Brand Camp Personal Branding 2.0 Conf – NYC. Early Bird Registration #bcnyc

bcu11nyc_speakers_web Today I am announcing Brand Camp Personal Branding 2.0 Conference is coming to the NYC. On Tuesday, May 24th at the Riverside Church Theatre I will be partnering with Peter Shankman to bring the message of personal branding, digital technology and entrepreneurship to New York. Listed below are the conference speakers, additional speakers will be announced in the coming days. There are limited tickets so be sure to get your tickets today!

  • Early Bird Registration ($100) – Ends 04/20

  • Student Discounts ($50)

Register at

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Conference Speakers

  • Hajj E. Flemings, Founder of Brand Camp University/gokit Hajj is the founder of Brand Camp University, which runs the largest personal branding conference in the Midwest. He is also the author of “The Brand YU Life: Re-thinking Who You Are Through Personal Brand Management” which was selected as one of Fast Company Magazine 2008 Readers Choice Business Books of the year. He has been featured on NBC, Fox News, ABC, and and travels nationally speaking as a brand strategist enabling personal and business brands to remain relevant. His clients include Walt Disney, Ford Motor Company, Skechers Footwear, U.S. Department of Defense (Telecom Division). He has spoken at Iowa State University, Davidson College, University of Michigan and numerous colleges and universities around the nation on personal branding, social media and career development. He recently launched a tech startup called gokit a company that develops identity kits.
  • Peter Shankman, Founder of HARO/The Geek Factory PR Week Magazine has described Peter as “redefining the art of networking,” and Investor’s Business Daily has called him “crazy, but effective.” Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you merge the power of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with pure creativity and a dose of adventure, and make it work to your advantage. An entrepreneur, author, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Social Media, PR, marketing, advertising, creativity, and customer service.
  • Greg Clayman, Publisher of The Daily Greg Clayman is the Publisher of News Corporation’s The Daily: the first national news publication built from the ground up to create original content exclusively for tablet devices. Prior to The Daily, Greg was executive vice president of Digital Distribution & Business Development for MTV Networks and ran MTVN Mobile Media. There he managed digital business across MTVN’s channels to develop and manage new opportunities for digital content and strategic partnerships. Before joining MTVN, Greg co-founded Upoc, one of the first mobile media companies in the United States, and ran its marketing, sales and business development groups.
  • Amanda Steinberg, Founder/CEO of DailyWorth Amanda Steinberg started to give women key insights into building real net worth. DailyWorth delivers practical tips on personal finance to thousands of women’s inboxes daily. Founded in 2009 as a trusted platform for women to learn about money management, DailyWorth has since stood out as the go-to source about personal finance for women, garnering a stream of media appearances including NYT, Cosmopolitan, USAToday, Forbes, and Inc., among others.
  • Tamsen Fadal, TV Anchor – WPIX Tamsen Fadal is an Emmy Award winning Television Journalist, Relationship Expert and Author. From U.S Presidents to Hollywood Royalty to hottest stars on Broadway, Tamsen Fadal has interviewed some of the most exciting names out there. This award-winning television personality is also the author of two top selling books, Why Hasn’t He Called? and Why Hasn’t He Proposed? Tamsen loves all things tech, fashion and green and she can be seen bright and early Monday-Friday anchor the WPIX-TV, Morning News starting at 4AM.
  • Baratunde Thurston – Director of Digital at The Onion Baratunde Thurston is a comedian, author and vigilante pundit who successfully combines technology, politics and comedy. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack & Jill Politics in the summer of 2006. hosted Popular Science’s Future Of on Science Channel and works as the Director of Digital at The Onion. Baratunde has contributed to Vanity FairThe UK Independent and WNYC, and with over 55,000 followers he tweets very, very hard.  His stage presence has earned him speaking duties at the National Conference for Media Reform, Netroots Nation, South by Southwest Interactive & Film and Web 2.0 Expo. He has been featured various media outlets including ABC, NPR, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, C-SPAN and Comedy Central.
  • Dayna Steele – Fast Company Blogger/Author of Rock to the Top Dayna Steele is a successful entrepreneur, media strategist, nationally recognized radio and TV personality, the author of the best-selling business book Rock to the Top: What I Learned about Success from the World’s Greatest Rock Stars, and a popular motivational speaker. AOL calls Dayna “one of the foremost experts on career networking” and Reader’s Digest Magazine named Dayna one of the “35 People Who Inspire Us.”

