From time to time, I receive success stories from the Personal Branding Blog readers and those that have also benefited from reading Me 2.0, which was recently named to the New York Times job search summer reading list. The most recent and interesting personal branding success story comes from Jason VanDusen, who is the Vice President of Business Development at Confidential. I kindly asked Jason for permission to post this and he agreed with enthusiam.
Personal branding success
I have been on LinkedIn for a few years now and am pretty new to Twitter and Facebook. A bulk of my business comes specifically from the relationships that I have built on LinkedIn and a lot of my clients come to me to help them understand how they can use it more effectively as well.
My success story is that a client of mine forwarded one of my emails to a friend of his at a Fortune 100 company here in the Dallas area. The “friend” saw my signature that has links to my LinkedIn, Twitter, and blog pages. He told me that he wanted to see what the whole “blogging thing” was about so he clicked on my webpage at jasonvandusen.com to peruse over it. When he liked what he read, he clicked on my Blogger profile which allowed him to view my LinkedIn profile. When he saw that I worked for a local company as their Director of Sales, he decided to look into my company, since he had never heard of it.
Long story short, he gave me a call, we talked about the number of service lines that my company offers clients in his specific genre and there were immediately some synergies between what he was looking to accomplish and what I specialize in. It just so happened that the need and timing were perfect for us to work together. To date, they are my biggest client.
1. Concentrate your energy. It’s obvious now that the top three social networks, that not only have mass appeal and press attention, but have the numbers and success stories to back them up, are LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Also, Jason used a blog to link to these social networks, so that someone could access all of his information in a single location. By focusing his energy on these areas, he was able to put more time in and as a result, he was positioned for success.
2. The opportunity cost. If you don’t have profiles on social networks and you don’t own the Google search results for your name, then it will be very hard for people to find you. Think of everything as a search engine and keywords as a way to position yourself, so you’re easily found. Don’t make people “Digg” around the internet searching for your online presence (no pun intended).
3. Your email signature. Many people forget that their email signatures are important for brand promotion. You can leverage your email signature to point people to specific areas, such as your LinkedIn profile, your blog, a new book you wrote, your company, etc. Your email signature is also valuable as a differentiation tool, so that you can tell them what your personal brand statement is and what you could do for clients. Finally, you can list your preferred method of contact, so that you can tell them how best to get in touch with you.
4. Cross-link everything. If Jason didn’t place links between all of his sites, then the story would not have unfolded like it did. It seemed like his client wasn’t very well educated in social media (another opportunity for him), but since he had links to and from his blog and his social networks, it was easy for this person to follow his digital tracks, which led to the solution to his problems and a new client for Jason.
5. Email is still a powerful tool. Don’t neglect email marketing and conversations. You may think Twitter is the best method of communication, yet email still prevails in being the most sticky and direct. An email can be forwarded infinite times and if it’s valuable, such as a newsletter, then you have a good chance of getting new opportunities, whether it’s a job or a new subscriber.