Tag Archives: personal brand

Branding You: Seven Steps to Building Your Online Brand Using LinkedIn

What’s the first thing you do before you meet someone?

Most people pull out their mobile to “Google” the person’s name. Nowadays, it is a necessity to monitor your online brand. When it comes to managing your brand for “You, Inc.,” what do you stand for?

My question stems from a recent presentation I did at Georgetown on how to build an online brand using LinkedIn.  As an alumni, it’s important to me to share my work-related experiences with students as they navigate the often murky, unpredictable job market. Grad school is challenging enough, but coupled with figuring out how to get a job afterwards is both frightening and frustrating. Answering both practical and specific questions on “getting a job in marketing or communications,” my presentation focused on breaking down how to craft a killer LinkedIn profile. Because if you cannot cut through the noise and standout from other graduates, getting that elusive job becomes harder than your Capstone project.

So, what if you’re not a grad student, is it worth worrying about your brand? Is personal branding really that important? I think there are several reasons why to answer this with “yes,” but the most succinct answer can be found on Wikipedia,

“Branding has reached a new level of imperative because of the rise of the Internet. The growth of the virtual world created the necessity of managing online identities. Despite being expressly virtual, social media and online identity has the ability to affect the real world. Because Individuals want to portray themselves a certain way to their social circle, they may work to maintain a certain image on their social media sites. As a result, social media enables the creation of an online identity that may not be completely true to the real self.”

Branding is more than logos, sharp messages, and collateral. Ultimately, what you put online and what people experience about you is your brand. Period.

Still want more? I shared a few colleagues personal branding advice and tips a few years back.

Other throwbacks worth a read:

Five Social Media Tips for Millennials

Eight LinkedIn Profile Tips to Tie Storytelling to Your Personal Brand

Eight Tips on How to Present at Your Next Industry Conference


The Most Underused Social Media Platform

The Most Underused Social Media Platform

Reading about the upcoming 2014 content marketing trends from Crazy Egg’s blog, I was reminded how SlideShare is still underused by most social media marketers. It still surprising how often this fantastic tool gets overlooked.

Last year I spoke with PR Week’s Tanya Lewis about the use of SlideShare and PR. If you don’t know what Slideshare is, it is the world’s largest community for sharing presentations. With 60 million monthly visitors and and 120 million page views it is one of the top 150 sites on the Internet. Who doesn’t need more views to their website or content?

My presentation from PRSA event in November. Since presenting, it has been viewed more than 450 times. That is beyond the 50 plus folks in the audience who say it. Boom. Now that's what I call increasing awareness.

My presentation from PRSA event in November. Since presenting, it has been viewed more than 450 times. That is beyond the 50 plus folks in the audience who say it. Boom. Now that’s what I call increasing awareness.

I am a huge proponent of SlideShare. For any marketer or public relations professional looking for ways to build their client expertise you shouldn’t look any further. Seriously. Who doesn’t have a Powerpoint to share? How many of you have client looking to you to create content? Here is a chance to repurpose and reuse good content.

Here is my personal example using SlideShare, back in November, I had the opportunity to present to a regional PRSA conference.

Now, when I presented there was about 50 plus folks in the room. Not bad right? But, when I posted my presentation to SlideShare a few things happen:

1) More exposure. Since posting to SlideShare, the presentation has been viewed more than 600 times. Not trending on SlideShare, but definitely worth the investment of increasing my reach by 9X.

2) Someone from the presentation also blogged about it. Bonus! He blogged on Vocus corporate blog and linked to the SlideShare posting. This was a key driver of viewers to my SlideShare presentation. Bonus: a reporter from my local market also covered the story too. Love it.

3) Increased credibility. Amazing when you can share your ideas and thoughts, folks seek you out for advice and expertise. Building expertise through showing your work. Huzzah, what every PR person wants for their client: ability to leverage their expertise and get noticed.

Final thought: You or your client already have some pretty decent presentation that are probably worth sharing. Why not give it a shot?

Eight Linkedin Profile Tips to Tie Storytelling to Your Personal Brand

In my role, I get asked a lot about how to promote yourself online. And it is no surprise when you think about how digital presence is key not only to your business, but also to your personal brand. Harvard Business wrote an article back in 2012 about how your digital footprint in key to personal brand.

