CraftofMarketing » Personal-Branding Fri, 06 Jan 2017 07:31:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Personal Branding 101 Tue, 16 Feb 2016 01:46:57 +0000 The personal branding basics you can use to create positive public recognition

The concept of building a brand is not new, while we normally think of brands as companies or products, people are brands too. In fact, whether we like it or not, we’ve been cultivating our personal brand since childhood in the form of word of mouth reputation and our digital footprint. Making the leap to owning our personal brand story is a challenge for most, we’ve been conditioned to think that being self-promotional is a negative thing, uncouth in some way. But nowhere does it say you have to create a personal brand that is distasteful or something you can’t be proud of. Personal branding is really about taking control of the brand of you that already exists in the world. Creating your own road to recognition and forging your own path. If you want to be in the drivers seat of your brand narrative, here are a few ways to start.

Decide that you are brand worthy

The actor Kevin Hart, said it best, “Knowing your self worth is extremely important people. I own my brand, I make smart decisions for my brand, I protect my brand” Once you start thinking about yourself as a brand, it’s like that moment when you realize you have a code to live up to, you stand for something. What is that something that you want people to think of when they hear your name? Is there some super power that you have that people should know about? When you start thinking about how you want your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your road to personal branding. There is no right way, there is only you and the you that you aspire to be. Personal brands come in all shapes and sizes.: Seth Godin, Leigh Brown, Chris Smith, Pat Flynn, Ann Handley, Jason Fried, Michael Hyatt, Dorie Clark, Gary Vaynerchuk and Sherry Chris are all different flavors of a personal brand.
Personal branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable – John Jantsch

Find out what the web already has to say about you

It’s a come to jesus moment, where you find out if you can be found on the web at all. Start by Googling yourself and setup alerts for your name, your business and maybe even your role models. If you have a John Smith style common name, consider adding your middle name or middle initial to help stand out on the web. Cultivating a strong personal brand is as much about creating the breadcrumbs for discovery as it about identifying opportunities and seizing them.

Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Chris Ducker

Set up a personal website

It has never been easier or more affordable to dream up, design and create a personal website. It’s the first step in putting the “brand of you” stake in the ground and saying. “Here I am and this is what I do, this is what I stand for.” More than anything, a personal website acts as a window in which you can showcase what you do and connect with a targeted audience. This has the greatest impact when showcasing your work, highlighting your expertise, passions or ideas you have to share with the world. Whether you are wanting to supercharge your career, build a tribe, create influence, get found on the web, sell more stuff or actually change the world… you need to take a stand and say what that is so people can align with you or against you.

Infuse your brand with generosity

The real key to turning your personal brand into an authority within your universe is by paying it forward and helping those around you. This is really counterintuitive when you need to pay the rent. But the more people you can help, the more people will associate you with your niche and start to recommend you to others that need help.
There are many, many ways you can demonstrate your expertise in your niche while being helpful. Just make sure it’s authentic, they say dogs and bees can smell fear, I’m convinced that humans can smell inauthenticity.

Surround yourself with those that inspire you

It’s said that you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. When building a brand, associate yourself with the best in your field, learn from them, model their behavior, and add value to their lives. Your brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to those around you. Start with your role models, who do you aspire to be like? Then focus on influencers in your niche, who commands respect in your field that you also respect? What opportunities exist for you to acknowledge, promote, converse or collaborate with the influencers in your space?

Tell your story

A strong personal brand is dependent on a clear narrative and a consistent story. Who are you and what’s your story? This is an opportunity for you to think about the narrative of your brand. While you may have lots of personal history, passions and talents, your personal brand needs to tell a unified story. What will people say about you when you when you’re not around. I like to think about the game of telephone. If you told your story to someone, would it hold up in translation with the next recipient? Let your freak flag fly and own the brand of you.

Never stop learning

My friend & marketer Mark Schaefer said it best, “You have to be a fearless learner today”. We’ve all heard someone utter the words “I just don’t know if I can keep up with this technology, when I look at how these young people are using technology today, it’s just intimidating”. That is a theme that resonates at all age levels and it will never go stop. The questions “How do I learn? How do I keep up?” require that you be fearless and determined to say, “I’m not gonna be irrelevant. I’m going to embrace change”. You don’t have to know every single change and every single platform. You just need to be open, willing and eager to learn. The road to recognition is not a check box, it’s a journey.


All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters

Here’s some more resources for your journey: an infographic that we crafted at Placester with the help of the marketing genius, Barry Feldman.  It’s the inspiration for our forthcoming book: The Road to Recognition. Stay tuned…….

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A Return on Trust with Seth Godin Thu, 12 Nov 2015 01:39:10 +0000 Seth Godin on Becoming a Generous Marketer and Building Trust Again, Again & Again

We’re all brands now, or at least that’s what it seems like if we want to get our intentions recognized by those around us. Where now in a time where either we take control over how we are perceived in the world or it just happens to us. Or possibly worse, it doesn’t happen at all and we’re just not noticed. No promotion, no raise, and no audience to achieve the goals we’ve imagined for ourselves.

While it may be hard to monetize fame, it’s impossible to monetize obscurity.

Yet, I’m finding that we’re all challenged with the same task, getting down to the business of spreading the word about our brands to achieve some desired goal. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s a personal brand or a business entity, the road to recognition is a necessary part of our collective journey to realization.

