Is A Personal Brand Important For Me?

OK – I’m a marketer, so I probably already think branding is important. But I think my personal brand is important too. If you start with the idea that a brand is how people perceive a product — which can punish the brand’s performance or enhance it, then it might be safe to assume that it’s important for you as a person to be perceived correctly.

But it might be easier to think about if we go back to why branding is important for products and services, and then come back to the personal branding idea later.

Important personal branding1

To put it bluntly — Product branding is important because it creates benefits — getting a potential consumer to take action to benefit the manufacturer or business.

Good branding creates an increased predisposition for a person to know about, try, prefer, purchase, be loyal to, engage with, and advocate on behalf of a product or service. And those benefits therefore create competitive advantage and increased business value (revenue, profits, employment, commerce) for whatever has been branded.

There are a lot of different ways for Branding to confer these benefits, but they generally fall into two broad categories:

  1. Increased familiarity. Awareness, increased recognition, and recall of a product or service (or person) which helps the user identify the product in a crowded setting, and associates it with a function (NAME toothpaste, BRAND cancer drug, LOGO floor cleaner, etc.).
  2. Association of traits or characteristics. Like superior engineering, or reliability, or “coolness.” These traits are conveyed by building up a belief in the mind of the consumer in the increased capability or quality or effectiveness or attitude (like a feeling of alliance or belonging) of the product or service. These traits and the beliefs that support them are derived or created from either emotional or rational bases. Some people might argue it’s never completely rational, but I’d argue it’s never completely emotional, either. Obviously the actual experience of using the product conveys these traits as well, so a brand will have trouble building belief in its durability if it always breaks upon its first use.

All of the above methods can (and should, if properly applied) result in the benefits of branding initially stated above — awareness, preference, trial, purchase, repurchase, etc. Which in turn creates the business value for the manufacturer or service provider.

So if we look at these two items, Increased Familiarity and Association of Traits or Characteristics — it becomes clear that they both can work for personal brands as well.

  1. Increased familiarity. People have to know you before they can prefer to work with you, or hire you. and we’ve talked before about the need (even the internal nature drive aspect of it) to stand out from the crowd. So it’s probably a good thing to create some awareness of you and what you can do.
  2. Association of traits or characteristics. Conveying what you do best. Communicating how you offer benefit to others, and what value your perspective brings –all these things are beliefs in the mind of the other person, and can be derived from an either emotional or rational basis. You create these beliefs through the image you project, the relationships you build, and the performance you deliver. Notice that we didn’t include ‘what you say,’ because it’s more likely for people to internalize what you do, not what you say you’ll do. People may forget even what you do, as the quote goes:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

So the resulting benefit for a strong personal brand is an entrenched awareness of you and the emotional value you bring to that person, which can influence their preference for dealing with you, for hiring you, for promoting you, for staying loyal to you, and for rewarding you.

What do you think? Are these benefits important to you?




How To Land A Killer Speaking Gig

Public speaking may strike fear in the hearts of many, but promotion-savvy people have long known that a platform from which to share your ideas that can do more than just create buzz for your industry reputation, it can also grow your influence and even your business. But is there a recipe to land public speaking gigs that can build influence and leadership in the community you serve?

Speaking gigs1

After reviewing loads of secrets from the best of the best, we’ve put together these tips for getting you into the spotlight and marketing yourself as a speaker that is in demand.

Identify Your Topic And “Angle”

One of the key challenges of getting speaking engagements is identifying a topic people want to hear about. Your topic has to get and hold the attention of your target audience, so it not only has to be interesting, but on a topic that some people are clamoring for and excited about. Make it challenging and controversial enough to explore deeply and still keep fresh over time. You want to tell a captivating story from the podium, not lecture from it, so pick a topic that is as entertaining and engaging as a cinematic experience. Ask people: “Would you pay to see someone talk about ‘X?’” If the answer is no, then keep looking. Work up your elevator speech so you can state in clear, concise terms exactly what you’ll cover, and the angle you’ve chosen that will make people want to hear it.

Identify Your Target Audience

Now that you ‘ve got a great topic, you need to capture an audience. Now is the time to investigate. Who are these people? What drives them? Where do they congregate? At what media are they looking to get the latest and greatest? Check out lists of events, conferences and online conference directories to help find the right stage for your talk. Sometimes you might prefer to aim for a small conference with majority of your target group in it, rather than a larger one where you can only intrigue a small percentage of them in your topic. Specificity wins out over mass for building a following. Only after you have booked a few smaller gigs should you aim for larger industry conferences.

Connect With Conference Organizers / Bureaus

Now that you know where you want to speak, you’ve got a brand new group of stakeholders to influence. Start, as always, with your network and connections to connect you with conference / event organizers and planners. Just as you would approach developing a bond with a potential powerful influencer, you’ll want to build a solid, strong relationship with the people who can get you speaking engagements. You can also connect with other speakers and influencers and provide them a presentation abstract, asking them for advice on breaking through. Use sites like LinkedIn to establish connections and get the word out that you’re available for speaking engagements. Shoot video of you delivering a killer presentation and share it around your network.

