Tag Archives: Social network

Rules for Communicating Your Personal Brand

BrandBox 01
Image by daveelf via Flickr

I was at a spectacular Personal Branding panel recently at NYU‘s Kauffman Center, hosted by Step Up Women’s Network — which I’m a member of. The panel was moderated by Beth Schoenfeldt of Collective-E. The panelists were: Hope Hughes of Deloitte, Carla Harris of Morgan Stanley, Christine Beauchamp of Ann Taylor and Juliette Powell, Media Entrepreneur.

In case you missed it, I was tweeting real-time through the whole event. You can see the tweets if you search “personal branding” on Twitter, or go to my profile http://twitter.com/MktgMavn. It was incredibly inspirational, and right on point. Here’s a summary of the most important nuggets:

Personal Branding:

  • According to Christine Beauchamp, your personal brand must have an “emotional differentiator” in addition to having the technical and functional expertise. All 3 of these elements must resonate with who you are and who you want to be.
  • It’s a must to align what you believe in with what you do. In other words, your values, and brand, should match your personal and company’s goals. Your personal brand needs not only to be consistent with your work, but also your life.
  • You need to continuously network to in order to develop your personal brand.
  • Carla Harris emphasized that perception equals your reality — which I’m a strong believer in as well.
  • In terms of how your position yourself, you should think of 3 adjectives of how you’d like to be described — and then make that the center of your brand. Carla also talks about how most of the decisions made about your career, are made when you’re not in the room such as: Compensation, Promotions, Hiring and Firing.
  • Being authentic in your persona, according to Juliette Powell, is really key. I agree — employers and/or clients can smell when you’re not. It’s important to be yourself — and you enhance your personal brand with every tweet.


  • Carla Harris, a real powerhouse from Morgan Stanley, and gospel singer, says that Women, specifically, don’t exercise their network enough — and to make sure you network with those who are not only senior to you, but also with those that are junior to you as well. You also should not be afraid to “ask” for what you need, or for what you want to learn. People are usually more than happy to provide you with information.
  • It’s really important to find a common interest when networking with someone. Networking equals learning to grow your personal brand.
  • Or, if the word “networking” makes you uncomfortable, you can think of it as Connecting. For those of you who are on the shy side, set a small goal to connect with one or two people each day — a few days a week. Make sure to also ask for introductions appropriately from those you meet. Before you know it, you’ll have an extensive network.
  • Christine Beauchamp, from Ann Tayor, made it a point to say that you should always add value to your networking opportunities — and have the insight to know where and when you can do so. And, if you can’t, then don’t force it.

Today’s Career Landscape:

  • Several questions were asked regarding being laid off, and becoming an entrepreneur during this time. Carla said that even if you fail at what you’re attempting to accomplish during these trying times, that you will get a “buy”. She emphasized that the courage, motivation and the willingness to take risks are what employers are looking for.
  • If you’re choosing to be an entrepreneur, like Savvy, then it’s about your marketing pitch and your product — and to make sure that both are aligned. Hope Hughes says that as a talent consultant she looks for people who “took a left when they could have gone straight.”
  • If you’re currently employed, it’s actually important to keep your head UP, not down! Don’t be afraid to share those innovative ideas at work — it actually could be hugely beneficial.
  • Hope also points out that as you grow in your career, and your values and position change, don’t be afraid to tweak your brand. It’s actually critical to your success.

And lastly, and I think one of the most important points — you must believe in and be passionate about your brand, and your work. It’s a vital part of your life and your livelihood. Life is too short to come up short in your career.

At Savvy, we offer online personal branding and professional social media coaching where we provide guidance on:

  • Positioning (The Who & the Why = your professional message)
  • A “How To” Manual teaching you how to set up a blog, use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
  • Goal Setting — helping you focus on what you want to achieve
  • Personal online social networking implementation strategy (What you will say, When you will say it and Where).

We advocate that your career should be an enjoyable process, and not just a paycheck — but a mission in your life. Savvy provides the insight, tools and the process to build and sustain your brand online — successfully. For more information, go to our Professional Social Media Coaching page, email Sheryl at Sheryl@SavvyStrategyOnline.com or call 917.747.5920.

