Effetti Growth





Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Branding Thought Leadership

Leveraging New and Old Media
by Steven Brown

Today's business climate can lead to a hyper-focus on top line revenue, but it's just as important to watch the bottom line and operations. Reducing costs, or avoiding them, can make or break profitability. Corporate Travel costs are often the easiest to target, and the hardest to control. But what does that have to do with personal branding?

For Ellina Arakelova, having a comprehensive vision how best to control Corporate Travel expense is her unique value. She invests time to be educated on innovations in technology, as well as the travel industry. Her vendors recognize her willingness to work with them early in their programs - if she is satisfied then nearly all their customers will be as well.

In short, Ellina is a Thought Leader in her industry. Her recent article outlining a successful travel program is an example of what Thought Leaders do - they think ahead and influence others to emulate their example. By definition there is a small percentage of people who are Thought Leaders, which can be a significant advantage when competing, and is an important consideration when investing in your personal brand.

What is Thought Leadership

I spend time with thought leaders of my customers. They inform me of the scope of the problem they need solved, the solution they would like, and the value it provides them. I trust their judgment, and I return the favor by helping promote their visibility as thought leaders.

Wikipedia describes a Thought Leader as:

"a futurist or person who is recognized among peers and mentors for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights."

How Does Thought Leadership Impact Personal Brand

Thought Leaders define markets and are an instrumental part of influencing a wave of change that provides opportunities for profits. In Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, such leaders are called Mavens, "people we rely upon to connect us with new information".

If you're an individual wanting to define or enhance your brand, being a Thought Leader is certainly a position to consider. It is in the early period of trends that differentiation versus existing or competitive offerings is the primary decision making criteria for purchase. This role is highly valuable for companies that are seeking to gain benefit by being innovators in your area of expertise. In the case of Ellina mentioned above, her company wants to control travel costs and is willing to be more innovative to do so.

Establishing Your Thought Leadership Position

It's not simple to become a Thought Leader. Some people are born to it, others are willing to work for it. The key attributes of a Maven are information and insight. Having early access to information, usually through personal experience, is a requisite. However, the most important characteristic of a Thought Leader is one who is plugged into the unique requirements for a segment in the market place. They are aware of some unique value proposition that requires a shift in understanding or offering. In order to become a Thought Leader you must identify a domain where you have such advanced awareness and knowledge.

Communicating In a Noisy Mediaplace

Equipped with knowledge, one must then nurture a communication forum. Before the internet the forums were limited to books, newspapers, magazines, tv, radio, conferences, or other such mass media. The internet facilitates many forms of community creation where such thought leadership can be demonstrated. Twitter is the latest innovation, enabling thought evolution at the speed of light.

Others, myself included, are using blogs for creating and making thoughts easily accessible to an audience. Sometimes it's important to use more traditional media because of the endorsement their brand provides. The lower frequency can enhance the credibility of the voice, as in the case of USA Today publishing the interview about travel program management.

First You Must Have Thought

In my experience working with Thought Leaders the most important behavior they exhibit is continuous communication. They have thoughts and they share them, check them, and learn. Their pursuit of knowledge is tireless, and their willingness to put themselves out there is routine. Once there is thought and an openness in communication, the media forms will be simple decisions on the path to Maven-ness.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Personal Brand Tip - You Are What You Read...

... & Why Setting Up An "Alltop" Account Is A Good Thing !...
by David Bookout

Read, be more interesting, succeed !!! If your an entrepreneur, individual contributor, or team player in a large organization you'll want to check out this useful tool.

I watched an introductory video this weekend on FREE Market Research, and validated a long time suspicion that it is really easy to find out a few basic things relative to market size, competition, etc. - more on this later. Then I thought about all the people that have told me "We don't have any competition" - which, when you think about it, is a pretty lame thing to say. Here's why - the very first thing anyone does when they are being pitched to is think - "what similarities does this idea have to anything I already know about?" - then, what I call the "slotting process" begins. The idea pitcher has lost control, and the idea catcher is down their own path trying to compare.

Now, if your a blogger, or a micro blogger the difficulty is fresh content that's relevant to the Personal / Product / Service / Company Brand your building.

In either circumstance, and many more that I could illustrate, the critical component is what you know. A key component to making you an interesting person is your ability to converse with others on a variety of topics - and this doesn't mean that you have to know everything - that are interesting to them. I've found that Alltop is a way to quickly get connected to top stories in a variety of categories that you control !!

No, the Alltop folks don't pay me, and here's the fifty thousand foot view:

=> Alltop Is A Super Aggregator - of the RSS Feeds your probably already following with a REALLY slick way to organize the content headings, which give you one, simple place to get everything you want.

=> A Variety Of "Categories" Of Interest - that you can choose from: Work / Health / Culture / Interests / Tech / People / Good / News / Geos / Sports

=> Hundreds, and hundreds of "Topics" - are within those categories, and are searchable either alphabetically, or by category.

=> Complete Control - within your account. Add, subtract, and reorganize the information configuration anytime you want.

So, now that you know the Alltop secret, don't get caught behind relative to what's going on in the world around YOU, your company, your team, and your goals => Enjoy !!!

