My advance review copy of “Me 2.0” arrived a few weeks ago. It went on my stack of books to read and review until about three people asked me the following questions about personal branding:
- How do you create a personal brand?
- How do you use social media to manage your personal brand?
- If you don’t own your own business, why is a personal brand important?
Obviously the topic of personal branding was on their minds. Maybe it’s on your mind too. This is why I decided to drop everything and give you a review of Dan Schawbel’s “Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.”
Who Should Read This Book?
If you’re currently looking for a full time job — This is a terrific book for you. If you’re a Gen Y looking for your first job, you will find practical tips and tricks for overcoming the “lack of experience” challenge in Chapter Five’s “Discover Your Brand.” If you’re a more experienced job-seeker who needs to look into a different industry, this chapter will help you re-position yourself for an industry that might be faring better in today’s economy.
“Ask yourself the following questions:
What are my favorite activities? What are the top five personality attributes I’d use to describe myself? What are the top five words others might use to describe me?”
Independent business owners, consultants and freelancers – You will find wonderfully practical tips on creating and communicating their brand using social media tools. Dan includes a wonderful “Blog Success Checklist” to make sure that your brand-building using a blog is painless and successful:
- Get a feedreader and subscribe to 10 blogs
- Determine your niche
- Register YourName.com – yes that means your name like www.anitacampbell.com or www.ivanataylor.com.
- Select a platform (WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, etc.)
- Choose a logo and a theme
- Etc. … you’ll have to get the book to see the rest.
Small businesses looking for broader networking reach — Does this describe you and your business? If so, you will find “The Popular Social Networking Sites” chart a great summary of the biggest and best social networking sites and how to use them to increase your sphere in influence and build your network.
You’ll get the name of the site i.e. Facebook, the type of site that it is i.e. social networking, and an easy to follow description of the audience and how you might want to use the site. Example: “Facebook’s audience were once college students but has since gravitated toward business, allowing users to fuse their personal and professional lives together.”
How to Read Me 2.0
You don’t have to read this book from cover to cover. It is so well organized that you can look at the table of contents and turn to the chapter you want to learn about and never skip a beat.
The book is divided into three parts:
- Part I: “The Rise of Personal Branding,” which gives you a little history. This is where you get your first clue that this book is targeted toward younger job seekers who are looking to build a career. But PLEASE don’t let that turn you away from this book, if that doesn’t describe you. If you’re still a little confused about all this social media stuff and want to figure out how it fits into your marketing strategy – you need to read this section.
- Part II: “Command Your Career in Four Steps,” This is by far my favorite section as well as the meat of the book. This is where you will get all the how-to guides and resources to discover, create, communicate and manage your personal brand. This is the section you will keep coming back to. It isn’t long, but it’s loaded. I’ve already got sticker tabs on mine and I’ve only been looking at this for a few days.
- Part III: “Now You Have Command.” This section goes through a series of success stories of young “Brand Commanders.” I have to admit, I didn’t put as much focus on this section but I will go back to it because there are lots of interesting ideas and personal branding strategies that you might be able to adapt for yourself – so check that out too.
A Little About Dan Schawbel
Dan Schawbel is the publisher of “Personal Branding Magazine.” When you take his suggestion and type “Dan Schawbel” into Google you’ll see that he practices what he preaches. His award-winning “Personal Branding Blog” comes up first. And my favorite section of the blog is his tab called “Quote Me” where he lists some of his favorite things to say like “Be the real you because everyone else is taken and replicas don’t sell for as much.”
That quote alone should inspire you to take your personal branding and online reputation very seriously.
Just because you’re taking personal branding seriously doesn’t mean you have to make it hard — Me 2.0 makes personal branding easy.
Go and get your hands on “Me 2.0” and “Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.”
* * * * *
About the Author: Ivana Taylor is CEO of Third Force, a strategic firm that helps small businesses get and keep their ideal customer. She’s the co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers” and proprietor of DIYMarketers, a site for in-house marketers. Her blog is Strategy Stew.
