Personal Branding

30 Awesome Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts

This is a fantastic compilation of well researched ideas on how to spread your message and promote yourself and/or your blog/site.  I've already started to incorporate the ones I hadn't heard of before. Some of these are also excellent suggestions if you're promoting an event or upcoming show.  

Courtesy of Andreea Ayers of LaunchGrowJoy.  Andreea gives some blogging tips and then breaks down the 30-ways-to-promote ideas into five essential categories: Social Media, Bookmarking Sites, Your Contact LIst, Other Blogs & Syndication.  Brilliant!  

I just had to share the wealth.  

 

30-ways-to-promote-your-blog-posts

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com


The Impact of Being a Precedent-Setter

"You've been given a great gift, George. The chance to see what the world would be like without you." ~ Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life"

What a great line from an iconic movie.  I saw the Frank Capra film on the big screen for the first time this year at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.  It was such Wonderful lifea treat seeing it as a feature film with 300 other rapt moviegoers, popcorn and all.  The comment we made as we left the historic theatre was "they don't make movies like that anymore." 

Then, last night a friend took me to see "West Side Story" at the Pantages Theatre.  It's truly the perfect evening of musical theatre, the brilliant re-telling of Romeo & Juliet set to music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. West-side-story

After seeing both of these treasures that have stood the test of time and whose stories still hold up today, it got me thinking about how when they were both made they were original and fresh, truly the exemplars in their arenas, setting a new ideal.  Even though "West Side Story" was an update on Shakespeare's tale, the way it was told made WWS, itself, precedent-setting.  It was done so well that any attempt to re-tell or update its tragic love story would be futile.  The theme behind "It's a Wonderful LIfe" set a precedent that many storytellers have tried to emulate, but none so well as in the black & white original.

It got me thinking about how, in this copycat information-junky society, it's important to remind ourselves that we all are true originals, to set precedents of our own, to be remembered for being unique and for contributing value to the world and to the lives of others, to build a legacy that is ours and ours alone.

  • Be yourself, instead of trying to be something or someone else.  Imagine how much more work it takes to keep up the appearances of being someone else inauthentically, rather than in being yourself authentically.
  • Chart a fresh course.  Expand your mind and your ideas by trying new things and learning new subjects. Take a class, read an author you're unfamiliar with, skydive, belly dance, snowboard, climb a mountain, camp by the ocean, walk a country mile, buy an espresso machine, learn an obscure foreign language, meditate, sing in public, tour a museum, eat something you've never eaten before, do whatever "charting a fresh course" means to you.
  • Make note of original ideas.  By keeping a regular journal or notebook you can keep track of small seeds that are divinely or organically planted in your mind.  Then, go back and expound on them. 
  • Pay attention to sparks.  My best ideas have come from paying attention to odd images, interesting words or phrases I read or hear, or a question or need I need answered.  I grab the spark, storing it to chew on later.  Think about Post Its, or paper clips, or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, or "Gone with the Wind."  The spark for the idea came from a need, a twinkling of a thought or a slice-of-life experience.  Pay attention to the sparks.

Establish your own standard to be followed by yourself and others.  Examine the areas of your life and career where you are the example, where others follow your lead.  Where do you set a precedent?  No matter how small it may seem, notice where you are original and unique.  Take some time this weekend before the new year begins and honor your originality.  Many times out of those moments of self-reflection and reverence come more sparks.

Pay attention to the sparks!

Sparks 


11 Powerful Re's to Reignite Your Career

Dinner guests were arriving when the electric igniter went out on my oven.  And, then a few minutes later I discovered the igniter on my gas grill was also out.  After a momentary panic attack I re-thought the evening, ordered in and we got a laugh out of it.

But, being aware of metaphor and the subtle epiphanies it can bring, it got me thinking about where in our lives the igniters go out from time to time.  For both the grill and the oven it was an easy fix to re-ignite the mechanism.  What about re-igniting our lives and careers?  It’s a powerful act and allows you to live your life rather than your life living you.
  Lightbulb idea
Taking it a step further, it got me thinking about the impact other Re’s can have on us and all we do.   Think about your own life and career for a moment.  You have a dream, or a plan, or a specific project you’re trying to complete, or a bigger goal with a deadline, or an overall vision.  Perhaps you’re stuck or not feeling inspired; or what you’ve been doing isn’t working anymore; or you really feel like you want to make a change but have no idea what it is or how to go about it.

The power of the Re is that it places new energy in a new way toward what you’re looking at or trying to accomplish.   If you allow the Re to do it’s thing and not fight the process, the results can be staggering.

There are a lot great Re words, but here are 10 powerful ones to get you started, or re-started:
  • Reinvent your career by getting back to the foundation, what do you love and why do you do what you.
  • Reinvest your time in a new and charitable way.
  • Reclaim your dreams, keeping them alive by articulating them on a regular basis.
  • Rejuvenate your attitude, turning can’t into can and don’t into do.
  • Refocus your energy by pausing, taking a deep breath and changing your position.
  • Readjust your thinking, allowing yourself to come at a project from a fresh angle.
  • Retool your personal brand, your resume, your leadership style.  A fresh approach can bring fresh results.
  • Recharge your physical battery; take walks midday or change up your commute on the way to work.
  • Reignite your vision, like gently blowing on cooling embers.   It’s in there, gently wake it up and bring it to life by pursuing it in thought and action, a little every day,
  • Redesign your plan; remove what’s not working and try something else.
  • And, Refuse to quit on yourselfEveryday, get up and Redo something else.

