Published on April 9, 2009
Brand-ology Tips & Tricks for Branding Yourself from a Chick who Lives it! Lauren Cooney GPM, Web Platform & Standards Microsoft Corporation Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: www.twitter.com/lcooney Blog: http://cooney.typepad.com Tumblr: http://lcooney.tumblr.com
Who am I? 31 year old female Work at Microsoft; Former IBM & BEA Live in Seattle Former San Francisco Gal; originally from Upstate New York Love good friends, good coffee, good technology Areas of expertise Web 2.0 Social Media Web/Platforms Languages & Tooling Open Source Software Developers Community Building New and Emerging Technologies Marketing 80’s Music Pub Quizzes Purses, shoes, and anything fashion
Tip #1: Transparency is KEY; Personality is CRITICAL Who are you? What is your background? What is your purpose here? Focus areas of discussion/expertise Do you have a picture(s)? What are you interested in? Have Passion Remember… You ARE Your Brand! The more people that can see your face and hear what you are talking about feel like they “know” you and trust what you are about – helping you to gain credibility.
Where Can you Find Me?
Tip #2: Communicating with the Community Pick your method of communication – Recommend 3-5 different networking tools – Facebook/Twitter/Blog is recommended – Ensure it scales! (people can find you/you do not lock your FB or Twitter accounts) – Make sure the user-base is large enough/has enough members/regular users to make you successful Make it easy to remember/access: user names, links, RSS, ATOM Commit to it – Keep it up-to-date; people don’t read stale content – Keep it relevant; off topic is okay, but not all the time Be Patient – Usually takes about 3-6 months to really start seeing results if you are continuously active
I like to Talk, But I also Listen/Participate
Tip #3: Engage With the Community Provide Interesting Facts/Tidbits/Information on what you’re working on or who with What are you doing? People are fascinated with other people’s lives Be polite and respectful Take the time to respond to comments on your blog; comment on others’ blogs, tweets, Facebook comments Be relevant; be credible (back up with data if necessary) HAVE PASSION!
Make it Fun…
…And Interactive From my Twitter Feed: This is how my last call just went... and I was Ben Stein. Fabulous: http://tinyurl.com/chpzrf10:19 AM Mar 12th
Tip #4: What Are You Doing? Engage the community in your life – What are you doing? • Travel • Work Meetings • Commute Hell • Parties with Friends Make it FUN! – Take Pictures, Videos – Provide links to new content (youTube, Flickr, etc) – Engage with other Users – Participate in their discussions But remember…. Maintain respect for yourself; some things should remain private – it is on the web after all – and that affects YOUR brand.
Patience is a Virtue
Tip #5: Dealing with PITAs Can happen often working at large companies Don’t attack your followers – be cordial, be precise, and follow up with data Be able to laugh at yourself and take a joke Know when to step away: pick your battles wisely Look at the big picture – how will it affect your brand?
The Web Has No Secrets
Tip #6: Push the Boundaries, Safely Pushing the boundaries can often lead to a greater audience or community following Have an opinion, but be prepared to back it up It is the web – and what you say can be written down/posted anywhere, anytime, in any language – and taken out of context Be respectful of your employer; if it is your opinion, be sure to state that. Remember it is YOUR brand you are representing
Take Time For Great Opportunities Starting something new: Womens’ Bar Camp!
Tip #6: Create Your Own Opportunities • Branding is about consistency, creativity, and relationships are critical. • Take the time to build the relationships that matter; if you turn down opportunities ensure it’s done in a way where you can always reconnect later. • Attend conferences, network with new people, reach out and volunteer for/start things! • Always follow through; do not commit to something you can’t finish – this hurts your brand.
Tip #7: Have Idols & Reach Out Your brand will change as you grow in your career Ensure that you have idols that you reach out to and keep updated about what you’re working on (ie, your brand) – Idols should be relevant to what your brand is – Good idols take interest/can act as mentors – Careful research/listening to the community will provide you with good prospects
You Never Know What Will Happen (I was asked to be on the Advisory Board for Web 2.0 Expo!)
The Community Knows Best
Tip #8: Ask the Community Some of the best feedback comes from the community Why take a guess when you can ask the questions? Different opinions give you different perspectives on you and your brand Good way to test how effective your brand is; what you might need to tweak
Tip #9: “Insider Resources” Who do you follow on Twitter: – www.crazybob.org/twubble Advertising your blog: – http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/0008 93.html 9 Ways to Use Twitter: – http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2343672, 00.asp
Tip 10: Follow the Experts Rob Frankel: http://robfrankel.blogspot.com/ Chris Brogan: http://www.chrisbrogan.com/ Tim O’Reilly: http://radar.oreilly.com/ Dave McClure: http://500hats.typepad.com/ Susan Scrupski: http://itsinsider.com/ Charlene Li: http://blog.altimetergroup.com/
Remember… • It’s not Perfection, It’s Passion. • Your brand requires: – Consistency – Passion – Honesty & Transparency – Purpose/Direction – Personality • Have fun with it – the joy is in learning.
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