Have A Little Fun. Life Is Too Short.

Your Brand, Your Responsibility Part 3 of 3 – Leveraging Your Brand 

Important rule of leveraging your brand: When you give a date to post the last of your 3 part blog series stick to it. 

I seemed to have failed at this simple rule. Those that have been following this blog post series will notice that this installment is two weeks late. I could just chalk this up to being clever. I could say I was merely demonstrating what not to do. That, however, would be a lie, and honestly is a big part of a trusted brand. Instead, I will just apologize, not give excuses, and promise to make sure this does not happen in the future. No matter how many commitments I have made. 

Let’s carry on.

Your brand is created and you are actively managing it on a daily basis, Right? Great! This is the moment the real fun starts and the profits of your efforts are rewarded. Trust me, this is going to be the part that captures you. The part that gives this whole virtual world meaning.

“One can survive everything nowadays, except death, and live down anything, except a good reputation.”
~ Oscar Wilde

IRL is the real key

Get out! You’ve spent so much time sitting in front of that computer screen, it’s time to get out of the house. Try a little IRL or “In Real Life” time. What is the purpose of interacting online with all these new connections if you aren’t going to actually do something with those relationships? Get out!

Before you start roaming aimlessly around the country roads starting one sided conversations with interesting bovine, let me be more clear. 

Most of the “movers and shakers” of the social world are known for creating in person networking opportunities. Usually based around common interests these events offer you boundless chances to leverage your brand. You will normally be able to find events near you by searching sites like Meetup.com, Eventful.com, and Eventbrite.com. Of course, there may be other sites in your area as well.

I am lucky enough to live in a city full of these movers and shakers and never have a lack of events to attend. Through these events I’ve gained some great friends, learned enormous amounts of new knowledge, and acquired countless leads. 

My favorite events in Charlotte are branches of:

These events are designed to educate and entertain. I love them so much that I even plan on pitching an idea for a speech at the next Ignite Charlotte. I’ll update this blog if and when that happens. Maybe you can come and see if I can “enlighten” you.

Things to remember about leveraging your brand at IRL events; Look nice, Be respectful, Stay mostly sober. The people who attend IRL events are there to find resources, but they are also there to find outstanding friendships at the same time. There is nothing that will deflate all the work you have put in faster than a tattered looking soul who is rude and drunk. You need the world to look forward to being around you and anxious to do business with you. Other than that, all you need to do is show up and smile while being open and interesting. 

You have something special to offer, get out and make it available and accessible.

Collaborate Freely

Collaboration will get you everywhere. We all have our strengths and we all have our weaknesses. By working together to create something special we can build on each other’s strengths to create something remarkable together. You are out meeting the best around so partner with them and showcase your talents. There is nothing wrong with making each other look good. 

A great example of collaboration comes from one of the founders of modern social media as we know it today, YouTube. Since it’s birth in 2005, YouTubers have actively engaged in collaboration. More than a few garnished an impressive resume of accomplishments because of it as well. These pioneers used the same methods of brand creation and management to leverage their success.  

Rummage through YouTube for Nerdfighters, Project for Awesome, DFTBA, Chameleon Circuit, Vidcon, Digitour, and so much more. These are all projects and movements started by YouTubers coming together to make a difference in the world and have their talents seen. Their success have been astounding and inspiring. 

YouTubers have their own way of networking in real life. They call their events “Gatherings.” It’s an event designed to expose new members of the YouTube community to those that have paved the way before them. However, from these gathering have sprung the most amazing friendships and works of art. It’s all a part of getting out and being active and social. 

Make An Impact

Since I just mentioned Project for Awesome I will have to find another example for this point. That’s not hard. I’ll just look closer to home. 

If you follow the business world then I am sure you heard about Chiquita’s move of headquarters to Charlotte, NC. Charlotte can thank more than just smart business decisions for that decision. Charlotte can thank Brian D. Francis of CLTblog for his  #Bananas4CLT campaign. 

Now I am in no way claiming that Chiquita’s management based their decision solely on a bunch of tweets. No, I am positive there were many factors looked into and discussed in a Cincinnati boardroom. Yet, Chiquita’s own social media savvy CEO Fernando Aguirre did mention how impressed he was with the campaign and the response from Charlotte. Now Brian D. Francis can claim at least some personal satisfaction for 400 jobs in our city. 

Not bad

Never Get Comfortable

This isn’t the end all be all by any means. Social Media is like an active volcano. It’s surrounding landscape and level of activity is constantly changing. So there really is only one last thing that I can leave you with:

Keep buggering on, reinventing yourself, and never, EVER, get comfortable. 

What would you like me to expand on from this series? Please send me your request at david@redbolling.com. Or send a message to any of my Social Media sites Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or My Website.

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