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advertising business entrepreneur Entrepreneurship google interesting internet media networking personal branding planning productivity

Insights into personal branding online

I’ve just finished writing my regular column for Enterprise Magazine. My topic this month was “personal branding on the web”. I’ll publish the full article here once it hits the streets, but I thought I’d share the unedited insights of two experts who shared their wisdom with me. I didn’t have space for all their thoughts in the actual article, so here they are in their full glory:

Tom Critchlow, from Distilled:

  • Make sure you choose an online ‘handle’ which is both easy to remember, unique and short
  • Be consistent. Make sure that you keep the same username across all the social media sites you sign up to (twitter, digg, etc etc). This makes it easy for people to connect the dots and helps your existing ‘friends’ on one social media site find you on other sites.
  • Make sure that you choose an online username which you can rank for in Google. People use search. A lot of people use search actually and being able to rank for your own name is valuable because it allows you to present searchers with a page of your choosing and importantly you can set up a contact form etc on the site which leads me onto the next point:
  • Make sure you are contactable. If someone wants to get in touch with you make it easy for them, whether it’s an email address in your twitter background, a contact form on a website or blog etc. Never underestimate the power of email!
  • Monitor the conversation about you. Using a tool like google alerts (free) or Distilled’s reputation monitor (cheap, few more features) allows you to monitor the interwebs for any mentions of your name. It’s important to choose a unique, short name in point 1 above so people can find you but it also removes a lot of the headache associated with monitoring as well.
  • Last but not least, engage! When someone emails you, email them back, when someone twitters you, twitter them back. If someone tweets something you can help them with don’t be afraid to send them a note. Online networking is hugely powerful and has gained Distilled £100,000s of business. Be nice to people and be nice to people and you’ll get it back in spades.


Carl Morris
, from Native
The term “personal brand” is not to everyone’s taste, but if you do anything on the web you need to understand it. Your prospective client, employer or advocate will take seconds to figure out who you are. Attention is scarce! So you need to represent yourself in a way that makes it as easy as possible for them.

Full article online in a few weeks when it goes to print.

🙂

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advertising bands creative creative industries entrepreneur Entrepreneurship free interesting marketing media mp3 music Music Industry myspace web 2.0

Why you should give it away

Andrew Dubber has just written the most concise, brilliant post about why you should give away your music online for free (or more correctly, why you shouldn’t be scared of giving away your music for free). Of course, this applies to almost any creative works, whether it’s music, writing, video etc etc.

Read it here. I’ll certainly be pointing people in its direction constantly for the forseeable future….

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2008 advertising business creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship facebook free future internet marketing media microsoft web 2.0

The Demise Of Facebook…

Of course Facebook isn’t facing demise. That would be ridiculous. But for the first time since their launch their audience number in the UK has dropped. While they’re still hitting a staggering 8.5m unique visitors a month, this might be the first sign that there might be a saturation of the market. I know I’m certainly finding it difficult to stay on top of everything (4 email addresses, a blog, 2 social networks plus some business networks and a bunch of casual forum memberships). I’ll be deleting my Myspace account shortly (I never use it and find it so clunky in comparison with Facebook) because I just seem to be the target for being a new friend of millions of bands. But despite us reaching this stage there seem to be more and more social networks every day, with platforms such as Ning.com offering everyone the chance to build their very own networks for free.

So, what’s the future? Either people will retreat to ever more specialised networks according to their personal interests, or more sites such as Moli.com will spring up. Moli allows you to manage profiles on various social networking sites from one place. Sounds like a dream for those network addicts. But as far as I’m concerned, I’m looking for a little simplification in my life. Shame I’m a sucker for signing up and trying uot every new site, app, service and technology!

It’s worth noting that despite my moderate predictions of doom and gloom AOL (a branch of the Time Warner juggernaut) has got into the social networking game by spending $850m on Bebo. Not a bad deal for the 3rd biggest social networking site in the US (after Facebook and Myspace), especially when Microsoft would only have got about 10 percent of Facebook for that when they invested in a small 1.6 percent stake last year. But Youtube sits at the top of this tree. It’s latest figures show it as the world’s most popular social media site , with a massive 10.4 million visitors in January alone.

