Archive for the Category »Branding «

Trump familyOn a recent episode of “Celebrity Apprentice”, the task was to create a slogan and a display for Donald Trump’s new cologne, “Success”.

Each team did a good job, however the team which lost had a poor slogan and failed to provide a “take-away” for the cologne campaign.

The winning team had provided two take-aways; one was a small card, printed on both sides and included detailed information about the cologne, plus they also designed a cardboard “sniffer” stick.

George, a Trump executive, stated how no matter how great a campaign or product is, people quickly forget. Hence, having a take-away is vital.

Today’s Lesson

George is right. With all we have on our mind, it’s easy to forget not only what we saw or read, but where we saw or read it.

This holds true not only for products, but for blogs, as well.

With a product such a cologne, it’s easy to create a take-away. Just brand a “sniffer” stick and hand them out to customers with a sample of the scent. No hard sell is needed, and the customer leaves feeling they got “something” of value.

So what about blogs?

Do people quickly forget us and what we shared?

With millions of blogs online, probably.

So the question becomes, how can we become more memorable?

What can we do to encourage our readers to return? To remember us?

Here’s a few ideas bloggers try.

  1. Offer something for free.
  2. Whether it’s a free e-book or podcast, make sure your freebie is well branded. Link back to your blog so your readers know where to find you again.

  3. Ask readers to subscribe via a RSS feed.
  4. Keep in mind, although readers might subscribe to our blog, if we do not continue to provide valuable content, chances are they’ll either unsubscribe or not continue to read your posts.

  5. Offer a free newsletter via email.
  6. A lot of bloggers use this technique to not only harvest email addresses, but are also able to keep their name fresh in their readers’ minds. This “freebie” can be beneficial IF the subscribers are opening these emails, however the regular emails can become a nuisance and subscribers either move the emails to their trash file or unsubscribe. Just like blog posts, newsletters must have value.

  7. Have a unique blog theme.
  8. I remember when the “fad” was to have a black and white blog theme (black header, white background for content). Not surprisingly, none of these blogs stood out from each other.

  9. Have a memorable or easy blog name to remember.
  10. If you take a look at some of the popular sites, one thing they have is a memorable and often, short name such as Problogger or Mashable.

    This is something I wasn’t aware of when I started blogging and before I realized I had made a mistake by using such a long name, I felt it was too late to change it. That said, I now use my mistake to my advantage and proudly broadcast “I’m blogging without a blog”.

  11. Create content which so good, readers will find any way they can to not lose sight of you.
  12. When I find a site I want to bookmark, I’ll either share a link to the site on Facebook or Pinterest since I no longer use my RSS feed and my “bookmark” file is over-flowing.

  13. Build an online presence others want to follow.
  14. If we spend time on Facebook, Twitter and/or Pinterst and all we do is self-promote, chances are those who follow us will quickly stop listening. Take time to promote the work of others, share informative finds, become a “go to” person for different topics of interest and be unique. Guy Kawasaki has done this not only on Twitter, but on Facebook, too.

  15. Be outrageous
  16. When I think of people who gained popularity by being outrageous in the real world, I think of Madonna and Lady Gaga. These ladies have not only been outrageous in their appearance, but in their song lyrics, as well. Online, this could be a harder task to accomplish, however Perez Hilton might fit into this category.

So, what about you?

Today’s Assignment

What are you doing online to be memorable?

What other methods can a blogger use to stand out from the crowd?

Care to share?

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Photo credit Waiting For Tonight

It didn’t set well with me when Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook stated people are becoming more comfortable with sharing personal information online, thus basically giving up their privacy.

But when I read how Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google referred to Google+ as an “identity service” bells went off in my head. It’s not that I have a problem using my real name online, but it does make me wonder why it’s so important to Google.

Let’s face it, social networking sites are database gold mines filled with all kinds of information advertisers and/or governmental agencies would love to get their hands on.

The sad part of it is, we voluntarily fill those databases.

