Posts Tagged ‘Positioning’

Today, I spoke to Yinka Olaito, Yinka is a personal brandiYinkang and social media expert. He helps individuals, organizations to maximize values in their brands/ideas through adequate positioning of their brands to the target audience that can pay premium. Also, he functions as public relations consultant, columnist and writer, trainer and public speaker.

You can connect with him via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Mohammed: Unemployed people are changing their job titles many times because of the crisis, how will that impact their personal brand? And how can they use any career experience for the strength of their brands?

Yinka: Let us look at this from a three sixty degree view. First, my take is ‘inconsistent robs individual of any value’. We must remember the fact that differentiation aids strong memory and perception. When an individual begins to accept everything that is thrown at him/her, the brand equity may start diminishing gradually. Initially it may appear that no harm is being done but over time, it will become obvious that one has no solid hold on a particular field. More also, taking any job that will not aid the use of personal skills, expertise will strongly expose personal brand inefficiency, weakness. A smart individual should always play the game from his/her strongest point. I as an individual will want to believe also that the effect of inconsistency  in job description may not be well pronounced on a college graduate who may not be well known as much as someone who has been into personal branding journey for a long time. That makes situational analysis important in this regard.

Having said this, I believe that job titles sometimes do not necessarily describe a brand personality. For instance Dan Schawbel’s job title at EMC has a social media role meanwhile he is recognized as a personal branding expert not a social media guru. If the job title can aid the discovery of hidden talents, skills as well as make an individual relevant to the niche community he belongs to, why not? Another point of view here is that there is nothing that is totally bad. If due to recession, bad economy and needs to remain afloat, pay bills some are already involved, my counsel is to look for a story out of the experience to project a brand personality that is still impactful. Also, let us not forget that why keeping the job, one can still continue to be relevant online through a strategic personal branding building online.

Mohammed: I started to hear some people blaming personal branding experts as they promote “Don’t” more than “Do” making by that social media a prison. How do you describe personal branding to these people and why we are seeing a lot of contradictions?

Yinka: For this set of people my take is that every opportunity has an attachment called responsibility. For instance we are all given a chance to live life to the fullest. As much as we have this right, we all have to take personal responsibility to live our lives in a certain way that will make the life we have to make meaning. We must avoid staying on the express way in order not to get crushed by a car on the fast line. We must also take responsibility of not eating poison among many other responsibilities. Let us note also that personal branding must clearly impact a certain community. To impact anyone, we must learn to respect their times, values, spaces etc.

Now if one wants to impact positively any community but do not want to go by the rules, one may eventually lose credibility, relevance. This is the essence of the ‘Donts’. You can not eat your cake and have it. Choice has to come in. If one cannot live by required, basic relationship rules of the society/niche I guess there is no need to desire the world to revolve around personal goal of wanting to ‘live as I like without giving a damn’. For me personal branding is opportunity to impact, bring necessary improvement on the lives of the niche. This is carries huge responsibility.

Mohammed: Are we going to rate people reputation ONLY based on their online history? How can we keep positive image while being ourselves and not hiding the human side?

Yinka: The internet is giving us opportunity to meet people we may not have met in life. Through people activities on the net, we form an impression of who they are. This may add to their reputation or reduce them. So the internet helps us to form an impression of who they are. That is reputation as far as I am concerned. Individual must work add to build trust. For me trust is far deeper than reputation. We must note that no great relationship has being built on reputation alone. Reputation carries us as far as acquaintance level. To sustain a long lasting relationship, trust must come in. This shows in personal attitudes, values, ethics etc. Keeping positive image while being ourselves require that we place value on ourselves, learn to play the game right and respect for others. We can still be ourselves while doing these. We must remember life (personal branding) is an opportunity with responsibility attached.

Brand Word:  No matter how crowded the market place is, your unique voice can still be heard.

SpotlightYinka Olaito uniqueness is in developing engaging strategy that gives individual, corporate organization unfair, competitive advantage that takes profitability to higher level.


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Today, we continue our conversation with Margaret Meloni, Margaret  MeloniMargaret is a project management guru and the founder of Meloni Coaching Solutions, Inc. In her more than 18 years in corporate America which included roles in Fortune 500 management, Margaret observed how individuals who learned to cope with conflict succeeded and recognized their full potential, while others became road blocked.

You can connect with her via @Facebook @Twitter @LinkedIn

Here is part 2 of the brand conversation.
Mohammed: How can project manager become a professional communicator. What is the secret ingredients that you have to make 90% of Project Manager’s time work for them especially communicating with difficult people?