In the way our skin renews itself every 24 hours, embracing the Re allows us to do the same thing in our lives and careers.  And, the good news is you can do and re-do it again and again.

It’s truly the cycle of life.  Or, in this case, the recycle of life.


Create a "Blind Side" Vision for Your Career & Life

By Cindy Yantis

“You’re changing that boy’s life.”   
“No, he’s changing mine.”
from a scene in the film, “THE BLIND SIDE” 

I recently watched the movie again (and again), and was once again entranced not only by the transformational journey of football great Michael Oher, but equally by the how helping him also changed the lives of his adoptive family, Sean and Leanne Tuohy and their two kids.  And, while the film focused primarily on Michael’s story and Leanne’s crusade to give him a leg up on life, on closer examination much of the real-life story began with Sean Tuohy’s personal vision to help poor Memphis kids when they needed it.  And, although they went the whole ten yards with Michael Oher, he was not the first, nor the last who received an outstretched hand from Sean Tuohy.  

It got me thinking once again about how having a clear vision brings so much more meaning Blind_side_true_story1 to our careers, and lives for that matter.   What do I mean by “Blind Side” vision?  Simply put, it is a vision where your central focus is making an impact or a difference on others or society.  Or to put in the movie’s terms, you have their back.  And, then the reciprocal benefit is the in-kind impact felt in your own life.  Unselfishly helping others helps you, enriching your life beyond measure.   

The objective for creating a vision that will sustain you and effect literally every area of your life is to let go of the “how.”  But, rather to focus on the “what,” the “who,” and the “why.”   Sean Tuohy could not possibly have known years earlier, when he adopted the mindset of his vision to help the underserved, how he would have an impact or that Michael Oher would show up in his family’s path.  

So, how do you get a “Blind Side” Vision for yourself?  This is one of my favorite subjects; I write and talk about it in different forms and often, but it’s important to continue the conversation.  

  • What – what kind of impact do you want to make?  It doesn’t have to be some big vision with a global scope.  Look at the difference you make to your company now, or the impact you currently have on people in your life, directly and indirectly.  Don’t belittle the significance you have in your world already.  Now look at the talents behind the impact you’re making, the skills that you bring to the table.   

For Sean Tuohy, he came from a background where, according to Michael Lewis, author of The Blind Side, “he had the experience of being the poor kid in the rich school when he was growing up.”  So he kept tabs on those kids at his children’s school; he offered meals and help for any needs they had.  He wanted to make an impact to the betterment of their lives.  

  • Who – on whom do you want to make an impact?  Get clear on the segment of society you want to help, or the type of people you want to impact.  Are they seekers of knowledge or education, or underprivileged/underserved, or those effected by a cause or condition that you’re personally connected to, or are they people who look to be inspired?   
  • Why – why and how will lives or companies or society change because of your vision?   Think specifically about the result of your vision becoming a reality for those it helps.   

For Sean Tuohy, those he impacts go on to live more productive and successful lives, but most importantly they realize possibility and that it’s there for them when in many cases the notion of possibility is seemingly an impossibility.   

I believe we’re all here for a greater good.  Why not incorporate that into your career and life vision?  Why not make it part of what you do every day?  

Can you imagine how quickly the collective consciousness of the world would rise to a higher, nobler level with this kind of thinking, followed by action?


Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog owner & curator.  Cindy is a Career Architect, helping people build careers they love.  She guides clients through personal branding, career reinvention, leadership & executive coaching and how to own the room.  Cindy is also a writer for hire, screenwriter & author.      


"I got away from my core values" - Coulda told ya Tiger

By Cindy Yantis

That's what Tiger said in one of his five minute interviews this week when asked how he could have done what he did.  "I got away from my core values."  To me that says everything.

I believe when you live your core values the results take care of themselves.  What I mean by that is when you are connected to, stick to and live by your simple truths, otherwise known as your core values, your life sets itself correctly on your right path. 

To Tiger Woods, his core values connect to his Buddhist principles, which at the heart of it are simple truths we can likely all relate to, whether you're a Buddhist or not, they are common sense core values.  They are:

  1. view reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.
  2. intention of renunciation, freedom and harmlessness.
  3. speaking in a truthful and non-hurtful way
  4. acting in a non-harmful way
  5. a non-harmful livelihood
  6. making an effort to improve
  7. see things for what they are with clear consciousness, being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion
  8. correct meditation or concentration

I was teaching a seminar on personal branding at the time the news first broke about Tiger and I discussed his separation from his core values with the class, so to hear him actually use tCore_values_r3_c1hose words this week really struck a chord with how vital a value-based life and career really are.  Without a clear knowledge and awareness of your own core values - what drives you - it's not hard to fathom how you can get off course, or never really get on track to begin with. 

Successful brands know and operate by their core values and simple truths.  Your core values then become the lens through which you look at every opportunity and the barometer with you measure every decision.  When you connect to these simple truths, your life and career make sense.