Deliver Your Brand


I recently read an article by Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress), which many people like Seth Godin have commented on, that was pretty much dead on when it comes to delivering a product.  Here is an excerpt:

Usage is like oxygen for ideas – You can never fully anticipate how an audience is going to react to something you‘ve created until it’s out there. That means every moment you’re working on something without it being in the public it‘s actually dying, deprived of the oxygen of the real world.

I think this applies to personal branding.

Although there are a bunch of us that understand the importance of personal branding, there are droves of our peers out there that are not completely sold on the concept.  I believe MOST of that has to do with confidence.  What if I am not good enough? What if I am not consistent and compelling? People take themselves right out of the game.

There is a unique paradox in personal branding about being consistent and frequent. I think this is is VERY true, but I do think its more important to be ON TIME, than consistent and frequent.  Matt in his article talked about Apple and WordPress dealing with the challenges of delivering product. Apple products many times when released, albeit with ingenuity and gargantuan hype, at times fall short of what pundits say “the customer actually wants.” Much of that is due to the the fact that their philosophy is to deliver great product and develop it to maturity while it is in the market. I believe Apple’s reasoning for this thought process is that they feel many people don’t completely know what they want in a product until they start using it. I tend to agree.

This is the same way with personal branding. Many of us didn’t know what our personal brand was, until we started developing one.

Deliver your brand.

If you know someone who is discouraged by the enormous task of maintaining a personal brand, tell them they have lost until they deliver their brand.  You don’t know what you are made of until you get in the game (sports analogy).

I believe it is very important to give your brand oxygen, and if you don’t know what your brand is yet, dig deep inside your heart and create some prototypes.  You know the core you, but allow your audience to guide you to where you need to be.

P.S. Deliver Magazine is a great source of information for marketers and small business owners.

Our Connected World by the Numbers


There are approximately 6.5 Billion people on the planet and we live in a hyper-connected world where we are increasingly communicated via online.  As you continue to map out your digital footprint think about the Facebook, Twitter, internet connectivity, and mobile device usage is impacting personal brand.

  • 75% of Internet Connected Homes Use Social Networks (61% of all U.S. Households)

Raw numbers alone are useless.  These stats are being provided for you to determine their true impact to you and your personal brand.

Twitter Chats & Your Personal Brand

hashtag bird brandcamp u

We all know by now that Twitter is more than just a fun place to talk to people and learn what’s new, it’s also a huge personal brand generator.

Whether it’s Alyssa Milano, a perennial B-list actress with in excess of one million followers and a klout score higher than Barack Obama, or Justin, the 29-year old who’s twitter account @sh*tmydadsays has now been made into a book and a TV series, stories abound of people who have become famous (or more famous) because of their twitter presence.

While you may never have a million followers, it is possible to become known on Twitter, to become an ‘expert’ in your field or even a ‘thought leader.’  I have found a simple tool that is an easy way to gain influence, grow your following and expand your personal brand: the twitter chat.

If you’re not a devotee of chats, as many are, you may have noticed from time to time that your stream fills up with hashtags such as #genychat, #mbachat or #jobhuntchat, and either wondered what everyone is talking about, or gotten annoyed that these tweets keep filling up your stream with something you’re not involved in.

Next time that happens, instead of tuning out, tune in.  Search for the hashtag so you can see the tweets in real-time, use a tool like  That way you will get a feel for what the whole conversation looks like rather than just a few snippets here and there.  If it’s a topic you know something about, feel free to join in ~ twitter chats are open to all and generally very welcoming to newcomers.  

Here’s a few tips for chats and why you might want to join:

1)   Meet interesting new tweeps.  Chats usually attract people from outside your sphere, so it is almost assured you will be exposed to some tweeps you have not previously been aware of.  If they seem interesting, follow them.

2)   Put your two cents in.  Like I said, if you know something about the topic, it’s perfectly fine to add your thoughts.  You do not have to be an expert on the subject.  Everyone has a different level of expertise, so you don’t know who your tweet will help or appeal to.