If a brand is based on trust, this begs the question, how do we build trust and awareness at scale?

I used to think about branding in the shiny object sense, as a bit of lipstick on a pig. You know, Mad Men stuff where you can sell ice to Eskimos.

Don’t get me wrong, many of those pure “attention getting” branding tactics have real merit, but without the follow though, they just turn into another sucky brand trying to sell stuff that doesn’t make a difference in our lives. We’ve all experienced the “all hype, no substance” brand that makes us want to cringe.

I believe that the big question today is “what does it take to create recognition and trust in a world full of brands just like us?

To dive deeper, I called Seth Godin to chat about what it takes to build a brand today.

If you don’t know Seth Godin, look him up, he’s written 22 books on marketing, many of them best sellers, he coined the term permission marketing decades before it became a buzzword, taught us how to embrace the purple cow of daring to be different, and he’s one of the most direct, honest and endearing people you will ever meet.

Seth has been writing about marketing since the late 90s. Fantastic “how to” marketing books about making an impact in a noisy world. One of the things that I remember early on in my career was reading one of his books called “Permission Marketing.” If you read that book today, you’ll find that Seth Godin predicted so much of our current marketing landscape almost 2 decades ago.

The following is the Q&A session that ensued. Don’t miss the audio interview with Seth on iTunes or SoundCloud.

What’s changed in the attention-getting game?

“Well, I think the biggest shift is that it’s become a game. I don’t think it used to be a game. It was a given that if you paid money, you got attention. So enterprises where money buys you success don’t usually get called games.

The gamification of what’s going on, the trickery, the trading behind the scenes, the snooping around, the sliding things under the door and over the transom has demonstrated new levels of selfishness among marketers. But I also think it’s created an opportunity for the generous marketer to make an even bigger impact.”

What to do when you’re just getting started?

“I wrote a post a couple of years ago called “First Ten” and I send that URL to more people than any other post that I’ve written. Basically what happens is people come to me knowing I don’t do consulting. So they’re looking for free advice, and they say,

“How do I make a big splash?”

“How do I get the word out?”

“How do I get to the size that you are?

“Please write a post or tell me how to get my Kickstarter to be super successful, or whatever.”

My answer is from my own experience, the way I did it, which is to tell ten people. If those ten people tell no one else, then there’s something wrong with what you built. But if they tell other people, then the word begins to spread. And if you show up, day after day with something important, and notable, and remarkable, and generous, people will talk about it. They will miss you if you are gone. And that is the slow and steady only route to actually making an impact, that I know of.”

Earning Attention instead of stealing it

“It’s easier than ever to demand attention. It’s easier than ever to steal attention. But it is harder than ever to earn attention. – Seth Godin

People who want to steal attention use gimmicks. And sometimes a gimmick works and everyone who’s lazy thinks that they just need a better gimmick.

But, earning attention. You don’t tell ten strangers, you tell ten people who know you and trust you. And hopefully, there are ten people in the universe who know you and trust you. And if you give those people a story worth telling, then it spreads.

So if you think about my friend Danny Meyer and the Shake Shack. You know, Shake Shack’s worth a billion dollars.

When did Shake Shack become worth a billion dollars?

Well, was it when he opened the first one in Madison Square Park, in New York City? Because the fact is, in the act of doing that a couple things happened.

One, Danny had earned the privilege of telling maybe 10 thousand of his best customers that he had opened a Shake Shack, which is not what he usually does.

Two, a line formed. And sometimes the line would last for two hours because he was selling a remarkable product in a remarkable way. Then as he grew the business, he used real estate, which costs money, to put it in front of new people.

Lots of people can sign a lease on a space. What Danny did is he put something in front of people that inspired other folks to bring their friends to. So it comes down to,

“Did you build a restaurant that people were interested in?” If you didn’t, it doesn’t matter what gimmick you have because it’s not gonna work.”

The entrepreneurial passion fallacy

“So let’s be clear about passion. I don’t think that Danny Meyer is passionate about french fries. I think french fries are a tool to help him get what he is passionate about, which is touching people with hospitality.

If you talk to the guys at DropBox and they tell you they are passionate about helping people share their files, they’re lying to you.

What they’re passionate about is using software to build an organization that changes things. They could have picked anything. They could have built a walkie-talkie chat app. They could have built lots of things. They built this one, not because they’re passionate about files, but because they’re passionate about touching people through software to make things better.”

Trust is the only thing worth measuring

“I decided 15 years ago that what I wanted to measure and what I wanted to increase was only one thing, which is trust. And if I could be more trusted, I decided everything else would take care of itself.

Even if your goal is to make a lot of money, the best way to make a lot of money is to be more trusted. Now that’s not why I’m trying to be more trusted. But it turns out it works.

And if you think about it, whether you a banker, a lawyer or a dog-walker, the most-trusted person is able to charge a premium. The most-trusted person will grow faster, the most-trusted person will find more people willing to go with them on a journey.

This return on trust is overlooked by people who are playing a different game.

If you’re a card hustler, then you only want to be trusted for an hour until you leave town. My point about the internet is that you can’t leave town.”

Why most investors are morons

“We’ve been through this four times before. We knew it when we talked about safety. Turns out, companies that have workforces that are safe have higher return on equity than ones that are killing their employees.