Here are some things for you to do to help clarify and solidify your core values:

  • Pay attention to your own physical reactions as you say yes or no to an opportunity or suggestion.  When you learn to truly trust your gut you become clear on what drives you.  Make note of the actual words you use to describe these reactions.
  • What words of wisdom have you been speaking all of your life?  Those, many times, come from simple, core truths.
  • What's most important to you: Recognition, Respect, Fame, Wealth or Love?  Take your top response and write in 3 simple sentences about what that word means to you.  Out of that, your core values and simple truths come to the surface.
  • Write a definition of your own moral code.  It has to be based on your sense of truth and out of that your core values emerge.
Remember that truth is empowerment; empowerment is truth.  Once you clarify and solidify your truth, your right course of action, in nearly all circumstances, organically starts to take shape.

50 Seriously Great Tips to Elevate Your Personal Brand

By Cindy Yantis

I love connecting with extraordinary people; it's part of my amazing journey in this life.  And, in my current stead of helping people build meaningful and successful careers I have had the esteemed pleasure of running across remarkable folks who are really out there DOING IT, people who have exploded their personal brands!

Ladder to success  Your personal brand is the most important factor when laying out an effective career blueprint and then building and executing that blueprint into an targeted action plan. 

So, I have gathered 50 Seriously Greats Tips to Elevate Your Personal Brand in 2010 from people who are certainly doing it themselves and who were very quick to come forward, offering help to you.  Many of them will be thought and game changers for you in your career and business.

It took me thrice as long to ink this blog post because I kept visiting the sites of my fearless contributors.  I invite you to do the same.

This truly is a keeper so you may want to print it and include it in your business plan, your career blueprint and your marketing plans as a guideline to keep coming a back to.  And, feel free to share!

1.  Be an expert

"Position yourself as an expert and be willing to take up public speaking opportunities in your business community. Many associations, organizations and companies are consistently looking for slots to fill at monthly meetings and annual conferences. Target speaking opportunities that will position you in front of your target audience. This exposure leads to increased visibility and when delivered right, increases your credibility. It's estimated the less than 2% of the American population enjoys public speaking, so it's usually a great way to get a leg up on your competition."  Amy Jantzer, www.weedott.com

2. Make the most of a great business card

"Break the Business Card Malaise.  I'm working on new business cards, but as opposed to the same old same old with a new design I'm doing a whole different format - doing them as trading cards.  I have an artist friend do comic-style artwork, build the card myself in a simple graphics program, and print it via Zazzle.  You instantly have a business card that stands out from the crowd in design, shape, and creativity.  There are trading cards for comic characters, games, sports figures, and so on - pick the style that fits your brand!"  Steven Savage, www.stevensavage.com

3. Have instantly recognizable brand elements

"Make sure everything you do is consistent with the personality you've established for your brand and appropriate for your product. If you're an authority, your tone should always be expert. If you're an entertainer, well, your tone should be entertaining. Everything should be consistent, from your appearance, your language, your logo, even your fonts and colors for your website, blog and print materials. They should be instantly recognizable as Your Brand. In a noisy marketplace, those who stand out as consistently delivering the same experience or product, from the initial encounter to the very end, will win!  Celia Milton, www.Celiamilton.com

4. Be a networking group leader

"Join an appropriate networking group and become a leader and thought changer.  If there are opportunities to become a leader and show the community how much you know about your field of expertise, that can bring more awareness to your company and propel your brand forward."  Sarah Shaw, www.entreprenette.com

5. Gain insight by surveying your peeps

"Go out there and see what messages people are sharing about you. Google, Yahoo and Bing yourself. Where do you show up...what messages are out there...what's the gap between what you want and where you are now?  You can also survey customers, colleagues, family and friends...what
do they think about your brand, how do they feel when they see, hear, read info from the brand, etc.  Use the insight from each area of research to build the brand you really want."  Jennifer Davidson,
www.strategicdeviation.com

6. Keep your name in the press

"Use sites like HARO to find creative ways to keep your name in the press. The other is blogs, by using your blog correctly, articles you write come out looking like news items."  Judy Misbin May www.wearemarketing.com

7.  Set yourself apart with your knowledge

"Often, too many people try to build their brand without enough substance. Your associates, clients, audience, and/or customers should see you as an expert in your field. Their expectations should be that you are up to date with the latest industry news, current trends, and useful information. So, what do you do now? Set aside a small portion of each day to build your expertise. Subscribe to trade magazines, newsletters and other publications that can help to make you an informed expert. Of course, Internet sites and consumer publications that effect your industry can be very helpful with stories on latest styles and current trends. Set yourself apart from others in your industry with your knowledge, and willingness to share it with clients. Not gossip, but useful and helpful information. The more that you become an important resource to others, the easier it will be to promote your own personal brand.  Jhan Dolphin, www.jrobertconsulting.com

8.  Reconcile your public perception

"Take a moment to get feedback on your brand and how you currently show up in the world. Many times the brand we believe we have and the perception of us in the outside world need to be reconciled. It's hard to take a look at ourselves, and well worth it to improve."  Monic Cost, www.evidentlyassured.com

9.  Increase your "human factor" online

Increasing your personal brand is about consistency, transparency, and the "human" factor when you are trying to elevate online.  Encourage your "offline" contacts and fans to interact with you online to elevate your brand to larger markets.  They know you personally and know your brand very well.  By coming to your site and engaging you online they bring that "human" factor to the page, they peel back the internet veil and provide credibility because readers who do not know you get a sense for what you are "really like".  When they allude or directly talk about the offline interactions they had with you in a very natural and normal way in the online setting they display how your offline life is consistent with your online brand and how you are a real person, with real interactions."   Coach Reed, www.reedabout.me