Craft Your Presentation

How will you hold your audience’s attention? Find out if your audience prefers facts and figures, or stories about memorable moments, or controversial opinions, or hilariously funny happenings. A good presenter is a smart storyteller and so they craft their stories carefully, including a delicate mix of humor, information, and entertainment.

A little warning here: Don’t be fooled into thinking that speaking is all flash and no substance. If you’re not actually maintaining a consistent social presence, and entrenching yourself as an expert or thought leader in the industry, then you run the risk of coming across as an empty suit. Becoming a speaker doesn’t stop you from working hard at your real job: being the most knowledgeable and helpful person in your industry that you can be.

Market Your Expertise

When you get the gig, you’ll want to get all the benefit you can out of it, which means marketing your participation in the conference or seminar – both before and after it. Here are a few ways to do just that —

  1. Post about your upcoming talk on your networks. Craft blog entries and press releases, explaining why your talk shouldn’t be missed. Share it on LinkedIn, and alert everyone in your network about where they can catch your talk.
  2. Join discussions about the conference. Participate in forums or tweetups before the conference, letting people know where they can catch your talk at the conference.
  3. Give away some freebies to encourage people to attend. Let people know that if they are there, they will get something that no one else will have, like a code to unlock a video, an extra tip, a free research white paper, a deal on some merchandise, or free consultation sessions. People love free stuff, and you never know what will work till you try it!
  4. Upload teaser videos before your talk, and wrap-up videos afterwards to showcase your expertise to people who might have missed your talk, and show other potential organizers your perspective, presentation skills, and how you perform in front of an audience. These videos could become stepping stones for getting introduced to new speaking opportunities. Ask the conference organizers if you can get a video copy of your talk to put on your own website.
  5. Update your LinkedIn profile to include information about the talk and presentation itself, if you can.

The last thing you need to do is get working on identifying your next opportunity to speak. You may want to hire a coach, or get some inspiration from personalities like Guy Kawasaki or Barbara Corcoran to help you determine where to go next.

Get out there and get your voice heard!


Related Posts:

Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.

You Can’t Show What You Don’t Know

Last week I was writing some bios for a website I’ve been working on, and I ran across one that struck me as odd. One of the team members had written down Time Management as a key element of his working style and a source of advantage for himself.

And this guys was ALWAYS late. Like, to every meeting. So what was going on?

To paraphrase Marilyn Monroe:

To be able to show yourself at your best, you have to know yourself at your worst.

It got me thinking: If you don’t spend the time to explore your authentic self, how will you be able to project anything other than a caricature?

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When I first started working in advertising, I got some criticism that really irritated me. After a client meeting, my boss told me that I was not “bringing my audience along with me.”  I was part baffled, and part offended, because I had always believed that my presentation and performance abilities were strong enough to carry my audience along to the strategic point that I was trying to make. How could they not see the logic and beauty in what I was saying? So I retreated a little to lick my wounds, and thought about it.

And then a year later, it happened again. I got the same feedback. And as much as I wanted to believe it wasn’t true, I had to face up to the fact that I was definitely doing something wrong.

So I spent some time reviewing things, and working with a mentor, and I slowly realized that in those moments when I thought I was doing great, sometimes I was actually coasting. I was using the force of my personality to push across my ideas, and not listening to the feedback I was getting. I had gone into a ‘broadcast mode,’ shutting down my ability to empathize with my audience, and so I didn’t notice that I was losing some of them — missing the signs they were giving me that they had a problem or barrier, and I needed to stop and check in with them to get us all on the same page again.

And once I thought about it, I knew exactly why this critique bothered me, and made it difficult for me to address — My ego. It was painful for me to accept that one of my biggest strengths, my presentation skills, had a flaw in it.

But the beautiful thing about flaws is that you can learn from them and work on them. And I was coming from a place of strength in presentation-giving overall, so I could bring some resources to bear to help refine that skill. I decided to use my confidence (which helps me project my ideas) to encourage myself to be vulnerable in front of my audience. To open up my eyes and ears, and look for weakness — for people that were not on-board with what I was saying. Those voices and criticisms could help me if I could accept them, instead of bulldozing over them. Things got a lot better after that, but it stays with me, and whenever I’m giving a talk I still have to remind myself to listen as well as speak.

Self-exploration was the key for me. I wouldn’t have gotten to the point I am today with my presentation skills if I didn’t take the time to do my internal homework.

I have to know myself, so I can show myself.

Do you?


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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.

What Are The Ingredients Of A Good Personal Brand?

Someone recently asked me, “What does a good personal brand look like?”

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We could just point to people with strong brands and say “That’s it!”, but that answer doesn’t tell you what exactly makes their brand a strong one. I may be really good at my job, but that doesn’t make me Oprah, or Steve Jobs, or Richard Branson.

No — what I think that person wanted was a way to examine the elements of their brand, and find areas that they could improve upon. With that in mind, I wrote a short list to help them think through the different aspects of the brand they were building, and suggest some ideas about how to make it stronger.

