(photo by juicystyle)Over the last week I have given 2 presentations to a group of homeless and severely low income individuals in Orlando on how to leverage the Internet to find a job. The courses I taught were not about jobs. They weren't really about careers either. I was talking about confidence, realizations and actions to create the life you want now, as opposed to the life you are supposed to have given your circumstances.
Be honest now...the best personal brands on the Internet are:
- Marketers (Dan Schawbel)
- Social Media Gurus (b/s terminology btw)(Chris Brogan, Robert Scoble)
- Writers (Penelope Trunk, Tim Ferriss)
- PR Peeps(Brian Solis)
- Entrepreneurs(Jun Loayza, Ted Murphy, Guy Kawasaki)
The best personal brands on the InterWeb are not:
- Construction Workers
- Lawn Care Companies
- Pizza Makers
- You Get My Drift
But why not?
After getting to know the crowd I let it fly and started thinking of ways that blue collars, trade professionals and small business owners can capitalize on being an industry rock star, something that is more valuable than the marketing rock stars, the gurus, the egos of the web.
If small businesses and trade professionals jump on the personal and business branding bandwagon NOW - they can control their own destiny and grow their business or reputation.
Is your construction company in the dumps? What are you doing in your marketing to help you get that new contract in the area? Are you really doing everything you can and relying on every resource that you can? Are you expanding your network? Looking for joint ventures? Looking to consult other companies across the globe? Looking to be the first to know about new funding, local development and government regulations?
Here are some things that I told the class to do:
Secure your name online. Sounds obvious, but I can count on a few hands how many local Orlando businesses know what is said about their company online and I can count on 2 of those hands the companies that know what to do with what they see. If all you do is use Google, do a few searches, then you have done more than 95% of your competition in the small business market (*NOTE - that 95% data is make believe, I performed no "real" survey but it's pretty damn close).
Write down 3 things that you can teach someone right now, without having to do any research, but the skills you have in that big ol brain of yours. (Print this and write them down)
Write down 2 things that you can do better than anyone you know. This one was a shocker. Even if you do not know everything about a field, you probably know more than someone who is just getting started, or you may have a secret that even the pro's and experts can utilize. (If you printed this in the last step, then this should be easy!)
I asked the group to write down who their hero is. Then I asked why. This will tell you a lot about the qualities that you CAN see in yourself with the right refinement. (No excuses, your printer is awaiting your print job!)
Your hero is:
He is your hero because:
Lastly, I asked them to decide where they want to be in 6 months from now as well as 1 year from now. The point was to start acting, talking and educating yourself like you are that person right now. Why wait till someone gives you permission to be the best insurance salesman? Why can't you learn from the best and implement innovative strategies now and close more business and be the best you can be today? (Again, you should print this article - its not too tough - and write your answers down)
6 months from now I will be:
1 year from now I will be:
Here is a quick recap of some things that I learned from this group of non-20-something, non marketing, non creative and poverty stricken local Orlando folk, who have never heard of a blog or Twitter before last Thursday:
- I am creating an online portfolio of every construction site I have worked on. I always take a picture at the end and at the beginning. I have pictures of tools, machines, cranes and people.
- I subscribed to every blog on AllTop that had to do with Cooking and Food. I am commenting and hopefully will learn from them and bring that knowledge into a job interview with a local catering company.
- I used that Google Reader thing and got channels for Google News about Orlando Hotels.
That is awesome!
How can you be the Rock Star of your niche?