10.  Consistency is key

"Maintain consistency online and offline.  Consistency helps to reinforce the mature brand that one is trying to display. One should always display his or her personal brand statement on social networks, and reinforce this statement with professional profile photos, content, and in-person."  LaTron Brown, www.linkedin.com/in/latron

11.  Get yourself on the morning news shows!

"Call your local television news stations (plural!) and ask for the person who books the morning news. Ask if you can send this person an e-mail introducing yourself. If you get that opportunity, BRIEFLY (two sentences at most!) tell them what you're capable of talking about, and let them know you'd be happy to be available at the drop of a hat. Morning news shows have interview slots for members of the community--make sure that's you by communicating how you can be of service to them.  Be available too; nobody is perfect, and sometimes a booked guest has to cancel. Be the person they call to fill the spot and you'll be doing a lot to make their life easier.

Pro-tip: send the planner or producer brief notes about the most popular questions people want to know about what you'll be talking about. Example: If you're a pet store owner, and your interview is on pets, list the top 10 questions you get asked, AND, type out your general answers. This gives the producer an idea of how to make the interview interesting, AND gives them an idea of how you'll answer those types of questions. If you hit the nail on the head for what the producer is looking for, you may just hear your questions being asked, verbatim!" Fritz Chaleff (Communications Director | U.S. Congressman Brian P. Bilbray)
bilbray.house.gov

12.  Have your own unique name online

"Be sure the name you're using is consistent across sites, especially if using social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Your name is part of your brand leverage it. For example, the first step in your own branding is to Google/Bing/Yahoo yourself and look at results. If your name is fairly common, can you create a more unique identity by using your full name / middle initial, etc.?  Be cautious about using nicknames. Also, as part of researching what's already out there on the web about you, leverage the tools like recruiters use (www.whoozy.com or www.pipl.com or www.Zoominfo.com) to conduct an even more comprehensive search and explore your online presence. Posting and building an online presence can help boost your image/brand."  Danielle Beauparlant Moser, blendedlearningteam.com

13.  Control your tweet messages

"I love scheduling many of my Twitter messages each week in Hootsuite. It allows me to spend an hour or so each week setting up my regular tweets and Hootsuite lets me see the Stats on each tweet, and has provided hootlet which lets me tweet any web page easily. I love it!"  Wanda Jewell, sibaweb.com

14.  It's all about the company you keep

"Have you ever heard of "guilt by association?"  Well, it works in the other direction too. One of the best ways to elevate your personal brand is by creating genuine relationship with other well-respected individuals in your industry and niche. By cultivating relationships (and emailing a person once doesn't count as a relationship), you gain a sense of credibility from the company you keep. Plus, you can also gain access to those people's fans- folks that likely overlap your target market.  This is a strategy that takes time, but is worthwhile over the long haul and will not only give you the most bang for your buck, but also the most long-term credibility.  Carol Roth, carolroth.com

15. Be bold and valuable

"Do something big, outrageous and valuable to your target market ."  Carma Spence-Pothitt dragonwyze.com

16.  Focus on where you're going

"Focus less on where you are now, and more on where you want to be a year from now, and start positioning yourself that way."  Alexandra Golaszewska, eastern-star.net

17.  Create an event where you're the center of attention

"In February I created the 'Song Bomb' recruiting 32 songwriters to each write a song, record it and post it on my website. I wrote, recorded and posted 32 songs myself.  The rewards from this venture?  All the fans of those songwriters who visited my site to hear their songs got to find out about me too.  My site traffic for the month at least tripled and I have a project that I can use to bring new fans to my site for months to come.  More over I strengthened my relationship with every songwriter who I brought on for the project; everyone was grateful for an catalyst to write new songs and get them out into the world." Timmy Riordan, TimmyRiordan.com

18.  Write an advice booklet

"If you're a small biz owner or solo entrepreneur, you're an expert and can write advice booklets or brochures for your target market. Small booklets are easy to produce on office copiers. Design a cover and you have a wonderful, unique and valuable branding and marketing piece to pass out at conferences or mail to prospective clients. http://moonstruckpromotions.com Tammy Brackett

19.  Update regularly to build your reputation

"1) Use a professional resume writer and update your resume regularly. There are degrees of professional certification -- use the best you can afford -- and repurpose their content for Linkedin and other professional profiles.   2) Ask for new recommendations for your online profile quarterly. Pull language from the quotes, "e.g. creative, thought-leader, skillful manager, etc. and create an intro paragraph for yourself that leverages the same language. Consistency in a brand builds strength.   3) Make a vow that if you offer to do something for someone else (e.g. create an introduction) do it within 24 hours after the ask. This builds a reputation for speedy, reliable assistance."  Karen Howe  mindbloom.com

20.  BE PERSONAL with your blog

"Obviously, if you are not maintaining a blog, you should. Too many people writing niche blogs think they cannot inject their personality into their blog. They also think that every post must be laser-targeted to their niche. Don't be a robot -write in a way that let's people get to know you - that's how you elevate your personal brand."  Chris Reimer, thebasemententrepreneur.com