Thank you, Ivana, for the excellent review. I hear so much these days about building a personal brand. It’s important for employees as well as entrepreneurs.
Everyone is talking about Dan’s book, it seems, so I’m looking forward to reading it myself.
Great name, too: Me 2.0.
This is funny, I am writing on a new blog post right now, and I was thinking of mentioning Me 2.0 and personal branding. I have been building my EGO (I in Latin) brand for 6+ years (7th birthday on May 7) and I am now in the process to discuss this topic in more detail on my upcoming sole proprietorship business site called EgoSoleTrader.com. I am planning to publish an e-pamphlet on how you have to have a philosophical foundation in order to build your personal brand.
“Be the real you because everyone else is taken and replicas don’t sell for as much.”
You have to be an genuine individual in order to stand out in the crowd and you have to see other individuals as potential business traders by applying the benevolent universe premise.
I have had my Martin.Lindeskog.name bulletin board site for some time. The .name domain could fit well with the branding aspect.
I have registered Name-Day.Me for a business idea that I have been “chewing” since 1997. It is all about celebration of the private person and individual on a daily basis, i.e., you celebrate a specific “name-day” every day. This tradition is common in some European and Scandinavian countries, e.g., Sweden, Finland, Greece and Hungary, but I haven’t seen it in North America.
Thanks for the review, it will be on my list for next book purchase.
Another excellent review from you, Ivana! I will help you spread the word. 😉
Personal branding was a topic in our last #DIYMKT tweet chat on Monday. It seems that everyone has opinions, but few have a process that yields results. You all know how big I am in having a simple, check list or process and that’s what I love most about Me 2.0.
I know Dan has been writing this for a while – probably before this economic situation displaced so many people, but Millenials and Gen Y’s aren’t the only one’s who need to brush up on personal brand to land that next gig.
Do you have a transcript of the #DIYMKT tweet chat? I will get “Me 2.0” a.s.a.p in order to have further material for my forthcoming e-pamphlet.
Great review. Your reviews give me a nice sense of the content before making the purchase. I hate nothing more than buying a book and finding it not helpful. Thank you for taking the time to read these and providing your insight.
I have been using social media for several months and only now have I have been using it to promote my biz life coaching. I realize it is socially oriented and over using it as a marketing tool is not wise.
It’s interesting that the rise of personal branding is taking on such a ‘front’ postion. I’ve been working in marketing, sales and management for about 25 years (plus) and I’ve built a pretty strong reputation in my industry. With the introduction of social media for work (is that an oxymoron?), it means building an online reputation that’s as strong as my offline brand. Thanks for the referral to a good book on the subject.
Thanks for the blog post on personal branding. I’ll soon be joining the ranks of “independent contractor” and am currently pondering the whole branding issue. I’ll be following your footsteps, using my blog to build my brand in the areas of real estate and home financing. Still in the infantile stage, I hope to be as successful as you we’ll see
Ivana — We tend to always think of a brand as a company’s product or service, not that it pertains to us as an individual, as an expert, as a business person. So your review, and this book, certainly offer some hidden insights into thinking this way as a small biz owner or solopreneur. Thanks for the quick overview of the book.
Your review also reminded me of the importance of a good domain name — for your own brand. I bought TJMcCue.com years ago and then my son’s name, too, as it is a small investment to make if domains age like fine wine…
Thanks for writing this review. Personal branding seems to have taken on a life of its own in the past year.
With the growth of social networks and blogs it is critical to know what your reputation is. One could kick butt 95% of the time and create stellar results but that 5% could destroy your reputation.
Recently there have been several high profile faux paux highlighted on Twitter. It is important to know that one made an error and to quickly address it. To not do so is to let your reputation tank.
Next time I am at a bookstore I’ll be sure to look for “Me 2.0.”
Thanks far sharing a solid synopsis of Dan’s book.
that s powerful brand career success . Personal branding seems to have taken on a life of its own in the past year.