3)   Retweet people.  This will give them a chance to interact with you later.  It also helps your audience if you are tweeting good information at them.

4)   Add a comment to a tweet.  Have conversations within the chat…this is the time to engage…everyone is expecting that, they all came here for the same reason.

5)   Since most chats move quickly, the more you tweet within a chat, the more likely you will be noticed and pick up new followers.   Generally these are people with at least some similar interests and can become valuable new sources of information and engagement.  Follow them back.

6)   By engaging in chats, you are using Twitter for what it was designed for ~ conversation.

7)   There is usually a digest published after the chat with select tweets, along with a transcript of the entire chat.  More tweeps who did not get to participate in the chat, but who are interested in the topic will seek that out, and will find you there.

8)   Tweet a link to the digest or transcript to your followers and ask them to join the next chat.  And make sure to thank the moderators of the chat at the conclusion.

9)   Growing a presence among twitter chatters will increase your opportunities to know and be known by influencers within a given field.

10)  Twitter chats are fun!

Joining in a twitter chat is a first step level of engagement.  Eventually, you may want to co-moderate a chat of your own.  To get started, check out this complete up-to-date list of twitter chats.  You are sure to find one that fits your interests and goals:

My next post will outline how to create and host a twitter chat.

The Future Belongs to Disruptive Thinkers not Personal Brands


What are personal brands?  Typically they are uniform thinkers.  They are soldiers in a mass army.  They follow orders well.  They have developed online personal brand profiles that are a result of reading blog post that provide a macro view of basic online personal branding strategies.  They listen to the pseudo expert telling them to set-up Twitter accounts and add thousands of empty bodies so that they can say they are influencers.

But a disruptive thinker realizes that owning the future has little to do with having a Facebook Fan Page or Twitter account alone. Disruptive thinkers don’t think linearly.  They don’t add by addition.  They think exponentially.  They bring who they are to whatever they are working on which doesn’t fit in the current workplace.

  • Personal Brands: A personal brand takes a hardbound book then looks to format it to produce an iBook as a glorified PDF file.
  • Disruptive Thinkers: A disruptive thinker when he/she curates contents for a book creates a product that is multi-dimensional experience that traditional publishing would never do it justice.

Disruptive thinkers change industries.  Disruptive thinkers make you have to take notice.  They are going to force corporations/organizations/brands to change their corporate culture to mine them. In the future this type of talent won’t be attracted to your company by traditional means.

Note: This blog is a by-product of a recent post on where Seth Godin said he wasn’t Gives Up on Traditional Book Publishing and a conversation with Vincent Hunt.

Checkout Seth’s iPad Version of Linchpin.

It is time to be disruptive!!!

Brand Ambassadors in The Digital Workplace


This blog post was inspired by David Armano post, “How to be an Effective Corporate Ambassador.”

Think back to 1984, some Millennials were just born.  Heck I wasn’t even in high school yet.  What did the workplace look like pre-social media (as we know call it today)?

The digital workplace today is convoluted because corporations/organizations haven’t caught up with the lifestyles of the new digital worker. Most companies don’t have a social media policy (in the United States its 29%) in place or have created a culture that embraces or addresses the changing behaviors of the new digital worker. The new digital worker is hyper-connected with blurring lines between their personal and professional lives; but if harnessed properly the new digital worker has untapped potential that could be invaluable to the corporation that they represent.

The term personal branding also didn’t exist in the form that it does today back then.  Depending on what side of the fence you are on personal branding gets mixed reviews.  Is it EGO, does it exist, do you need it or is it authentic?  At the end of the day we all know that we have to stand out to be recognized and to establish and position ourselves for opportunities we desire whether personal or professional. For the sake of argument we will call personal brands in the corporate workplace ‘brand ambassadors.’

As brand ambassadors we share the following qualities

  • We all have voices
  • We all have networks
  • We all have influence/reach
  • We talk about things we are passionate about
  • We are hyper-connected

Who do you Represent?

All Americans have freedom of speech which is protected by the constitution of the United States that protects your rights to say what you want.  But say something crazy online and see how long that freedom is protected.  What you say can and will be held against you, remember an ambassador represents all the entities they are attached to them personally and professionally.