Margaret: The secret ingredient is be a fabulous listener and a strategic communicator. Or in the case of written communications, be a very good reader. When you really pay attention to what people are telling you and take action when required, people will continue to communicate with you. When a team member approaches you with information, take time to understand the message. Why are they telling you this information? What do they want you to do? What do you really need to do? Who else needs to know? While this person is communicating with you use active listening to remain engaged and to ensure that you are correctly receiving the message. Active listening includes:
  • While they are talking do not try to form your response. Paraphrase or mirror back to them what you think they are saying, keep working at it until you have an understanding.
  • .Be strategic in the communications that you share with others. When you send an email or publish a document or memo, make sure there is a valid reason. Try to consolidate and plan your communications so that your team and your stakeholders do not receive multiple emails from you, when one would have sufficed. Everyone has too much to read, try and make it easy for them.
  • .If people find that you do not listen or that you do not act upon communications in a timely manner, they might give up on you. If they give up on you your 90% communications time will be time spent desperately trying to keep in the loop, instead of time spent proactively engaging in productive communications. If people find that you hit them with too many meaningless communications, they will stop listening to you and stop reading emails from you; that isn’t the communication brand you want, is it?
Mohammed: In this tight economy, project managers could be hired to another positions or make career transition. Do you think PM can keep the project management expertise even if they didn’t work directly in project management for years? and how?

Margaret: You are so right! I am hearing from project managers who receiving other job opportunities. The irony? Even though they have not hired into a project manager position, it was their project management expertise that helped them secure the job. It seems that companies are appreciating the extra skill set and perhaps hiring these people with the idea that they can also take advantage of their project management skills.  This means be a good team member and visibly continue to draw upon your project management skills. As you receive assignments, make sure you understand the scope of your assignment just like you would want to understand the scope of your project. Create accurate and well documented estimates. Schedule your time well and exhibit excellent time management skills. Of course make sure your status reporting is flawless. If for some reason you don’t think your current assignment is allowing you to keep your project management expertise current, then volunteer your time as a project manager and keep your education current.
Mohammed: What are the steps you recommend to people in order to define themselves at work or to create their inner brand?

  1. Define the words that describe you as a professional. Remember, if you do not start with a clear definition, how can others see who you are and what you are made of?
  2. Take your words (I call them brand words) and put them together into a few sentences.
  3. Review your brand words. Define actions that support these words. These are the actions or behaviors that you should be regularly exhibiting.
  4. Keep track of your actions. You know how you want to be perceived and you have defined actions that support that perception, are you acting appropriately?
  5. Ask others to describe you. Your reputation is in their hands. What are they saying?
  6. Objectively review the perceptions others have shared with you. Decide what information you will accept and what you will reject.
  7. Consider making some changes.
  8. Become aware of what triggers you to behave in a way that is not compatible with your brand.
  9. Recognize that managing your brand is part of your career development, grow your brand AND your technical skills.
Brand Word: Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.” – Zen Proverb. Your brand is YOU. The real INNER YOU comes first, be comfortable with who you are and then work on the exterior. Every day that you learn something about yourself is a day where you can strengthen your brand and every day that you let something go is a day where you feel more secure and authentic with your brand. People can sense this in you.
Brand Spotlight: Sometimes the conflict that people find the most challenging is the conflict around who they want to be or how they wish to be perceived. Many people run headlong into their lives and into their careers without every thinking about this. I am not suggesting that you should obsess over other people’s opinions; but you should know who you are and what you stand for. When you don’t, people will make up their own definition of you. Is that what you want? Of course not! That is why I ask you to stop and think about it? Does your character show up with you at work each day? It should. Remember you own your character, other people make up your reputation.The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. – Joseph Campbell
See http://margaretmeloni.com/products.html or contact her at for more details.
Click here to read part 1 of the conversation.

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Special Thanks to Maria Duron for support.

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In today’s tied market, you need to stand out showing your brand attributes. We are so lucky to live in the social media revolution that let our brand heard at five continents. I’m sharing personal branding quick tips to help you get more followers whether on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

1 – Set your home page to your favorite search Google Me!engine

Whether you are using Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. there is a place to set home page for your Internet browser, set that to ex: Google.com

Now, each time you start your Internet day, you will start with Google search, I suggest that you Google your name everyday and see if your name topped the results, not only your name topped but try to keep the first 10 results of Goggling your name relevant to your personal profession. Let that results inspire you and  to Forget the Business Card. Just Google me.

2 – Use the power of hashtags

# Hashtags are essentially a simple way to catalog and connect tweets about a specific topic. They make it easier for users to find additional tweets on a particular subject, while filtering out the incidental tweets that may just coincidentally contain the same keyword.

Once you’ve figured out the tag itself, the next step is simple: start using it and promoting it. Make sure your tweets using the hashtag are worthwhile and add something of value to the conversation. Promote your tag or the social media campaign that uses the tag via other social media channels, such as your blog or email newsletter. Tweet out calls to action explaining your new tag at regular intervals (but don’t overdo it!). For example, let’s say you own a bookstore, and you’re running a Twitter contest to give out a gift card to your store. Your explanatory tweet might be something like, “What’s your favorite summer reading material? Tweet using #beachreads to win a $100 gift certificate to Al’s World of Books!” # From Mashable.com


3 – Write an E-Book

I love e-books specially the short, linked to resources and full of advices. I wrote some e-books in Arabic language and planning to write some in English soon. Writing an e-book position you as an expert in e-book subject and spontaneously let the readers follow you.

