7 Tips on Becoming Wildly Successful

I recently read a great blog post by Maren Kate on how to build a successful company or personal brand strategy. While this article was written in 2009, all the tips she shares are as relevant now as they were then.

  1. Be Your Own Groupie. Know what your business core, strengths, and niche are, and make it who you are, not just part of you. Love your business idea and your industry; love it so much that it is all you want to talk about. When you love want you do for a living, it no longer feels like work. Become your own biggest fan, and then people will become big fans, as well.
  2. Know Your Story. Figure out why you started loving the type of business you are in, since it is the basis of your brand. Turn the story into what your brand stands for.
  3. Be Seen. You may be the best in your industry or have the most potential, but if no one knows who you are, it does not change anything. Even if you are shy in your everyday life, make the commitment to be bold and outgoing when talking about business and your brand (especially your personal brand). However, remember that there is a difference between being outgoing and talking too much. Make sure that you listen to the people you network with just as much as you share your story and passion.
  4. Fill the gap. Find your niche in the market. Maren explains that “often what is behind the hip brands is not the actual products but instead it is the people who consist of the brand and the companies’ image.” Be open with your customers, do not try to be perfect, be honest, and admit your flaws, this will help create to a loyal customer base.
  5. Build relationships with talkers. What better way to spread the word about your brand than to build relationships with people who love to talk, blog, and tweet? Build relationships with talkers, real relationships not “one-night stand” relationships. Talkers already love to network, they are good at it, so build relationships with them, and they will spread the good word. On the same note, they know how to network so they can sniff out when someone is just using them, so do not just try to use them for their connections.
  6. Do not feed the dinosaurs. If you try and try to reach your audience through a platform and your do not have any success…you have already tried and tried, please do not try again. Try your luck with another channel, go where your customers already are. They probably are not waiting to see your newest commercial; rather they are either fast forwarding through the commercials or checking Facebook while they wait for their show to come back on. Cut the television budget and switch your efforts to social media and online marketing.
  7. Raising a freaky cow. “To survive and thrive in a post traditional marketing world you must have a strong brand built upon a well crafted story that resonates and connects with your target market.” This statement is definitely true; it is all about buzz marketing. Do not be generic, be unique.

Should My Brand be on Pinterest?

Atomicdust, an agency in St. Louis, posted a great blog on how to determine if your company should be using Pinterest.  As of now, Pinterest is driving more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn combined (10 million monthly visitors and growing).

I really enjoyed this post because it asks three straight-to-the-point questions about Pinterest and your brand:

  • Are there compelling images associated with your brand?
  • How much time do you have?
  • How well do you know your brand’s core values?


  1. Use compelling images that link out to great content, this will not only promote your company but it will improve your website’s SEO with more inbound links.
  2. Social media is important to your company and requires time, and Pinterest is no different. Set aside time to not only find images but to also to respond to followers and repin pictures from your followers.
  3. Create a multi-dimensional brand image by creating multiple boards on varying topics.
  4. Pinterest is about expression not content, though it can drive traffic to content.

Use the link below to check out the full blog and learn more:

Should My Brand be on Pinterest? – Web Design and Marketing Blog.

Social Media Week 2012 – A Global Platform | Blog au Roux | Mudbug Media, Inc.

Via Scoop.itBeing Your Brand
Check out the blog I wrote for Mudbug Media on the Social Media Week 2012!

Here is a snippit from the blog:

Last week was Social Media Week 2012, a weeklong global initiative that focuses on the impact of social media on culture, politics, economics, and social change. This was truly a global celebration, as unique events were held in nine countries: Germany, China, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Singapore, and Brazil.

Social Media Week 2012 leveraged the benefits of the popular social media platforms to create a truly global discussion. The majority of the events were broadcast live through Livestream, and promoted hashtags (such as #SMWNY) that viewers were able to use to tweet questions to the presenters, which were answered live. A particularly innovative feature was a real time infographic that displayed trending topics, hashtags, and handles by city.

Knowing that social media is now a crucial part of brand strategy, members of our media, analytics, and strategy team made it a priority to learn as much as possible from the talented social media week presenters. The following are a few of the great events that our team watched.

