One of my New Year's resolutions was to be more purposeful in developing my personal brand. I wrote about this subject in my January column in the San Antonio Express-News.
I have been following the sage advise of Personal Brand Master, Dan Schwabel, along these lines.
Aside from being present and actives on my blogs and on sites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. I've also tried to be more present on BlogCatalog, which is what this post is really about.
In looking at how to mash up, and best represent myself on the Social Web, I recently bought alanweinkrantz.tel which is the new domain for that purpose.
While I really like the .tel concept, it does limit me in terms of graphically representing my brand. If you look at my profile on BlogCatalog, you can see what not only my presence, but a graphically pleasing mash up of my activity on Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, etc.
If you are developing your own personal branding strategies, BlogCatalog should be part of your mix. There is more to this site than just the blogosphere.
Disclosure: I have done consulting work for BlogCatalog in the past, but they are currently not an active client.
I’m serving as the local editor and am
thrilled to be part of the SpringStage network of community catalysts who are
in tune with their local entrepreneurship and startup scenes.
The network is just now launching in early
2009 as a blog network. This is the first step in ensuring that there is a
visible resource in every community for early stage entrepreneurs.
Today, if you’re new to a city and you want
to be involved in the startup scene there, there is no clear cut way to get
involved. Springstage hopes to fix that by identifying and promoting credible
catalysts in each community. David Cohen and Alexander Muse are providing the
infrastructure for those catalysts to begin promoting their location
entrepreneurship scene immediately.
I am looking for content, so pitch me: alan at weinkrantz dot com. I'm just getting this off the ground, so please spread the word.
Often times starting with a new client, I will set up a "deep dive" session, so I can get up to speed on industry lingo, terminology and nuances in the messages and strategy that my team and I will be developing for the client.
While deep diving certainly has its role, it's important to keep the deep dive in perspective. I will never become as expert as the client. Nor will the account team or the writer(s) I work with.
That's why the client has a CTO.
My goal in deep diving is simple:
1. What do we want to say?
2. How do we want to say it?
3. Who do we want to broadcast our messages to?
Part 1 has to do with messages. Regardless of the medium, that never changes.
Part 2 has to do with in what form. As a rule, it's been traditional press releases, application stories, interviews, contributed stories, speaking gigs and more.
But that's changing.
Sure, we stick to the basics of traditional PR, but we're now more engaging and conversational and so is the client as a thought leader. More clients are starting to publish blogs under our direction. Ditto with simple and powerful videos that are published and going viral to specific markets on YouTube.
Part 3 has to do with journalists, analysts and of course bloggers. Depending on the industry and who has influence, your mileage may vary in terms of who you reach out to and how.
Yes, I still do traditional pitches, but I am also big on the principle of "being found."
If you produce content that is tagged right and authored well, you'll be found.
Time and time again, I get journalists who tell me that one of the reasons they covered a particular client, is because they were able to find the client in the context of a story they were writing.
Deep Diving is good.
But keep it in perspective.
The objective of deep diving is to get your PR/Social Media consultant up for air so he / she can start pitching and getting coverage for you; and not drown.
Twitter is a great tool for networking, seeing what's on the minds of people that I follow, and a wealth of information and data specific to PR and Social Media. You can find me on Twitter here.
Here's how I am using Twitter:
1. Engaging and listening to people where I live in San Antonio. I've made new "real" friends who are not just into the craft of communications but are really interesting and nice people. That is benefit #1.
2. Self promotion. OK.... so I do have to self-promote myself and my business. Since I blog here and over at 3Screens.net, I can tweet to the world about a post that I think is not only self promotional, but helpful to others.
3. And speaking of being helpful, that is something I am really focusing on with Twitter. I figure if I am helpful to others, others will be helpful to me and so on and so on. Sort of a version of Pay it Forward, if you will.
4. Sharing my human side. Yup, I am human and real. This weekend I was in Galveston, Texas and was Tweeting my impressions of the destruction of the hurricane that you still see present. The during Thanksgiving shopfest known as Black Friday, I shared my impressions of people shopping vs. buying in San Antonio, Houston and Galveston. The week before, I went to see BB King and Tweeted my video that I shot at the concert.
5. Direct conversation. You can direct conversation with other members... sort of like SMS on your cell, but via your computer. Very efficient and direct.
So where can you start?
1. Think of an objective or two? Make new friends. Expand your network. Learn about a new social media and communications platform. Promote a cause.
4. Start a conversation or two. Tweet something interesting and helpful to others who are liked minded. You'll be amazed at the responses and the followers you will attract.
5. Don't spam others. A huge no-no.
6. Broadcast news or your insights on the major news events. If you are live where something is happening, Tweet about it.
7. Tweet at least once day. I am finding Twitter to being sort of addictive, particularly on my iPhone where I use Twitterific. It's a great way to check in several times a day, in between meetings, just to scan and when appropriate chime in on conversation.
8. Find people with similar interests. They could be where you live or around the world. I still go back to one of the greatest benefits of Twitter is that I have made new real friends right where I live.
9. Go offline from Twitter. Sometimes, I don't want to have a conversation with someone on Twitter. I will share my cell or a secondary email address to engage further.
10. Traveling? Meet up with Tweet-Ups with other like minded Twitter people when you travel. I've done it and it's great to meet like minded people in other cities.
Here is my seventh in a series of interviews with members of our Social Media community in San Antonio. Meet Luis Sandival, who's just joined Advantage Rent A Car as a member of their marketing department to help improve and increase their online presence.
Debbie Weil Debbie Weil, aka the MonaLisaOfBlogging.com, is a corporate blogging and online communications consultant and the author of the forthcoming "The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right" for Penguin Portfolio (2006).