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Monday, January 26, 2009

How To Build A Personal Brand ( II )...

...Your Gonna Have To Do Some Steppin Out !...
by David Bookout

Related Post: How To Build A Personal Brand...
Related Post: Why build a Personal Brand ?...
Related Post: What is a Personal Brand ?...

Related Tool: Personal Brand Strategy Brief

Perhaps not dressed exactly as our photo suggests, but to build a successful Personal Brand today, I think it is pretty much a guarantee that you'll have to step outside of your comfort zone. After all, what's comfortable, particularly for the growing number of folks that have been affected by the "corporate sizing" issues we seem to be hearing so much about these days, just doesn't matter. Discomfort is becoming normal. We've got some posts coming up in which we'll be offering some uncommon thinking about actions you can be in, right now, today, to set yourself apart.

But, this post is about technology as a differentiating medium for Personal Brand Building. So, let's look at some examples of people stepping out to use technology to create not only their own personal brands, but whole businesses in the process:

Justine Ezarik @ iJustine.com is steppin out !

Dan Schwabel @ PersonalBrandingBlog.com is steppin out !

Stephanie Quilao @ TheEveryDayBlogger.com is steppin out !

What makes each of them unique? It's not that they are young! It's that they are each embracing technology to extend their reach and expand their circle of influence!! They are exploiting the benefits of technology to create a life style that works for each of them, in their own way, and on their own terms.

I was recently contacted by a client who said "I'm thinking about doing a blog", what tips can you give me!? My advise? Get started. Now, for the particular business this client was in, a blog was almost a standard of care in terms of keeping in touch with their client base, and desired audience. In other situations, this is NOT the case. Nothing is a blanket fix. But, some things just make sense. If YOU need to build your identity to get where you want to go next, here are four ( 4 ) quick thoughts:

Start Practicing / Do Something - Blogger.com, and LinkedIn.com, and FaceBook.com are great places to get started.

Share With Friends - Each of these sites, with the exception of Blogger, which needs another mechanism to facilitate the process, is fundamentally about connecting with friends. In regards to Blogger, set up a private site, and invite your friends, and colleagues to read.

Venture Outside Of Your Own Standard Practices - Spend a little bit of time everyday to be an observer of what's going on in the world. I'm not talking about reading the newspaper online. I'm talking about clicking around and see what others like; Justine, Dan, Stephanie, and others are doing with technology. How they are using the technologies they are using and why.

Don't Give Up - This isn't like watching TV. It takes a little bit of time and energy, but can be well worth it in the long run. Because if your looking for a new job, looking to turn your hobby, or passion into a business, or just looking to focus on giving back to the community through service, these mediums are essential to a successful future.

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "How To Build A Personal Brand ( II )...", the subtitle "...Your Gonna Have To Do Some Steppin Out !..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image was found on, and may be © Copyright to RecitalExpo.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How To Build A Personal Brand...

...Obama's "return to virtuous ethics" as a good example !...
by David Bookout

Related Post: Why build a Personal Brand ?...
Related Post: What is a Personal Brand ?...

Related Tool: Personal Brand Strategy Brief

You may, or may not like our smiling President, but that is NOT the point of this piece.

Obama's suggestion that we return to virtuous ethics is more than interesting. I'm not suggesting he actually said this, but, in effect within the language he chooses to use as our leader in describing how he will lead America into the future, this is what he is advocating we do as followers. Powerful stuff !! "Ethics" are our standards for how we treat one another. "Virtuous" is about having excellent standards. I've got to say that I LOVE to hear Obama speak, and if you've taken the time to watch / hear him, perhaps you too may have noticed the physical change in your body when you see and hear him. Look, feel, tone, manner, and clear, compelling content is at the heart of effective Brand Building. Personal Brand Building is no different.

A good place to watch / experiment with how; look, feel, tone, manner and content effects / affects us is, oddly enough, in the John Stewart segment on The Daily Show on Comedy Central, where Stewart refers to "The Bradley Effect" ( @ 4:44 )( count begins after the 15 - 30 second commercial - sorry ! ). When I watched this segment for the first time I noticed how I began to actually feel different about Obama as a person - in fact, so much so that I've taken the time to hear him speak every chance I get - why? Not because of my political views, but because what he says connects with, and relates to the things I care about. When we make these connections with others we have a beginning, and as a Personal Brand Builder to build on that beginning the thing to do is maintain consistency.