21. Write and self-publish your own book

"As an author my tip would be SELF-PUBLISH! The big companies want to eat up your potential profits so print your own book.  And don't advertise on Amazon or use a distributor who will steal your profits - create a site and push it hard.  Start small, make your initial money back, and reinvest in advertisement to gain sales momentum on your product(s), keeping in mind that is not the book that is selling, its the author!"  Romaine Williams,  readtheblackbook.com

22.  Be visible speaking in public

"I've planned to engage in at least three public speaking events in my business area because it puts me face-to-face with people I want to meet."  Ford Kanzler, prsavvy.com

23.  Keep it simple & unforgettable

"It's basic, but important. Keep it simple, make it unforgettable, insure it tells your story.  As 'The Timeshare Crusader' and my tagline, 'Never Fear A Timeshare Salesperson Again', my brand does that."
Lisa Ann Schreier,
timeshareinsights.com

24.  Keep it clean

"Clean up, and use proper wording, in all of your social media. It's a great way to boost natural search traffic."   Charlie Riley,  skmgroup.com

25.  Connect in a genuine way

"Arguably the most significant way to take your personal branding to the next level is to be genuine and participate in a thoughtful way.  Self-promotion and personal brand development is always about connecting with people in a meaningful way. In the new world of social media, personal/professional transparency and real time information you simply cannot afford to be anything but genuine. Being genuine and thoughtful increases the return on all of your branding activities and without a doubt will add to personal brand value."  Morgan Christian, tweetbender.com

26.  Live it!

" Live it and have passion for it.  Establish yourself as an expert at SOMETHING. That means you, not your company or work. And get as much press in your expertise area as you can. This will make you relevant, credible and findable. You can do this by writing something others will find helpful and pointing to it, then look for ways to guest blog it, post about it in relevant communities and network yourself with like experts. You can also respond to HARO when you're qualified to speak to it. Find as many ways as you can to be part of it.  Brent Shelton, FatWallet.com

27.  Be true to YOU

"When it comes to elevating your personal brand, so many people seem to fall short. The number one tip to elevating your personal brand to the next level is to be true to yourself. When you are not genuine and truly passionate about your life, career and business, it shows. Decide what values in your life are most important to you, and be sure that your whole life is centered around living those values. The best way to be successful in life and business is to be genuine to your core values."  Megan Kline, megankline.com

28.  Be truly accessible

"Surprise people by being overly accessible.  I created the SNAC system to help kids and parents learn how to eat correctly in a way that speaks to kids. By doing this sometimes parents may have questions about a certain situation and when I call them personally, they are really surprised and thankful."     Carrie Chacon, SnacCards.com

29.  Have a crystal clear vision

"Elevating my personal brand has been a top focus of mine this year. The one thing that has really been most beneficial is having a crystal clear vision of what I want my brand to be and positively reaffirming it to myself daily. I have to believe in myself and believe in me as a brand before others will. This has allowed me to really be my brand."  Laina Turner-Molaski, lainamolaski.com

30.  Get a Facebook Fan Page

"Get a unique URL and then point all of your offline branding to this URL. So, if you do direct mail, radio, tv advertise this new URL and point people to your Facebook page - this way you can capture your audience and have the chance to market your brand to them over and over!"  Lisa Johnson,  Facebook.com/PropertyMatters

31.  Forget competition; forge relationships

"Those offering similar value in a similar niche or field are not competitors because no one can offer exactly what you do, the way you do. Instead of fearing, fretting over, (or worse) ignoring or undermining these birds of a feather, turn them into allies and advocates for your own brand.  They can sharpen your focus, they can push you toward your best, they can show you what you are lacking, their success is not your downfall but a catalyst and a sign that your niche is prospering. Show them good will (acknowledge what they do well, encourage their efforts, and even share their work with your readers/clients/supporters). You will earn the respect and admiration of your colleagues but also your supporters because you've increased their knowledge and resources. The good will youve shown and spread in these directions will come back to you."   Nichelle Strzepek, danceadvantage.net

32.  Be a Collector & Connector

"Cultivate relationships, for yourself and for others.  Those who are able to increase their personal brand are those who see the value in surrounding themselves with people who are diverse in their skills and ambitions and then connecting those persons with others, for their mutual benefit. By cultivating these relationships and helping to connect like-minded and complimentary people you increase your reputation (brand) as a person who "knows everyone" and "gets things done". People want to be around those who make them feel good about themselves and help them accomplish their goals. Can you make people see their own worth and bring them together with others who can help them meet their goals? If yes, then you will increase your own personal brand."  Nadine Owens Burton, www.owensburton.net

33.  Take time to stay centered

"Spend at least 2 minutes per day in silence - "meditating" or just sitting, and breathing in more inspiration and breathing out any stress. Assigning meaning to the breath makes it more powerful and gets you more centered!"  Stephanie Mansour, StepItUpwithSteph.com

34.   Protect your time by delegating

"I have hired a high school and a college intern over the next 6 months to do online research and pitching for me. I don't have the time and they can do it at a very low cost rate."  Abby Marks Beale, thecorporateeducator.com

35.  Broadcast your message daily

"One way to elevate your personal brand at very little or no expense is consistent and daily messaging to the audience you want to reach. Ensure your web site messaging is consistent with your blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter messaging. The key here is to communicate often and with a clear and direct message." Daryl Wizelman, darylwizelman.com

