Samuel Hon and I have something in common: a passion for both personal branding and inbound marketing. This is hardly surprising. In fact, I cannot think of a more powerful combination for any digital-era, social-media-savvy professional to reach his goals than the determined and clever use of these two relatively new concepts and their associated tools.
The ultimate goal of personal branding is to establish a credible online presence that reflects our unique style and values and carves a niche for us personally and professionally on the Internet and the the social media. That of inbound marketing is to attract potential customers through generating quality contents directed at our target audience. Both are relatively inexpensive yet labour intensive and require great doses of creativity, flexibility and determination. And they are hardly short-term efforts.
Anyone looking for a Personal Branding 101 experience should peruse Samuel’s portfolio. In a crisp, no-nonsense and visually enticing way, Samuel manages to transmit a powerful personal branding message through the adroit use of testimonials, samples of his work and a nicely-put-together biography that transmits the core messages of professionalism, credibility, creativity and friendliness (check that picture again!) – all within a designer format bound to attract the more artsy types.
A great example of personal branding in action. Source: www.samuelhon.com
If you will, please compare his colours and layout with mine. I am an online reputation and strategy pro extremely active in the social networks whose purchasing clients are largely 40+, haven’t got digital DNA and in most cases are not particularly well-versed in the latest social media trends. The choice of colour, the picture and the use of widgets and the sidebar seek to present my message in the most user-friendly and least disconcerting way for the people who will ultimately decide whether I can lecture in their school, give a conference in their event or take care of their online reputation (by the way, just like Samuel I am also very friendly!).
It is at this point that inbound marketing makes a grand entrance. For once we have established and refined our personal branding credentials it is the turn to apply inbound marketing strategies and techniques – the magnet – to attract leads to our page and social media profiles. And we do that by segmenting our message, focusing on the right keywords, creating communities of followers and fans and contributing to the debate with quality content that adds value.
Please notice how Samuel showcases his work in Flickr, keeps an updated blog and is particularly active in Twitter. I am especially interested in his blog (this blog!) because it shows how inbound marketing and personal branding are mutually reinforcing. As a company blog, the format is different from his portfolio and yet you always know where you are (the HON logo being a great giveaway!). The design and the layout are clean, modern, pleasant to the eye and a welcoming invitation to get involved.
Samuel and I live thousands of miles apart and yet face the same challenges in this ever-changing, rapidly-expanding online world. They are, by the way, the same challenges YOU face to reach your goals on the World Wide Web and the social media. We have found the best framework to create a compelling presence that produces results. In the process, we have not ‘sold out’ our souls but remained true to ourselves. I very much hope you will join Samuel and I in this adventure and look forward to interacting with you soon.
Guest Post By Oscar Del Santo, Spain: One of the trailblazers of Online Reputation Management in Spain, Oscar Del Santo is a 2.0 polymath noted as an online strategist, inbound marketing evangelist, trainer and key speaker in national and international events. Recently listed as one of the 70 most influential Spanish Twitterrers, he is currently researching and introducing the ‘Enterprise 2.0’ model in business schools across the country.