Personal Branding Pros and Cons

1.0) Personal Branding – why is it important?

1.1) According to the video, why is personal branding important?

1.2) What are some personal branding techniques does the video mention?

2.0) Personal Branding Tips – 10 Easy Tips for You!

2.1) Why should you brand yourself not your company?

2.2) What would your target audience be?

2.3) What would your tag line/slogan be?

2.4) What does “be professional and have fun” mean?

2.5) What is your specialty?

2.6) What is your story?

2.7)  What does “be yourself” mean?

2.8) What does “be consistent” mean?

2.9) How will you “get it out there”?

2.10) What is your long term plan?

2.11) Foxey tip – Start a blog today!

3.0) How NOT to Build Your Personal Brand

3.1) Don’t be fake but be genuine.

3.2) Don’t be wishy-washy but take a stand.

3.3) Don’t act before thinking.

3.4) Don’t go for quantity over quality.

3.5) Avoid the quest for fame but become selectively famous.

3.6) Don’t run out of steam.  What does “slow and steady” mean?

3.7) Don’t forget real world relationships.

3.8) Don’t go it alone.

3.9) Don’t make it all about you.

3.10) Don’t forget to measure.

4.0) My Own Personal Critique of Personal Branding

4.1) You Need to Brand Something with some Inherent Value

A brand needs an underlying product and/or service that has some merit on its own minus branding.  You can gift wrap garbage but in the end people will still figure out that garbage is garbage when they unwrap the package and probably not be happy.  and scams ultimately create problems rather than solve problems.

4.2) Image versus Hard Work

I think that generally in the long run dealing with your image directly via marketing is no replacement for hard work and well done work that slowly but surely gains you a reputation for being a competent professional at work.  I would not pick my heart surgeon because of his or her online identity.  On the other hand someone who works hard and does not do some marketing of their work is missing opportunities.  Time is a limited commodity and time spent marketing your work is time not spent doing work for your company!  Again, time spent with personal branding coaches, books, tapes and networking is time not spent on office work!  A balance between personal branding and the “boring” work at the office must be achieved for success at work and deciding that optimal balance is no easy task.

4.3) Pseudo Science and Personal Branding

Beware of the “Law of Attraction”!  The Law of Attraction states that likes attracts likes and positive thinking can create a positive life.  Thought in this theory is treated as energy that can affect external events directly.  There is zero evidence that thought alone can affect external reality.  Sometimes quantum theory terminology is used to justify the idea that though minus action can affect external events but even a minimal understanding of physics shows there is no empirical evidence for this point of view.  I am sorry to say pseudo science is slowly creeping into the literature of personal branding and this should not be a surprise.  The Law of Attraction can be very attractive, pun intended, for persons who have trouble putting their ideas into action.  The Law of Attraction can make lazy people feel good and there will always be those who sell points of view that make people feel good even if this is not in the best interest of the client.

On the other hand, there is evidence from Positive psychology that optimists have many advantages in the work and in interpersonal relationships over pessimists because their belief system affects action and optimists are less likely to give up in tough situations.  The underlying assumptions of your own personal branding guru (s) should be examined deeply.

4.4) Is Personal Branding Too American?

In many Confucian cultures asserting your individualism can be seen as the worst sort of bragging and backfire.  Social harmony is a more important goal in Confucian societies than in the US and personal branding might be seen as not just selfish but as even disloyal to the company.  I have lived in Asian countries for over 14 years and have direct experience with this Asian point of view.  The epicenter of personal branding is the US and this idea may not export well to other countries especially Asian countries.  Personal branding may be a reflection of an American ethos in which individualism is prized and fitting in the group is less important than in other cultures.

4.5) Authentic Personal Identity May be Too Complex for Branding

Will the real Dr. Fox please stand up?

5.0) What do you think?

Find a partner and together write down a short paragraph about what you think about personal branding and share this paragraph with the class later.

