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Personal Branding: Stand Out While Fitting In

A Must Read for Using Social Media (In Your Job, At the Office)

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you've likely noticed that I've written only sporadically for the past few months. I've spent most of my time off-line, talking to people, swapping ideas, and writing, writing, writing while collaborating vigorously with two great colleagues, Deb Dib (@ceocoach) and Susan Britton Whitcomb (@susanwhitcomb) and heaps of other collaborators and co-conspirators. You'll learn exactly what we've been up to in March when JIST Publications publishes theTwitter Job Search Guide, but I'll also be sharing some information about what I learned along the way in the interim. And to that end, here is one of my biggest take-aways from attending Jeff Pulver's Los Angeles 140 conference on Twitter's impact and potential.

Kodak is doing amazing things with social media. You may think that traditional film has gone the way of the typewriter, but Kodak is showing no signs of obsolescence that I can see. (I won a Kodak Z18 video camera at the 140 conference which I love.) they are paving the way for innovations in communications--and while they are at it, they are sharing their own best practices.

For a great overall summary of social media platforms and trends, check out Kodak's free Social Media Tips Guide.


In addition to providing a broad overview of social media platforms, user demographics, and tips for getting started, Kodak shares their own employee-developed social media policies. These policies are a great go-to guide for both employers and employees--and a list of best practices that you can use if you haven't been given any guidelines for social media etiquette.

My co-authors and I liked them so much that we asked for--and received permission to--republish them in our upcoming book. But you can look at them here!

Kudos and Thank You, Kodak!

Why You Don't Want to Be Called a Seagull

Do you have friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who get in touch only when they need something? If yes, I'm willing to make a bet with you: You're not as close to them as you are to those who contact you just to check in.

My friend Rob Blatt calls this kind of friend a "seagull."Seagulls only sharetheir expertise when it serves their need. They have little regard for participating in community dialogue. And tend to ignore proper conventions. Here's a seagull in action.

The seagull in the video, "Sam" from Aberdeen, Scotland, was caught on videotape stealing numerous bags of cheese Doritos. The formal term for Sam's behavior--is "Kleptoparasitism"
or the act of stealing food or other inanimate objects. Much like web surfers who usurp community discussions by changing the conversation to focus on themselves, Kleptoparasites "score" by stealing items they couldn't obtain otherwise--or by minimizing the time and effort required. They aren't nice.

For three tips on how to avoid being viewed as a seagull, see the extended coverage of this topic on Best Fit Forward.

To your success,


Building Your Personal Brand: 4 Tips to Tell Your Story

This is a guest post from Matt Wilson at

106351903_39a2eceae0Building your personal brand is all about getting the word out. It doesn't matter if you are the most talented personal on earth if nobody knows about it. If you want more people to hear about you, you need to start telling you story as often as possible. Make your story compelling enough and people might just tell their friends.

Start with a Problem

Great companies solve a problem in the eyes of the consumer. The bigger you make the problem sound the better story it makes. This is the story that people tell themselves every time they make a purchase and it's the one they tell their friends about your product or service. Great people should also solve a problem in the eyes of their employer. Figure out what a company lacks and offer that to them, whether you are an independent contractor or employee.

Tell Your Story Early and Often

Make up your story now and tell it to as many people as possible. If the story is well received than you have a much better chance of getting known. The more people you tell the story to the better--get feedback, learn how to answer tough questions, perfect your pitch and practice persuading those in doubt. The more people you tell your story to the better chance it has at spreading. You never know who you'll meet when you are out planting seeds. Each person you talk to has the potential to introduce you to someone, or tell your story to a friend. Every seed you plant has the ability to help spread that story.

You'll Never Get Discovered Hiding in your Basement

Want to meet your significant other? Get out there. Want to make a name for yourself? Get out there. In the old days, celebrity entrepreneurs were the only ones to launch a brand around their stardom. They controlled the big stage and because they had thousands of followers to tell their story to. Today, everyday people are launching brands easier than ever, growing their followings online and telling their story over and over. Better yet, this story has the ability to spread with the click of a button via social media.

Steal these Strategies to Tell Your Story

Start a blog: write good content and people will read. Write really good content and it'll go viral. Network on Twitter: every person you connect with on Twitter has the chance to hear your story. Tell it in 140 characters. Get on Camera: host a uStream chat, post your videos on your blog, or start your own show. Broadcast your story to the world! Connect on Facebook and LinkedIN or and make your profile tell a story!

mattwilsonAuthor Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO, challenging people to defy the 9-5, stop doing stuff you hate and get innovative. Wilson graduated from Bryant University after leading Bryant University to becoming the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization of the year and being named National Student Leader of the Year.

The Future of the Business Card

Over at Best Fit Forward, I've just questioned the future of the business card. If you are currently employed, do you hand your friends a company card--or one of your own creation? If you use your own card, what information do you include--or not include? Do you include contact information for LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter?Business_card

This Inquiring mind wants to know.

Check out my post, and let me know your thoughts!