My definition: A good personal brand is authentic, and has a good balance of specificity, authority, emotion, helpfulness, influence, and reach.

  1. It’s Authentic — You speak from your soul, following your own path. Copying someone else’s brand is a recipe for heartache and failure.
  2. It’s Specific — You have a niche that you can own, so people know what you’re known for.
  3. It has Credible Authority — People listen and believe you because you’re an expert — you know what you’re talking about. The topic area is a unique strength of yours.
  4. It’s Emotionally Compelling — You can tell your story in a concise and powerful manner that people connect to in a human way. This also means that you can’t make your brand just about what you know or can do. You also have to know the story behind why you do what you do.
  5. It’s Helpful — You and your content are truly useful to people. You want to help people in some meaningful way, which will reward people for their attention.
  6. It’s Influential — Your opinions can move the larger discussion because people listen to you, react to you, and respect you. This one is tough, because it doesn’t happen through just your force of will, and takes time.
  7. It Has Reach — Your voice travels widely and many people follow you — because when they do, things get better for them (see number 5).

What else do you think makes a good personal brand?


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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.



If Job Search Is A War, How Well Are You Armed?

war for talent1Modern day job seekers, hiring managers, and recruiters are using technology like never before to nail down the best outcomes. Exploring new opportunities for your career can be done from your couch, and the smartest companies are crafting new ways to identify and target the best people to hire. It’s been described as a ‘war’ for talent, and the stakes have never been higher for everyone involved. 

Whether it’s your final semester in college and campus recruitment is on full swing, or you’re looking to move onto a new challenge from your old job, the game has changed for both starting and developing your career.

We’ve pulled together five trends that are shaping this massive assault in the job market, and offer these thoughts on how job hunters can fight fire with fire.

1. Apps challenge the status quo, but job boards continue to dominate

Job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster will continue to remain the primary job search tools. These sites deliver mounds of resumes for recruiters and talent hunters to screen through using a variety of software to shortlist the most accurate matches. According to a LinkedIn report in 2015, candidates continue to prefer looking for new jobs in online job boards (60%), followed by professional networks (56%) and other word of mouth options (50%).

Traditional job boards are being challenged, however, by apps like Jobaware and Ziprecruiter, which some say have the potential to transform the job ecosystem. These apps allow users connect to listings across a wide variety of job boards like Indeed, Monster, SimplyHired, Glassdoor etc. and apply en masse to those that fit their skills, thereby increasing coverage. Candidates don’t even have to upload a resume, but can connect directly to their LinkedIn account and apply for suitable open positions.

2. Social recruitment is maturing

Searching and applying for jobs via social media continues to rise in frequency. Based on a research by Jobvite in 2014, it was found that 94% of recruiters were active on LinkedIn (compared to only 36% of the job seekers- so don’t ignore it!). Easily viewable and downloadable profiles available on LinkedIn attract talent hunters to candidates’ profiles, and help determine suitable matches. According to the US hiring trends study by iCIMS, the computer service industry witnessed the highest number of applications submitted via social platforms in 2015 and LinkedIn emerged as the most sought after social network by candidates to apply for jobs. It is expected that by end of 2016, LinkedIn will emerge as one of the strongest job providing media in the US. Employee referrals (a historically well-established channel) will of course continue to play a crucial role in sourcing applicants as well, but rising social media use enables active job seekers to connect more easily with their network and gain these precious referrals. That is why successful networking tactics continue to be important – you never know who might be able to refer you for a job with the credibility that a personal reference brings.

3. Videos are making a splash

We have written about this very recently, but video streaming apps and platforms are starting to attract recruiters, giving them a better-rounded picture of the candidate’s interpersonal skills along with their other qualifications and achievements. Platforms like CareerSushi and HireVue are offering innovative interactive interviews, making it easier for job seekers to present a compelling profile to recruiters and hiring managers. As evolving technology contributes to the idea of a virtual workforce and managing work and projects via collaborative tools gets easier, the job search industry is starting to look seriously to video capabilities to help source and connect organizations to in-demand potential hires. It’s probably not the right answer for everyone, but something to consider if you’ve got a powerful personality to show the market.

4. Reverse investigation puts employers under the microscope

Smart job seekers have always researched the companies they apply to, but they are increasingly conducting this research through platforms like GlassDoor, LinkedIn, and Facebook. They are digging deeper into detailed information about their prospective company, its hiring practices, salaries, and even reviews from existing and previous employees. All in service to find out if joining the company is going to be the right decision for them. Job hunters are also investigating other employees who work at the firm, gathering information on the organization to make the best decision about what kind of company and culture they want to work within.

5. There’s some weird new stuff happening, too

Some companies are deploying innovative techniques to differentiate themselves and attract the best talent. Recently, Uber ran a hiring campaign that recruited hard-to-source engineers by targeting them when they were actually taking a ride in an Uber car, and sending them a little code game for them to complete during their ride. This unique approach enabled the company to identify and differentiate themselves to premium candidates in geographies with a high concentration of tech jobs and lots of competition for qualified candidates. As the need for specialized talent heats up, expect companies to continue to use unique recruitment campaigns to both show the candidate pool that they are innovative, and establish a bond with qualified candidates that echoes their corporate brand.