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New Market Research Methods and Techniques

While traditional market research techniques such as surveys and focus groups are still widely used, there are many new market research methods and techniques to spice things up.  As technology and socioeconomic trends change, so will our means of gaining customer insights.  As you’ll notice, many of these are really just new technologies applied to traditional methods, as opposed to radically different methodologies.  In any case, here are a sampling of some of the new market research trends and techniques popular now, in no particular order:

1. A shift from data collection to data analysis:  Today, actual customer behavior data is collected with ease, to the point where analysis (or data mining) is much more challenging than obtaining the data.  For example, Google Analytics provides webmasters with tons of information about website visitors, including languages, pages visited, screen resolutions, etc.  All of this information can be used to fine tune a website to the audience.  Another example of “big data” data mining of is Amazon’s predictive recommendations.  By carefully monitoring the products a user purchases/views and correlating that information with purchase histories of others, Amazon is able to very effectively present product recommendations.  All of this is done through data mining, without having to ask the user “what other products might you like?, which would be crazy.”  Twitter is another great source of readily available data that can be mined (text analytics).  Jonathan Harris performed a great TED talk that beautifully demonstrates how readily available data can be visualized.

2. A shift from “how do think you will behave?” (self-reporting) to “I know how you behaved” (observational research):  If you wanted to know what color cereal box would sell the most cereal, would you rather base you decision on a survey or an actual experiment where colors are tested?  Of course the experiment would be more valuable.  I want to know what customers actually do/want, not what they think they do/want.  It’s not that customers are trying to deceive researchers; it’s just that it’s difficult for users to predict their own future actions.  In any case, the world of market research is shifting from self-reporting techniques (surveys, focus groups), to observational research methods whenever possible.  The data is much more reliable.

3. Mobile market research methods: Smart phones and tablets are taking the world by storm.  These devices are becoming a preferred platform for many applications and markets, including market research.  Examples of how these devices are being used in market research include:

  • Location Awareness – Advanced phone market research techniques can leverage smartphone location (GPS) information to trigger questions or simply track movement over time.  For example, you can imagine a survey question that only appears when the phone knows the user is at the gas station.
  • Mobile Ethnography – Using information like location awareness, researchers are able to gather rich contextual data (using mobile phones) about behaviors, allowing them to really understand the habits and lifestyles of subjects.

4. Biometric Market Research Techniques: New biometric research methods that measure a subject’s physical response to stimuli (e.g., television commercial) provide valuable data that a subject might not be able or willing to express verbally.  Examples of biometric market research methods include heart rate monitoring, respiration monitoring, skin and muscle activity, brain activity (using functional MRI) and eye tracking.  A good article on the subject can be found here.  Campbell Soup has used such methods in their market research.

fMRI : An example of biometric market research

Eye Tracking Heat Map: Another Example of Biometric Market Research

5. Prediction Markets: A prediction market is like a mini stock market, where a group of people can buy and sell “predictions” of various events.  For example, one event might be “who will win the presidency?”  Participants could use their “currency” (fake or real) to buy or sell whoever they think will win.  Early on, the price of one candidate or the other might be $0.50, but as the election probability becomes more certain, a bid on one candidate will grow closer to $1.00.  At the end of an election, one candiate will be worth $1.00 and the other $0.00.  Participants can buy and sell their stake in a candidate along the way.  The beauty of these prediction markets is that they tend to be good indications of reality.  So what does this have to do with market research?  Well, forward thinking companies are setting up these prediction markets to tap into the wisdom of their employees.  For example, a company could ask employees to bid on a prediction market that has to do with competitors, industry trends, or the success of product concepts in order to get an early read on those ideas.  If this is still foggy, check out intrade, a public prediction market.  Consensus Point makes business to business software that has been used by companies like Best Buy.

6. Virtual Shopping: This involves the use of virtual store simulation to mimic a shopping experience for participants–a good way to test things retail issues like product placement, store layout, packaging, etc.  Once again, the idea is to replicate a real situation for research subjects and observe behavior, as opposed to asking them what they think they will do.

