5 previous steps to successfully develop your Personal Brand.

There is a lot of talk today about the practice of Personal Branding and about how social media which we know as social networks like FaceBook or Linked-in, public forums like Twitter and other vehicles like blogs and podcasts really help us maximize the reach that each of us, as individuals, both professionally and personally, can have to establish a bigger and better network; be it to look for a new job, become part of a certain community, collaborate with other people, learn from them and share with them our point perspectives too, thus exercising what we call our Personal Brand.

In fact in this “Age of Conversation”, this is a subject that has become so important that we just cannot affor to ignore. So important in fact, that 86% of professional talent recruiters today look on-line for information on their candidates; plus 7 out of 10 of those recruiters have said that the odds of each candidate significantly improves if whatever information they find on-line is positive. (Source: Execunet.com 2008 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report).
So relevant is this subject that there are now plenty of really good specialists on Personal Branding who, like Dan Schawbel have generated an excellent series of lessons and advices on how to successfully exercise your Personal Brand.

However, I’m convinced that in order to really leverage all those great lessons and suggestions, there are a few steps we need to take before we actually start to exercise our brand.

1-   Understand that no matter what our level of involvement on line is, each and everyone of us already is a brand. In the words of Tom Peters: “No matter how old we are or what position we have nor in what industry we work; we all have to understand the importance of a brand. We ourselves are the CEOs of our own company: Me, inc. To do business today, our most important job is to be the brand manager of the brand call ME.

2-   Understand that like so, most of the rules commercial brands abide to, apply to us too. So we must make sure that our brand is clear, unique and different from the others. And to do so, there is nothing better than honesty and authenticity, that is, ensuring that all our words, actions and behavior (on & off line) reflect our values, principles, strengths and priorities as human beings; and yes that includes not hiding our areas of opportunity.

3-   Deeply knowing our own brand. How can we be authentic and unique if we don’t really know ourselves? Before we move forward we need to do a huge job of reflection and retrospective. An analysis of ourselves. We need to define and call out our values and principles, our passions and callings. We have to identify all that matters the most to us in life.

4-   Understand our current context: Once we’ve done this introspective work, we should be able to know how we see ourselves; however that might not entirely be the way other people sees us, so we need to ask ourselves: With whom do I interact with these days? What kind of relationship do I have with them? And tougher questions like: What perception do they have of me? Do they think of me as an expert on any given subject? Do I really have credibility among them?
Now, please remember to be cautious when asking these and remember that not everybody will appreciate you the same way and that you cannot be everything to everybody; and don’t forget that just like any other brand you’ll have your detractors and your ambassadors, the important thing will be to know who is which so you can determine how to interact with them.

5-   Define in what context you want your Personal Brand to live in. Meaning, defining with whom we want to interact and through what channels we’d like to do so, while determining from whom do we want to learn and to whom do we want to be related and in which media.
In fact this is precisely one of the greatest gifts of Social Media: The possibility of connecting and interacting with very diverse people from very different places and backgrounds; people like oneself or great thought leaders, entrepreneurs or celebrities, which does take that old saying that goes: “Tell me who you hang with and I’ll tell you who you are” to a whole other level. And like they say: “If you want to be very good at playing tennis, don’t always play with those you can beat every time, play with some like Rafael Nadal”.

Well, there you have them, 5 previous steps to take to successfully launch and exercise your Personal Brand. Now as for actually exercising it, well that is subject for a whole other post.



How good a partner are you?

Surely you have heard it before, maybe even said to yourself a few times, especially if you work directly with clients, vendors, sales forces or re-sellers and distributors.

That beautiful, simple, short and definitely empty and over used phrase that goes: “Don’t think of me as your vendor or client or dealer, see me as your partner.”

Come on! Be honest, you’ve said it, right? Practically every single business person I know, including myself, has used this phrase when working on a sale or to close a deal.

The problem is though that we’ve used those words so much that they’ve lost their meaning, or even worse its meaning has changed so much that for some people today, when they listen a sales rep saying it they really end up hearing “I’m only interested in your money and as soon as you sign I’ll move on to my next “partner” who might pay me more than you”

Don’t get me wrong please. I’m not saying we shouldn’t focus on generating revenue to our business; the issue I’m talking about is how.

A real business partner is not worried about how much revenue his “partners” will generate for him. A partner (be it a client, a vendor or a re-seller) is not a profit farm or a never ending fountain of money for us to drain.

Having a partnership requires a huge commitment on our part, a commitment to put, in the majority of the occasions, the interests of our partner before ours. Being a great partner means that we are always looking for new ways to help our partners, their partners and us too, win.

Being a great partner requires us not only to sympathize with our clients and that we tell them that we “understand” how they feel; it demands that we empathize with them completely! It requires that we make ours their objectives. We need to understand their goals, their strengths and opportunities, etc. so that based on these we come up with proposals and solutions to help them meet their goals, even if doing so does not generates an instant financial gain for us, because in the long run (and the not so long really) being a great partners will bring a whole lot more benefits to our business than just the frequent closing of a sale. It will bring us loyalty, affinity, understanding and even ambassadors of our company too.


Mekate Thursday: An Agency Story

Note: Those who have been reading me for a while, might remember that I also collaborate with

the blog mekate.com, where we mainly discuss subjects that have to do a lot more with

Communication and Advertising. But since it is written in Spanish, I like to post its entries in English

here at The daily and the not so.