Turns out the same thing was true with quality, with Deming. You know, Toyota wiped the floor with Ford in 1990s because Ford said, “We need to make a profit.” And Toyota said, “We need to make quality.”

And then we saw the same thing happen with loyalty seven years ago where people said, “Well, it doesn’t matter if I rip people off because I’ve gotta make quarterly numbers.” And what Frederick Reichheld and others have shown is, that the organizations with the most loyalty also have the highest return on equity.

The same thing is true with trust.

If you’re going to go raise money, don’t you dare raise money from somebody who is so short-term they’re willing to destroy what you built to make a quarter work.

You ought to raise money from people who say, “If we’re the most trusted company, we’re gonna win.” That’s all you need to be.”

If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth anything. – Seth Godin

Finding the edges of the box to do good work

“Every form of media is a box. You know, a 30-minute TV show is a box. The two-hour movie is a box. A book is a box. And I find that the people who have the most impact are the ones who figure out where the edges of the box are and put a lot of leverage in those spots.

So you look at a movie, some second-rate B-comedy and you compare it to a movie like “Memento.” And they’re both exactly the same length and they both cost about the same to make. How come I remember Memento every time I think of movies? Well, it’s because one film maker went to the edge of a box.

I’ve been giving talks for over 20 years. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Everyone gets a microphone, everyone gets a screen, and everyone gets an hour. So where are the edges?

Well for me, no one said I couldn’t have 204 slides. So I do.

And no one said slides have to have words on them. So I don’t.

And no one said it has to be self-congratulatory. So I don’t talk about me.

My goal is to change people. And I don’t think I can change people in an hour.

But I do think I can light a fire that a month or six months later, I hear from them saying, “Whoah! I’m looking at everything differently now.”

That’s what I’m seeking to do.

I don’t memorize my talk, I change my talk every time I give it. I keep the greatest hits because that’s what my clients want, But I think very hard and practice where the transitions go. Because I can read the audience, everyone can. And when I discover something’s not working, it goes out and something else goes in its place.

So I’ve had hundreds of chances to figure out what moments works where. Every once in a while, I’ll do something with no slides, with no preparation at all in terms of an audience. Just thinking about it for a month before I get on stage. And that forces me to have a fresh take now and then, so I don’t get stuck.”

Creating the space to think

“My youngest son likes to point out that I’m unemployed. I don’t go to meetings, I don’t owe people stuff, I don’t do consulting, I don’t do advising, I don’t invest. So that forces me to think about something that I haven’t thought about before if I want to be productive,.

Activity exists because it’s an excellent way for people to hide. You can’t accuse yourself of being lazy because you’re busy. – Seth Godin

What you’re actually doing when you’re busy is hiding from the thing that scares you.”

Rethinking the way we teach and learn

“The first time I did the MBA curriculum was in my office, in-person for six months for free.

Nine people moved in. And they grew and I grew. It was an extraordinary thing that I’m not sure I could sustain again because it was so hard.

I went in every day prepared to spend two to eight hours in performance with this group. It was transparent, it was vulnerable. I had no place to hide and it could have all fallen apart. Maintaining that pace for six months was insane and I’m glad I did it.

Then I did a three-day seminar for entrepreneurs. And there are entrepreneurs who wear on their sleeve the fact that they don’t have any money. I knew some of them would say that I was being a bad person by having this seminar and they couldn’t come because it wasn’t free. So I decided to call their bluff and I recorded the whole thing. And then a friend from Earwolf said, “Can I make that into a fake podcast?” and I said, “Sure.” And it’s been one of the top ten business podcasts for years and years. Even though I made it all in three days and I haven’t added anything to it. So I like being able to contribute that.

But now, I’m doing something different which is called the Alt-MBA. It’s a virtual workshop. It lasts for four weeks, it’s expensive, it’s transformative. It’s not like any other online course. And I won’t say anything else about it. People can check it out if they want.

What I’ve learned is, we don’t have a shortage of information. We don’t have a shortage of videos to watch, we don’t have a shortage of books to read. I don’t need to write any more books because if I have something to say, I can say it in three paragraphs on my blog.

What we have a shortage of is change and the willingness to be transformed. – Seth Godin

Transformation doesn’t happen very often because you read something. It usually happens because you’re in a social setting where you realize that people like us do things like this. And you are transformed to a new level. And this leveling-up is my passion.

We’ve run the Alt-MBA twice, running the third one next year.

Watching people transform is incredibly seductive and I love that I get to do it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that I have solved the education problem the only way it can be solved. But I do believe that this typical lecture-lecture-lecture online thing isn’t going to last very long because the drop-out rate is 99%.

The reason the drop-out rate is 99% is because as soon as it gets hard, people leave. But you can’t learn without doing something that’s hard.”

What is a brand?

“I don’t think a brand is a logo.

A brand is expectations and promises, That’s what’s of value. – Seth Godin

When somebody stands for something or an organization stands for something, we expect something. They have a brand value.

So the way a human does that is not by social grooming, updating their Twitter account, making sure their Linkedin page is accurate.

Your Linkedin page is a signpost, it’s not a brand.

Your brand is when you walk into the room, what should people expect? So if you’re in college, what a perfect time, what a moment to build a brand.

So when I was in college, my partner Steve Dennis and I built that largest student-run business in the United States. We had 400 employees at a school of 4400 hundred students. And we launched a new division every five weeks.