7. Live Audience Response: In conferences or lectures, presenters often have difficulty engaging with the audience.  One tool to remedy this problem is live audience response systems.  These systems involve a handhold remote control for audience members to respond to questions that appear on-screen (usually in a PowerPoint slide).  You can imaging the applications for this: professors doing on-the-fly quizzes to see if students understand the concepts, presenters asking demographic questions to better understand their audience, polling, etc.

7. Online Collaboration Tools: Tools like Skype (video calling), instant messaging, and shared whiteboarding allow researchers to conduct a variety of “traditional” market research techniques using new technology.  These technologies are often much cheaper than physically gathering people.  They also allow researchers to gather people from broader geographies much easier.

8. Social Media Market Research: Social media dominates the Web, so it is natural that market researchers are looking for ways to leverage this technology.  When people say “social media market research” they might mean several different things:

  • Research of social media — Simply researching the market of social media.  For example, “X% of people use Facebook and the average age of a Google+ user is X.”
  • Research using social media data — There is a lot of data that can be gleaned from social media sites.  Looking at how many times a certain news story or product is shared across sites can tell researchers a lot about what works and doesn’t work in journalism, product concepts, etc.  “Listening” to social media is like eavesdropping on a million conversations and can be a great place to pick up on trends.

9.  QR Code Surveys: This overlaps with mobile phone market research.  A poster could ask a simple survey question and provide two QR codes, asking people to scan their choice.  Such an approach makes it very easy for someone to take a one-question survey without doing much more than pointing a phone.  A webmaster would then be able to gather the response data in aggregate.  Other companies are using QR codes as a simple launch point to a mobile survey.  A good example of this is Tiipz.

QR Code

QR Codes

There you have it–an overview of new market research methods and techniques.  This article will continue to evolve and update over time as new research methodologies and technologies emerge.  I hope this was informative.  If you have other examples of new market research, or if you have anything to add, please do so in the comments below.

Amazing Office Christmas Party Ideas for the Holidays

Office Christmas party ideas can be hard to get approved. This can be particularly true for comedian suggestions. There are many reasons a particular entertainer may not be welcome, whether it be a majority of your coworkers do not like him, or he might be considered inappropriate for whatever reason. For these reasons and more, it can be difficult to get the best office Christmas party ideas accepted by the majority when it comes to popular, funny comedians. There is always someone who wants something different for the Holidays.

Despite that, comics remain a favorite for parties. If your  Christmas party ideas include getting a comedian to keep your office mates entertained, then you cannot go wrong with the comics listed below. They each bring their individual flair to his comedy that will make your Christmas event something to remember.

7 Great Office Christmas Party Ideas

With over ten years of experience and a focus on ingenious improvisation, the Panic Squad guys get laughs from unplanned, audience-driven improv humor. Their sketches tend to leave their audience on their toes since no one knows what is coming next: not even themselves.

Ross Bennett is a comedian with a resume of events that include fundraisers, comedy clubs, and banquets, yet he also has years of experience handling corporate events as well. He specializes his humor for the occasion and any information you can give him to make his sketch unique to the audience. Along with traditional stand-up storytelling, he does much crazy improvisation as well.

With an energetic stage personality and a penchant for acting out his jokes instead of just telling them, Carlos Oscar is an engaging comedian that specializes in situational-based humor based on his real life experiences. His comedic style is flexible, so he is a perfect fit for any Christmas party.

Bob Nelson is a vibrant personality whose energy is infectious, and when this is coupled with his character-driven sketches it usually results in a riotous good time for the audience. His characterizations are well known and varied, and when he is not acting out a personality he is telling stories that poke fun at everyone: even himself.

Quick and witty, Jeff Allen relates stories of his life in a way that comes across as relatable to everyone in the audience. His material focuses on the married life and living with teenagers, but his jokes can also range from his life as a nine-year-old to obsessed joggers in his neighborhood.