“May you live in interesting times.”  – ancient Chinese curse

We do seem to live indeed in interesting times, and when you’re scouting out a new career opportunity it can almost feel like you’re at war.

Arm yourself to meet this challenge with the resources, strategy, and plan to make sure you can win the fight. Start off by clarifying what victory will look like, and create a SWOT to identify the core strengths that distinguish you from your peers. Your personal brand is your source of advantage, so you’ll need to leverage this in order to win. Then make sure you put together a solid plan to succeed. Hire a coach, or work with a friend, and determine the steps you’ll need to follow to move from your current position to the future ideal that you envision.

Get ready. And get your marching orders.

Cause it’s like a war out there and your success depends on how well prepared you are to win.


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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.

Personal Branding: Why Should Extroverts Have all the Fun?

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Does the thought of speaking up in a meeting give you jitters? Maybe you feel awkward or out of place in large groups, or the last thing you ever want to do is find a way to stand out in a crowd.

If so, you are not alone. Not everyone likes the limelight. It’s estimated that one-third to one-half of the American population feel introverted at times.

Introverts are not energized by intense interaction with other people. Rather than gregariously striking up conversations with strangers, they prefer individual work, reflection in their own space, and they need time and sometimes privacy in order to express their opinions. For introverts, the stimulus to act comes from within.

When you are prone to be more introspective and self-conscious in front of others, you might be less amenable to broadcasting your accomplishments, which can complicate your aspirations at work. It can often seem like the world is run by extroverts, and this perception makes it difficult for introverts to shine when they don’t find it natural or comfortable to talk about their work, their ideas, or their achievements.

But introverts can have strong narratives to share and valuable perspectives to offer. And you should not have to be loud, dramatic, or attention-craving to be able to contribute. Research shows that introverts socialize well, albeit in different ways than extroverts, and they often demonstrate more empathy to others. Introverted leaders are often likable and effective in situations that demand high levels of self-awareness, thoughtfulness and empathy, self-understanding and detail-orientation.

So how can you achieve recognition and success as an introvert when everyone is competing to be seen as experts, and it appears that promotions only go to those who build their reputations?

Last year, a self-avowed introverted friend of mine was given a high-profile assignment that required working across a diverse, talented, and geographically dispersed team of country managers, reporting back to the global heads of sales. Although leading such a visible project may have been a dream come true for someone who wanted to impose their views on others, the assignment was difficult for my friend, who only got lukewarm response from their first efforts.

They had an arduous task at hand to get people to collaborate. Cheerleading and building enthusiasm in town halls and monthly presentations was clearly not going to be a winning strategy for them. My friend needed solutions that could help them establish credibility on the project and deliver exceptional results. They had to find ways to leverage their strengths, rather than trying to follow other people’s strategies that didn’t necessarily fit their working style.

Here are some of those strategies that my friend considered, and that you can use if you’re ever caught in similar situations:

  1. Limit what you have to talk about. You can always start by cutting down the amount of communication and influence that you need to exert. If you’re promoting yourself, edit your personal brand story to just the basic facts and your compelling points of differentiation. Narrow the scope of what you have to talk about and draw out the most concise narrative possible to get your message across.
  2. Limit how many people you talk to at one time, and give yourself rest breaks between them. It can be draining for introverts to build rapport with a lot of people at one time, but they can still build powerful connections with people if they limit their interactions and give themselves a chance to recharge.
  3. Work on a team. Rather than shoulder all the burden of the spotlight, you can use your sphere of influence to form a small team that you’re confident in. Work within the group to communicate your ideas more privately, and then have them help you in spreading the ideas to the wider organization or industry. You can protect yourself from excessive networking, while still playing to your strengths and getting the word out about your work.
  4. Work with a partner. If a team is too intense, you can pick a strong partner who can be responsible for bringing energy and excitement. Proudly stand beside them to present your case or findings, leveraging their skills to supplement your own influence.
  5. Do a video blog or podcast. Maybe live presentations are just too much for you. You can still get your message out through videocasting or podcasting your rich and thoughtful content. You can build powerful connections with your audience by contemplating and sharing issues close to your heart – bringing your authentic point of view from the privacy of your own home or studio. Just be sure you can get the content in front of the right people.
  6. Write, don’t talk. If you can’t or won’t record yourself, then consider that writing and blogging can help you articulate your ideas and thought leadership, without the need for face-to-face confrontation.
  7. Stay in the shadows. For introverts, being contemplative comes naturally. You may decide that you’d rather use your solitude to come up innovative thinking and work behind the scenes. Do your best to remain engaged with your management, however, and continue to make progress towards your goals.

My friend used a combination of #2 and #3 above, limiting the group size and leveraging the team. They appealed to the most influential country managers in one-on-one meetings, building close relationships and trust with them. Eventually they offered these affiliate managers chances to present reports to the sales heads in the headquarters, giving the managers much desired visibility and credit, while showcasing my friend’s ability to lead and persuade their peers across the network. All of which built up my friends reputation and showed the HQ leaders how they could break through silos and align the wider organization behind the initiative.

