Archive for the 'Personal Branding' Category

Now that we’ve met…

Hey wait ! Come back! Yeah you, the one that just read my blog. Who are you? What were you looking for? How did you find me and will you be coming back? And why didn’t you say hello?

It is not as if we are complete strangers anymore, you read my words. We just “met”.

It would be different if say we were in the street, say in a public square and you were looking around to meet someone. You had someone in mind, but was it me? There are people everywhere, surrounding us. Faces in a crowd don’t have keyword bubbles above their heads, nor is there a live action “search” option to find out what we might have in common, not to mention whether I might be dangerous. But we did meet, in a safe place. On my blog.

But you left without saying anything. Nothing at all. Was I not who you thought I might be? After reading maybe the first paragraph, did you just move on? Was I boring? Or maybe not the subject matter you were looking for. And what exactly were you looking for? I’d love to know.

You might have been looking for a job candidate. I could be that. I work hard, and am always looking for an opportunity that would enrich both myself and my employer. And if that’s the case, I probably failed the first interview. Which is unfortunate, because I never got to know you. We never had a conversation.

Maybe you just followed a link on my Twitter or Instagram pages, email signature or any other number of social media sites where I am present. If so, I’d love to know what I said, linked to or posted about that motivated you to go that one step further to read my blog. Even if you don’t like my blog.

There is no implied agreement in social media that you reply to what anyone says. If however we were face to face and I said something, I would expect a response. And you probably would say something, unless I was a raving lunatic and you felt the need to just run as fast as you could in the other direction. In hindsight a raving lunatic would probably get more response in social media venues than in public which is evidenced by the comments sections of many blogs.

Truth be told, I could find out how you found me, how long you stayed and where you went when you left. But honestly, that does not interest me. It’s not enough for me. I’d prefer we start a conversation. After all, you did hear what I just said didn’t you?

The Death of A Salesman

“Been so busy working, I have had no time to prospect new clients”.

As someone who spent over 10 years earlier in my career as a salesman, I know that these words promise a slow, but sure death of a successful salesman or business. I no longer am in the sales field, nor do I list my occupation as sales, but to be honest isn’t sales what we do every day? All of us?

What brought me to this post was a Facebook post by an exciting digital engagement agency based in Portsmouth, NH called Piehead. It was a link to an article over at Mashable about how sales has been slow to adopt social media techniques that other areas, such as marketing have made a required part of their operations. The article, “Why Sales is Still Missing from Social CRM” was a reminder to me that one can never stop prospecting for the future.

I had a great job for 14 years as a project manager at a Southern California design agency. We did groundbreaking work for a major power sports client. There were wetsuits hanging from the balcony in the courtyard, monthly BBQs on the patio,  and it seemed that it would last forever. Nothing does. And for those 14 years, the company stopped prospecting as well. Too busy. You can probably guess how that worked out.

So for the better part of a year, while I looked for a job, I began to sell again. The product was me. I engaged on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I began to use social media as a sales tool. And what I found, was that it was what I would have dreamed of having as a tool back when I was selling print. To be able to connect with my clients as well as prospects by engaging them daily, to share their work with others, to find out what they were interested in, both within and outside of the office would be incredible. So I was stunned to read in this article that sales forces were not utilizing social media in their daily work.

I am not going to reiterate all that was said in the article (that’s what the link is for), but what I learned from it was that it was time for me to re-start my sales engine. I know how to use the tools, in fact I use them everyday. But I swore over a year ago, to never stop prospecting or looking for new opportunities. You never know what the next digital engagement will bring.

TMI, Too Busy or Just Distraction

With the introduction of Google’s Buzz application this week, I have been thrown for a loop. Not because of the inherent implications of yet another social media channel but more so by the broader effect on the mediums’ consumers as relates to overload.

It’s obvious to anyone who is reading this blog post, that I have not put my thoughts down on this blog in over 8 months. What have I been doing? Well in a word, reading. Reading all sorts of material by others. It’s a very convenient excuse to just explain it away as, “I’m too busy to write”. And at times, this may be true. But might there be just too much information out there? How can we keep up with it?

Just in the realm of the social media world alone there are over 119M blog page results listed on Google. Add to that Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, Linked In updates and whatever news media you regularly check, and it is a daunting enterprise to keep “current”. As I have been “re-branding” myself over the past 10 months, I have found loads of great information, made innumerable new contacts and even landed a few interviews, all with the help of these social media channels. I have learned much about the dos and don’ts of social media interaction. I have seen a very healthy growth in the number of “old school” print people dipping their toes into the future. And I know that for me, there is no turning back.

I love the conversations and the communities that are being formed. I am witnessing an incredible sense of knowledge sharing. And when we share what we are passionate about with those who are interested, everyone benefits. I am going to strive to keep up. Maybe I can cut down the number of blogs I read about blogging. That should give me more time.

Can an Old Dog Learn to Tweet?

Have spent the good portion of the last few days–no actually almost every waking moment–educating myself in the realm of social media marketing. For me that has meant twitter, facebook, Linkedin and this blog. I continue to build my network through Linkedin and have had an epiphany concerning twitter.

I find the implications of this social media network to be mind numbing. The great news is that there is so much knowledge out there for a 51 year-old neophyte such as myself. In just one week I have been schooled by some of the best minds out there. From Tim O’Reilly, Pete Cashmore at Mashable and the persistent locals here in Long Beach, Nostrum Inc.

Friends are joining in and sharing links and so the momentum builds. Coming from the print world, I find the immediacy of this medium thrilling, if not a bit overwhelming. Pace yourself I say. I attended an APALA meeting this week on the subject of social media marketing and was convinced by being in a room full of print professionals that I was on the right track. It will be fascinating to see how the world of offset lithographers react to this media taking a chunk out of ink on paper.

And this morning I attended a webcast by O’Reilly and was introduced to many more features, tips and philosophy that jumpstarted another series of ideas for my re-branding project. Suffice it to say, the days of spending 6 hours looking at job boards everyday are over. I’ll continue to utilize traditional methods, but if I am really going to find a position that challeges me to continue to grow in a field that will definitely continue to grow, I’ll keep on tweeting and learning. After all, if as they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, I’m only a little over 7 years old in dog years!