And there are many avenues to chose from what it comes to promoting yourself: Twitter, Blogging, Tumblr, etc. But one important key to your digital presence should be to have a stellar Linkedin profile. Linkedin is relevant for anyone looking for a new gig or promoting your expertise internally/externally.

What’s so Awesome about Linkedin?

According to Mashable, Linkedin is

  • Highly trafficked website. There are 161 million professionals worldwide who have connected with Linkedin since its official launch in May 2003.
  • Members constantly engaged. Linkedin members actively look for jobs and read work-related content on the platform. In 2011, there were 4.2 billion “professionally-oriented searches” that number is set to surge to 5.3 billion in 2012.
  • Keeps growing. Today, LinkedIn announced its new pages for universities.

Linkedin profile same as your resume?

Many folks are unsure how to use Linkedin beyond a regurgitation of their resume. So, think about Linkedin beyond a reproduction of your employment history and use it to promote your personal brand. Answer one question: What do you want people to takeaway from your profile?

If your not using Linkedin to tell your personal brand story, you’re missing an opportunity to promote you and your expertise in front of would-be colleagues, collaborators, and future employers.

It’s about a cohesive brand story.

Much like storytelling, your personal brand story needs to make sense and persuade folks to read it.

Jot down your ideas in terms of these areas to highlight your personal brand story:

Setting the Story: How will you lure the reader in? You need to set up your story with a crafty headline and interesting personal summary.

  1. Headline. How would you describe yourself? You can certainly use your title, but also think about how potentially someone will search for you. Use keywords you want to be associated with.
  2. Summary. What do you bring the table? Be Strategic. What areas or expertise do you want to highlight? You can use your objective or summary piece from your resume, but be short and sweet. You can in this section add a bullet list of expertise, presentations highlighting your awesomeness, and video.

Character Development: If you are the main character in your personal brand story, how will you support your central theme? So, for example, if I want to be known as a digital marketing expert, how will I convey this?

  1. Experience. Think about this in terms of a story. What do you want people to know? It’s more than listing your accomplishments and responsibilities. Think about how you would describe your coherent roles and how it relates to your overall goal or next career move. 

How to convey the pinnacle points in your career? Showcase your successes.

  1. Projects. Highlight projects that you have worked that show strong results?
  2. Publications and Articles. Written anything that would support your experience or summary? Add articles to highlight your knowledge and promote your own thought leadership.
  3. Skills and Expertise. Think of this in terms of projects. What have you worked on that you can add? Use this to add dimension to your profile.
  4. Recommendations. Who are your champions? Did an awesome job at work? Get your boss or fellow teammates to fill out a recommendation. Get them to fill out a recommendation?

Storytelling is about persuading and entertaining your audience. In order to cut through the noise, you need to differentiate. You don’t need anything formal, but the above it is get you thinking about what is most important to convey in your profile.

What would you add?

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

20 Signs You’re a Public Relations Hipster

Last week, my friend asked for some advice with a personal brand project. Her assignment was to help her team build their personal brand within the company and crowded marketplace.

So, if you are going to tell others how to create a rockstar profile, you have to practice what you preach. Naturally, her folks checked out my profile and came up with my personal brand, PR Hipster.

Loving this concept, I did some more research. When I think of hipster, what comes to mind is someone inevitably wearing hip clothes, Ray Bans, drinks coffee often and a lot of it, and usually has a stellar vocab. Perhaps the team was right?  According to Urban dictionary,  hipster is more than fashion:

Public Relations HipsterAlthough hipsters are technically conformists within their own subculture, in comparison to the much larger mainstream mass, they are pioneers and leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals.

So what are the other signs of a Public Relations Hipster?

  1. You know the marriage between digital and public relations is coming.
  2. You’re planning on the convergence between paid and earn media.
  3. You love social media and use it often for work and personal.
  4. While you tinker with new social media tools, you know a plan and a strategy are needed.
  5. You are the first one in a meeting to think how to repurpose content.
  6. You consider yourself a storyteller.
  7. If there’s not a plan, you put one in place.
  8. You frown upon trite media campaigns in favor of thoughtful and thought provoking content.
  9. You ask “so what” and “why” often.
  10.  You understand how Content+Social+Public Relations is a winning equation.
  11. You question the norm often.
  12. You understand short and sweet is the best kind of media release.
  13. When pitching you understand personalization and relationships are key.
  14.  You get that selling new ideas is about change management.
  15. You love your haters. They are your motivators.
  16. You have learned the art of selective hearing and ignore noise.
  17. You are sometimes a contrarian.
  18. You wear plaid and other retro articles of clothing.Of Course!
  19. You likely to share your love of documentaries or indie rock.
  20. Your don’t worry about whatever everyone else is doing. You forge ahead and build awesome public relations programs.
  21. Bonus: You are disruptive by nature.