When you are online after hours or during work hours who do you represent?  This question was easily answered a decade ago for most people.  If you ask them what they did on their own time they would say it is their business.  Today this isn’t true because who you are after hours can affect the brand you represent.

  • Corporate Accounts: If your job requires you to have co-branded corporate profile(s) you have specific requirements and obligations with these accounts.
  • Portable Personal Brand: Every person should have portable personal brand that moves with them if they change careers and employers.  This includes your rental property (social networks like Twitter) and digital real estate that you own (your dot com/online hub.)

Who is Responsible?

Is the employer or the employee responsible for the digital workplace?  This is a very broad question with many different answers, but the short answer is that the responsibility is shared.  It is the corporation’s responsibility to create a culture that properly manages employees in an environment that is influenced by social technology.  On the other hand the employees have the responsibility to monitor and manage their corporate and personal ecosystems that balances every move, decision, and status update that they make.

As brand ambassadors we have a shared responsibility to ourselves and the corporate/organization that we represent to perform on their behalf which is mutually beneficial.  As early adopters brand ambassadors will play an integral part in helping to establish the digital workplace that will impact future workers and company culture.

Has Social Media Lost it’s Sexy?


Every so often I see a tweet or Facebook post that is along the lines of someone “quitting social media” for a period of time. It almost seems they’ve become fatigued with the heavy lifting of sharing, posting, and the commenting that’s necessary to stay relevant in social media. Relevant being a key word.

If you are anything like me, there are long periods where I do great and then there are times when I have extreme peaks and valleys.  At any period of time you can catch me racing – posting here, tweeting there, engaging with people through blog comments over there….and then…it drops.  Let me tell you *in Bill Cosby voice*– Do as I say and not as I do.

That is the wrong way to stay RELEVANT.

Our lives are busy and sometimes being active in social media is at the back of our minds and for most of us thats ok. For us trailblazers, we must show the way.  Personal branding content sources such as this blog and conferences like BrandCamp 2010 are VERY important for this space. It pushes forward use cases for social media and personal branding using the internet. We are the social authority! Scary? Nah.

Is IT still sexy?
Yes.  Social Media as we know it – social networking, blogging, location-based services, and real-time-publishing is definitely still evolving.  Meanwhile, us who champion the social media cause, we have significant jobs to do.  For our personal benefit and for the community.  In order to maintain the social media sexy, we need to be consistent and challenge ourselves to pump out GREAT content.

The Internet is still a teenager, at around 15 years old, it is just coming into its own.

Entrepreneur’s, large organizations, individuals, you are all welcome – join the party.  We will be rocking for a while.

2010 Career Re-Tool Workshop w/@HajjFlemings on 07/13


The Michigan Technological University’s School of Business and Economics – Tech MBA Online has developed a Career Re-Tool Workshop to help you Re-Tool, Re-Wire and Re-Think your career and future.

This FREE event is designed to enable you to evaluate your career planning strategy and position you to grow personally and professionally.  This is a must attend event for job seekers, those in career transitions and people who want to re-tool themselves for promotion in a challenging job market.

Register Today!!!!  Seats are limited!!!!

Register at:


Hajj E. Flemings – Personal Brand Strategist/Founder of Brand Camp University

Brenda Rudiger – Director of Alumni Relations at Michigan Technological University

Paul J. Hindelang – President at Results Systems Corporation



Re-Tooling yourself with Education

We will explore the value of education as a career strategy to help you stay globally competitive in a challenging job market. This session will focus on the benefits of an MBA and higher education to empower you to reinvent and re-think your future.

Re-Wiring your Career with Social Networks and Online Tools

Come and learn how to rewire yourself through social networks and online channels to connect with companies and identify new career opportunities.  Become a person that understands how to translate their network into value.

Re-Thinking your Financial Strategy

Has your 401K got you down?  It is time to re-think your financial strategy and prepare financially for your career transition?  Come and get fresh new ideas for investing, financial planning, insurance and social security.

5-Personal Branding Lessons: Marvin Gaye’s Nation Anthem – 1983 NBA All-Star Game


It has been over 20-years since Marvin Gaye’s sang the national anthem at the 1983 NBA All-Star game in Los Angles, and it is chronicled as one of the greatest renditions ever. What lessons can be learned from watching the national anthem?