Bob Stromberg talks about the joys and tribulations of being a grandfather in this short comedy clip. He talks about his first experience with seeing his father holding his baby for the first time, which was an incredibly memorable experience for him. He also talks about the way that his father was born in a much rougher and rural environment.

Stromberg can make the mundane events of everyday life seem hilarious. His description of his father holding his baby for the first time strikes a chord because it is an experience that rings true for many people, all over the world. The love that a parent, or a grandparent, feels for their grandchildren is an experience that cannot be described well by many people. Stromberg manages to do this in a way that is heartfelt, poignant and quite funny.

Henry Cho is an American stand-up comedian hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee. Of Korean-American descent, Henry Cho’s unique style of clean comedy, an Asian-American comedian with a southern accent, has won him many fans both in his home state of Tennessee and nationwide. His style of clean comedy has also made him a versatile comedian, letting him perform at many venues appropriately. He often uses his childhood experiences as an Asian-American growing up in his comedy.  He additionally is featured on several radio shows on Sirius XM and has made appearances on Comedy Central.

All of these comedians offer something different, but all of them are great for company Christmas parties and should fit most office Christmas party ideas. They are all experienced when it comes to corporate events and will provide a comedy event your employees or workmates will not soon forget.

What Is Content Writing And How Can It Help Your Website?

Content Strategy

What Is Content Writing And How Can It Help Your Website?

Effective content strategies are the same for businesses in any industry. From online slot games to real estate websites and everything in between, the strategies used to beat the competition don’t differ very often.

Search for these content strategies online, and you’ll find plenty of articles and sites advising you to invest in high-quality content writing.

But what is content writing exactly?

If you’re wondering what it is and whether it’s time for your business to invest in it, keep reading as we break down everything you need to know about content writing.

What is Content Writing?

If you’ve found yourself wondering, what is content writing, you aren’t alone.

Content writing has become a big topic of debate in recent years, as discussions about search engine optimization, digital strategies, and online marketing abound.

So what is content writing exactly?

To put it simply, content writing is online content that is produced for a website.

But this writing exists for more than just entertainment purposes.

While engaging content writing is popular, the true purpose of content writing is to boost a website popularity. This usually means integrating web marketing strategies into that writing.

What Web Marketing Strategies are Used in Content Writing?

There are a number of web marketing strategies that content writers utilize in their work.

These range from writing engaging, casual content to match a business’ laid-back vibe, to more complicated practices, like implementing SEO strategies.

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process by which websites and content writers aim to improve a website’s ranking on social media when certain keywords are searched.

For instance, a Realtor in New York might try to improve where they land in the Google search results when a web surfer types in the words “New York real estate.”

Just as a company can meet the needs of a diverse range of clients by offering phone interpreting, search engines attempt to meet web surfers needs by providing the most relevant websites.

Google and other search engines interpret this as the sites where the keywords typed in by a web surfer show up the most often, in natural, unforced ways.

A content writer will try to achieve this by integrating those targeted keywords in content writing in a natural way. Regular content writing that includes these keywords can help to drastically improve a website’s ranking on search engines.

Content writers may also strive to write engaging sales copy in an attempt to sell products or services to online clients. Or they may try to write eye-catching pieces to get people talking about a company on social media.

How Will Content Writing Help Your Website?

With so many businesses competing for success on the internet, quality content writing has become a must.

Without it, your website stands little chance of ever ranking well on search engines.

But investing in content writing will do more than just help you show up in searches on Google.

It can be used to inform or entertain visitors to your website, which will, in turn, encourage them to continue to return to your website for more or share your content with their friends.

Why Should You Invest in Content Writing?

There are more than a billion websites on the web today, all competing for web traffic. Even if you narrow down that number to just websites in your niche, the competition is still fierce.

But with quality, engaging, effective content writing, you can help give your website a leg up on the competition.

Still not convinced?

Sign up for a free account today to see how quality inbound marketing can boost your business’ website.