Career success and building your personal brand doesn’t have to be about loud, brassy showmanship. If you can be authentic and understand how to put your strengths to work for you, introverts can make a great name for themselves, like my friend. 

So take a chance. There’s no better time than the present for making your mark. Don’t leave it to the extroverts alone — jump in! Just be sure to do it in your own way.

Related Posts:

Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.

No Video For Your Personal Brand? Maybe No Visibility Either.


Video is, quite simply, dominating brand marketing. Cisco in a recent study shared that by 2019 the global consumer internet video traffic will be around 80 percent, which was 64 percent in 2014. Another piece of research by Hubspot found that over 51 percent of marketing professionals believe video to be the best medium for generating Return on Investment (ROI). So the question is: how can you leverage this trend and use video to help build your personal brand?

The idea would be to share video to showcase and amplify your brand identity. Video is a high bandwidth kind of communication, which means it can carry more information, be more engaging, and convey the finer elements of your story in an manner that we humans naturally relate to. Video communications are proven to have greater ‘connecting’ impact, raising the ‘human connection’ quotient by fulfilling our insatiable thirst for visual stimuli.

The increase in sensory stimulation alone creates deeper impressions, adding the impact of the visual to the audio. Think about it — if you could buy the same amount of advertising for the same amount of money for a campaign, would you purchase a live commentary on a radio station or a live telecast someone can watch on a superior OLED screen?

Since the barriers to entry for creating video have decreased precipitously, it may be time for you to give video a try. Below are some more examples and strategies for using video as a medium to take your personal brand to the next level.

Make Your Profile Introductions More Human

How engaging is your profile summary on LinkedIn? If you’re like most people then it’s flat at best, or embarrassing at worst. But it’s difficult to get your whole self to come across in just a few words, right? Now consider if you could have a video bio embedded in your LinkedIn profile page and you could introduce yourself like you normally would. Wouldn’t that be easier? It’s just talking to someone about yourself (which is something we know we have to get very good at).

You can instruct people about how to navigate your profile, or highlight specific accomplishments or skills – it’s like you’re guiding them through your profile. And they don’t even have to scroll down to experience it.

Make Your Meetings More Productive

Video meetings used to be all hi-tech, with expensive conference room installations and complicated dialing modules. But now they’re commonplace and mostly run from your browser. With the rise in easy virtualization and cheap (sometimes free) video conferencing, we are using video meetings for discussions, reviews, interviews, sales presentations, and so many other things using Adobe Connect, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Lync and Skype etc. And the loosening of this barrier to communicate enables real-time work that can be more effective and powerfully bonding.

It’s not without pitfalls, however. In 2013, I was on a video call at my home office with a Spanish client, using Google+ hangout. I was pretty chuffed that I was using such a new technology, and was feeling a little full of myself. Unbeknownst to me, I had forgotten to lock my office door and my pet decided to barge into the room and jump around and bark during my quite professional presentation.  And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, while I was coaxing him out of the room, I had stood up and revealed to my client that my crisp blue dress shirt and tie did not match my pajamas. Yep – I had only half-dressed for the call. That’s a mistake you never make twice.

But if you can manage to dress correctly for the occasion, video meetings can bring greater focus and attention for your meetings. After all, on a telephone conference call your callers could be doodling, returning emails, or daydreaming, but for video meetings, they have to be looking at the other person, which increases the level of connection and discourages multitasking. Just be sure you are paying your other callers the same respect.

Increase Your Impact by Sharing Your Expertise

With influencer marketing on the rise in 2016 and emerging as a medium of effective advertising and brand promotion, you can imagine that video could be a powerful tool to build a strong brand identity. Sharing your expertise on a topic of your interest or taking a stand on a discussion via video can get your ideas out into the marketplace, and carry the force of your personality and humanness along with them. You don’t have to become a full-fledged YouTube Star, but you can create your own content and help it spread by linking your videos from YouTube or Vimeo to your other social media profiles and sites. Just be sure that your content remains ridiculously helpful to your network and encourage your connections to share it, just like you should be reaching out and sharing their best content.

Increase Conversions and Connect With Customers

Video streaming apps like Blab, Meerkat and Periscope can make it beyond easy to give product demonstrations and host discussions and Q&A sessions. In many cases viewers can also record these sessions for future reference – further increasing the impact you have with them. You want to use the platform for getting detailed feedback on your ideas, like a live customer support hotline. Most people on these platforms use them for discussions about current events and hot trending topics. To stand out, you’ll want to avoid just, excuse the term, blathering on mindlessly about recent events, however, and instead focus on amplifying your brand and helping you nurture relationships with your prospects and targets. Be sure to put your sights on attracting the right audience for your message, and put less emphasis on just getting more eyeballs.  Quality counts here.

Get Started and Get Creative!

Start with your own computer’s video camera, or buy a simple one to start with. YouTube has a simple functioning video editor that you can use for free. Find innovative ways to get attention in your videos. Record in cool locations, or use props or interesting guests or controversial topics. Video must be engaging to have lasting impact, and time spent in upping the quality and thoughtfulness of your video will increase its stickiness and share-ability.