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Tactics, Tactics…Strategy

Too Much Sex, Too Little Jesus
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

The caveat about reading this entry and my blog, is that you’ll instantly see that I’m direct and honest. It’s because I’m passionate about what I do and because I care.

So, as a Social Media & Marketing consultant, it’s my job to understand my client’s business. As a 15+ year brand marketer, when I work on an assignment, I need to know what they want to accomplish and how it fits in with their overall business objectives. It’s just how I think and do business. I want to know the whole Megillah because I provide better value that way.

Having been on the client side for most of my career, I feel comfortable in being able to write this article from the context of a Client’s POV. When a client hires a consultant, a lot of the time, they  have a very specific initiative in mind. Ok, so I can take that and run with it, no problem. They know what they want to achieve and I’m the catalyst to get them there. Again, no problem.

However, when clients want to join the “Conversation”, or do any kind of marketing for that matter, I sometimes see a knee-jerk reaction to Just Do It. And, as a consultant, who knows to ask the right questions, sometimes the client just wants to enter the space because they can’t stand reading about it, or hearing about it at the water cooler or hearing about it from their boss (or from their kid for that matter). They come to me and say Savvy, I just want to be there. Make it happen.

Ok. You say you want to enter the space. You say you want to be on MySpace or LinkedIn, or Facebook and have a blog and go on Twitter. Or, you want to do this promotion, or a campaign, or a stunt. Ok. And so I ask…Why? What do you want to achieve? Who do you want to reach? What do you want to say? Do you know what people are saying about your brand?


In any area of social media, or even marketing for that matter, looking at the particular project and how it maps back to your overall business objectives is the first thing to look at. As the consultant, I’m always going to want to ask my clients these questions. It’s my job to do that. It’s my job to tell you solutions that will work for you and your business.

The title of this entry was inspired by game Duck, Duck…Goose. Why? Because, and we’ve all been guilty of it, we get stuck in the tactical side of marketing. The cobbler’s children have no shoes…right? So, sometimes it’s difficult for us to take a look at our own business and we think very tactically. It’s Ok, you’re not alone. Whether you use a consultant or an advisor, make sure someone (besides your boss) holds you accountable for what you want to achieve with your marketing. Savvy has to do it too! So, my advice…when you have a great tactical idea, make sure you stop and ask yourself, “How will this initiative support my marketing objectives? What results do I want to achieve that will justify this spend?” You’ll be a better marketer for it. And a better client.

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Building Revenue Through Connection and Collaboration

My social Network on Flickr, Facebook, Twitter...
Image by luc legay via Flickr

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called Business Development in Today’s Economy about the 4 Cs. Connection, Collaboration, Clients and Criteria.

For this article I’m revisiting Connection and Collaboration, because they are so closely intertwined.

Connection, as discussed earlier, is about reaching out not only to clients, but to partners, colleagues, co-workers and industry experts as well. Connection applies to growing your network in a number of ways, to build out a rounded experience. From every conversation I have, I learn something new. It never fails. I also make sure to offer something up as well — to be generous. Connection is about how you are talking to potential clients. Where are you connecting with them? Is it a trade show? A networking event? A webinar? On LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter?

I have an incredible example about Connection taking place online. I was watching a panel being streamed live from the Digital Hollywood Media Summit (video streaming produced by Naked Media.org) and was chatting with people in the digital space from a variety of backgrounds. We were all commenting from the peanut gallery, and then questions were being posed at the same time to the panel. Then after the panel, they grabbed what we  online decided was the star of the panel, Artie Bulgrin, head of ESPN Research, for an online only interview. We then got to pose questions for him to answer. It was a totally wild and unique experience! I not only learned from the people I was chatting with, got to interact with the panel, but I also shared with a journalist from Business Week and other digital researchers and strategists from all over the U.S. We’re now following each other on Twitter. See how quickly you can create community?

On Collaboration…well, what could be the possibility of the relationships that were created in the chat? Could we collaborate on research projects, start our own community based on a POV from the chat or build business together? You should think about businesses you could reach out to in your industry, or in complementary industries that could be useful. Think about what’s missing from your business, or a blind spot for you. What do you need to know about? The point is, you should never stop reaching out. Make sure you bring something valuable to the table. Always. But more importantly, Listen.