Building a Personal Brand with consistency:

First, take the time to actually think about what YOU care about - make a list.

Next, take the time to design how you might talk about the things you care about. What are the key points? Is there proof for these points? Are the points mainstream, or contrarian - make a list.

Then, be an interested listener and observer to the verbal / non-verbal reactions you get - make a list.

Finally, continue to honestly refine the process until you're producing the results you want - check with others.

Would you invest $0.04 ( 4 cents ) a day to build an Obama like Personal Brand ? Then you need our Personal Brand Strategy Tool to help you get started thinking about and designing your Personal Brand Building Strategy and Tactics today !

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "How To Build A Personal Brand...", the subtitle "...Obama's "return to virtuous ethics" as a good example !..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image was found on, and may be © Copyright to TrustWinsOut.org

Friday, January 16, 2009

Does Fear Affect / Effect Outcomes ?...

...YOU Bet It Does, and NOT in a good way, every darn time !!...
by David Bookout

Related Posts: Closure & A New Design ( II )...

Maybe this happens to YOU? - I think it happens to all of us, but we can control it !! I was talking to a colleague this morning about fear, and they were sharing that the very thing that they we're afraid of seemed to keep happening to them. I thought "so, very, very true!" During our conversation I also thought how sports can be such great metaphors for things! Golf is a great example. I'm certainly not Tiger Woods, but when I was playing well ( NCGA 7 ) I could make a golf ball go through a pretty small "window" of blue sky, between the branches of a LOT of trees, from the rough. But, NOT when I was scared that I was going to fail. I could ONLY accomplish this WHEN I WAS: a) Clear on the desired outcome, (b) Clear on the strategy, (c) Clear on the execution, and (d) Clear in my mind that I was going to succeed AND unwilling to let doubt enter my mind and control me !!!!

I also thought about U.S. Airways Captain Chesley B. ( Sully ) Sullenberger's heroic actions yesterday in the crash of Flight 1549, which may in fact be the most amazing story of the decade, if not the most amazing story in commercial aviation history !!

Had Sullenberger surrendered his mind to fear; the fear of failure, fear for his own life, fear of uncertainty, then I think there would have been a VERY, very different outcome. Because letting fear control you and being scared are two different things.

In closing, our reader's survey, and the specific comment below was / is not only prophetic, but a very valuable thing to consider, and probably for some time to come. Thanks again!

"I think 2009 is going to be a very challenging year and we need to continually be reminded to stay focused on those things that we CAN control, rather than all the negative stuff that's bombarding us."

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "Does Fear Affect / Effect Outcomes ?...", the subtitle "...YOU Bet It Does, and NOT in a good way, almost every darn time !!..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image was found on, and may be © Copyright to DarkSkyFilms.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

U.S. Airways Crash of Flight 1549

Control what you can - a real life reminder that focus is key !!...
by David Bookout

The photo shows an almost surreal setting of U.S. Airways crash - Flight 1549 sitting in the Hudson River. As I viewed this story on MSNBC this evening I was also reading our year end survey results, and specifically the comments of one, very kind reader:

"I think 2009 is going to be a very challenging year and we need to continually be reminded to stay focused on those things that we CAN control, rather than all the negative stuff that's bombarding us."

The two just seemed to naturally go together, and this seemed like as good a time as any to underscore, highlight and celebrate the point one of our dear readers was kind enough to make. So, please join me in a silent acknowledgement - Hats off, and I'm sure many, many heartfelt thanks to U.S. Airways Captain Chesley B. ( Sully ) Sullenberger, and his incredible role this evening in staying focused on the things that he could control and bringing MANY more passengers back safely to Terra Firma than what is normally expected in in-flight crash circumstances !!

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "U.S. Airways Crash of Flight 1549", the subtitle "Control what you can - a real life reminder that focus is key !!..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image was found on, and may be © Copyright to AlleyInsider.com

Brand Building - Portal Strategies...