Where’s the best place to hide a dead body? On page 2 of Google search results.

No one will ever find it.

One stat to keep in mind is that 75% of Google users click on the first page of search results and never scroll to the second page. So you obviously want to rank as high as you can with any content you create. But when you consider that webpages with relevant videos can rank higher on the first page then you have to consider that video could increase your visibility.

And what good is your personal brand if it doesn’t show up?


Related Posts:

Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.

The Number One Factor In Your Job Search Success

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Searching for a job used to be an analog thing — asking friends for recommendations, reading newspaper want ads, perusing bulletin boards, and pounding the pavement. The rise of the internet and social media changed all that, and both job seekers and recruiters now routinely leverage digital sources, and specifically social media platforms, as one of their primary search and placement tools.

Maybe this has happened to you or a friend, but a colleague of mine, a brilliant sales guy, recently went through a layoff when his division was dissolved. That was rough on him, but his network and social presence was so strong that he received a great offer almost immediately — but not through email or Monster. He was contacted through LinkedIn.

While your personal network has always held your best referrals, now social professional networks are starting to take over. And it makes a certain amount of sense in terms of demand for talent, as the visibility of your professional network is presented pretty clearly — so it’s good for recruiters and headhunters. But when it comes to the supply of talent, the question is: Are you set up for success?

Initial screening rounds during interviewing processes have drastically been reduced, courtesy of easy access to candidates’ profiles on LinkedIn and other professional networks. Recruiters connect with job seekers and view their profiles to find the right match for their clients. What used to be a mostly manual process has been reduced to a few clicks.

And that’s not even all of it. Now it’s common for software to be deployed to narrow searches, allowing recruiters to deal with not thousands of resumes and applicants, but a manual review of a short list of only 20-50. Up to 80% of large companies are currently using resume screening software that uses word matching and algorithms to sift out applications that don’t meet certain criteria.

But that’s just the first step. Companies know that when they hire someone new, they are taking a chance on that person’s present and future value to the company, and so they want to know that the prospective employee not only has the right set of competencies and talent, but would also be a good cultural fit with the company. They can’t afford to get it wrong, as the US Department of Labor suggests that replacement costs for a bad hire can be 30% of their salary (US Department of Labor, 2003), even if they are at lower levels in the organization, and some other more recent studies suggest that the figure can climb to as high as five times their salary.  Serious risk is involved, so companies place a high value on getting the right people in the door.

So, given the importance of all the online and social factors in today’s market, it’s clear that having an attractive personal brand can turn out to be not just a contributing factor in helping you land a job, but the absolute most important factor.

What follows are some pointers that might give you the edge to make sure you’re found, matched, and placed by talent hunters.

1.    It’s social, stupid

Some people think that the time of resumes will soon be over – and your social brand and online connections will be all that’s required to identify if you’re right for a job. According to research job seekers are regularly being contacted by recruiters through social media and this ‘social recruiting’ is turning out to be effective for everyone – recruiters and job seekers alike.

Companies like LinkedIn and BranchOut provide easy access to a job seeker’s social graph for referrals. Based on a research by Jobvite in 2014, it was found that 94% of recruiters were active on LinkedIn when compared to only 36% of the job seekers. Social media therefore provides a real opportunity to the job seekers if they only have a completed profile with the right personal brand showcased on it.

2.    Do some translation

The real trick is realizing that in the online world, your personal brand portrays your resume, not the other way around. You have to do your homework and work with a coach or resume writer, including:

  • Outlining what your mission is, your key skills, and your strengths. If you’ve not nailed down what you’re amazing at, then you’ll have trouble convincing anyone else why you’re worth the risk.
  • Now you can analyze your online profile – does it highlight your key strengths? Is all the work you’ve done in the past clearly presented on the profile, or does it need more translation to be understood?

3.    Now look at ‘the fit’

Do you know everything you can about your ideal employer? How does their culture fit with your style and behaviors? If you are looking for a lasting job opportunity, your recruiters will want to understand not just your expertise and value you add to the company, but how well you might mesh with the existing teams and their culture.

4.    Don’t be afraid to promote

As Scott Cook, CEO of Intuit said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” Your network will only work for you if you give them content, ideas, and thinking that they can interact with and share. Things like blogs, videos, podcasts, and helpful information that your community finds useful and engaging. It’s often said that the currency of social media is what you are sharing, so be sure that if you decide to share content, it is 1) interesting, 2) useful, and 3) unique enough to merit attention.

  • Reach out to create visibility within the connections of your company and to your future employees and employers
  • Share useful and valuable content and be known to your network
  • Engage in network activities to extend your reach and influence.

Social media has evolved into a primary job source and offer platform, above and beyond the job portals that have been around for a while.  If you can build your personal brand and social identity to make it attractive then employers and recruiters are really going to notice.

It’s no longer only just about your resume. Your accomplishments, previous projects, and your network are all part of the path to a new job in today’s market. So if your experience, expertise and recognition from your past work isn’t clear, visible, promoted, and a good fit, then you might be kissing your job prospects goodbye and not even knowing it.


