed some more. Why? Because they are humble, know how to work hard and don’t take things for granted.
Together we can and will WIN!
Give me a Magnificent Seven who have failed, failed and failed and we can rule the world :). M
Epic / Not Epic
Here are some thoughts on things that used to be EPIC and aren’t anymore and new ideas that jumped into the Epic category (please feel free to ad ideas to this list and I will curate in):