... may be One More Reason to go Web 2.0 !...
by David Bookout

Social Networking and Social Media are hot topics, and sites like: MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, DodgeBall, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Spoke, Zoom, Blogger, YouTube, Joost, Flicr, Picasa, SlideShare, and more are pretty familiar. But, knowing how to best leverage these technological tools within your brand development strategy, regardless of whether your focus is corporate, or individual is the question!

The ManyOne Portal may be an interesting, and valuable new alternative ?!

Personally, you might be thinking; Some of these applications don't seem serious enough for what I want, or I don't even know where to start, or I don't have time to keep up with all these discreet accounts. At the corporate level you might even be thinking, hey, this is someone else's job! But is it?

At the core of all the applications mentioned is the function of establishing an "identity" amongst a specific desired audience set. The purpose of brand building is to expand the shear number of people that are; aware of, interested in, and ultimately accept the brand's value proposition in some sort of transaction.

Historically, I think it has been difficult, particularly for the SMB market, to create appropriate content, including graphics, that do a good job of establishing a consistent, brand building look and feel. Website building has been difficult at best, and most of the applications mentioned have a primary ( yet, perhaps hidden? ) agenda of significantly building their own brands on the backs of their users. The ManyOne Portal seems different in that regard, as well as providing the opportunity to expand identity / brand building possibilites by giving companies, AND individuals the opportunity to manage multiple interests and passions, in one relatively simple, easy to use place.

For example, I built this new Effetti Portal in less than an hour with ONLY my extensive cut and paste capability !! Honestly, while I've been building websites for ten years, I have just about enough HTML experience to bold some copy.

Post Publishing Add - Additionally, the ManyOne Portal acts as a Wiki / Collaboration / Coordination tool with the ability to house 100's of documents for either public, or private view depending on how you set up each portal. Teams with designated members, that the portal owner controls, can view private portals, anyone can view public portals. My colleague and project management guru friend Kimberly Wiefling recently turned me on to these new collaboration tools, thanks Kimberly ! - Post Publishing Add End

So, if you've been thinking about building a new website, or getting a bit more active in the Social Networking / Social Media space, I would give the ManyOne experience a try ??!!

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "Brand Building - Portal Strategies...", the subtitle "...may be One More Reason to go Web 2.0 !..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image was found on, and may be © Copyright to ManyOne.net

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why build a Personal Brand ?...

... because you're actually brand building no matter what !...
by David Bookout

What is a Personal Brand?...

If you don't think you need to worry just look around, and take note of the random thoughts you have about people - "So and so is always late! He's really quite smart! She always runs a great meeting!" As humans, we can't help having such thoughts. Just try to stop yourself. The compilation of what we think about people over time, even over a few seconds, shapes what we will and won't accept - "I would never work for him! I'm going to buy it, but not from her! I'm going to get on his team if it's the last thing I do! When she takes the new job, I think she's going to take me with her, I can't wait!" And every time you talk with someone you're negotiating your personal brand. These are all elements of Personal Brand Thinking, and chances are you have a Personal Brand, it just might NOT be the one you want, or need to have !

Here are a few examples of the benefits of a focused Personal Brand:

Be a more compelling candidate for that next project, new job, or promotion. When we are clear about our true strengths and weaknesses we can create narratives that resonate more effectively with specific audiences.

Sell more / be more productive. When we are clear about those same strengths and weaknesses we can design more effective actions for ourselves and our teammates to increase results and velocity.

Be a more successful leader. When we understand why some people readily accept our leadership offers, and others don't, we can actively design and implement ways for our teams to be more productive and have more FUN.

Build more powerful networks. Similarly, where we are clear about our interests, goals and passions we can design and implement more effective ways of connecting with greater numbers of people at a deeper level.

As we offered in the previous post ( What is a Personal Brand?...) the process for brand building is the same for companies, products, services, AND individuals. Successful people have known, and used the secrets of powerful brand building for years. Now those secrets can be yours! We've taken the same principals used to create brands like: Blue Shield, Charles Schwab, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Starbucks, etc., and customized the process for individuals, and Personal Brand Building. For just $14.95 you can have 12 month subscription access to your own Personal Brand Strategy Brief. This web based tool is available 24 x 7 x 365, and once accepted in this limited offer program, the tool can be used to repeatedly ensure the competitive advantage you deserve.