People knew if I walked into the room, something was about to change. And that if we talked for ten minutes, a new business was gonna happen. That was my brand, that’s what I stood for in that moment.

You can also be the brand of, I’m always in the library, but I’ve got a straight-A average.

Or you can be the brand of there are eighteen non-profit organizations on this campus and I coordinate all of them. That’s what you should expect from me going forward.

That’s what these people should be doing. Not figuring out how to report accurately on it in social media.”

The other Seth’s favorite Seth Godin books

When it comes creating a culture of trust, I am huge fan of Permission Marketing.

His thesis on the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them was revolutionary in 1999 and just as relevant today.

If you’re trying to figure out how to stand out. Purple Cow cuts through all the bull (no pun intended) and produce remarkable products, then target people who are likely to spread word of mouth about the product.

All Marketers are Liars is a manifesto about telling truthful stories.

According to Seth “All marketers tell stories. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Touareg, even if it is virtually the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better–and look cooler–than $20 no names. . . and believing it makes it true. But Godin claims that marketers are not, in fact, supposed to lie.” Marketers should be storytellers – but truthful ones.

In Tribes, Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change.

And one of my favorites – What To Do When It’s Your Turn (and it’s always your turn) In this book he explores the dance we all have to do with our fears, the tension we all must embrace in order to do work that we care about. It pushes us to dig deep inside so we can do better work and impact the things we care about.

And lastly his KickStarter book project The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art, where over 4000 people pledged $287,000 before the book was even written.

This is a book about the mythology of success (and failure) and how our economy rewards people who are willing to stand up and stand out. According to Seth, “For too long, we’ve been seduced into believing we should do less. It’s time to redefine what we’re capable of.

We are all artists now, and the connection economy we’re living in relentlessly rewards those who do work that matters. Okay, you knew that. So why aren’t you?”

He also used Kickstarter to send a message about how books and bookstores can still be part of the conversation.

I am honored that I get to do what I do, thank you for reading and listening. – The other Seth

*Seth Godin image source: Jill Greenberg

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The Marketers Guide to Social Selling Wed, 16 Sep 2015 14:57:18 +0000 Social media marketing can be a confusing beast when it comes to delivering measurable outcomes for marketing and sales professionals. There’s a lot of mis-information around what is the most effective marketing activity on the web and what strategies will actually help a sales organization close deals.

Social selling is a secret weapon for crushing sales.


But what is social selling? To dive deeper, I contacted Jill Rowley, a quota crushing sales pro who’s held top positions at SalesForce, Eloqua and Oracle. She’s one of the foremost social selling evangelists and an expert on how to leverage social as an individual or a sales team of 10,000. Listen to the interview with Jill to hear all of the social selling secrets that I couldn’t fit in this post.

We can all agree that social media marketing is required for sales and marketing teams to succeed today, but the questions remain, where do we focus?, how well we do it? and to what extent?

Why social media marketing isn’t optional

The first question I had was “where does social media marketing fit in?” So I tracked down on of my favorite social media marketers, Rabekah Radice and she said “At a minimum, social is required to nurture relationships at scale, engaging, conversing, asking and helping the people in our sphere just like in real life.” The modern equivalent of yesteryears water cooler.

Ok, that makes sense, but what about social selling?

“Social selling comes into play when we have prospects and customers to work with”, says Rowley. “There is no better tool than social to research the buyer, the buying committee and their sphere of influence. This research allows us to be relevant, drive revenue, lifetime value and ultimately advocacy.” Boom, I get it now.

Dating sites are social selling for lovers

What’s become clear to me is that social selling is not just for sales people, anyone who needs to build consensus around an idea, establish credibility, find a job, attract talent, secure funding, and even find a mate, can benefit from social selling.

No I’m serious here. Social selling is really effective for dating, why do you think OkCupid, and Tinder are so effective? They’ve created highly efficient social networks that facilitate good first impressions with like minded people. But I digress.

With Social, the folks you want to connect with are literally at your fingertips, sharing intimate details of their lives that in past decades you would have had to hire a private detective to uncover. With the right information you have the opportunity to speed up the process of making meaningful connections where trust can be established. That my friend is what social selling is all about.

The social media strategist, Katie Lance weighed in by saying “Authenticity always trumps everything else in social. Being completely myself — not too sales-y, but genuine and authentic. Also, providing tremendous value to people. When you give and give in social media — you can then “ask” for the sale or the referral.”

I eat failure for breakfast so I can dine on success for dinner. I am not afraid of failure, I just don’t want to repeat the same mistake again and again.

The art of selling without selling

In another context, Bruce Lee coined the term “The art of fighting without fighting” . Watch the scene to get a laugh.

With nearly 1/4th of all time spent online occurring on social networks and reaching 75 percent of all Internet users. There is an extremely high probability that your customers are there, open to the possibility of engaging with you as long as you follow some rules.

As Chip Kidd says in his popular TED Talk, “First impressions are the key to how we perceive the world, and are perceived by it.” The ability to intentionally create relationships and build consensus around shared points of view are critical to sales success. In today’s connected world, social selling helps us efficiently achieve both.

9 Tactics for Connecting with Social Selling

1. Endorse your customers on Linkedin.
Assuming you like your customers and find value in what they do. Share that with the world. Write a personal testimonial that’s honest and heartfelt, I never met anyone that didn’t love that kind of public acknowledgment, plus it gets seen in their social sphere, influencer marketing at work.

