Are You Your Own Personal Brand Manager?

Your answer to this question should be “YES!” unless, of course, you are a celebrity or any other global personality who can afford an entire marketing team to manage your image and reputation.

We should all be taking charge in creating, establishing and managing our own personal brands online and offline. Once you have begun to establish yours, managing it can be a piece of cake.

If you are active online with blogs and social networks, managing your brand can be as simple as Googling yourself and using Google Alerts to stay updated on any new mentions or publications of your name, your websites, your blogs, your articles and more. When offline, managing your brand can be as easy as carefully reviewing your performance evaluations at work and/or seeking consistent feedback from family, friends, supervisors and other career stakeholders to make sure your personal communications are being effectively transmitted and correctly received.

As I continue to surf the net for new articles about or related to this topic, I have been amazed at the number of voices against these concepts.

Here are just some of the questions and comments I have come across from such voices:

1. “People are not brands, because people are not products.”

2. “Who cares about your personal brand?”

3. “Personal branding is narcissistic.”

4. “Are you so unsure of who you are that you must reaffirm yourself via internet tools?”

5. “Why is it so important to make sure your online image appears the way you want it to?”

While I respect and understand where each of these points is coming from, I must reinforce the importance of personal brand management in response to each one.

1. It is true that people are not products. However, often we choose one product over other similar products because of its brand (a.k.a. its unique and differentiating value) and how that value fulfills our need in a given situation. This holds true for people, as well. Each person has a unique and differentiating value, or personal brand, that fulfills an organization’s need in a given situation better than other similar people.

2. We should all care about our personal brands because they combine our strengths, our personalities, our reputations, our values and our goals all into one communicable, unique and differentiating value that we bring to the table.

3. Personal branding isn’t narcissistic unless taken to the extreme. Promoting your strengths and your unique and differentiating value to your career stakeholders is healthy and important for your own self-fulfillment and achievement in life. As more and more professionals brand themselves, it is essential that you establish your own brand in order to stand out in your job search and career development.

4. Keeping track of your online reputation with simple online tools does not make you less confident. The internet is a vast and ever-evolving platform on which it is much easier to miss “fires” threatening our personal brands and reputations. Therefore, we must fight fire with fire to stay on top of everything and protect our reputations and our investment.

5. Your online image is just a part of your overall image and personal brand. If you invest time, energy and even money into your own personal development and image offline, it makes sense that you will want your online image to match.

Personal branding is simply creating, establishing and communicating a unique and memorable value and reputation, and personal brand management is the consistent upkeep and maintenance of this value in the spheres in which you choose to exist and be active, both online and offline.

Brand managers establish and protect the value that your favorite chosen brands of products deliver, so be your own personal brand manager and protect all that you have to offer!

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Video Marketing: 7 Reasons You Should Post Videos to Market Your Business

The number of small businesses using video email marketing is trending upwards. Are you on the bandwagon?? If not, you should jump on it – now.

With the technology and various tools that we have at our disposal, there is no reason for any business owner to not think of posting videos online. Quality videos can do wonders for your business and bottom line.

Here are seven reasons to start adding videos to your marketing toolbox.

1. People Love Videos

It’s only natural that people love watching videos. Humans are visual creatures. Being able to deliver a message through a captivating video is a marketing homerun.

Many people would prefer to watch a well-produced video than to read a bunch of text. You’ve probably noticed many business owners using videos instead of (or in combination with) long form sales letters. The reason is because in many cases, split testing has shown higher conversion rates with video sales letters.

2. They’re Inexpensive to Make

You don’t need a big budget to produce videos; an inexpensive camera works just fine. Of course, you can also pay for a top notch expensive camera and professionally produced video, but that’s your choice. It’s not necessary.

A well done cheaply made video will beat out an expensive but mediocre video every time.

3. It’s Easy To Distribute Online Videos

Your videos can easily be posted to sites like YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and others. They can also easily be shared via social media sites once they’re uploaded.

4. Videos Decrease Bounce Rates

One of the metrics that Google uses to rank webpages is bounce rate – the percentage of users who land on a webpage without viewing other pages. You want to do everything you can to reduce your website’s bounce rate.

You should add your videos to your website as well as the video sharing sites. They can help lower your bounce rate which can result in higher search engine rankings and more sales.

5. Mobile Device Users Prefer Videos

More and more people are using mobile devices to surf the web. Due to the smaller screens on handheld devices, many people prefer to watch videos rather than read a bunch of text.

6. Videos Can Boost Your Brand Credibility

Producing videos is one of the best ways to boost your brand credibility. To take things further, one of the most effective ways to popularize your brand is by producing good videos that generate buzz.

Your credibility can get a huge boost if viewers see that your videos have lots of views and shares on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

One more point: YouTube videos now occupy many top spots at the search engines. Even if your website doesn’t rank well, your videos just might. If your videos and website can both rank well, your business will gain an incredible amount of visibility and all the good stuff that can come with it.

7. Videos Allow You to Give Product or Service Demonstrations

Videos allow you to visually explain and demonstrate your products or services. This way, people can more easily see themselves using whatever it is that you have to offer.
If you’re not sold yet, consider this: viewers are many times more likely to buy whatever it is you’re selling after watching a video.

Video Is Here To Stay

The signs are clear: video marketing is not going anywhere. It will only continue to grow in popularity. The question is will you grow with it or will you be left behind?