Today’s Lesson

In a previous lesson we talked about creating a digital footprint. We also discussed the importance of self-monitoring so what we share doesn’t lead to identity theft.

When we look at it as US creating a digital footprint, it sounds like we’re in control.

However, when we become aware others may be using the information we share on social networking sites to “profile” us, it feels like the tables are turned.

Let’s take a look at a sampling of how we provide demographics and psychographics with what we share.

We disclose our sex (gender) and marital status. If we have kids, we often say how many, plus their ages. We write about our likes and rant about our dislikes. We say where we live, talk about our jobs, our favorite foods, hobbies and the sports team(s) we follow. Some go as far as sharing their birth date (age) and anniversaries, too. Based on who we follow, our religious and political preferences become obvious. Some of us share our routines, where we go and how we got there (mode of transportation).

We share photos of ourselves, friends and children and write about our insecurities and our accomplishments.

In other words, we’re voluntarily profiling ourselves and offering the information for free while others are may be profiting from our ignorance trustworthiness.

When I look at it that way, I find it disturbing. But when I think of what I share as building my digital footprint, I feel I’m in control.

But am I?

Are you?

Today’s Assignment

Knowing what you share online could be used to profile you, will you change what, how and where you communicate online?

Care to share?

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The job market as we knew it is changing and the change is affecting how we blog, how we interact online.

With the introduction of social networking sites such as MySpace, Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin, plus with us posting to our blogs; what we feel, what we think, what sites we link to and what we believe, is no longer being viewed by just a select few but possibly by “private eye” type companies hired by potential future employers, or even our current employer, to spy on us.

Today’s Lesson

Although Google and Facebook are usually the spots where potential employers or clients look for information about us, if a professional social networking surveillance company is hired, no stone goes unturned.

Take, for example, Social Intelligence Corp (a division of RivData), who describe what they do as follows:

Social Intelligence Corp solely generates reports based on employer pre-defined criteria, both positive and negative. Negative examples include racist remarks or activities, sexually explicit photos or videos, and illegal activity such as drug use. Positive examples include charitable or volunteer efforts, participation in industry blogs, and external recognition.

Companies like this will find all of our blog posts, comments we left on other blogs, links we like, tweets on Twitter and posts on Facebook. Although we can delete some of the derogatory statements/photographs, if we’re in the job pool/market now, it may be too late.

Knowing this is happening can raise fear in bloggers. In fact, we may become so fearful, we either don’t start a blog or if we do, we become blogging sheeple, never expressing our true beliefs, but instead “playing nice” and acting like we don’t have a backbone. If it appears we don’t have an opinion or are wishy-washy on most topics, that could be construed to mean we cannot make decisions. Even small ones.

On the other hand, if we’re outspoken and share views that go against what a potential employer or client is looking for, would we be a good match for them anyway? And…would we even want to work for a company/client who isn’t accepting of opposing views?

I know some of you will say, “I’ll just blog/tweet/Facebook and use a pseudonym (fake name). That way I can say whatever I want”. In actuality that could hurt us. In the event our goal is to build up a clientele or develop a digital footprint which will benefit us in the future, all of the work we’ve done using the pseudonym could be wasted. Plus, not showing any online activity could appear suspicious.

Building a digital footprint and being aware of the breadcrumbs we leave on the world wide web can be daunting, however if done right, it could lead to great success and/or that dream job.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

If your online activity was investigated, how would you score?

Based on your digital footprint, if you were in the market for an assistant, would you hire you?

Care to share?

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For links to other posts on this topic, check out:

  1. Do You Pass the Social Media Recruitment Test? (Mashable)
  2. Social Media and Employment Law: Six Things You Need To Know (Monster Thinking)
  3. Yes, Virginia, HR Execs Check Your Facebook Page (Gigaom)
  4. Pre-employment Social Media Screening Deemed Legal, posted on Reppler, which is,
  5. …a social media monitoring service designed to keep your social reputation clean and safe.

Photo Credit: Felipe VenĂ¢ncio

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