36.  Enhance your digital presence

"There are 2 ways to do this easily, without having a lot of knowledge in the field. 
1. Subscribe to blogs that interest you and comment often.  When you take the initiative to add your thoughts to an ongoing discussion, ensure that you have something insightful to say. The more you add, the more attention you receive. The more attention you receive, the more people are interested in what you have to say. This eventually leads them to your blog. *Be sure to always take the option to leave your website URL as well as your name and email address.
2.  Offer to guest post.  Social networking is currency in the digital world.  The only way to gain "digital cred" is to make sure that you are very visible and adding something to the medium.  If you are launching a business or are a niche blogger, be sure to reach out to folks in your field. Write a post and send it over with your credentials. More often than not, bloggers and professionals are all to happy to introduce you to their communities if you have something useful to say."  Tiffany Hill Thompson
residuemarketing.com/

37.  Surround yourself with people whose company you enjoy and who inspire you.

"I'm particularly drawn to other people who love their work and are ambitious enough to keep moving forward in life. Choose those with ethical codes similar to yours, for example: emphasizing quality in their work, aiming for sustainability, and looking to improve the industry rather than to make a quick buck before getting out."  Colin Wright, exilelifestyle.com

38.  Engage ferociously

"Embrace, be fiercely active, engage on social media & build genuine relationships with successful entrepreneurs."  Ros Guerrero, Ficklets.com

39.  Determine how you want to be perceived.

"Figure out how you want other people to think of you. Then consistently and constantly act in a manner that will get them to think that way."  Bud Bilanich, CareerSuccess.mypodcast.com

40.  Expand your visibility everywhere you can

"I am elevating my brand in 2010 by subscribing to HARO and ReporterConnection.com and pitching every appropriate request that is presented. Taking just 15-20 minutes/day to carefully review the listings and responding wherever there is a good fit. I've been doing this for just one month and have already gotten 4 responses (1) Included in a St. Patricks Day Gift guide on a website with millions of visitors per month (2) Radio Interview scheduled for April 5th (3) Radio and Weblog - gift guide plug all of May and (4) Tying in a custom song with a double date for another Radio show. I fully believe if I continue doing this religiously day after day, week after week my brand will increase greatly in popularity and value."   Vincent James, LoveSongs.com

41.  Know your stakeholders

"Know who your stakeholders are, what they need, what they're interested in, and how you can make a difference. Genuinely engage your stakeholders in conversation. Ask questions that matter. Offer insight that is fresh by doing your homework. Dont be phony. Participate in conversations. Read blogs. Write a blog. Follow people and organizations who you think are interesting; maybe theyll follow you back. Comment on their work. Make a contribution that will add value to your brand."             Christopher R. Groscurth, Ph.D., drgroscurth.com

42.  Be strategic in getting attention

"I exploded my personal brand into a Resume Magazine called SEEKERS. I printed a bunch and have circulated them among employers. They loved it.  I also created personal bookmarkers, tassel and all, to have employers bookmark my website and invited them to go visit. I also developed a postcard as a direct mail piece and sent it to employers. The resume is dead. My strategy is getting attention."  Gina Marie Mangiamele, ginamarie.biz.

43.  Create a video resume

"We created a video resume to help marketing professionals elevate their personal brand. This is a compelling and engaging way to reach targeted audiences - prospective employers, clients or partners. The response has been tremendous!"  Tara Greco, blackscreenstudios.com

44.  Do great work

"Do a really great job on a client's case, so you can truly believe in what you do.  It gives you the confidence to elevate your brand."  Jay Weinberg, Esq., www.jayweinberg.com.

45.  Seriously use video online!

"To personalize your brand, include a different You-Tube video on each page of your website.    WHY:  In order for potential clients to connect with us personally, we put a U-Tube video on each page of our website. Since doing that, our website has come to life and has cemented us at the center of the brand. This use of three-dimensional media not only enables audiences to listen to information about Success Trek, but it also allows them to tap into the energy, voice and look of the presenter who someday might be leading their focus groups, retreats or trainings."  Theresa Valade, SUCCESS-TREK.COM

46.  Really do things differently than anyone else

"We have elevated our business through cafes.  We started our business as a group of freelancers in cafes... a lot of our business came from the people we would meet in the cafes. Now we are a full-service agency and cafe agency with our own studio in chicago. We attract several clients since the front half of our studio is a Doejo cafe.  Doing things different than the average business and standing out is the key to elevating our business."  Karley Hall, http://doejo.com

47.  Hone in on your core values

I recommend sitting down and thinking through your core values. Too many of us know the values we were brought up with ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," "Money doesn't grow on trees" etc) but few of us have thought through what we really stand for.  Company's have mission statements that include their core values-- each of us must as well.  Do you prize responsiveness? reliability? flexibility? creativity? attention to detail? punctuality? clarity? brevity? Spell it out for yourself, then embody it in all you do, say, write."  Frances Cole Jones, thewowfactor-thebook.com