What would you add as a sign for public relations hipsters?

Added from my colleague, Allison O’Quinn:

  1. There’s an unnatural obsession to stay on top of all the latest celebrity gossip.
  2. You tend to be the event planner in your group of friends.
  3. constantly fine tuning your organizational style and discussing it with colleagues (or anyone that’ll listen).

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

8 Tips on How to Present at Your Next Industry Conference

I don’t know about you, but I love to attend conferences. There are many reasons why but here is my top three:

  • Personal Brand
  • Networking
  • Personal Brand

Conferences are not only excellent opportunities to learn, but also to build your personal brand. Last week, I had the opportunity to present with Veronica Steele how higher education institutions can build social media strategies with their limited resources. A tall order for some since most enrollment and higher ed professionals in the room were the only resource dedicated to maintain social media strategy and tactics.  I’ll share a tip with you. The best way to get the most out of your social media efforts is to have a plan and strategy tied to you tactics. We shared the best way to do this on a shoestring and you can check it out too.

While at the conference, I had a few folks ask how I landed the opportunity to present. Was I a social media guru? While I don’t think there are truly social media experts, I do believe there are folks who are in the trenches everyday learning and building amazing programs. This is why I push to present how someone, like me, doesn’t need to be at a Fortune 100 company to do social media well.

But, I bet you have something too to share. So, how can you build your brand to present at a conference or the next association’s event?

1)   Brand Your Social Networks.

What story is your LinkedIn profile telling? First and foremost, your social networks should tell a consistent and cohesive story of who you are and what you are about. If you are passionate about Excel, awesome! Then you LinkedIn should share something about your Excel experience and perhaps your Twitter account shares nuggets how to use it better. Build a story so folks come to know who you are.

2)   Build your Authority.

Blogs are a great way to express your knowledge on a topic and build trust with your audience. Hubspot wrote a post on 11 ways to use content to build authority. Everyone has something to share. Start writing down your ideas in a notebook or use Evernote. Here is how I maintain my social media authority through blogging.

3)   Don’t Wait for Your Boss

 I think many folks wait for their boss, coworkers to validate their expertise. Stop waiting for your boss to say you are the expert. There are very few bosses out there looking to develop their team beyond their current job role. Look for ways to build your personal brand through extracurricular activities such as associations and volunteering. I love to teach about social media whether it is talking to college students how to marketing their innate social skills or speaking with colleagues how to use social media better. Regardless of how big or small, I am always up to share and teach what I know.

4)   Find Industry Champions

Find industry allies who know you and what kind of work you do. These influencers will be a great help and will sometimes refer you for other events and conferences to present. Keep in touch with these folks quarterly or at least annually. For me, I tend to share new articles I have written and ask for feedback on projects. You may have something different to share. Whatever it is make sure to always be connecting.

5)   The ABCs of Conferences: Always Be Connecting

Just because you are an attendee at a conference doesn’t mean you cannot be next year’s speaker. Whatever your industry is, find out how speakers get selected. Whether it is through professional services or marketing, find the decision makers for the conference content and make friends. Conference planners want to know if you are a good speaker so make sure to share your previous work through Slideshare or a blog. I tend to share pervious conference evaluations on my presentations, so if you have those share ‘em. Remember the conference planner job is to make the conference amazing so help her out by showing how awesome of a presenter you are.

6)   Find Internal Opportunities to Present

In order to show you have good presentation skills to the conference planners, you need content to share with them. Create workshops or seminars for your own team or company. Start with your internal stakeholders to see if you have a topic that would be interesting to sales or account teams. Host an internal personal development seminar. Leaders are always looking for professional development opportunities and at a low cost. I wrote how I did my social media training DIY and turned that into an article, which then in turned into a speaking opportunity.

7)   Stop Waiting for your Aha Moment

If you are like most people, you are waiting for some earth-shattering event to occur so that it can be your sign to get moving. Stop procrastinating. Personal branding takes time so the sooner you start the better.