In closing, we hope we can be of value as you begin the new year and consciously design and implement a more powerful Personal Brand Strategy, and that you stay tuned for more Personal Brand Review feature articles and Personal Brand Building Tips in the coming weeks !!

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "Why build a Personal Brand ?...", the subtitle "... because you're actually brand building no matter what !..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image "Relax, this won't hurt much" is © Copyright to VisualFountain.com

Monday, January 5, 2009

What is a Personal Brand ?...

... and other key terms in the Effetti Lexicon of Personal Brand !...
by David Bookout

Everyone seems to be talking about Personal Brand. With today's Google search revealing 990,000 exact uses of ( "Personal Brand" ), within web sites that range from ranting about the ridiculousness of even thinking about Personal Brand, to offers to be your Personal Brand Coach, there is more than a bit of confusion regarding the meaning of the term. There's even more confusion relative to the essential steps someone would need to take to actually build a Personal Brand. This blog; is an offer to change that, to reduce the confusion, and give you a set of clear, actionable steps that can be used to build your distinct Personal Brand.

David Aaker has defined Brand Building within a very clear framework in several books, which I highly recommend. However, these are NOT for the faint of heart, or those looking for a "Cliff Notes" approach to brand building. If your interested in a deeper dive follow the link at the end of this post, and get the books. If your interested in quick surface explorations you might want to sign up for our RSS feed, because that is exactly what this blog is about - quick, surface explorations into strategy, and grounded, proven tactics for Personal Brand Building.

While Aaker's work focuses on company / product / service Brand Building, the same rules apply to Personal Brand Building. Similarly to the world of finance, where there are a specific set of terms, distinctions, tools and rules that apply to the financial concerns of many different types of businesses brand building has its own set. We're going to be using and working through those terms, distinctions, tools and rules for Personal Brand Building right here !

The Effetti Lexicon of Personal Brand:

Personal Brand - a widely held assessment, within groups of people ( constituents ) that matter, that an individual holds critical skills and expertise to successfully address concerns, held by those constituents, in specific domains.

Personal Brand Equity - the total accumulated value or worth; the tangible and intangible assets that an individual contributes to their ability to fund their goals and ambition, both financially and in terms of their personal networks.

Personal Brand Identity - part of the individual's overall equity; the total perception of that person in the marketplace, driven mostly by the positioning of their; personality, skills and expertise.

Personal Brand Positioning - what an individual stands for in the minds of their; customers, prospects, managers, peers, and direct reports relative to their competitors, in terms of benefits and promises.

Personal Brand Personality - an individual's outward perception, the positive and negative traits others assess that that individual naturally exhibits.

Personal Brand Essence - the core or distillation of an individual's Personal Brand Identity.

Personal Brand Character - having to do with the internal constitution of an individual's Personal Brand, how that individual is seen in terms of their integrity, honesty, and trustworthiness.

Personal Brand Soul - related to an individual's Personal Brand Character, defined as the values and emotional core of that individual's Personal Brand.

Personal Brand Image - generally synonymous with either an individual's Personal Brand's strategic personality, or that individual's reputation as a whole.

Aaker Books on Brand Building:

Click here to review and purchase one, or all of these great books by David Aaker: Building Strong Brands, Managing Brand Equity, and Brand Portfolio Strategy.

© Copyright 2009 - Effetti, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide.

Creative Commons License
The article "What is a Personal Brand ?...", the subtitle "... and other key terms in the Effetti Lexicon of Personal Brand !..." and contents herein, unless otherwise specified in writing - by Effetti, Inc. are ALSO licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the author through Effetti, Inc. http://www.effettigrowth.com/about-contact.php.


The image "Relax, this won't hurt much" is © Copyright to VisualFountain.com

The Effetti Lexicon of Personal Brand was adapted from "The Lexicon of Branding" - Author Unknown.


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