48.  Be REALLY effective on Twitter!

"Google’s real time search has changed the way the search engine finds tweets.  Now, tweets must include keywords that your clients, prospects and press use to find information about products, services and businesses.  For these reasons make sure you:  run a Google keyword report on search trends and use these keywords in your tweets; use Trendistic.com – A Twitter application that allows you to search for what’s trending on Twitter; review Twitter trends daily and incorporate these trending keywords and phrases into your Tweets as long as they are relevant to your target audience, otherwise it’s spam! Use #hashtags to #SEO your message via Twitter so you can be discovered; use simple language that offers advice, how to’s and important information that is Google-friendly to real time search."  Valerie Jennings, jenningssocialmedia.com

49.  Talk about the benefit you provide instead of what you DO

"Is what you do for a living perceived by potential customers as being a mere commodity; more or less the same as others in your profession? The good news is you can change customer perceptions by changing the way you describe what you do.  Rather than describing yourself in terms of a generic label, you can instead refer to the ultimate benefit that you deliver, inviting them into the conversation.  Bottom line: next time you need to set yourself apart from the competition – beyond just lowering prices – try changing the way you talk about what you do for a living."  Jeff Mowatt, JeffMowatt.com

And, last but equally as important...

50.  Observe your A, B, C's!

"You are your own best walking advertisement, your own walking billboard. When you “show up” anywhere, you are both the message and the messenger for your brand. Align your physical image with your brand image and you’ll see -- people will hear you, see you and “buy” you much more quickly, more easily. Accentuate your best assets,Balance your message from the inside out and head-to-toe, and Camouflage anything your adoring public does not need to know. It’s as easy as A, B, C!"  Lauren Solomon,  LSimage.com

Thank you to the inspiring people who contributed here!

By applying these principles, utilizing these tips and incorporating these techniques into your branding blueprint and marketing plan, it would be close to impossible NOT to succeed in 2010.

Seriously!

Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog owner & curator.  Cindy is a Career Architect, helping people build careers they love.  She guides clients through personal branding, career reinvention, leadership & executive coaching and how to own the room.  Cindy is also a writer for hire, screenwriter & author.


Do Rules Keep You Back or Move Your Forward?

“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.” ~ Leo Tolstoy  

Today I saw the riveting film, “THE LAST STATION” chronicling the final chapter of Leo Tolstoy’s storied life.  Simply put, what I find so fascinating about Count Tolstoy is that he lived his life by a very strict set of rules, yet later in his life he was considered a prophet by those who considered themselves freethinkers.  As a celebrated novelist and essayist known for his theories on pacifism, he eventually walked away from his previous set of rules and developed a devout group of followers of his theories on freethinking, thus creating a Rules whole new set of rules.   

It got me thinking about rules.  Do they help us or hinder us from expanding and being our best selves?   It depends on how you define rules.  I think of rules as being confining.  However, I do live my life by a set of core values and philosophies.  And, I run by business  with a plan, a blueprint and a set of guidelines.  Guidelines are more fluid than rules and leave space for creativity and movement.  Guidelines give direction and focus; rules are narrow-minded and militant.   

So, what to do?  

  • Throw out your rule book and replace it with a list of values.  
  • Make some of your own guidelines.  Give yourself permission to color outside the lines.   
  • Create a checklist by which to guide decisions – it keeps you focused on what’s important to you: 
  1. WHAT is the specific action?
  2. WHO is it for, WHO will be impacted, and WHO can help me?
  3. WHEN and how long is the time frame or WHEN is the deadline?
  4. WHERE does this fit into my short and long-range career goals?
  5. WHY do I want to do this?
  6. HOW will this raise the value of my brand?
  7. IF I do or don’t move forward with this action what are the risks involved?  


Trust in your own mind and in your ability to set your own rules, guidelines and values.  It’s up to you to set them in motion.


Do You Matter? 5 Ways to Have a More Meaningful Career

By Cindy Yantis

Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”  I take that to mean that how you contribute and make a difference each day puts the “life in your years.” 

It got me thinking.  To have a meaningful career means being driven by a vision or purposeful goal that is connected to making an impact, making a difference.  And when you come from the truth of your vision and from a place of positive influence, people and opportunities will be  drawn to you.

Purpose stones Many times when we think about career, it’s about setting goals in terms of what we want to achieve, how we can climb the ladder, make more money.  That’s all good. We all need goals.  But to have true sense of accomplishment and purpose, if your overall vision is tied into how you make a difference or how you can make an impact, then it really does give your life and career a lot more meaning.   And, here’s the surprising bonus: this type of vision mindset helps you to think about ways in moving forward with opportunities that maybe you wouldn't have thought of before. Then, the difference or impact that you make becomes part of your legacy.  

Your vision will to continue to be refined as your career progresses, as you become clearer about what’s truly important to you. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself so you get clear on your career and life vision.  And, free yourself up here. Your vision is fluid.  Let yourself really dream with this exercise.  Let go of barriers including time and environment and money to think about where you want to go in your life.

  • What kind of impact do you want to make and on whom?
  • What kind of difference do you want to make and with whom?
  • Your legacy IS the impact that you leave behind. What do you want to be remembered for?
  • Start small – you can incorporate small changes toward your vision before you take any giant leaps or make any big changes to your current circumstances.  
  • Describe what your dream job looks like as you’re making the kind of difference you want to make.  And really get detailed here.  Do some ‘creative visualization’ where you put yourself in the space of doing what you want to do. What does your typical day look like? Include the environment, include the sights and smells and sounds, what your responsibilities are, your time, the impact that you're making, the kind of money you're making, where it is in the world, who you have working for you or with you or partnering with you.  Try to paint a typical day.  Take one day because it makes it more specific, take one day and paint what that looks like.   And then what will your life look like if you have the career of your dreams? What kind of relationships will you have? Where would you live in terms of what kind of home you would live in?  How would you spend your spare time?  

