My UnResolution!

 

This blog is about letting go of what sometimes works but could be better!

Last week I did the opening day keynote for THLA (Texas Hotel & Lodging Association). I have been the opening keynoter for this particular event for the past 11 years.  Lucky for me, each year the audience is totally different except for the association administrators.  This year, after some great coaching, I tried several new pieces adding new stories, a game and a totally new closing. Honestly, I was very nervous hoping the new stuff would “land”. During the program one of the association’s administrators stood up and announced to  the audience that she has head me for 11 years and each year the keynote different but this year it was remarkable. Phew…what a relief. Letting go of my tried and true material was hard, but creating fresh and new is exciting, even thrilling!

What are you holding onto that is holding you back?

LFTR #25 Big Lesson on Rebranding – The 4 questions you need to ask

In this episode of Karen McCullough’s Lessons from the Road Karen shares her 4 Branding Questions that every organization and individual needs to address when they go through their re-branding process.

Karen also reminds the viewer that when you are in the thick of rebranding you may get so into it, that you want to change everything, STOP- Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water! Your loyal year after yeat customer needs something to connect to.

5 Tips to Help Make Your Story Sticky

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Recently I spoke to a fantastic group of around 200 emerging leaders in the Hospitality Industry at the 70th Annual Short Course. In my keynote, I did a piece on telling your story, and I had them get into pairs and share their personal story of,  “How they got into the hotel business.”

They say that facts tell but stories sell… So, move over Brothers Grimm, storytelling is not just for kids anymore. Your story is a powerful tool that can help you advance your career, step into your leadership potential, and build a meaningful professional brand.

We each have a story inside us waiting to be told. Powerful stories do more than entertain – they establish rapport, develop teams, make the sale, attract talent, relieve stress, build trust, manage expectations, and they make us smile.

If you want to get really good at telling your story here are a few tips to think about:

1. Tim Sanders will tell you that first off  you need to be likeable, so don’t brag or over compliment yourself. A little self-deprecating humor never hurts. Remember that friendliness, relevance, empathy , and authenticity matter.

 

2. People identify with characters- so if you are telling a story that involves someone else such as a teacher, parent, or good friend, embellish on that person and create a real and descriptive character that is memorable.

 

3.  Great stories have emotions and are inspiring. When you are thinking about your story, take the listener on a short journey. In your life you may have been faced with a challenge or a roadblock. Share with us what you did to overcome that challenge, and ultimately when you emerged, you were  happier, more successful or maybe even transformed.

 

4.  Great stories are memorable so make your story “sticky” by referring to an iconic  place, famous person or event. Sticky stories hold the audience’s attention and they are remembered and retold time and again.

People continually ask me  to retell my “Sting Story”

5.  Ultimately, we are remembered by our stories, but no one will tell your story if you don’t first tell it yourself.

So, what are you waiting for?

Get going and start telling your story!

A New Look at Persuasion-Enchantment and Fascinate!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” — Dale Carnegie

 

Last week I spoke at the CAMEX 2012 conference where one of my personal favorite speakers, author, and business guru, Guy Kawasaki was one of the keynote speakers. Guy  shared his ideas on transforming situations and relationships through the art of Enchantment (title of his latest book.) We learned that enchantment can happen during a retail transaction (the audience were managers of college bookstores) , a multimillion dollar real-estate deal, a presentation as well as a Twitter of Facebook status update.

The next week I saw Sally Hogshead‘s new video about her book Fascinate...(I loved it and bought several to give to my coaching clients!) Sally’s 7 triggers help you identify your talents of persuasion.

Dale Carnegie passed away in 1955 and he continues to influence us today…as we enchant and fascinate!

Your Brand Personality-What’s Your One Word

Brands have a personality! Yes, personal brands, online brand, business brands and even association brand’s have a personality. Your brand personality reflects your stature, your values, and your behaviors and is the key to how you are perceived.

Can you share your brand personality in just one word?

A few weeks ago I presented 4 sessions to the American Bus Association Marketplace Conference in Grapevine, Texas.  There were over 3000 attendees at the conference! After being with these fantastic people for 3 days here’s what we discovered about their brand personality!  We got it down to just 1 word!

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What do Target, Kinkos and Madonna Have in Common? ReBranding

The worldwide economic downturn has us all worrying about our financial futures. Everyone feels the uncertainty of the times.

What can we do to help ourselves?