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

The image is my.Alltop.com/EFFETTI

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Twitter Effect / Affect...

... is growth in excess of 1,000% on Twitter a good thing? ...
by David Bookout

When I first got on Twitter Guy Kawasaki started following me. I thought that was pretty cool. Then I realized that with nearly 80,000 ( it's 93,049 now ) other people that Guy was following I WASN'T EVEN a bug on Guy's windshield. So, now what?

Well for me, I wanted to research how Social Media could impact the ability of companies to make money, here is what I see so far:

01 - Expanding Circles Of Influence - The amazing thing about Twitter, that is different than LinkedIn, Facebook, Plaxo and other Social Media tools is that it is OPEN. You can "connect" to anyone you can find, you just need to have enough social graces to stay connected and build a relationship. Just like life. This is Twitter's power, and why Facebook has been moving towards their micro-blogging model.

02 - It's ALL About Mood - The "mood" on Twitter is awesome. When the stock market was diving last week, there was nary a mention. Negativism on Twitter is almost non-existent. If you find someone is too negative, and there are a few, you can either "block" them, or "unfollow" them so they don't show up on your windshield.

03 - You Still Have To BUILD Relationship - This takes work in life, and it takes work on Twitter. What is most amazing is the "feeling" that you can build new relationships on Twitter. So, it's no wonder that in these difficult times Twitter growth is amazing.

04 - There Are Wonderful Opportunities - Which I'll be commenting on as things unfold.

If your jumping in, here is what I suggest you do:

A - Set Up Your Accounts Now - Do this on Twitter, and Facebook to ensure you get the "handles" you want, and nobody "squats" on an essential "identity" for you, or your business. Once you've set up Facebook you may want to take a look at the "pages" portion, which is currently where you can get a "vanity page", while they are trying to work thru how to handle vanity urls like Twitter offers.

B - Define What YOU Want To Produce - Then keep that VERY PRESENT somewhere as you begin to experiment with the tools, because it's VERY EASY to burn a huge amount of time. Actually, I'm thinking about writing a piece on "Getting Off Twitter - A 12 Step Program" => You heard that here first ;-) !!

C - DO NOT Sign Up For Everything You See - Just like life, there are ALOT of offers, particularly on Twitter where people are offering "get quick" this, and "free" that.

D - Relax, Observe, Experiment, Have FUN - Spend a little time, particularly watching the leading posters, see what they do and emulate.

Thanks for reading !!

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

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

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

As an AIG bonus recipient, what would YOU do?...

I'm NOT much for public political commentary, but I do enjoy a good debate with friends. However, I'm changing tack here because "I'M MAD AS HELL AND I WON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE" !!

To me, my current thinking about what is happening at AIG is that it is an outrage and a cop out. As best as I can tell people that lost a record $62B ( BILLION ) dollars are getting bonuses in the form of cash money given to a near bankrupt company by the American taxpayers. How can anyone, with a even a hint of a conscience, take that money ?

If your a recipient of such bonus funds, THE best thing you could do for yourself and your company is return it, all $165MM !!

You all know who you are.

If you won't return the money, then let's ALL get the facts straight, and ALL act accordingly towards AIG's current, and future offers in the marketplace - JUST SAY NO !!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting New Offers Up On The Internet...

by David Bookout

Related Post: Brand Building - Portal Strategies...

Several individual clients have recently expressed anxiety over getting their new business offers up and running on the internet. Historically, you have had to have the ability to create a pleasing graphic design, AND the ability and knowledge to HTML code to take such a leap. But, now all that has changed, here is how !!

First, FREE WebSite capability has expanded significantly. For the uninitiated building a WebSite used to pretty painful, but now there are a multitude of tools available for both public and private viewing. One of my favorites is the Posterous WebSite / Blog engine. The sample site here was created in less than 1 hour. You don't have to worry about look and feel, and you can load content right from your eMail client. SWEET !!

Second, you need a payment engine. Whether your selling products, or pure service PayPal is an excellent way to receive client payments, and even take credit cards without setting up a full merchant account.

Third, you may want the ability to sell complimentary products. Amazon has recently created the ability for virtually anyone to create an online store. This is INCREDIBLE, here is a link to a Contractor Store example that only took seconds to create. You can sign up for an Amazon Affiliate account here.

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

The image was found on, and may be © Copyright to PersistentIllusion

Monday, March 9, 2009

Information Architecture

A Book Review by David Bookout

Now I have three information design heros – Tufte, Wodtke & Govella. “Information Architecture - Blueprints For The WEB” SECOND ADDITION by Wodtke & Govella is exactly what the title suggests – a guide to effective form, structure and organization of information on the web. A quick glance at the table of contents reveals essential topics like; Principles, Balance, Search, Navigation, Flow, and Social Spaces. Graphic illustrations abound to give the reader concrete examples of the principles the authors set forth. Anyone considering upping their game and thinking relative to web building should get two ( 2 ) copies of this book; one to read, reference and literally carry around, and a second one to replace the first one when it wears out.

www.PhaseTwoMarketing.com 416-686-2466
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