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Social Media Week 2012 – Miami

Marketing Personal Branding

Today, social media week Miami hit it out of the park with some amazing speakers. I was able to catch two great discussions that were broadcasted live on LiveStream.

Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings

The first discussion was “Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings” which focused a lot on social media policies in relation to employee management. The discussion focused around a key point that I can not stress more; the importance of having a company social media policy in place BEFORE you begin using social media. While it is always nice to think that there will not aggressive, rude, or “sensitive” posts or tweets about your company, you need to be prepared for the “what if” situations.

For example, what if an employee tweets a negative and inappropriate comment about the company to their public Twitter profile? Having a standard or policy in place on what employees are allowed and are not allowed to say online, (in regards to the company) will make incidents such as that much easier to handle.

Not only should your policy include internal standards of maintaining your brand image in social media, but it should also include standards on how to respond to “sensitive” posts about your company by non-employees.

The key to monitoring your brand online is being honest, transparent, and quick to respond. Above all, do not ignore or delete negative comments. You do not have to address all negative comments in a public forum, comments are often addressed offline through Twitter direct messages or Facebook messages.

A great FREE tool that you can use to monitor your brand online is SocialMention.  In real time, SocialMention aggregates all the user generated content that mentions your brand into one information stream. It pulls content from Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, YouTube, Digg, Google etc.

Other key takeaways from the “Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings” event were:

  • Try to keep all posts/tweets as organic as possible
  • Create a conversation calendar
  • Every engagement with a follower can be an opportunity
  • When creating a social media policy for employees, balance maintaining company values and not scaring employees off from using social media
  • Recommend to employees that they avoid talking about the company, but encourage talking about the industry

Personal Branding Through Social Media

The other event that I watched, was “Personal Branding Through Social Media”. During the event a tremendous panel discussed how to harness the power of social media to build your personal brand.

The panel included the following social media experts: Gabrielle Bozza from Made You Famous, Gerard Bush the Chief Creative Director of the BRPR Group, David Sugarman from Sugar Time Sports Management, Susset Cabrera the president of Peacock Public Relations, and Anne Owen the publisher of Miami magazine.

The panel discussion focused around creating a new persona; a digital reflection of who you are as a person and as a brand. When creating your personal brand you have to be prepared to defend yourself, your posts, and your tweets.

Some of my favorite takeaways from the “Personal Branding Through Social Media” discussion were:

  • Put your personality out there, otherwise people will get bored
  • You must be prepared to defend yourself
  • Be consistent but don’t be overly careful
  • Social Media – touch the world in 15 minutes

Also, if you want to watch either of these discussions you can find the videos for both the “Oops! Social Media Mistakes and Learnings” and the “Personal Branding Through Social Media” events on LiveStream. You can also watch all of the events live here: Social Media Week On LiveStream. If you do watch any of the events live, I highly recommended following the corresponding hashtag on Twitter as well. There are some great Twitter conversations, thought, insights that happen throughout the eventsFor example, today while watch these events I followed #smwmiami , it made the broadcast even more exciting and got great insights from the other viewers who were tweeting. To see all the Social Media Week 2012 events check out their website here.

Image: David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pinterest, the Newest Game Changer

Pinterest is truly the newest game changer. Since they launched (10 months ago) more than 13 MILLION users have registered. So why is Pinterest a game changer? Here, are a few reasons why they are not a forced to be messed with:

In the U.S., the majority of users are female, but in the U.K., they’re male. Like I discussed in a previous post, International Social Media Trends, platform use can vary greatly by  country. While you may be using the same platform to reach customers all around the world, your audience may be very different in France than it is in China or the U.S.

Though Pinterest has not rolled out official brand pages, there are over 100 brands that are leveraging the new platform to reach customers. A feature that makes Pinterest a great marketing tool for companies is that it allows the ability to control who can pin to your boards.   For example, as a company you may not want followers to be able to pin to each and every one of your boards, so Pinterest gives you the option to can create some boards in which pinning is restricted to the admin, others that allow multiple users to pin, and community boards in which anyone can pin.