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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.

Are You Stuck? Could Building Your Personal Brand Help?


stuck_danger of a weak personal brand3

Being ‘stuck’ stinks. That scary feeling that no matter what you do, you’re getting nowhere. Like being stuck in quicksand, when you need to move forward in your career and you can’t, you’re bound to feel alone, frustrated, out of control, and sinking fast.

And to think – it might all be because of a weak personal brand!

It was that way for my friend Katrina, who after paying her dues in a creative agency, took over a marketing role for a large multinational that required her to manage marketing activities across the region. Accustomed to working with internal teams and developing creative, Katrina excelled in driving great content. Her newsletters, market guides, white papers and creative for strategic requirements won her praise with the local management. But her boss, Susan, didn’t see it that way. She hadn’t seen any positive metrics about local affiliate satisfaction, because her dashboard was set up only to highlight deliverables in planning, budgeting and executing events, where Katrina had some failings. So even though Katrina was over-performing in one important area for the company, her boss raised questions about her project management and event handling skills, which caused some friction and they eventually decided to part ways.

That would be bad enough, but it turned out she was stuck.

She had a strong reputation for creativity with her network, but her expertise, skill, and value was largely invisible to the outside world. Her personal brand had no metrics to show her talents, or to show what she did better than anyone else. That stopped her boss from seeing her contributions in her present role, and she eventually determined that the same thing was holding her back from moving on as well.

Diagnose What’s Holding You Back: Perception Shapes Reality

Inability to move on in career can be stifling and frustrating, as it was for Katrina. And in matters of your career, perception matters. Your bosses and recruiters both go by the impressions they have of you, which can collectively be described as your personal brand.

Katrina had issues with making her impact on the business clearly shown to her boss, but there are lots of ways your image could be holding you back, like:

  • Maybe your work or behavior has received bad reviews online or with some internal stakeholders; a case of reputation management gone awry.
  • Maybe you haven’t felt motivated enough to put in that extra effort because you’re not in the right position to activate your passion; when this happens people around you might be telling you that you come across as indifferent, or lackadaisical.
  • Perhaps the nature of your job is difficult to put metrics around and be able to point to achievements or victories. When you work ‘behind the scenes’ it’s hard for others to know the value you bring to the table.
  • Or maybe it’s really just your presence. Is it possible that you come across as rough, or difficult, or combative? Do you have difficulty in patching things up with people after an argument? Do you have trouble listening to what others have to say about you?

If you’re not getting traction with a job search, then there could be other reasons why opportunities aren’t knocking down your door, like:

  • Your job description or other aspects of your LinkedIn profile could be under-performing for you, (or just plain poorly written)
  • Your resume could have outdated information and missing some keywords, or
  • Your mission statement might be falling flat for recruiters.

So whatever is holding you back, you need to diagnose it in order to take action.  Katrina knew this, and so she hired a coach who could provide her with perspective on where she could go from there. She also got some needed focus, discipline, and benchmarks to help her understand how to raise her game in terms of promoting herself.

Addressing the Problem: Face it and Erase it

Your next step is to take that diagnosis and turn it around into a solution. You’ve probably identified a weak area in your performance, but rather than just saying “I have to do this better,” you want to try to turn the issue around. How can you use your actual strengths in this situation to eliminate your weaknesses, or at least make them immaterial to the work?

Katrina had a lack of online presence because she didn’t know how to show exactly how her work was contributing to other stakeholders. She also felt that it was difficult for her to highlight her broad project management abilities, when she had much stronger skills in managing creative development and production.

So she changed direction and began looking for a role that directly played to her strengths, which turned out to be driving communications within the larger organization. She was able to point to the stellar work she had previously done, and she recruited her happy affiliate managers to vouch for her skills through a consistent feedback system that tracked her projects and clarified her value to her various other stakeholders.

Promote your way forward

Lastly, you want to make sure that your new direction continues to build your influence from a point of strength. You want to expand your audience base – both internally and externally, if possible. As you capture feedback from stakeholders on each deliverable or milestone you achieve, find a way to document it and disseminate it across the organization or the industry so others can learn from it. Think about how to capture learnings on areas of improvement, or mechanisms and processes that ensure success. You might project the relevance of your work through blogs, case studies, white papers or speaking opportunities.

Katrina broadcast her expertise to a wider audience by sharing her opinions in blogs and posts on industry online forums and the company newsletter. She captured email addresses of those who liked her work, and started posting case studies of everything she worked on, and directed people to follow her on LinkedIn. This showed her bosses and the wider industry how satisfied her customers were and where she excelled in meeting requirements.

Eventually, results started to show – her blogs built a solid industry following, her LinkedIn profile boomed with likes and shares, and she got invited to conferences and seminars related to creative development. Katrina was finally being recognized for what she was — a thought leader with creative talent. And so what if she wasn’t a great project manager? Shifting how she applied herself to her company and the market at large helped her get unstuck and evolve into a better role that gave her the scope she needed to continue to expand and showcase her true talents.

