Personal Branding Business Lessons From The Republican Presidential Debates

Personal Branding Business Lessons From The Republican Presidential Debates

Business man holding a cut out sign of the facebook cursor

Personal Branding Lessons For Business People

Watching the Republican presidential debate tonight, I took note of how the candidates’ personal brands played out. Here are 3 personal brand lessons business people can learn from just a few of them.

Donald Trump: To Thy Known Brand Be True

As Popeye famously said, “I am what I am.” Whether you consider him to be a breath of fresh air or a blow hard, no one can deny that Trump is always (without apology) “the Donald.”

No matter the stage (be it on a presidential campaign or as a tough boss on The Apprentice), he embraces his personal brand and wears it proudly. Trump’s consistency in his personal brand campaign style and talking points reinforces and solidifies his brand image.

Chris Christie: Show, Don’t Tell

In last night’s debate, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said:

  • “I’ll be able to fire a whole bunch of IRS agents.”
  • “When President Christie is in the oval office, I will have your back.”
  • “It is suffocating small business; it is suffocating the folks who are trying to make a living.”

These statements are both emotional and visual in nature — which also makes them memorable. Governor Christie didn’t just give statistics and facts; he consistently answered questions by weaving together stories, strategies and even humor.

Christie knows how to paint a picture, and this has the impact of making his personal brand feel more dimensional than some of his more one-note opponents.

Marco Rubio: The Power of Personal Story

As he did in the previous debate, Rubio referred to his mother being a maid and his father being a bartender. He’s talked about growing up with modest means, his Cuban immigrant family and recent financial struggles. In short, he is the living embodiment of the America Dream — in action.

Later in the debate, he remarked again about the importance of vocational training. Coming from his background, he has the credibility to say it. Rubio makes himself accessible and authentic by connecting his personal story to his points of view.

In Personal Branding – Even The Small Stuff Counts 

The Washington Examiner recently did a post on the personality of the 2016 presidential candidates using an online Twitter evaluation tool called Analyze Words. The tool looks at emotional, social and thinking styles — based on each candidate’s recent tweets. Among the Republican results:

  • Jeb Bush appears to be an optimist.
  • Ben Carson is upbeat — but with a low analytic thinking style.
  • Marco Rubio scored high for “in the moment” thinking.

I don’t think that tweets (which may or may not have been written by the candidates themselves) are the best indication of a contender’s brand. I do, however, feel that much can be learned from listening to how the candidates respond under the pressure of fast-paced questioning.

A Personal Brand Is Not Static

While Donald Trump may be the current Republican front runner, a recent likability poll from McClatchy-Marist reported that 49% of Republicans said that the more they hear Trump — the less they like him. By contrast, in that same poll, 58% of Republicans surveyed said the more they hear Marco Rubio, the more they like him.

The lesson here? A personal brand is not made (or broken) by one meeting, one interview, one action or one debate. If the presidential candidates don’t know that already — they’re about to find out.

This article is copyrighted by Karen Leland and cannot be reprinted in any form, electronic or otherwise, without the express written permission of Karen Leland.

Karen Leland is President of Sterling Marketing Group, a branding and marketing strategy and implementation firm. She works with individuals, businesses and teams to enhance their business and personal brands. Her clients include LinkedIn, American Express, Apple, Marriott Hotels and others. Her ninth book, The Brand Mapping Strategy: Design, Build and Accelerate Your Brand, is due out from Entrepreneur Press in May of 2016. Pre order on Amazon.com now.

 

 

 

 

Are You Sick and Tired Of Counting Characters?

Are You Sick and Tired Of Counting Characters?

Lately I’ve been realizing that small and insignificant, but necessary, items eat up a significant portion of my worktime. For example – counting the amount of characters or words I’m using when composing something. Character limits are all the rage these days.  For example:

Pinterest gives you 500 characters for a description

• Twitter 140 for a tweet

• Title tags have no limit but only display 70 characters

• Meta descriptions have no limit but only first 155 characters are displayed in Google search results

• Description tags on LinkedIn longer than 225 characters will be truncated (oouch)

• Facebook only displays the first 300 characters of a description

• Online contact information is often limited to a certain amount of characters or words

While I recognize the necessity of limiting would be Leo Tolstoy’s from trying to turn their Pinterest profile into War and Peace, it can be very annoying to craft the perfect tweet only to discover it’s 6 characters over the limit.  

 

wordcount
 

So if you’re tired of cutting and pasting or checking your word/character count every ten seconds to insure that you stay within the prescribed limit, check out one of the these many free services on the web. Just type in your text, click and there you have it, your total word or character count.  Here are a few to check out:

www.lettercount.com/ A bonus with this site is they provide a whole how to on writing with fewer letter including a recommended reading list of great authors who wrote short.

www.mylettercounter.com/

www.charcounter.com/ This site lets you count with or without white spaces.