These days, with the economy as it is, we can’t go it alone. I’m a strong believer in that. I’m connecting and collaborating more than I have ever done in my life. I’m a part of an agency “consortium” where I’m the Digital & Social Media Expert. I’m in another group where I’m the Mass Media Expert. I’m in another group as the Women-owned Small Business representative. The opportunities are endless. And, the beauty of this is that these collaborations can take place online and offline too. If you connect with someone online, take it off-line and vice versa. Book in a call or meet up for a coffee. We all benefit from the human touch and from working together.

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Nielsen: Social Networking Overtakes E-mail in Popularity

An example of a social network diagram.
Image via Wikipedia

Yeah, I know, I’m behind in talking about this announcement that Nielsen made oh, like 24 hours ago. It’s like a lifetime in the digital stratosphere. This is about Social Networking overtaking email. I read that headline and I thought, “Wow”. And then my follow-up thought was “That’s no surprise!”.

There are those of you who are reading this with your chins dropping. Let me help you close the gap. Do you have any idea of how much time people spend on Social Networks? According to Hitwise, the average time spent on Facebook as of May ’08 is 20 minutes. That’s up 56% in just a year. That is staggering!

If you think about it, it’s not like the Universe suddenly gave us an extra 20 minutes per day (but boy could I use it). So, where does that 20 minutes come from? Well, my educated guess is that it probably comes from 2 places — TV viewing, and emailing. My husband would probably say time away from him. (Kidding honey!) I’d actually have to do more digging on this. It’s the time taken from our usual email exchange we have with our friends and relatives over what we did today, who we’re on the outs with, American Idol and why we just need to lose those extra 5lbs. Basically, Social Networking has infringed upon the To/Send, and it makes it easier to “stay in touch”. The To/Send takes time for goodness sakes. I mean, a whole 2 minutes to craft a thorough update.  But now, the definition of “staying in touch” has totally changed in our culture the past 3 years. What was a phone call or an in-person meeting, has now become a Text, a Tweet,  a DM, or writing on someone’s wall saying “What’s up?”

The point is, very quickly, that Social Networking is here to stay and only getting bigger, badder and deeper. Email, well, could it go the way of snail mail someday?

This is only one marketer’s perspective. Got a comment? Comment! Want to get in touch, email me at Sheryl@savvystrategyonline.com.

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Why Big Brands Struggle With Social Media

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Image via Wikipedia

While I was on Twitter today, I came across this article on Mashable a few times, Why Big Brands Struggle With Social Media. It’s great, you should read it. I always look to my friends on Twitter to expose me to new and better ways to use Social Media.

As a Marketer for over 15 years now (yes, 15 years), I have always been at the forefront of Marketing. I have worked for some major companies including MTV, VH1, USA Networks, Universal and Hearst. I’ve had clients like: HBO and AT&T. No, this article is not about name dropping. It’s about being enough of a pioneer and risk-taker to enter into new ways of marketing. To find new ways to talk to consumers. What frustrated me most about some companies, is how some of them live in a silo. I know, there are some of you right now from big brands nodding your heads. Frustrated sitting in your chairs. Half the reason I am a consultant is because I’m about moving forward quickly and finding new ways to communicate and learn from the consumer. To me, you don’t wait until something is tried and true. By the time you’re tried and true, time has passed you by. Someone else nabbed your audience, your customer. (I’m also someone who was on the waiting list for the iBook when it came out. I wasn’t waiting for the technology to be perfect. It served me well for 5 years by the way.)

We have been blessed by some brilliant minds in marketing and technology over the past 20 years. I was just speaking with a colleague the other day about how the transformation of marketing is completely parallel to the transformation of music formats. During my lifetime we’ve gone from the 33, to the 8-Track tape to the Cassette to the CD to the MP3. That’s like a lifetime for some people. Heck, my niece is younger than that and she can drive. Marketing has seen the same transformation.

So, I dare you. Be bold. Try new things. Get familiar with social media. Instantly you’ll see how it can benefit your brand. What’s the matter? Afraid the consumer might find you out?

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