Simply put, when determining your career vision, ask yourself what kind of impact you want to make and on whom.  Clearly stated, your vision becomes real.

 

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Cindy Yantis is the Thought Changer Blog creator & curator. She is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. For more info: CindyYantis.com

 


I Believe... How Your Beliefs Effect Your Success

What are your philosophies and how do they impact your career?  

A belief is the most powerful magnet in the world.  Your beliefs are what push and pull you in all you do in your life.  They are your personal magnets. They affect thoughts, feelings, and actions.  And when you start to think about what you believe, really what you hold true, then you can recognize some of the philosophies that guide your life.     

A philosophy is a universal theme or through line that many times drive the events and actions during your lifetime.  Your theme or philosophy is the connector to how you build your career and live your life. And they stem from your core beliefs and values.  

The reason philosophies are important in your career is because when you put together your career blueprint and brand platform, when you're able to put out in the world what your philosophies are, you will draw to you like-minded people, jobs and clients that either resonate with or share those philosophies. And what organically happens when you’re living by your true core philosophies, your life then heads in the right direction for you.   

An incredibly powerful exercise to help you hone in on your personal and business philosophies is as follows.  Belief stones

Complete this thought, "I believe--".   Make a list of what comes immediately to mind and limit yourself to only five minutes.  Don't think too hard about this because many times it's those first thoughts that come to mind that are the ones that are the truest. These are the beliefs that you hold dear and true.  

So, here are some of mine:  

  • I believe core values drive us.
  • I believe in honesty.
  • I believe giving excellence in one thing means giving excellence in all things.
  • I believe respect is one of the most valued gifts you can give another.
  • I believe in faith.
  • I believe love can move mountains.
  • I believe dark chocolate makes every day better!!
  • I believe compassion is a great equalizer.
  • I believe in taking risks big enough that I feel the tremble in my solar plexus.
  • I believe dreamers rule the world.
  • I believe in the magic of a personal story.   

Now, as I examine my beliefs, I would summarize them in the form of philosophy statements for my brand like this: 

  • Live your core values and the results take care of themselves.
  • Come from a place of transparency and truth.
  • Live in excellence.
  • Respect is a most valuable gift to give another.
  • Where there’s a will there’s a way.

These are philosophies I live my life by and that feels solid in my bones, in my core.  

So, please play with me!  Open up your mind and heart.  How do you complete the sentence?  

I Believe…    Add your answers below!


How "Rainbow Thinking" Can Catapult Your Career & Improve Your Life

There was a magnificent rainbow out my kitchen window recently.  It was one of those breathtaking ones where you could see the entire thing from beginning to end.  We’d been hit with torrents in Los Angeles; and, this hopeful vista was an organic reminder that there is an end to the storm; it represents a gateway to things better and brighter. 

It got me thinking about how “Rainbow Thinking” in terms of career, and life for that matter, might go along way toward keeping us focused on what matters.   

I bloody love metaphors and rainbows are the mother lode.  Stop and think about it for a moment.  What do rainbows mean to you?  Some may say it’s just a sign the rain has stopped.  Well, even that simple statement is full of metaphor if you’ll let yourself go there.  Other rainbow meanings that come to mind: Rainbow

  • it’s a sign of hope and new beginnings
  • it signifies diversification and acceptance as in “rainbow coalition”
  • it exemplifies a wide spectrum of choices, not to mention colors
  • and it’s the pot ‘o gold at the end of…  

The infamous lyrics to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from Wizard of Oz are filled with optimism and dreaming of better things to come, “if happy little blue birds fly beyond the rainbow why, oh why, can’t I?”  

Weathering the storm has practically become a way of life for many people and companies since the economy tanked.  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say, “We’re (or I’m) weathering the storm until things improve,” I’d be able to fill that pot at the end of the rainbow.   

Some believe that searching for the pot ‘o gold at the end of the rainbow is a futile journey only set up for failure, that it's an impossible feat.  But, I disagree.  

Here’s some "Rainbow Thinking" to apply to your life & business:  

  1. Define your ‘end of the rainbow’ – set a goal that’s lofty and makes you stretch, and then build your brand and your plan so your sights are set on that goal.  
  2. Dare to dream – give yourself permission to dream huge.  Practice active visualization, seeing yourself living your dream.  Les Brown said, “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”  Same goes for the end of the rainbow.  
  3. Be diversified in your thinking – aim to live outside the box, or the norm, so that new and different solutions become a habit.  
  4. Look for ways to color your life – allow yourself to open your eyes to the world and people around you.  Notice nature more.  Make eye contact and smile more.  
  5. Be courageous – be bold and fearless in your convictions.  A great way to do this is to focus on the dream and goal rather than on the fear that’s keeping you where you are.  
  6. Stay positive – not trying to be Pollyannaish here.  Truly, a positive mindset manifests many things, including being able to actually SEE the rainbow when it appears to you.  

So, do what you can to adopt Rainbow Thinking as you move your career, your brand, & your life forward.  And know that a rainbow always appears somewhere after the rain.