The 5-Personal Branding lessons

  • Integrate your Personal DNA – Personal Branding is about exposing people to what makes you special. Your image, your style, and your presence are centric to what draws your fans, your community, or your tribe to you as Seth Godin would say.  Be who you are!  You can set-up Fan pages, tweet all day, and have a million dollar website but if you don’t bring your personal DNA to the table you are wasting time and money.
  • Take Everything to the Next Level: No matter what it is that you do it can always be taken to the next level even it if is the national anthem which is a poem originally written by a 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key in 1814.
  • Mastery – Success is about mastery.  Malcolm Gladwell calls it ‘10,000 hours’ and Jim Collins says, ‘Good is the Enemy of Great’ but personal branding is about consist delivery of excellence in a focused area.
  • Social Media isn’t about technology –  Social Media as we call it today is not about the technology.  The technology will change as it has from radio, to TV, to the Internet. Social media is another medium to communicate your compelling story.
  • Be Original – If you compare the greatest national anthems of all-time each artist brought something unique and original to the table.  Be original and always bring your worldview to your art.

As a personal brand what impact will you make?  Will people continue to talk about the legacy, the impact, and the mark you made 20-years after you are gone?

I was inspired to write this after reading a Facebook post from Marjora Carter.

Thanks Majora!!!

From ‘The Brand Man’

Leave your Mark!!!!

When Free Sucks: Google are you Listening? #WhenFreeSucks


I have been singing the praises of Google for years.  I have talked about the brilliance of their FREE model.  When Chris Anderson’s book, ‘FREE’ came out I purchased the book the first week.  Whenever I needed to search for anything on the net I would always go to  Then the unthinkable happens, all of my videos were deleted from my YouTube account which is owned by Google. (Note:  All of my videos were in total compliance with their terms of service.)

In an instant my YouTube account with over 13,000 views was deleted. In my mind Google is a great company so I knew they are going to respond swiftly when I contacted them about this simple mistake they made.  I have entered questions into their online forum, emailed questions to YouTube, and called the Google office only to get totally ignored.  I can’t begin to explain to you the level of frustration that I felt because I have gotten ZERO response from one of my favorite Brand.  Over the years I have put a great deal of trust into ‘FREE’ resources like YouTube.  I now understand there is always a tradeoff to ‘FREE’ and one of the main reasons is:

  • No Customer Service: Humans don’t typically service other humans that don’t pay.

The Impact to your Personal Brand and Dependence on Google

How dependent is your business on Google?  I am really starting to re-think how I build my personal brand with Google and other FREE tools.

Some of the Many Google Services that I use

  • YouTube Videos
  • Gmail account emails
  • Google Docs
  • Google Calendars
  • Google Checkout

If your account is temporarily or permanently compromised what is the impact to your personal brand/business?  I walked away from my FREE experience saying I would rather have a paid service that I could hold someone accountable.

Tips for Managing you Personal Brand with FREE

  • Own Your Hub: As a personal brand you need to own the main hub of their online activity. (i.e.
  • Back-up Everything: Anything in FREE services needs to be backed up:  videos, documents, important emails, etc.
  • Re-Evaluate your Dependence on FREE: Re-Evaluate everything that you have in FREE social networking sites or other FREE services you use.
  • Carefully Select Account Managers: If you have a third party managing any of your social network accounts be very careful.  Your reputation can be compromised and your account suspended or deleted because of inappropriate activity (anything that violates their Terms of Service)

Blog Post on FREE Services and Frustrations

I write this blog post to get you thinking and planning so that you can be proactive in managing your online personal brand.  It is also validates to me that nothing in life is FREE there is always a cost.  It is just a matter of who is paying, when they pay and how much.  Does this mean to stop using Google or other FREE services like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter?  The answer is no but you have to manage your dependence.

Would you be willing to pay for a services that are currently FREE (i.e. YouTube) for customer service and the ability to hold someone accountable?

(Photo Credit: Google Logo Render by mark knol)

Personal Branding Interview @PRSarahEvans: The Rise of Women in Social Media

If you haven’t heard of PR Sarah Evans you probably live under a rock, have no Internet access or use a rotary dial phone. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to interview her recently and we discussed the topic of women in social media.