Whichever of these sites you use, to tighten your text do the following:

 • Substitute longer words with something shorter. For example instead of saying using beneficial say useful – a savings of  4 characters.

 • Remember to take into account any hashtags or URL’s you plan on including, so you don’t use up all your characters on the message itself.

 • Shorten your sentences, but make them complete. That’s the challenge, to sound smart and snappy all at the same time. 

 • Remain keyword rich. A limit on words or characters is no excuse to just throw keywords to the wind. Pick at least one and place it in your text.

Believe it or not, just using a simple tool such as a character counter can shave minutes off of the time it takes to compose a tweet or write a Pinterest description.

And in a world where 140 characters can make or break a news story, every minute counts.  

For more time management tips check out my book Time Management In An Instant.

For more tips on using Pinterest  check out my new book  Entrepreneur Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Pinterest for Business

Karen Leland is the best-selling author of eight business books and president of Sterling Marketing Group , where she works with executives, high-end entrepreneurs, small businesses and Fortune 500 companies to build their personal, team and business brands.

How to Deal with Negative Online Reviews

How to Deal with Negative Online Reviews

True confessions: When I first started blogging about a decade ago, I wrote a post for a top 10 website where I made what I thought was an innocent off-the-wall comment, meant to be (at least in my mind) somewhat humorous. Let me tell you, the barrage of hate email I got scared me to death and almost had me quit my keyboard clacking for good!

This is a short excerpt from a blog post I did for Entrepreneur.com.  Read the rest of the post.

Dos and Don’ts for your Profile Photo

Dos and Don’ts for your Profile Photo

If you’re one of those people who thinks that the new year is a good time to post an updated profile picture to your Pinterest page and other social media sites, I would agree. Visuals are a key component of many social networks. Let’s face it: We have all shaken our heads those unfortunate profile photos of people doing tequila shots in their bathrobe. Don’t let this be you.

This is a short excerpt from a blog post written for Entrepreneur.com. Read the rest of the article.

Pinterest Boards to Boost Your Brand

Pinterest Boards to Boost Your Brand

As a growing number of consumers jump on the Pinterest bandwagon, the opportunities to use the social-media site for business have grown exponentially.  What is Pinterest? The bulletin-board-style social image sharing website is a relatively new social-media phenomenon, created just two years ago and rapidly became one of the largest online social networks.

This is a short excerpt from a blog post written for Entrepreneur.com. Read the rest of the article here.

Reporter Services Can Be Key To Media Coverage

Reporter Services Can Be Key To Media Coverage

In a survey, the Society of New Communications Research, explored how media and journalism are evolving. In the study, journalists reported using more social media in their reporting including:

  • 78% of the journalists surveyed said they use company websites in their reporting
  • 75% use Facebook
  • 69% use Twitter
  • 54% use online video
  • 31% use LinkedIn

In addition, 68% of journalists said that their reliance on social media has increased significantly, and 58% sometimes quote bloggers in stories.

So what does all this mean to the small business owner? It means that effective use of social media is key and critical to being found and written about by the press. But to score these PR points and get reporters to respond to you in the first place, it pays to be proactive by signing up for reporter services such as HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and ProfNet.

At least three times a day, I diligently check my email for queries from these sites showcasing serious reporters looking for qualified sources. I comb through the postings journalists have placed and respond with my best pitch — promoting myself, or one of my clients, as the perfect person to fit the bill.

While services such as ProfNet and HARO can provide you with the opportunity to connect with reporters from top-tier media outlets, the chances of a writer using you as a source increase when you respond in the right ways, including:

Go straight to the point and give the reporter what they ask for up front. If they request your two best tips, send them. Don’t tell the reporter to call you or email you for them.

Make your bio short and specific. Avoid submitting endless paragraphs on all your fabulous achievements since grade school — reporters don’t have the time to sort through it all. To get their attention, write a few short sentences that show the journalist exactly why you would be a good source for their story and what, specifically, makes you an authority on the topic.

Respond right away. Whenever possible, respond to a posted inquiry within two hours. Yes, I know you’re busy, and you have a life, but most reporters get hundreds of responses to a single request and are usually on a tight deadline. After a certain point, they stop looking. So if you want to be seen, be among the first to respond.

While a well-written response to a reporter’s query can’t guarantee you a call back every time, just keeping these few small things in mind when you do reply can help you score big more often.

Have you used reporter services? What results have you had? What has worked best? We would love to hear your comments.