Everywhere you look there are articles, tweets, and sound bytes about Re-branding. Dr. Phil did and entire show called Reinvent Yourself.

The main reason for a re-brand is the need for a company or an individual to communicate a new message- Something new, something different, something that has evolved and something that has relevance.

Reinventing or rebranding  is not a new concept- Target did it, Kinkos did it, and let’s not forget Madonna!

Does your current brand and expertise have an expiration date?

If so you might be thinking about Rebranding YOU!

Your personal brand is the words that others think of when your name is mentioned; it’s what you are known for. Your brand is so powerful that it influences your success and your future.  Personal Branding is the place that you occupy in your decision maker’s mind relative to your competition.  The big question now is, “Is your brand  relevant?”

Here are some thoughts if you are thinking about Rebranding YOU!

1.     What’s your NEW vision? How do you see yourself and how do you want to be perceived?  A really good example of this change in perception is Angelina Jolie .  She created a different image.  Remember back to her days with Billy Bob Thornton?  Angelia’s perception was that of a wild, adventurous character  living on the edge. Today her perception with Brad and all the international children, is that of a person who is caring and loving to her children and to the world. She re-branded!

2.    What is at your core? Use everything you already have and use it in a new way. Recently in my Jazzercise class we danced to a song by Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin ) and Allison Krause (Icon of  bluegrass) called  I’ll Be Gone... Robert, who knew?  In an interview Robert said that they created something that he had never imagined, a ventured into a new territory- Plant and Krause’s harmonizing made it all happen.  They both took a risk, they connected to their core talent and together they created a new sound.  Their work has evolved.

3. Your Actions Speak volumes about who you are and your brand. Michael Eisner once said that your brand is a living entity- and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time.  Your brand is the product of a thousand small gestures What are you doing?  What are your reading?  What are you learning? What steps are you taking to create a more passionate and relevant you?

4.  Want a different brand?  Change the Conversation. Your conversation escalates the brand. My good friend Bambi McCullough, no relation, told me that the best way to be seen differently at work  or in your community is to stop complaining, stop saying what you don’t want to be remembered for and start talking about what it is you believe in. We hear you, we remember your words, and we get your tone. Want to change your brand? Then start by changing your conversation.

5.   Focus on Innovation and Continued Learning. Today you have to continually read,  check-out  blog posts, go to forums, watch youtube, take online webinars, and discover what’s relevant. Then,  try sharing  your point of view as you  pump out content. Content, ideas, bold concepts, and yes innovation are the brand -makers!  Sure you will have to reallocate your time, and turn off the TV. I didn’t say that this was going to be easy.

6. Social Media is the big game changer that can Explode Your Brand. Gary Vaynerchuk says that If you have a passion blog about it, tweet about it, write a facebook status about it, video it, and just get it out there and  Crush  It! There is a powerful shift happening and the shift is all about how we  get the messages out! Social media is changing the way we spread the word- your word.  Twitter and facebook are the tools that you use to spread your brand.

Learn all about Social Media!

Right now is the best time to start re-branding because online communication has opened the doors to communication.  The day of the gate keeper is over. Today you can Tweet to anyone! You just want to be sure that when they tweet you back and start reading your profiles, you look like you have something of value to share!

Personal Branding Starts with Your Brand Promise

The other day I was working with a couple of professional speakers helping them formulate their personal brand and brand promise.  Your brand promise is the core of your message. It’s what you promise to deliver day in and day out. Your brand promise is what you represent. Mike Svat calls it your personal philosophy.

So many speakers call themselves cute, self proclaimed labels like the “Sales Samurai”  “Networking Queen” or “Leadership Legend” – Please, that was so 1990!

Don’t tell us who you are-show us who you are!

Live your brand!

Today you are your NAME and your name stands for what you represent. Great examples of living your brand promise are Oprah, Madonna, and of course, Lady Gaga-each consistently delivering on their  Promise-


Oprah’s promise is she just like us- We are all girlfriends (even though she is a billionaire) and she is going to help us live our best life!


Lady Gaga, one of the most talked about superstars, came out of nowhere.  Her shocking brand makes her hard not to notice! Gaga’s brand promises is to constantly and consistently push the envelope – you never know what you are going to get, but you are sure it is going to be totally out-there!  And she is laughing all the way to the bank!

And then there is Madonna, who is constantly reinventing herself by adapting and changing with the times. She has kept her edgy Madonna-essence as she moves into new phases of her career and life.