She is the President of Chicago based public relations and new media consultancy Sevans Strategy and runs #journchat. She is an influencer in the new media/pr communities and is a great personal branding case study. She has emerged as a leader in the social space but she isn’t an overnight success she has earned her stripes and put in the time.

I really wanted to share Sarah Evans story to inspire other women who believe they have a message that the world needs to hear. One of the great things that I like about Sarah’s story is that she has turned her passion into a career/profit.

Earlier this year she was featured in Vanity Fair with a list of other influential women in social media, which obviously has tremendously impacted her business. The flip side of this story is that Sarah received some negative feedback from some of her peers about the article since it didn’t appropriately reflect women in tech or show a diverse perspective. After talking with Sarah it showed me her depth as a person as she tackled the situation head on when confronted with those facts and addressed the valid concerns with some of those same peers.


Sarah Evans is the originator of Twitter Chats. She launched #journchat in December 2008 which has hosted CNN and will host NBC News later this year

How to Follow Sarah Evans

There are a million ways to follow Sarah online I have listed some of the main ways below.

Twitter: @PRSarahEvans
Twitter Chat: #journchat (Monday’s 7:30pm-10:00pm CST)

For Other Influential Women in Social Media

Check out my Twitter List of Influential Women in Social Media:

Personal Branding? For Kids? Yes.

hajj_baby picture Copy

As someone who is reading this blog, I think it is safe to say that you are a forward-thinking individual, who understands the importance of personal branding. It’s a fair guess that most of us, who have established a brand online have started since we have been out of college or have done so because our jobs have called for us to do so.  Have you ever thought what it would have been like to start branding yourself online earlier?

Here are what I think are five compelling reasons why I think youth should establish their personal brand online:

1. Domain name
According to a Market Watch article, as of 2009 the Internet has surpassed a total of 193 Million domain names registered.  With that stat being said, it is very important for youth to dip into the pool of names left and register the domain that matches their personal name at least.  This way they don’t have to cobble together a URL, because nothing that resembles their name is available.  Using their name as a URL is important for branding on a resume or for SEO (search engine optimization), which we will get into later.

2. Content Creation
Teaching your kids while they are young on how to create content on the web could advance them light years.  The story from the proverbial book of “The Internet” is telling us that content consumption is moving from the TV to the Internet. Although the jury is out on whether content will completely move to the Internet, it appears that this is the trend. Knowing how to maneuver and establish themselves online could be the difference in whether your kids land career opportunities in the future. Obviously the content that a young person would create would ideally be targeted to their respective age group. The goal is not to teach them how create a huge audience, but to teach young people how to create relevant content to the audience they would want to focus on.  Whether their audience is their friends from school or as small as their family, the experience they would gain would be very beneficial.

3. Good SEO out the gate
Google has made SEO (search engine optimization) a very important term on the Internet. Having a presence online early would allow search engines like Google, who crawl the Internet to find everything that exists, to populate the content that your child creates in its search engine results.  Having an early start could be the difference between a young person with a common name like John Smith, having optimal search engine results online.  Although you would have to maintain fresh content for these results to remain, a good linking structure on the website or blog would allow for decent results over a long period of time.  To learn more about SEO, this article at is a good start.

4. Seasoned Virtual Appearance
You may have aspirations for your child to become a million-dollar entrepreneur, however even if they become a worker-bee at a large organization, having tenure online can help.  With a track record of providing content online, when the young person becomes an adult, people can see a past history of their contribution to a subject matter.  Seeing an evolution in a young person can also show their potential, which is very important for employers.

5. Education Value
Creating a personal brand online through contributing content, allows a young person to prove that they can commit to something other than school.  It could expand on their experiences whether social or educational. Additionally, when kids go off to college knowing how to create content online, they will have the edge of being able to express themselves via the Internet and will also have had the opportunity to establish a social network that could be valuable to them later on.  Most importantly, they will have knowledge on how to use tools for content creation.  Tools such as WordPress and Blogger for blog platforms, as well as social media tools like Twitter and Facebook that help them connect with other people and content creators online.