2. Follow your clients on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin.
One of the best ways to get to know what your prospect cares about is to watch what they do. Pay attention to the details. What is important to your customers and prospects when they’re not thinking about what you have to sell. You may be surprised at the level of intimate details that you discover. It will help you develop empathy and open the path to connecting as a human first.

3. Engage with your clients posts.
It is so simple today to build a relationship with someone on social. Start by retweeting and responding to their posts. But remember, you can’t just do it one time. Consistency is key. I loved watching Peg Fitzpatrick or Canva & Rabekah Radice deepen a friendship on social. It’s easy if you care.

Via @citrix @pegfitzpatrick @RabekahRadice
Via @citrix @pegfitzpatrick @RabekahRadice

4. Learn about the right topics to talk about.
Imagine for a minute you are going to an interview for your dream job and you have the choice between just looking at the company website or….. reading the Linkedin profiles and twitter posts of the company’s founders, leaders and employees. Which one do you think will prepare you most? My good friend Chris Smith, Author of People Work and the upcoming book, The Conversion Code, say’s it best. “If you can’t take the time to find out what’s important to your prospect, why should they take the time to listen to you”

5. Find your common ground.
Incidental similarities between a buyer and seller are enough to establish a personal connection and increase the likelihood to purchase. It can be almost anything: a shared birthday, alma mater or favorite restaurant.

6. Set up some listening tools.
If you aren’t using a social media management tool, get one. It will make your life a whole lot easier. Here’s some that I’ve used.
– CharlieApp

7. Connect long before you need to.
Look, no one likes to be sold to, but we are more than willing to go out of our way for someone we care about. I love this quote by Lee Odden of TopRankMarketing, “The day to create an army of influential advocates is not the first day of the war.” Reputations are earned not bought, invest in them and that will reward you handsomely.

8. Maintain a giving mindset.
Shifting your mindset from “what can you do for me” to “how can I help you?” will change the way people respond to you. We still like to buy from the people and places we like. Life’s too busy to pay attention to people that aren’t providing value.

via @placester @annhandley @marketingprofs
via @placester @annhandley @marketingprofs

9. Be real.
Nobody like a phony. Don’t do it. nuff said.

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13 Insanely Actionable Personal Branding Techniques Mon, 07 Sep 2015 18:27:00 +0000 Almost everything I’ve done in my career can be traced back to a strong personal brand. It’s been the constant trump card that helped me get my first job, raise my first round of funding, make my first sale and land my first speaking gig. A outstanding reputation can help you overcome countless shortcomings to forge the path that you dream of for yourself.

Just as there are tactics and strategies for succeeding with practically every other facet of your life or business, there’s both an art and a science to branding yourself well. But what does “well” mean? For me it’s simple.

Greater mindshare and credibility.

A steady stream of ideal clients.

Leadership opportunities.

And, overall higher perceived value…

This post is all about taking advantage of your personal brand superpowers that already exist.

My quest to understand personal branding started with the first interview on the Craft of Marketing podcast with Barry Feldman who’s a master at content marketing for personal branding. It then led me to chat with marketing strategy consultant Dorie Clark, who early in her career, had an unexpected job change that forced her to confront what it means to reinvent ones-self and to think about standing out to create the life of her dreams, and not the life of circumstances.

Innovation is about asking questions, are we doing this just because, or because it’s the right way? 

Dorie has dedicated her career to exploring what components are needed for stellar branding and helping today’s entrepreneurs and companies leverage their branding and ultimately grow their bottom lines. Listen to Dorie Clark on the Craft of Marketing Podcast and read the post below to find out how to take control of your personal brand so it represents the best you.

13 insanely actionable personal branding techniques that you can use right now.

Personal Branding Ideas - Dorie Clark

1. Write down a list of all the words you want people to say about you when you’re not around. Envision the words that people should utter after they hear about you, see you, talk to you or read about you. Some that come to mind: valuable, insightful, relentless, creative, supportive,  indomitable, determined, thoughtful, caring, or bad ass? Then, choose three.

2. Ask people you respect: “What’s my super power? Ask them “If you had to be a reference for me, what would you say about me?” Take notes of the answers you get.

3. Make a list of at least five super successful people in your niche that you to aspire to be like. research everything you can about them. How are they similar? How are they different? What about their character captures your attention? Often what we admire is what we aspire to be. I happen to be an entrepreneurial marketer, so my list evolves around individuals that inhabit that world, with folks like Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, marketing strategist Andrew Davis, Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income, Lee Odden of Top Rank Marketing & Sujan Patel of . I admire these professionals because they’re building businesses that inspire me. They’re also passionate, creative, generous, irreverent, and honest connectors of people and ideas.

4. Ask yourself: “What makes me different?” What do you do now or in the future that will set you apart? You know the “you’re special” talk we got as kids. Well there’s a lot of truth to that. Don’t blend in. Lean in to your special sauce. It may be your actual job function like “cultural anthropologist,” or it could be something broader like “connector of people.”

5. Answer the question: “Who is the most important audience that my brand needs to speak to?” Everything you create and every word you say in the public domain is discoverable online. By identifying and communicating with your most important audience, you’ll avoid any chance of personal brand not jiving with your larger goals. In fact, this will help you make sure that your personal brand represents the values you and your audience hold dear.