Katrina’s way out of the mess started with recognition of the problem. She didn’t panic or turn bitter and blame others for being stuck. She focused on building understanding and then took a smart path forward.

So if you get mired in quicksand, you have to fight the urge to struggle, which can make you sink further down. Instead, practice patience and get some perspective to determine how you’ll get free and back on the road to your brightest future.


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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.


Building Your Own Brand At Work

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In putting together an innovation team at my last job, our boss asked us to go through a Strengthsfinder evaluation, which provided us a map of the skills and strengths that the team possessed. The idea was that we could see where we were strong and where we might not have all the resources or perspectives that might be required to face different problems and challenges. After we took the test, we compared our notes about the findings and realized that there was not a lot of overlap – most people had differing sets of identified strengths. Here we were, a group of people with one shared mission and very similar job duties, but we possessed widely varying attributes and skills in how we delivered value to the company.

This situation made me think about how rarely we stop and recognize the unique skills and abilities of our team members. And how that ‘village’ of talent comes together to create such incredible business value, based upon that underlying patchwork of powerful personal brands, working together and complementing each other. Looking around my team with fresh eyes, I gained new appreciation of those varied talents, and could recognize clearly how each person had brought their own unique perspective to bear on our projects.

Carving out your personal brand at work starts with identifying who you are, how are you different from others (in the most awesome ways possible) and how do you want others to see you. To stay competitive and be the best you can be, you need specific strategies that can elevate the visibility and value of your personal brand. Here are some thoughts about how to stand out at work for all the right reasons:

Identify your core expertise

Most people do not have a clear vision of their value at work, probably because they have accepted their job description as their destiny – the full definition of what they offer. This attitude is just a habit, however, and you don’t want it to stunt your growth and progress. Instead, choose to develop your own unique selling proposition and figure out what unique value you add to the company in your role.

Spend time thinking about what you are authentically passionate about, and how those passions can be integrated to your personal brand. Do you have strong technical expertise, excellent project management skills or strategic consulting expertise? Perform a SWOT on yourself and try to identify your core strengths and factors that distinguish you from your peers. Hire a coach, or work with a friend, and do your best to become crystal clear on what you want to be known for.

Get noticed for good things

Having a strong work ethic is great, and a key foundation of a strong brand identity. But you’ll want to make sure that you find ways to demonstrate your working style that make a strong impression. Like arriving a meetings before they start, closing your laptop during meetings, or ensuring that you deliver proper credit to supporting teams and contributors when presenting to groups. Actions speak louder than words and in the workplace it gets noticed real quickly when you consistently deliver your work with some special quality or expertise. It allows people to ‘map’ what you’re bringing, which can boost the popularity of your brand, and increase your market reach. Your visibility at the workplace should not only be restricted to your achievements and accolades but to the overall value that you as an employee brings in to the company. Remember, it’s not bragging if all you’re doing is talking about what your real value is.

Leverage social media 

Consistently using social media is another way of brand building at workplace, because it’s an easy way to extend your reach. Apart from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, companies these days are deploying other web based enterprise social media platforms like Yammer, HipChat and Slack etc. An ideal case would be to be active in all these platforms by adding value, sharing content, writing blogs, and networking with people. Do take care when sharing information on workplace social media, however, as you want to abide by any policies your employer has set up.

Reputations are built on trust, respect, and filling unmet needs, so if you can stay focused on how you can be amazingly helpful you’ll soon find that you’re a rock star in your community.

Network in the real world

Networking isn’t a dirty word! It’s a mistake to think about the process of expanding your sphere of peers as just attempting to curry favor or beg for help. It’s not. Networking is nothing more than socializing and connecting with people – something we all do anyway. It’s just more deliberate, so it ‘feels’ like work. But our collaborative work culture and offices located all over the world demand a strong network and a consistent effort to reach out to people from other teams, to explore possible synergies. So the trick is to recognize that while you’re not trying to ‘work’ people, you do need to practice networking as a habit so that you form bonds across your company, and stay in touch with these new connections. But there are ways to do it without giving up your humanity in the process.

  • Volunteer for new initiatives and projects. You never know what project could open up opportunities for new and powerful connections. Look especially for projects that demand cross-department or business unit collaboration. Those initiatives have the most potential for you to build a wider network and gain greater exposure across the company.
  • Keep the focus off yourself. It may sound counterintuitive when you’re trying to promote yourself, but if you place your mindset into understanding what other people you meet might need in order to be successful, you won’t feel as self-conscious and can make a better impression.
  • Don’t focus on exchanging business cards, which can feel too formal and impersonal. Instead, make sure that you have the right access to be able to contact the person again. Reaching out after a first meeting helps solidify who you are and cement your brand to your new connection.

It’s getting more and more important to carve out your own niche at your workplace. To be able to function at your best, both you and your team need to understand how your particular ‘village’ of talent works. Take control of your brand so that others can truly see you and all that you have to offer.


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Yooniko (a brand of Metamorph Corporation) is dedicated to creating the future of unique, personal branding. Find out more here.