By now, I suspect Dan thinks I have totally forgotten about him. The truth is Dan has done some tremendous things for me, and on my behalf. The LEAST I can do for him is to write a post about his new book, Me 2.0, but I’ve spent all this time trying to think up something clever (or really kind) because I wanted this post to somehow encapsulate all the advice Dan has given me in my own personal branding journey. But in reality, that’s impossible so instead let me share a story instead:
An influential person in the sports marketing community was coming to my university to deliver a key note for 1st year MBA and Masters students in business. A group of us (4 MBAs and 3 Masters in Marketing) were invited to have dinner with her the night before her keynote.
As you can imagine these ambitious students all wanted to get a word in to convey their passions, ask intriguing questions, etc. As the evening grew to an end, I was fairly certain I had not made much of an impression, which wasn’t the end of the world. Her company was in North Carolina. I had a few things lined up that were promising, and I was pretty certain I wanted to stay in Texas.
That’s when it happened. Kathleen asked, “So do you guys know what Twitter is?” There were a few blank stares, a few muffled yes’s that I’m fairly certain weren’t true, and then I chimed in discussing why I really thought Twitter was a valuable tool for marketing, and mentioned quickly a couple of ways I thought it could potentially be used in the sports industry.
I still wasn’t certain I had made much of an impression, but I felt like I might have piqued her interest momentarily. I provided a business card with my blog address on the back. I followed up with a thank you note, but didn’t really think anything else of it until I got a random call about a month later. Kathleen informed me that my blog post about my fear of re-locating was a turn off to potential employers and that I should consider taking it down.
While I was a little disheartened as I didn’t think it read that way, I was stoked she had taken the time to read my blog. In an hour long meal it’s hard to convey much about yourself when surrounded by 6 of your peers, but to know that she’d read my blog made me thing I had chance because at that point she knew a LOT MORE about me. How I wrote, communicated, thought, what I was passionate about, and a lot more.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later and I was doing social media consulting, and then came on full-time when I graduated. I got a unique opportunity that was the perfect fit for my passion of studying the intersection of sports and social media, helping athletes and brands humanize their brand, and ultimately engage fans in a new way.
The moral of the story is this: PERSONAL BRANDING MATTERS!
You can call it whatever you want, but the principles Dan teaches, and hammers home with authority all over this vast place we call social media enabled me to find a job that wasn’t running marketing models all day long for Hewlett-Packard. It helped set me apart from students (particularly the MBAs who probably had a lot more experience and certainly a heftier resume.)
If you’re a college student or someone transitioning to the job market (or anyone looking to grow their personal brand to elevate their career), especially during this tough economic climate you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Me 2.0, and separate yourself from the clutter, to stand out, to define your passions and consequently let future employees and influencers see what you bring to the table.
Even now I’m completely unsatisfied with this post because I made it too much about my own story, but please know that along the way, Dan has been played an instrumental role in helping shape my personal branding story. The guy is a machine, and the branding ideas he can conjure up on a whim are simply astonishing. Thank you Dan!
Some highlights from the book include:
- A proven 4-step process for building a powerful brand (discover, create, communicate, maintain).
- Tips on using social media tools for personal empowerment, confidence building, and professional networking in order to attract jobs directly to you, without applying!
- Tested advice on how to create an online and offline presence for career protection and self-promotion.
- Over 40 expert quotes from leaders including Don Tapscott, Guy Kawasaki, Penelope Trunk, and David Kirkpatrick of Fortune Magazine, among others.
- More than 70 research reports, three personal case studies and examples to give you a broader perspective on the topic.