Get involved, put out beacons (whether it’s blog posts, starting an organization, or speaking about an issue), if you are open about your challenges, you dramatically increase the odds that others will find you and value your contribution.

Author's image
Dorie Clark

6. Ask yourself: “Is this the authentic me?” When searching for your true voice, you have to continually check in with yourself to make sure you can sleep well at night with the intellectual decisions you make in the daytime. It’s so much easier to be motivated if we’re true to ourselves. Pretending to be someone that you’re not will just cause you heartache down the road.

7. Build your reputation where it counts. Personal branding is an amazing strategy to take control of how the world perceives us, but it’s really daunting if your focus is too broad. Your brand doesn’t need to be all things to all people, it just needs to resonate with the audience that matters to you and your goals. If your goal is to be the most well respected subject matter expert on raising poultry in your backyard, there’s probably places that your audience spends their time and content that they will find valuable.

8. Share your ideas in the form of content. For me, content is about creating long lasting assets that represent one’s best thinking. According to Ann Handley of Marketing Profs “In an online world, our online words are our emissaries; they tell the world who we are.” This is more true now than ever before. Most marketers now refer to this as content marketing. Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute, describe it as “The process of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience to drive business results” That clearly is a mouthful, but it’s also quite powerful. Content can be on a blog, podcast, newsletter, videos, photos, books or public speaking. Content is that vehicle that allows you to build trust at scale.

9. Start a mailing list to communicate directly with your tribe. I’ve interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs, authors and c-level professionals. And when I ask them what’s the most valuable marketing tool they have in their arsenal, the email list is far and away always in the top position.

It’s table stakes that you be good at what you do, but being good isn’t enough to make your brand stand out. 

10. Launch a beautiful website as your personal branding hub. The modern equivalent of a professional business card is a personal website. The place to say who you are and what you stand for. It’s also the best place to house all the fantastic content that you create. Think if it as the hub for participating in all the other platforms that might be relevant to your tribe. If you want to learn more about why websites are so important and how to make them work for your brand, you have to follow Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media. You won’t be sorry.

11. Make being helpful core to your mission. Whether you’re an individual, a SaaS startup that’s just launched an easy-to-use new platform or a burgeoning ecommerce venture, the rules are the same: Create endless amounts of unique value around your brand beyond what you have to sell. The truth about human beings is that we are all busy and focused on our own problems. Unless you can show value to those around you, it’s unlikely that they will pay attention to your ideas.

Author's image
Dorie Clark

A breakthrough idea doesn’t have to be rocket science, it can be created by improving upon existing ideas. 

12. Build a network of honest advisors. I don’t know where I would have ended up without the honest feedback of my close friends and advisors. Getting a support system in place to help make some of the tough decisions and brainstorm solutions that you may never have considered otherwise. According to Dorie. “You want to have a group of trusted advisors around you who can help steer you, guide you, tell you what’s a great idea and give you some initial early support.” This, she notes, will ensure you don’t make any atrocious sales or marketing mistakes that could derail your branding efforts before they really begin in earnest.

13. Nurture your 1000 true fans. Kevin Kelly wrote about this back in 2008 and it’s still very relevant today. According to Kelly, “Any creator, such as an artist, musician, photographer, craftsperson, performer, animator, designer, videomaker, or author – in other words, anyone producing works of art – needs to acquire only 1,000 True Fans to make a living.” Now we might argue the exact number and economics, but there is no doubt that it is much less costly to keep an existing fan  or customer than it is to acquire a new one. When you decide to start this could be long before you decide to change jobs or start a business, Joe Pulizzi’s book, Content Inc. makes the case that building a tribe first is the easiest way to launch a business, months or even years before your company gets off the ground. Depending on the resources you allocate to your content creation, SEO, email marketing, etc. — you have the ability to build a fan base of those who love you and your brand and help them share their interests with one another. The point is to create a simple, effective way to build an alliance of individuals who adore you, appreciate what you offer them, and want to see you succeed. “That begins to create exponential connections and exponential momentum around your idea because you are no longer the only person talking about it,” Clark states.

People tend to look at successful professionals and assume, “Oh, that happened overnight” — but 99 times out of 100, it didn’t. 

I’ve learned a lot from Dorie, she shares her expert tips and tricks through two outstanding books on the subject of personal branding, the first being “Reinventing You,” which focuses on how to modify your approach to personal branding to build an allegiant following, and “Stand Out,” which details the intricate ways in which pros can stand out from other noise — that is, the marketing efforts of others in their respective fields whom they compete with for attention and sales.

If you want to hear more of what Clark had to offer in terms of getting your branding to boost your return on investment, you’ll get plenty of unique opinions on what makes a brand stand out and the actual steps you can take to do so for yours in this episode of the Craft of Marketing with Dorie Clark, listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.

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Building a Career with Content Marketing Sun, 12 Jul 2015 19:48:28 +0000 A Step by Step Guide to Building a Career with Content Marketing

The traditional resume is dead — at least that’s the case for aspiring content marketers, according to NextView Ventures Vice President Jay Acunzo. “The rules changed right before our eyes, now if you want to be successful in the marketing space you don’t need a fancy degree, though that might get you in the door. you just need the talent to create the remarkable and deliver measurable results with your efforts.” Jay’s has been working in the field for a half-dozen years, including for two of the most prestigious names in content/inbound marketing, Google and HubSpot, and will be the first to tell you that, of all of the marketing-oriented roles you could apply for, content marketer requires more than just a standard cover letter and the prototypical “I’m-the-right-person-for-the-job” pitch. Nope, it requires a hefty portfolio that shows expertise in various facets of digital marketing and attention-grabbing copy.