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Digitally Different. Be Different. Stand Out. That’s What They Say

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When we completed the website and the integration of the social locations within our SSEO aggregators, we started the , and the results were amazing… they are listed “Page One” oh, yeah “Position One” in less then 4 (four) days for their specific key phrases and key words.

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Three Quarters Of SMBs Are Investing More Time In Social Media Marketing

As a small business owner, are you investing more of your time in social media?

You’re not alone, as new data has revealed that almost three-quarters of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have increased the time they spend using social media for marketing purposes, with less than one in 10 cutting back.

Read More

Super Mario Birthday Party Decoration Ideas — CRIOLLA Brithday & Wedding : Mario Birthday Party Ideas for Your Children

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[EVENT REPORT] Building Your Personal Branding through Social Media” with Mira Monika, Editor in Chief Beauty Journal

Building Your Personal Branding Through Social Media

By Mira Monika

As we realize that everyone has their own brand for themselves, we aspire to help people create a powerful personal brand on social media. Discussing personal branding is always interesting, and is a great soft investment for yourself.

These are 4 steps that will help you to unleash and frame your personal branding:

  1. Know yourself

You are the one who knows yourself best. You can start by analyzing your unique attributes, strengths, what makes you different, and most importantly how do you want to be perceived by others. Be authentic and be yourself.

  1. Identify your audience

It is important to understand your audience. Discover their psychograph, demography and geography. Try and find several facts, such as where they live, their habit, age range and character type. The more information you know, the better and more efficient you will be in reaching them.

  1. Choose the best platform

There are many social media platforms available, all with different themes and features, therefore you will need to select which channel works best to maximize. Choose the platform that not only offers you enjoyment in scrolling and creating content, but one that is also a suitable fit for your target audience, and aligns with the your personal branding.

  1. 3C: Creative, content, creation

Nowadays, people tend to be more interested in visual or audiovisual content. Creativity can be both of visual and caption, so be mindful of how to accurately use them both. Don’t forget to add some personal touches, as your audience will feel a greater personal connection to you.

  1. Gain more followers

The final step is to gain more followers. Be consistent in posting your content, and know which content engages with your audience best. Be responsive with your followers, and if needed, use ads to boost your page.

Emerging Trends Of Market Research Services For Business

Change is the only constant in the world, says the prominent philosophers of history. The statement proves itself exactly true in the case of emerging business trends in the economy and generates the requirement of market research services, to understand the reason and impact of these changes occurred.

Demographic changes vitally throw a major adverse effect on the prevailing business trends. They include components which influence the behaviour of the consumer and the market conditions. Geographical and the psychological factors also play a vital role in business stability.

What does Market Research do?

A market research is an activity which involves gathering, analyzing and interpreting the information about the market trends and customers. The providers of research and innovation services conduct market research on the customer order and provide ideas and insights to improve their business strategies.

Market analysis and media intelligence reports prepared by the agencies help to maintain the competitiveness over the competitors. The research, as a result, increases involvement with consumers, creative focus and associations.

The process and design :

The process involves identification of problem and establishment of objectives. A clear understanding of the problem is a key to good research because it specifies what customers exactly expect, what potential markets there are and how can you initiate with the competitors’ strategies. Objectives provide all necessary and required information to solve the problem.

Research Designs are adopted to frame the study, the design can be exploratory, descriptive or casual depending upon the level of variables to be studied.

Methods adopted by Market Research Agency for Information:

The market research agencies gather two methods for data collection:

Primary Data Collection

Secondary Data Collection

At last the market research agencies perform data analysis and then they formulate findings from the research performed these results are then compiled into the form of the report by the agencies.

The above highlights draw a conclusion that Market Research Services are very crucial for business market as it keep you up with the latest market trends and helps to gain a competitive edge in the market. Thus, you need to be very careful while you choose a market research agency for your business because the performance of your business depends on the outcomes drawn by the research agency and it can only help you to discover new heights.