PMI Certifications E-Book

I hope you find these tips informative, do you have brilliant personal branding ideas to share? Please do at the comment box below.


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Twitter is an open communication tool that break all the barriers to have clear, easy and fast communication. If you want to improve your communication skills then your tweets should be heard.

You can have hundreds and hundreds of new Twitter followers starting today, and it won’t cost you anything. You can have all the glory, benefits and  POWER of more Twitter Followers.

I suggest the following Twitter personalities to build a brand that gets you more followers.

Creativity: Don’t just re-tweets, have the creativity to create a brand new tweet from your followers tweet.

Creative Tweet


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I was watching the news when it ends with a report about festival of Twins. It was interesting to see twins from all ages. I Google twins and find that twins are cerebrating twins days every year. At that moment, I was thinking, what is the feeling to have someone looks like you? And how can people differentiate you from your brother or sister? In today’s tough job market, we are struggling to differentiate our self from thousands of jobseekers so having a twin that applying (may be) for the same job can be a problem!

Picture from twinsdays.org

Before sharing my tips, I remembered a story when I was at the primary school in Baghdad, Iraq. Our class soccer team qualified to the final game. One of our defenders is a twin of his brother, he was a key player in the team and did tremendous job. It was the day of the final game and we are well prepared and so was Omar (defender), the game started and we play very good but Omar was not on his day, I was shouting on him a lot as I standing behind him as the goalkeeper, we lost 2-1 and Omar was the reason for two goals! Days passed and accidentally I discovered that Omar had a three leave days for medical treatment and that started from the day before our game! I was shocked how that happened! I knew his brother was in another class! I talked with Omar and he told me the truth, Ali (his brother) was the one who played and not him, he just didn’t want to make the team disappointment playing without him. Despite the loss, it was a courage spirit from Ali and team awareness from Omar, they are great twins.

Here are some personal branding tips that can help you differentiate yourself from your brother or sister and can help people recognize you more quickly. If you are happy being identical twin then just skip this post & enjoy your day 🙂

Be Memorable: Develop a habit that people can remember and distinguish you from your twin. You can have different hair style; you can play sports and become a champion, if you play soccer – you can use tricks and keep doing it at each game; you can play guitar; you can dye your hair with red color and finally don’t do what I’ve just told you about your hair.

Gratitude Everyone: The need for appreciation is a deep subconscious desire of every person you meet. Express gratitude and appreciation whenever possible simply by saying “Thank You”.

“Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings you and laughter into your life and into the lives of all those around you.” Eileen Caddy

Be Interesting: Dan Schawbel wrote in The Five Laws of Being an Interesting Brand “The more visibility you have, the more your brand can uncover who is interested in you. You need to aggressively promote yourself so that more and more people know about you, therefore you further the chances that people will take interest in you.”


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It is no longer enough to know how to organize your resume content, it is now about how to market your skills, achievements and personality onto a resume that will promote you to employers.

Here are 5 hot tips to create a branded resume for IT specialists:

1 Understand Your Brand: What IT specialty do you want to pursue? Is it security, voice, wireless, service provider, server administration, software developer or something else? Your brand is the promise of an experience that a company will have by hiring you. That promise shows itself by the technical skills you have, Ex: How much $ did you slash from an IT budget? Did you develop a creative solution for managing IT resources? Do you have a leading attitude for managing teams? Once you understand yourself, you can move to the next level.

2 – Create Your Brand: Bingo! Your brand is here. Spend time creating your brand and you will be ahead of the others. There are couple ways to define your unique brand. First, you need to think about what you are doing when you are at your best. Look at the job ads and match what they request for skills in the keywords that define your brand. Second, ask your friend, spouse, co-worker to describe you using only 4-5 words. Ask them to be totally honest and say the first words that come into their mind! The more honest the words are that they say about you, the more unique to you your brand is. Finally, use the online identifier tool, it can be used to gather information related to your brand. Once you have these blocks, you can define your IT resume strategy.

3 – Believe in Your Brand: Before you start selling your IT resume, you must have belief in yourself that your skills, achievements and personality are unique, If you think you are just like any others then you have lost an important factor in nailing your dream job. The IT Industry is one of the biggest career fields and what an IT can achieve in work experience is totally different than other employment. IT personnel are required to solve many diverse problems everyday and there are always more that one solution available to use. IT is a great place to distinguish yourself but it all depends on you.BMC Resume

4 – Sell Your Brand: Your resume should distinguish you from others. The resume you create is your marketing document so to sell yourself well you must market your skills well. If you are struggling with what information to include in your resume, try to compare it to your personal brand statement and see if it illustrates you in action using your keywords and phrases. If the answer is yes, then continue branding. If not, delete that information and brainstorm new keywords. Just a reminder here, let your resume follow Don’t Be Everything to Everyone or no one will invest in you!


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