Success comes from focusing on customers. Search for them, talk to them, then shut up and listen! 

Jay will also be the first to acknowledge this is something few hopeful content creators and strategists understand well and know how to execute — and that was one of the reasons behind his decision to co-found an exciting young community of burgeoning marketing professionals in the Boston areas through his Boston Content group. The faction serves as an optimal outlet for eager and involved marketers to share advice and ideas, build upon their skill sets, and even find applicable job opportunities nearby.

Aspiring marketers today have no excuse not to have a substantial portfolio 

It’s his seemingly endless energy supply that keeps Jay moving his career along at a steady clip and working tirelessly to help those just like him make the right career moves in what has become an exciting yet difficult industry to navigate. It’s wonderful to see Jay and the team behind Boston Content take time out of their busy schedules to aid others whom share similar interests in all-things marketing.

How Jay finds time to conduct his actual day-to-day marketing activities at his venture capital firm makes one want to learn to emulate his work ethic. Whatever the methods are that he implements to accomplish ostensibly everything he wants to, it’s evident Jay is supremely passionate about the marketing world and is driven to help steer the industry in the right direction (and, to some degree, keep learning new techniques and methodologies on the fly).

Focus less on a volume of content and more on getting the most out of your existing content 

If you want to glean insights from someone who’s practically been there and done that for every major marketing role there is in marketing, this is the essential Craft of Marketing episode to check out. Jay and I hit on a variety of intriguing subjects, including how VCs are finally coming around to content marketing, the new perspectives he’s gained from starting his evolving marketing community (1,000+ members and growing daily, by the way), areas even the best marketers can improve, and several other topics. Also, check out Jay’s latest content effort, Traction, the Podcast about the creative & unusual ways entrepreneurs make progress.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • Venture capital firms are finally seeing the light and hiring content marketers to bolster their brands
  • Bringing together likeminded, driven marketers leads to in-depth conversations and connections
  • Strategy is an inherent need for marketing to work, whether you’re an early-stage startup or corporation
  • You’d be amazed how much time marketers ask “What should we build?” instead of engaging customers
  • Knowing where your audience “lives” online takes guesswork, but test often enough and you’ll find them
  • Building a foundation of content one piece at a time provides you with long-term traffic and lead gen



  • Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month
  • Contactually The Social CRM That Helps You Track All of Your Conversations on the Web

If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Alessandro for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Jay on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!      — Warmly, Seth

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Andrew Davis on Brand Storytelling Thu, 07 May 2015 01:48:47 +0000 Telling great stories to build brand loyalty

It may seem like quite the stretch to go from working as a TV producer and with iconic franchises like The Muppets to venturing into the world of marketing and starting an agency, but there’s more in common with these two careers than meets the eye. At the heart of both positions, held by veteran marketing and consulting professional Andrew Davis, is storytelling.

It doesn’t matter what you sell, storytelling can impact your bottom line. 

As Andrew states, it doesn’t matter what industry you work in, telling impactful stories can entice consumers to buy from your business over and over again. In his book, Brandscaping, Andrew dives into the concept of partnering with the right people to develop trigger the right emotions from an audience.

It’s this connection marketers make that not only motivates consumers to head online and enter their credit card info, but also to consistently purchase products and services and become brand evangelists — no small feat in today’s climate, especially given the countless new enterprises that open in just about every field daily.

Partnerships matter. Who has your next customer as their current customer? 

Building your audience and gaining their trust with each and every piece of content you put out there takes time, as Andrew attests, but with an exhaustive content plan that you execute with the help of experienced and perceptive professionals, there’s really no limit to how far you can take your brand awareness — and bottom line.

Get at the heart of your customers’ decisions to buy from you by simply asking. 

Who aids your online marketing efforts? How do you leverage others to elevate your brand in every conceivable way?

Dive in to this in-depth episode of the Craft of Marketing, during which I pick Andrew’s brain to learn how he’s become an accomplished and well-respected marketing mind, which brands’ marketing campaigns he enjoys most, how he puts so much energy into his public speaking, and about an abundance of other marketing-related subjects.

Being a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight, it takes skill and dedication to one’s craft. 

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • People are selective with content they consume, so be consistent with your content publication and value
  • Your content needs to have a “hook” to truly engage consumers and get them to keep coming back for more
  • Implement the “loyalty loop”: Make memorable touch points with customers to get them to love you
  • Inspiring customers post-purchase helps — but re-inspiring them constantly is far more beneficial


Andrew Davis

Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships

Claim Your Fame Podcast

Andrew on Twitter

TripAdvisor Blog

ShopLocket’s The Blueprint Magazine

Wine Library TV


Coach’s Eye


If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Andrew for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Andrew on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!      — Warmly, Seth

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Embracing the Marketing Mindset with Marcus Sheridan Tue, 28 Apr 2015 13:28:44 +0000 Ask just about any marketer why they adopted the inbound marketing philosophy and they’ll tell you it’s because the “look at me and my products” style of marketing just isn’t effective anymore for building awareness and attracting customers — Now it’s about becoming a magent so customers knock on your door because you’ve been more valuable to them than your competitors, going way beyond the things that you sell.