So why should your company join Pinterest? Because Pinterest is driving more web traffic to other sites (such as your company’s website) than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube COMBINED! Just because Pinterest is the new “fad” doesn’t mean you should disregard its power. If you haven’t tried it out yet, I recommend it (though be prepared, it can be quite addicting).

Via blogs.constantcontact.com

Via Scoop.itBeing Your Brand

How a Subject Line Can Make or Break Your Email Marketing Campaign

Via Scoop.itBeing Your Brand

Next time you pen an email subject line think twice about the words you’re using.   Click the link below to see a great infographic showing the best times to send emails, when people read emails most (6 a.m. surprisingly!), and what words to use in the subject line. Using this info you can increase the number of responses and create a successful email marketing campaign. Make your email stand out from the hundreds which flood our mailboxes everyday.

Each day we spend about 2.5 hours emailing, both reading and writing emails. We also are quick to delete emails, selecting ‘delete’ for more than half of the emails we receive. Our emails typically fall into the following categories:

  • 1/2 of emails are quickly deleted
  • 1/4 of emails are archived to reference later
  • 1/4 of emails we open, read, and respond (or follow the request)

It’s all about the subject line when it comes to emails, using the right keywords can increase your opening rate drastically:

  • Instead of “speaker” use “conference”
  • Instead of “join” use “apply”

Via mashable.com

How to Brand Yourself Online and Offline

Brand strategy is not limited to businesses anymore; it is now expanding into the idea of branding yourself. I was introduced to the concept of branding yourself during my senior year at Tulane when everyone was getting ready to apply for jobs, specifically the idea of branding your online identity.

Personal Brand StrategyBut, when I thought about it a personal brand does not exist solely online. Actually, a personal brand strategy can be applied to networking (online and offline), applying for jobs, and career goals.

It is important remember when you are developing a personal brand strategy, that it is just as important for you to monitor your online brand as it is for companies.

Also, don’t forget to keep your brand information up-to-date (job position, promotions, or new skills) and to build an active community around your brand (make sure your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook posts are relevant to your personal brand strategy).

If you are interested in developing your own personal brand strategy, check out this infographic about things to remember when creating your strategy.

How To Create Your Personal Branding Strategy? #infographic

Image: nokhoog_buchachon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Protecting Your Brand On Facebook

Recently I noticed that about an hour or so after reading a post from a company I follow, the number of comments on the post had almost doubled, or maybe even tripled. While I was amazed, I also knew that this was the power of Social Media in action; creating conversation and buzz quickly and in real tFacebook Like Buttonime. The number of comments on a brand’s single post can reach into the 1000’s in the matter of hours.

Moderating a large, and rapidly multiplying, amount comments can be difficult and overwhelming. One reason that moderation can be difficult is because of the Facebook culture. Facebook users expect a two-way conversation with the company, not just the other users. The combination of the users’ expectations and the vast number of comments turns social media brand management into a 24/7 job.

When venturing into the Social Media forum, it is important to plan not only one when, where, and what you will post, but also how you will respond to your audience. For most companies, the difficult questions or comments that you receive now, whether through email or phone calls, are the same questions that you will receive in the social media forum.  Setting up a protocol on whether you will respond to comments, and if so, which ones. This is imperative for brand health.

The expectations of users varies by platform, Facebook users are more likely to expect a response than twitter followers, or at least expect a response sooner. At times, it may seem like it would be easier to  delete negative comments that show up on your company’s page, but that may actually lead you down a more difficult path. Facebook users notice when a comment has been deleted from the comment thread and are often offended. Be very cautious when deleting comments, because this action may spark a larger negative backlash.

It is very common for Companies to post a “commenting policy” in the info section of their Facebook page, which would include protocols for dealing with inappropriate or offensive comments. If an inappropriate or offensive comment is posted on the page, then the established protocol should be followed to a “T”. In the Social Media world, it is considered justified to remove the offensive comment from the page. In addition, you should also respond to the comment via the comment thread or through Facebook message. You could mention your company’s “comments policy” and ask that they contact you via email with any questions or concerns.

If you only remember one thing when deciding to do Social Media, is that it is imperative that you prepare as much as possible beforehand. Social Media is an amazing tool that can grow and build a strong community around your brand, as long as you are prepared and active.

Image: Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net