Well then, here is the first post of the year in Mekate.com


An Agency Story.

My dear fellow mekateers! It’s been a while since I last posted an entry in Mekate, so I promise to

make an effort to post regularly.

I have to confess though that sometimes the main reason why a blogger stops writing is

becausehe/she feels he/she has nothing really important and valuable to share. 

But now though, boy do I have the perfect material to share with you! t is the thoughts and points of

view of 237 bloggers worldwide who through and enormous collaborative work, participated as 

co-authors of the new book  The Age of Conversation 2: why don’t’ they get it. 

So starting today I will try to frequently share and discuss with you the insights, take aways and

points of view I get from reading each chapter in the book.

Now, please take note that I will not be publishing the chapters here, If you want to read the book

(and believe me, you do) you should purchase it on lulu.com, there are two versions, hard cover and


Plus if you buy it you’ll be participating with a great cause, since all sales are being donated to

Variety International Children’s Charity.

Well let’s get to it! As you might know, from reading my blog The daily and the not so, for me one of
the most important skills in any professional is his/her attitude and ability to connect, sympathize and empathize with their clients, peers and people in general.

So it is no surprise that the first chapter I’ve chosen to share with you I the one written by Cam Beck, titled “An Agency Story” in which Cam narrates a very common but very often overlooked incident that frequently happens in Advertising agencies and organizations in general; specially with the bigger, more successful and famous ones, when the people who work for them, fall in love with their own voice and can’t stop talking about them and their company, some times even making it seem as if they were doing their clients a favor by working for them, instead of really listening to their client’s needs which, more often than not, turn out to be not what we supposed they would be: 

“Thank you, that’s all well and good. You’ve convinced me that you have reached the pinnacle of your industry. You are obviously proud — and you have every reason to be. Agencies, not only in the United States, but in the entire world should be envious of the awards you’ve received.” “But while you prattled on to brag about all the awards you received, you completely ignored my needs. You didn’t even ask what was wrong. A few questions and a little troubleshooting would have helped you make your case…”
Cam Beck, Age of Conversation 2: why don’t they get it. Page 72. 

Want to know what the client’s problem really was? Don’t forget getting AOC2 and read it on page 72.


And in the mean time, do not forget that no matter how big, successful or rich your company or the 

organization you work for is, in the end people doesn’t necessarily want to work with the most famous, powerful or richer ones. People want to do business with the people they like to interact with. And the best way to get people to like interacting with you is sympathizing and empathizing with them, having a great attitude that generates value for them, and you can only do this by closely listening to them, paying attention to their needs and not talking just to listen to your own beautiful voice.




My theme for 2009.

Rather than coming up with a list of potentially broken and abandoned promises just after one month of having made them, in January of 2008 I took the advice from my friends Phil Gerbyshak and Pam Thomas to create a theme or an umbrella concept to guide my actions through out the year. My theme then was to connect with people, which for me meant to establish a bigger stronger network, establish new friendships and strengthen my current ones, empathize with those around me, open my heart and mind to others to share and collaborate. 
And I have to say it worked wonderfully!

I had very important achievements as a result of following this suggestion, like being a co-author/collaborator of the book The Age of Conversarion 2, deliver special keynotes at important conferences like Adictos a la Publicidad 10 (Addicted to Advertising 10) y Enlace Empresarial 2008 (Entrepreneurial link 2008) (both from ITESM), Empresas 2.0 (organizations 2.0) with Dattatec or delivering a great Marketing & innovation seminar for The Walt Disney Co. México.

Now the time has come to work on this task again. Time to meditate on the achievements obtained under this theme and on the challenges I’ve yet to conquer, and just like everything in life, evolve and take the next step.

So here it is, my theme for 2009 (Best year yet!)


Development, Leadership & Collaboration on Marketing & Communication.

This for me means to work helping develop great talented leaders in the Advertising and Communication industry mainly, but always open to work with other categories as well. Collaborating with different organizations and individuals who, like me, are convinced that the most important resource any company will ever have is it’s people who, with our talent, creativity, hard work and commitment make the companies we work for, the success they are.

And you know what? The best thing about defining a life theme for the year is that, not only do we set ourselves a clear direction, but we also can make sure we get to do what we like the most and are the best at doing, in my case things like:

  • Participating as speaker at important events, conferences and seminars on digital marketing, advertising and communication, social media, personal branding, etc.
  • Writing and sharing ideas (my own and other’s) with the readers who visit my blog and with whom I also connect and share at mekate.com, Twitter, Facebook, Linked-in, etc.
  • Growing and strengthening my network so I’m able to collaborate with more people.
  • Participating as teacher at schools and organizations like El Semillero.
  • Providing great coaching and advice to clients, friends and colleagues on leadership, digital marketing and communication. 

Plus it also helps us clarify what are the things that matter the most in our life, like our family, our home, our health and following our calling.

Defining a life theme for the whole year, although it does takes some time to reflect and analyze, is easier than it seems. All it takes is being clear on what our passion or calling is, knowing our greatest strengths and areas for development and determine, based on the previous, how far we want to get.

So you haven’t defined yours, so what! This is the best time to start!

And to get the ball rolling I’d like to tag and invite my friends: @philgerbyshak, @themarketingguy, @whatswithinu, @DrewMcLellan and @mitchjoel to share their 2009 theme.

 Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pixieclipx/3154655658/


An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.