So my advice to the speakers and to you, is to find out who you are and what you stand for.  Get clear and tighten up your message.

Be true to the things that make you who you are and live your brand promise every day in every way!

Share Your Personal Brand on a Cool New Site…and it’s free!

A fellow professional speaker and marketing great, Ford Saeks recently recommended the site about.me, perfect for marketing your personal brand. It’s a free site where you can create a really cool splash page about YOU. What is a splash page you may be asking? On this site it is one page that shows us all your links, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, Youtube, Your websites and even your blog…if you are a blogger.
From a branding aspect it is the perfect place to be and it only take you about 10 minutes (if you have been doing your branding homework)!

First you upload a photo that reflects who you are. Check out some of the profiles of the About.me team. At the bottom of the site click on About Us and then click on Team and you will see the most creative photos and get ideas for your splash page photo.

Next, create your Headline. Tell us what you do!  If you want to see what others wrote click on people and the search and snoop around!

Now it’s time for your Profile: Keep is short and sweet! You can even all bullets, and links!

Last you get to link up to your website URL, Twitter, Facebook,  LinkdIn, YouTube Flickr , and many more…

Then use your about.me URL in your email signature and spread the word about YOU!

and…if you have a second you can go and check me out! BTW, I am hiring Mike Svat to do a  new photo next week!

If you don’t have a website or you are not happy your site, this might be a great resource.  Be creative and let me know if you create a page. I’ll be sure and check you out!

Controlling Your Online Brand- First-Google Your Name

Every summer I take on a new venture with the hope of growing my expertise and ultimately my speaking business.  A few years back I enrolled in an eight week social media webinar where I was introduced to some of the social media greats like Gary Vaynerchuck, Mari Smith, and Darren Rowse and after eight weeks I was hooked on social media.  Social media is the perfect partner with one of my areas of expertise, personal branding. Developing your authentic online brand is critical in your success with social media.

This summer I have partnered with “Social Media Guru” Crystal Washington and together we are combining our talents in social media and personal branding, offering workshops on how to leverage social media.  The first step before you send out one tweet is to design your strategy!

Start with a  plan and think about “who you are “and what you want “to be known for.”

STOP and THINK before you jump into social media. Something as simple as your twitter name can be a roadblock between you and your brand.  I know many people who have selected twitter names that have nothing to do with their brand and how they want to be perceived. You might love your dog to death but selecting the Twitter name @doggielover says nothing about YOU. When people thank you on Twitter or they retweet you,  you want people out there to see YOUR NAME or something very close to YOUR NAME. (unless your name is Mashable– there will always be exceptions to the rule!)

Here’s some brand work for you-

Do you know what are you currently known for? Want to find out?

Google Yourself

Do you show up?

How do you show up?

What are the words that pop up as you search for yourself?

What words do you want to show up?

Now take some time and make a list of words and phrases that describe you.  These words are your key words. A keyword is a word or phrase that people type in search engines like Google or social media sites like LinkedIn to find information, products or services based on a topic.  You want to get found when people search for words related to what you do!
Be sure and use your key words in all of your social media bios and profiles. Use the exact words that you want people to type into Google to find YOU!

I just googled Houston Generations Speaker and here’s what came up!

Your online brand will grow much faster if you remember to use keywords that will help you get found as you continue growing your brand.

What are you known for? Google yourself and find out! and…if you want to learn Facebook for Business check out our next event on July 12th.

Confusion = NO!

A few days ago one of my presentation coaching clients asked me to “look over” her website copy.  I read it and then I reread it… and still I did not know exactly what she did or why I needed her services. (Maybe she needs more personal branding coaching!)

I was confused.

Think about it…a webpage has to grab you and keep you engaged. When we are surfing the net most of us are quick on the click and highly impatient.  If your homepage isn’t crystal clear we leave. Google calls that the Bounce Rate.

Ouch!

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the design and the look and feel of the site that we overlook the importance of clarity and the words!

Clarity tops the list of the key principles of design thinking identified by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council.” —Alice Rawsthorn, New York Times, January 2010

Here are 5 things to remember to include on you website and for that matter your Linkedin page, resume , and anywhere you need to add a brief bio and connect with others:

1. Who are you?

2. What do you do?

3. Who do you do it for?

4. Why you? What makes you better than the rest?

5. and …What do you want us to do? Give us a clue as to what action you want us to take.
These four questions are the cornerstone to any brand.  Take time and work on this before you jump in to your next project.