HOW TO: Capitalize on Your Brand Like Michael Jackson

Posted: December 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on HOW TO: Capitalize on Your Brand Like Michael Jackson

Have you seen Michael Jackson’s This Is It” movie? What an inside view into the artist that Michael Jackson truly was on, and off, stage. Before I saw this movie, again recently on TV, I was blind to the deep talent Jackson held.

Group to solo artist
In ’77, after 14 years and 14 albums with the Jackson Five and Motown Records, Michael emerged as his own brand and released his first solo album, “Off The Wall”, with Epic Records. On the heels of “Off The Wall” came “Thriller” , which sold over 50MM copies worldwide, had 7 hit singles, and won Jackson a record-breaking 8 Grammy awards in one night. It was 1984 and he officially announced he was leaving the group and going solo.

Musician, movies and money
When you watch “This Is It” it becomes clear that Jackson is talented in many ways. Every element from selecting principal dancers to reviewing each song note and music key; he had his hand in each part of it. That’s not all he had his hand in though. Jackson was in more than just this movie, he collaborated with Francis Ford Coppola on Captain EO, a $30MM movie that was shown at Disney theme parks.

Businessman and philanthropist
A budding businessman, Jackson acquired ATV Music Publishing, including the Beatles music catalog and rights for $47.5MM in 1985. Just 10 years later, Jackson merged ATV with Sony and sold 50% of his rights for $90MM. By 1992, he founded
Heal the World Foundation, sending millions of dollars around the world to support children threatened by war, poverty and disease. Putting his financial pursuits aside, he donated 100% of the $100MM Dangerous World Tour profits, and the tour broadcast rights sold to HBO for a record-breaking $20MM, to charities.

Children and world aid were just the beginning. Jackson was an avid supporter of the HIV/AIDS movement; petitioning the Clinton Administration to contribute funds to HIV/AIDS charities and research and completing a goodwill ambassador tour to Africa and Egypt visiting over 100K people.

Brand diversity
We can’t all be Grammy-award winning artists, moviemakers, businessmen and philanthropists to this extent. However, we can learn from Jackson’s savvy personal branding. He diversified his brand while keeping each area focused on his core ability: music (e.g. philanthropic via charitable concerts, investments in music publishing companies).

It’s important to keep your personal brand focused on your key skills yet diversify it into areas your skill set will allow you to expand naturally and your skills will transfer into generously.


Occupy Your Brand: Capture The Right Attention

Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Occupy Your Brand: Capture The Right Attention

What started in New York as a demonstration against Wall Street has become an international protest movement primarily directed against social and economic inequality. I’ve had the honor of getting up close and personal with protesters in New York, Chicago and Denver – all of whom I found to be non-violent and simply attempting to visibly voice their frustrations with the economic conditions.

Whether you’re a protester, passerby or passively aware of the Occupy Movement from seeing it covered by the media, there’s a way you can get involved on a personal level – without having to hold a picket sign or walk to park.

Occupy your brand
Taking a stand for what you believe and occupying it wholly is an empowering feeling and state of being. The Occupy protesters stand strong saying “We are the 99%” referring to the difference in wealth between the Top 1% and the remaining citizens in the U.S. It’s a definition, a statement and a way to empower each other in the group and Occupy movements across the country. The same philosophy applies to your personal brand. Define it, make a clear statement and allow yourself the permission to feel empowered. Let it occupy your professional life.

Capturing attention
If the Occupy Movement intended to get attention, it gets an A+. Take this lesson and learn from their successes. From ABC and CNN to CNBC, BBC, top media outlets worldwide have covered the movement. To capture attention your message has to be relevant, personal, clear and concise. Occupy Wall Street was the primary movement until they branded themselves with “we are the 99%”. Viola! Their brand was now clear, concise and given that their cause, jobs and the economic disparity, was already relevant and personal, the attention came quick. To capture attention with your personal brand, make it relevant to your audience (e.g. hiring managers), personal to you and keep it under 15 words to ensure it’s concise and clear.

Make it personal
How does a movement that started in New York spread to 95 cities in 82 countries and get response from 5 Presidents and Prime Ministers? They make it highly personal to their needs. From Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, Mongolia and the U.K. to cities across the U.S., each one has personalized their Occupy Movement to their needs. Seek out ways to make your brand personal. What adjectives can you include that describe your personality? What short phrase describes you and your brand without sounding canned?

Connecting with your audience
Can you imagine getting 5 job offers in the next 30 days? Crafting a personal brand, that’s clear, which you embody and connects with your audience will have the type of results the Occupy Movement has experienced. These can’t be planned or foreseen; they happen as a result of being relevant. Today’s hiring managers are in dire need of highly qualified, professionals and executives and spend hours interviewing and sourcing for the top talent. When you deliver a relevant, personally branded statement to them, you will capture your audience – and possibly a new job.


Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway Because of Personal Branding

Posted: November 15th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Ayoung-Chee Wins Project Runway Because of Personal Branding

Season 9 of Project Runway may be the first time anyone, including the famous Tim Gunn himself, has seen his infamous words “make it work” taken so seriously. The stylist, from Trinidad, that scored the most shocking win in Project Runway history, Anya Ayoung-Chee, had no garments constructed when Gunn visited her hometown studio a mere 3 weeks before the finale.

Preview disaster
Days before the Mercedes-Benz fashion week show where the Project Runway finalists show their own fashion line, Ayoung-Chee, along with the other finalists, did a preview show with 3 looks from their lines. It was a total disaster. Her garments showed the fact that she had only been sewing for 4 months when she’d auditioned for the show. The idea that she would lose the show was all but a forgone conclusion. In fact, she knew it in her gut and basically said her goodbyes at the preview to iconic judges Heidi Klum, Michael Kors and Nina Garcia.

Last minute miracle
In true Project Runway style, Tim Gunn entered with a last-minute change-up. Each designer was allowed an additional $500 dollars, 30 minutes at Mood fabrics and the ability to add 3 looks to their line. Ayoung-Chee seized the moment and saw it as a miracle to revamp her line sweeping through Mood like it was a last-minute holiday sale and everything was 90% off. All new fabrics, colors and designs for her line would head back to the workroom.

Branded new line
Her branded new line would walk the runway and win her the show. Giving way to her Trinidad background, she let loose and cut her way to a winning fashion line. Her line was inspired by her own style and became branded signature the minute it walked the runway.

Surprising win
Fellow finalist Viktor Luna was the favored winner for his designs and impeccable tailoring skills. His line included a custom-designed fabric (that was beautiful by the way), pants, coats, skirts, dresses and more. Ayoung-Chee’s line included nearly all dresses, most of which had the same plunging, sexy neckline. Hello brand! It was iconic of what she wore, where she came from and it all made beautiful, branded sense. It was a collection even if none of the fabrics matched each other. A brand was born and the judges sensed it immediately.

Sewing to small business owner
6 months ago Ayoung-Chee was learning how to sew. Now it’s time for her to learn how to be a small business owner as she’s won the highly coveted $100,000 to launch her own line. She connected with her Caribbean self and with women everywhere winning the judge’s eyes, the show, the $100,000 and a bonus $10,000 from being voted fan favorite. Best of luck to her and her future fashion line.


67% of Employers to Increase Hiring in Next 12 Months

Posted: November 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Personal Branding, Social Networking | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on 67% of Employers to Increase Hiring in Next 12 Months

It’s about time that job seekers, and economists alike, heard some good news about hiring particularly in light of this month’s unemployment figures with an unemployment rate of 9.2% and a mere 18K new jobs, 92K less than expected.

According to Jobvite, the leading recruiting platform for the social web, 67% of companies will increase hiring in the next 12 months, a 12% increase from 2010. This figure, along with the basis of those in this blog, was just released today as part of Jobvite’s annual survey result and the timing couldn’t be better.

Where the hiring happens: Social Networks

“55% of survey respondents plan to increase their investment in social recruiting in the next year, up from 46% last year,” said Anne Murguia, Vice President of Marketing for Jobvite. She went on to say that multiple social networks are where the action is at, “Linked In is the strongest and is used by 87% of the people. 64% use two or more utilities which I found fascinating.”

With 80% of today’s hiring done via networking, it makes sense that social networking has such a place in today’s hiring practices. Jobvite’s Survey showed that Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and leading the social recruiting pack with Linked at the front. 87% of respondents use it for recruiting (95% yielded hires from it) followed by Facebook used 55% for recruiting, yielding 24% of hires. If you’re job seeking and not on Linked In, it’s time to build a high quality profile.

Competition heats up

As these social recruiting practices emerge more, so does the competition from both the employer and job seeker perspective. The survey found that 78% expect hiring competition will increase in the next 12 months. I know that sounds scary; I spend 10 hours/day coaching candidates currently looking for new careers and it’s already competitive. This simply means your job search approach needs to be more strategic, focused and clear.

Who said tenure pays?
Many clients these days come to me after successful careers with the same company for over 10, 15, 20, and 25 years. This is the way ‘we’ were taught to approach a career. Today’s new generation looks at a ‘JOB’ as an opportunity to get the most and move on. Apparently so do employers now. Jobvite found that 31% expect employee’s tenure to be less than 2 years or less, and 14% expect a new employee will stay more than 5 years. As a career coach, that’s great news (read: recurring clients) but as a business owner that’s bothersome on a variety of levels.

Number one way to get hired
Referrals are the best source. 70% of respondents said referrals are a better fit with the company culture and values than candidates from any other channel and 67% said recruiter referrals are faster making referrals the highest rated source for candidate quality.

How do you ignite a referral through your social network? Employees (your friends, family, alumni) come with built-in social networks and they spread the word through those social networks about job openings. As Anne Murguiasaid, “It’s a powerful way for companies to get in front of potentially talented prospects.”