2008 Rank….Website…………Unique audience (m)
1……………YouTube……………..10.4
2……………Wikipedia……………9.6
3……………Facebook…………….8.5
4……………Blogger……………..5.1
5……………MySpace……………..5.0
6……………Bebo………………..4.1
7……………Slide……………….3.4
8……………Yahoo! Answers……….3.3
9……………Windows Live Spaces…..3.1
10…………..TripAdvisor………….2.4

Categories
advertising business marketing media microsoft planning

Statistics aren’t always boring…

Microsoft have recently been putting videos online to bring attention to the internet marketing research done by their Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions (MDAS) team. There’s three installments of these videos. One shows a man trying to advertise a toaster in a fine art gallery and another shows someone encouraging partying at a funeral. The message? That “context matters”. In other words – advertise to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Well… no shit Sherlock!

Surely anyone with a most basic grasp of advertising or marketing should know this. However, one of the videos shows a group of kids dancing at a studio when the “advertisers” very literally waltz in.

Video: Microsoft – context matters

What’s clever about this is that the kids just move to another part of the room and carry on. I’ve no idea if Microsoft intended to convey this message, but the fact is that if users get overwhelmed with bad advertising on their chosen site they will just go somewhere else. It’s something that social networks (whose value is driven purely by the number of users they have) need to be very careful about in the drive to monetise their services.

Regardless of the videos, it’s definitely worth looking at the research booklet (PDF doc). They took 24 hour diaries with several thousand people across 6 countries to find out their online habits. And some of the findings are fascinating…

There’s been a 30 percent increase in social networking users in less than a year (something Facebook surely is largely responsible for). It shows how broadband users are online 20-40 times a day for a few minutes at a time, instead of the concentrated burst that they were as dialup customers. And this neatly echoes something I said just a few days ago when I was talking about why the dotcom bubble is back and stronger than before. As the document says: “broadband changes everything… What really happened is that broadband allowed the internet to be fully integrated into daily life”.

There’s some great info on what time of day people are more likely to read blogs, pay bills or check their emails etc. And I was reassured to find out the majority of people multi-task whilst using the net. I’m forever doing other stuff (whether it’s listening to an online radio show or watching TV) whilst emailing, blogging or browsing.

I’m only halfway through the document so far (I haven’t even got to the case study of the Norwegian male’s typical day online!) but it’s already proved itself as an absolutely invaluable tool for anyone involved in media planning, advertising etc etc.

Categories
advertising business marketing media microsoft planning

Statistics aren’t always boring…

Microsoft have recently been putting videos online to bring attention to the internet marketing research done by their Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions (MDAS) team. There’s three installments of these videos. One shows a man trying to advertise a toaster in a fine art gallery and another shows someone encouraging partying at a funeral. The message? That “context matters”. In other words – advertise to the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Well… no shit Sherlock!

Surely anyone with a most basic grasp of advertising or marketing should know this. However, one of the videos shows a group of kids dancing at a studio when the “advertisers” very literally waltz in.

Video: Microsoft – context matters

What’s clever about this is that the kids just move to another part of the room and carry on. I’ve no idea if Microsoft intended to convey this message, but the fact is that if users get overwhelmed with bad advertising on their chosen site they will just go somewhere else. It’s something that social networks (whose value is driven purely by the number of users they have) need to be very careful about in the drive to monetise their services.

Regardless of the videos, it’s definitely worth looking at the research booklet (PDF doc). They took 24 hour diaries with several thousand people across 6 countries to find out their online habits. And some of the findings are fascinating…

There’s been a 30 percent increase in social networking users in less than a year (something Facebook surely is largely responsible for). It shows how broadband users are online 20-40 times a day for a few minutes at a time, instead of the concentrated burst that they were as dialup customers. And this neatly echoes something I said just a few days ago when I was talking about why the dotcom bubble is back and stronger than before. As the document says: “broadband changes everything… What really happened is that broadband allowed the internet to be fully integrated into daily life”.

There’s some great info on what time of day people are more likely to read blogs, pay bills or check their emails etc. And I was reassured to find out the majority of people multi-task whilst using the net. I’m forever doing other stuff (whether it’s listening to an online radio show or watching TV) whilst emailing, blogging or browsing.

I’m only halfway through the document so far (I haven’t even got to the case study of the Norwegian male’s typical day online!) but it’s already proved itself as an absolutely invaluable tool for anyone involved in media planning, advertising etc etc.