The Internet can be a scary place to let kids run wild and until they are mature enough to handle the responsibility, they may need a personal shepherd.  If you are shepherding them along as they embark on this experience, you can curate their interaction and places they visit.

I feel whatever negatives exist for the personal branding of young people; the positives far outweigh any negatives that could pop up.  A professor that I learned a great deal from, the late Professor Dr. Dale Haywood (creator of The Economics of Private Enterprise in a 12-cell Matrix)  taught every student that they  should create a Self-Designed Supplemental Curriculum (SDSC) and reach beyond our educational requirements.  By encouraging young people to establish a presence online, it allows them to start training on how they want to present themselves to the world professionally, recreationally, or through creative contribution to the world. Personal Branding? For Kids? Yes.

Lawrence Riddick is a small business consultant and marketer at Clarity Consulting & Design and blogger at The Ideas That Stick.

36- Tips for Personal Branding with Twitter


Twitter is a great tool and provides many ways to impact, manage and build equity for your personal brand.  In this blog post we will look at 36-tips for personal branding on Twitter.

1. Make your Blog Social – Integrate a Twitter widget into your blog to give it wings. (Example: @careerrocketeer)

2. Custom Background Image – Integrate a visual image in the background that reinforces your personal brand and connects with your blog. (Example: @ChrisBrogan)

3. Polish your Avatar – Integrate a professional looking avatar that is consist across all your social networks that visually looks like you so that people can associate with you.

4. Strategic Social URLs – Choose your Twitter handle wisely. Choose a name that you are strategically planning to build brand equity with.

5. Be a Trust Builder – Twitter is more than a channel where you build a large number of followers. You are really building trust with the people who follow you.

6. Character 2.0 – Your tweets are a character stream that people can validate.

7. Think before you Tweet – All tweets are now archived forever by Library of Congress (LOC), all tweets from March 2006 going forward.

8. Profile Bio – Your Twitter profile should identify who and what you are (Example: @KellyLux)

9. Re-Tweetable Bio – Create a bio that is re-tweetable with 120 characters.

10. Create Touch Points – Each tweet is a potential touch point with a potential employer, business partner, customer or strategic partner so handle them with care.

11. Integrate into your web 1.0 Content – Integrate into your business cards other marketing literature.

12. Own Mindshare – Own Digital Real Estate: tweets, @replies and mentions allow you to position yourself in the mind of your target audience.

13. ROI (Return on Identity) - Over time you are creating return on identity so make sure you are re-enforcing the identity you desire.

14. Become a Sound Bite King – Tweeting forces you to think in little commercials (or sound bites)

15. Own a hashtag - A hashtag is a community of people. Owning the hashtag is a commitment to purposeful content on a selected topic. (For example:  #journchat is the hashtag for the Twitter Chat founded by  @PRSarahEvans which is an ongoing conversation between journalists, bloggers and PR folks.)

16. Be Focused – The focus or goals of Twitter account must be determined. Are you a personal or branded account (For example: @HajjFlemings vs. @BrandCampU .)

17. Biz Development/Lead Generator – Think about how you can create monteizable biz opportunities.

18. Searchable/Query – Query content and keywords that are relevant to your niche it will foster greater interaction with people in the space you are focused on.

19. Broadcast your Blog Post – Great way to syndicate your blog post to your community (Example: @problogger)

20. Blog Post Titles – It forces you to think about tweetable blog post titles. Integrating Twitter handles and titles that people will want to share. (Example: @thisissethsblog)

21. Master 120 – If your tweets are longer than 120 characters you are grounded your tweets and eliminating the more value aspect of tweeting the re-tweet.

22. Twitter List Barometer – Use it as a barometer of how your network views you. If you want your network to view you as a PR Specialist but you are only on underwater basket weaving list then you need to re-evaluate the content you tweet.

23. Attend Tweet-up – As you began to attend tweet-up it is your badge and your ID that is used to communicate. Connect with likeminded people.

24. Track Content – Use or Hootsuite to track to identify quality metric data.

25. Set-up Groups/List to Focus on Content from specific users.

26. Meet People in New Markets – When I travel I use Twitter as a tool to meet users/influencers in new markets using tools like

27. Pay attention – Listening is critical respond to your @replies and mentions build reputation as being attentive and responsive.