Marcus Sheridan, who’s well-known in the marketing sphere as The Sales Lion, wasn’t always a digital marketing guru. In fact, it took a failing swimming pool business to make him realize the vast benefits of answering his customers questions online could have on his struggling venture.

Today, Marcus has turned around the fortunes of his once-beleaguered company and now has focused his attention to helping other entrepreneurs and executives small and large realize the numerous possibilities that lie within a comprehensive inbound strategy.

It’s been amazing to watch Marcus reinvent himself through savvy content marketing tactics — from podcasting and blogging, to paid advertising and public speaking — and a complete dedication to his work. He’s one of the most genuine and passionate inbound marketers I’ve ever met. Beaming with integrity and loyal to his family, friends and followers.

Are you considering implementing an inbound marketing strategy to help (or even save) your business?

The statistics detailing how valuable inbound marketing is for brands and organizations in just about every industry continue to grow exponentially. Lead generation and nurturing has become easier than ever for B2C and B2B firms. Moreover, every facet of an inbound strategy is quantifiable, meaning marketers everywhere can analyze their work and see the fruits of their labor.

In this podcast, Marcus relays his incredibly story of how he went from being in massive debt with his declining business to becoming the head of his own consulting firm and a renowned figure in the world of marketing — and how other professionals should make the same leap to success by modernizing their marketing and asking themselves and their customers the right questions.

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • Determine the difference between writing well and truly resonating with an audience
  • Recognize consumer pain points and learn how to “disarm the situation”
  • Learn how to create crystal clear messaging from top to bottom in your marketing
  • How to embrace the “you-ask-we-answer” philosophy with your prospects
  • Not everyone at a company is a writer — but they’re all teachers and communicators
  • How to explain the value of content marketing to decision-makers at a business
  • PPC advertising and content marketing aren’t enemies — one supports the other
  • Figure out which marketing metrics matter most and which are “vanity” metrics
  • Social media has its place in marketing, but don’t let it control your business choices


The Sales Lion

Mad Marketing Podcast

Seth Godin



  • Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month
  • Marmoset A Full-Service Music Agency That Creates Handcrafted Music for Films, Videos, and Podcasts

Music & Production

Sound Engineering by Johnny Ronci

FreeSpit (Instrumental) by The Impossebulls

Live dublab “Sprout Session” by Puro Instinct

Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund

If you like this this show, subscribe to it on iTunes, and leave a review.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. I actually read them. —- Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Marcus for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Marcus on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!

Warmly, Seth

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Barry Feldman on Content Tue, 17 Mar 2015 02:25:03 +0000 Have you ever wanted to get a one-on-one with someone who’s mastered the art of content creation?

Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative Agency is just that guy.

He’s a content marketing machine, a skillful copywriter and is one of the best people I know at taking complex concepts and making them accessible online. In addition to running his agency, Barry is an amazing teacher, helping individuals and companies learn how to create and execute effective content strategies. We dive deep into viral content creation, personal branding, influencer marketing and what it takes to write copy people actually want to read.


Crafting amazing content that gets people to read, share and comment is really an art form these days.

Building a personal brand is more important than we ever imagined. 

It used to be you could just consistently write about a topic and folks would think you had created the internet.

Now it requires some personal branding skills so you can engage influencers, secure some guest blogging opportunities and build a tribe that actually cares about what you have to say.

Marketing is an art form that requires consistent hard work to make a difference for your business  

Barry is crushing it in so many content formats and outlets; from Slideshare to infographics, guest posts and social, he’s seemingly everywhere at once, creating content that makes people take notice.

Even though the tools are free, your work ethic is what helps you gain traction. 

Listen in for an honest account of what marketing is all about. The tips, hacks and strategies that professionals share with each other but rarely talk about in public.


  • Why guest blogging is still a great way to build an audience.
  • Learn about the greatest market research tool ever.
  • Step by step guide to becoming a great content marketer.
  • What’s changed in the content landscape in the past few years.
  • Learn how to find the right topics to write about.


Feldman Creative Agency

Content Rules Book

Epic Content Marketing Book

Barry on Twitter

This is a slideshare that Barry & I collaborated on that has received 124K views on Slideshare alone.

The key takeaway here is that Barry is super consistent, uses good visuals and chooses topics that resonate with his audience.

Sponsors Launch a Beautiful Real Estate Website in Minutes for Only $10 Per Month*

Music & Production

Sound Engineering by Johnny Ronci

FreeSpit (Instrumental) by The Impossebulls

Live dublab “Sprout Session” by Puro Instinct

Hallon by Christian Bjoerklund

If you wan’t more of this show, subscribe it on iTunes!, leave a review and help spread the word.

The feedback is super helpful for me and helps other people find the show. It’s keeps the show going and I actually read them.

Thank You!

This is a labor of love, something I’ve done offline for decades and now get to share my curiosity with you. Thanks for listening to the show and to Barry for being an amazing guest! Oh yeah, thank Barry on Twitter, I know he’d appreciate it.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this episode, let me know, and if you like what I’m doing here, please share generously via the social media buttons on this page!

Warmly, Seth

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