8)   Create Some Content

 You heard content is king, but what does that mean? Anna Famery’s summary shared “If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, than people won’t go.” How do you fuel the content machine? Jot down different topics to discuss on your blog. Here is a list to get you started:

  • Industry trends
  • Best practices
  • Tips
  • Pitfalls
  • Top Ten lists
  • Case Studies
  • Personal Observations
  • How To’s
  • Work Funny Ha Ha’s

Bonus: Connect with other like minded professionals. You never know what contacts could lead to your next conference presentation.

Everyone has something to share, what will you write or present about?

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.

What Does Social Media and Online Dating Have in Common?

Recently, I was chatting with a friend about her recent online dating shenanigans.  As she began painting the picture of Mr. Right Now, I was intrigued by what led her to pick her date’s profile. How do you pick one profile out of many? Our conversation went a little like this..

Me: “So, why did you pick this guy?”

Friend: “He put ninjas on his can’t live without list.”

Me: “Ninjas?”

Friend: “Yup, ninjas. It was apart of his favorite things list. Like, I like wine, running, and ninjas. How could I not go out with him at least once.”

Whether ninjas are your thing or not, it proves that sometimes you need to add a little dash of unexpected to your social media activities. What struck me is what her reaction was. First, it was laughter. Second, intrigue of who is this guy?

While I don’t anticipate anyone of us putting ninjas in our profile for kicks, I think it proves a few points that we all could incorporate in our social media activities.

  • Be interesting. Sometimes unexpected is what gets someone attention. I think about this in terms of profiles on Twitter. Here is a great list of some of the best twitter bios.
  • Paint a vivid picture. As I written previously about storytelling, it important to paint a picture. Love the ideas someone thought it would be funny to put ninjas on his profile.
  • Funny can be good. While your social media presence represents your brand, I think funny is always good if you’re comfortable with sharing.

Fun Fact Fridays: Nine LinkedIn Tips for Introverts

This week, I helped one of my coworkers who is a self proclaimed introvert with his LinkedIn profile. As we began to talk, I realized some of our conversation would make a great post on how introverts can tell their personal brand story using LinkedIn.

You may gather your energy through reflection and dwindle during conversation, but you too can participate using LinkedIn. So, here are my tips to my introverts who are looking to use LinkedIn to engage in social media activities and build their social presence.

  1. Tell Your Story. So, first thing first. Social Media is not about broadcasting or the Me Show. It is about sharing, educating, and learning from others. So make sure your profile has a real photo of you and is complete.
  2. What’s in a Title? When I look at your LinkedIn profile, what three things do you want me to take away? Are you’re a B2B rockstar? Content Marketing Mastermind? Use keywords in the headline so people can find you.
  3. Share things that matter to you. You are not broadcasting; you are sharing your knowledge. Don’t think of your status as bragging, but rather teaching folks about what you know. Building expertise is key to creating your personal brand.
  4. Join a Group. Great advice from my colleague Marlysa Lohr Connolly. Groups are typically created around an industry, conference or company. Basically, they’re a smorgasbord of information. Joining LinkedIn groups privy members to a wealth of knowledge from like professionals who are more than happy to share industry news, tips and answer relevant questions. rachel_Metscher_social_media_PR
  5. Use your strengths. So, if you are an introvert, you already are thoughtful and purposeful. Use this to your advantage. Most likely you will careful research posts and articles. LinkedIn plays to your strengths. Folks that follow you will appreciate your insight!
  6. Listen before your begin. So, by nature you already like to observe before jumping in. Start checking out other profiles you want to emulate and watch how they participate.
  7. Once you’re ready, Update your status at least once a day at a minimum. You should be updating your profile in the morning, during lunch, and in the evening if you feeling specially bold.
  8. Pay it forward. This is from Heidi Cohen post on social for introverts. Social media’s about the community, not you. Help others with targeted information, reshare other people’s more interesting posts, and comment on other people’s status. Also, think about recommending former and current colleagues, staff and bosses on LinkedIn.
  9. Don’t forget to have fun. I know you are serious, but have some fun. Connect with other like minded folks and share, grow and learn.
  10. Sharing is Caring. Don’t forget you can share other people’s statuses and make comments. This goes back to my third point. Share what matters to you, but don’t forget the whole premise behind social is to connect. Find other like minded folks and share away.