28. Become a Case Study – Melinda Emerson (@smallbizlady) – She developed a strategy 20-months prior to being on Twitter. The end result is that she has used Twitter to develop a platform for people to connect with her on her book ‘Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months’. She realized that 60% of people who buy books buy it from someone they have had contact with.

29. Become Geo Loc Enabled – Geo location apps like Foursquare and Gowalla are great at events like SXSW it helps you to connect with people that you want to network with.

30. Crowdsourcing – Your network is a diverse, geographically disperse community and is a prime target to crowdsource ideas to get quality recommendations and leads.

31. Mobilize – The use of smartphone third party apps allow you to be responsive and connect in real-time on opportunities you don’t the time to get in front of a desktop computer for.

32. Online/Offline – Focus on turning your online Twitter friends into offline interaction.

33. Don’t Argue – Don’t try to prove to someone you are smarter than them by arguing back and forth in a stream of tweets to prove your mental superiority. This will not add value to your brand.  (This was birthed out of a tweet exchange between @claudinerenee and myself about Butler University.  She responded to one of my tweets in which she had more information than me so we continued our conversation offline.  I wanted to understand her position without filling my Twitter stream with our discussion.  I walked away more informed.)

34. Online Reputation Management – Use Google alerts, Keyword searches and third party apps to manage and monitor your Twitter reputation.

35. Account Managers – Be careful who manages your account. Giving a third party access to your account could cause your account to be suspended, lose your account name or to destroy our reputation by tweeting something that is beyond repair.

36. Tom Peters & Seth Godin Rule – It is not about the numbers. As of 06/30/10 together Seth and Tom have 17,303 followers (Seth Godin-5 & Tom Peters-17,298) but they have more influence, a higher quality of life and they make more than most people with over 100,000 followers.

Personal Branding vs. Career Branding

Let’s explore the differences between personal branding and career branding, and determine which path is right for you.

Read more

i Finish: The app that defines Personal Branding


One of the biggest challenges in life is not starting but finishing. Anybody can start something but to the finisher goes all the spoils. What if Fred Smith founder of FedEx stopped with his term paper at Yale, when his professor told him overnight shipping would never work? Fred is a finisher and the impact of his start is still being felt today.

History chronicles those that finish. We rarely talk about the runner-up, second place, or the 500-page book manuscript that you wrote but never published. Personal branding is captured in one word is finishing. One of the people that I have a great deal of respect for is Seth Godin who has talked about this topic at length and has packaged it as shipping.

Reasons Why we Like Starting Stuff

  • Big Bodacious Teams: At the start of a project, leaders and teams are galvanized and inspired to change the world.
  • The Shiny Objective Syndrome: People love working and focusing on new task, projects, and the flavor of the day. Even entrepreneurs believe that they can do the impossible.
  • Excitement – Launching an idea is typically very energizing.
  • Drinking Bathwater – People who would drink your bath water because they think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread gassing your head up.

What is the value of finishing?

  • Building Mindshare: Mindshare is owning a slice of mental real estate in the mind of your target audience. Building a strong personal brand is established over time by finishing projects that are consistent with your personal brand objectives.
  • Creating a culture of execution: You begin to approach projects, ideas, and businesses with the mindset of starting things that you are intentionally planning on finishing. Your life becomes a series of completed projects or ideas that slowly build or speak your consistency. People began to identify you as a person that executes.
  • Conversion: Finishing is about converting objectives into strategies. To complete anything that is significant you have to create small victories on the road of completion. Finishing forces you to strategically approach your work in a way that will result in measurable objectives you complete.

Tips for Finishing

  • Set measurable goals and objectives.
  • Validate the objectives align with your personal mission and purpose. The end result should add value to your personal brand.
  • Shorten your list: You are not creating a list to sound or look important.

What Finishing Means to your Personal Brand

Finishing is not about being a rocket scientist or throwing junk together but about establishing clear objectives and aligning strategies to make those objectives a reality. Personal Branding taken a step further is about completing projects that are mission and purpose driven and align with your passion, the way you are wired and your personal brand DNA. The end results is attaching your name and your legacy to finished projects, ideas, or products that aligns, builds, and strengthens your personal brand.

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