9 Free Tools that Boost Your Brand and Career

Free Tools that Boost Your Brand and Career

I am often asked what tools  I use to power the Career Pivot business. You will find that you can use these same free (or nearly free) tools to boost your brand and career.

Remember—you are a brand and you need to promote your brand.

I have used each of the tools I will recommend for at least six months. I have no affiliation with any of these companies.

Let’s get started with my top free or nearly free tools.

Canva

Canva toolsThe Canva about page states the following:

Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.

We have been using Canva to build and modify the graphics in blog posts. I am artistically challenged, but even I was able to create the image to the right using Canva and purchasing a $1 stock photo from them.

Canva is a powerful web-based graphics tool, and there is no need to install software. If you use your own images, it is free for most of the functionality. If you use one of Canva’s stock images, the cost is $1 or nearly free.

You no longer need Adobe Photoshop to create great graphic images.

ScheduleOnce

ScheduleOnce is one of the best tools I have ever used. It integrates with my Google Calendar and allows me to publish times when clients and prospects can schedule appointments. It works with a variety of calendars.

The ScheduleOnce home page states:

ScheduleOnce is a field-proven solution for powering online scheduling with your customers and prospects.

ScheduleOnce is not free, but at $50 per year for the plus plan, it pays for itself in less than a week.

It is one of the top tools in my arsenal.

LinkedIn Publisher

LinkedIn Publisher is LinkedIn’s blogging platform. I republish successful blog posts from the Career Pivot website on LinkedIn Publisher every two weeks. There are three main advantages to LinkedIn Publisher:

  1. After you publish, all of your connections and followers are informed that you published a post. I currently have over 14,000 followers.
  2. Your posts are prominently  displayed in your LinkedIn profile. You can view my posts by clicking here.
  3. If your post is selected for a LinkedIn Pulse Channel, then your exposure grows exponentially. If you want to know how to get selected for the Pulse Channel, read my post Getting Noticed – LinkedIn Publisher and Shareability.

LinkedIn Publisher is a platform for you to demonstrate your knowledge. There is no cost to use LinkedIn Publisher.

Gmail

When you e-mail me at CareerPivot.com, you are actually e-mailing a Gmail account. I have a corporate account at $50 per year, but this works for free accounts, too. You can have your own domain and host your e-mail on Gmail for free.

Why would you want to use Gmail?

I had major problems with SPAM that went away when I started using Gmail. All of my e-mail is now in the cloud. When my hard drive on my Apple MacBook Pro decided to die, all of my e-mails were still in the cloud. I lost nothing. Plus, there are a plenty of free add-on tools that make using Gmail a no brainer.

For a $50/year corporate account and one e-mail address, I get 1 TB of space on Google Drive and access to a range of other bundled services. It is a bargain.

rapportive toolsRapportive

Rapportive is  free browser plugin for Gmail. When you display an e-mail or move your cursor to an e-mail address, Rapportive will display the social media accounts associated with the e-mail address in the right hand column of the Gmail screen.

As you can see in the image to the right, it displays all of the contact information from LinkedIn which, in this case, includes:

  • Name
  • E-Mail Address (blurred out in this example)
  • Headline
  • Current Positions

This makes it very easy to reach out to the individual with a single click on LinkedIn icon.

MailChimp

MailChimp is an e-mail automation platform that is primarily used by individuals and small business. If you subscribe to this blog, the e-mails you receive come from MailChimp. You can use MailChimp for free with a list of up to 2,000 e-mail addresses.

It is very easy to use, and I did not have to pay for the first 24 months I was in business.

Buffer

Buffer—or BufferApp is one of my favorite tools. Buffer allows you to drip feed content onto a variety of your social media platforms. You set up a schedule for each platform it supports. This includes:

  • LinkedIn
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Facebook
  • Facebook Pages
  • Twitter

You can use up to three for free. There is a free plugin for a variety of browsers that allows you to schedule content directly into one or more social media platforms. Push the button in the browser, and a dialog box will launch like the one below.

bufferapp tools

When you read something interesting, it is a push of a button away to share it on multiple social media platforms.

Crowdfire

I use Crowdfire to grow my Twitter following. You can use Crowdfire from either your computer’s browser or a mobile app.

Crowdfire allows you to:

  • Find inactive users and your unfollowers – unfollow them if you wish to
  • Find relevant users to follow using their insightful “Copy Followers” feature
  • Keep track of how your social media updates affect your follower/unfollower stats

I copy followers from contemporaries like @careersherpa, @avidcareerist, and @nextavenue. I have grown my Twitter following from 6,000 to 20,000 in the last year. It only takes me 5 minutes a day.

I have a paid account, but a free account limits the number of followers you can copy and unfollow each day to 200—which is enough for most of my readers.

RebelMouse

If you traverse over to my BoomerJobTips page, you will find a beautifully constructed page of posts from around the Internet. The page is constructed using RebelMouse. The BoomerJobTips page pulls these posts from my Twitter stream, where the #boomerjobtips appears in a tweet by @careerpivot.

You can pull content from RSS feeds, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, LinkedIn, Flickr, and other tools. I configured RebelMouse once, then leaved it alone. The BoomerJobTips page is updated regularly and I do nothing more.

I believe there is still a free option, but I pay about $70 annually for the entry level service, which allows me to embed the content directly onto my web page. You can see the BoomerJobTips page in it’s native form here.

Free or Nearly Free Tools

All of these tools, with the exception of ScheduleOnce, has a free option. The free options will meet the requirements for 95% of my readers. If you need to upgrade, you will find all of these tools are quite affordable.

These tools can be used to promote your personal brand. The cost to you is next to nothing.

What are you waiting for?

Which of these tools are you going to try?

Did I miss any tools? What do you use?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

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You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Brand New You Show – Personal Branding – Guest Post

Brand New You Show with Ryan Rhoten

Brand New YouToday we welcome to the BRAND New You show Marc Miller founder of career pivot.com.

Note from Marc: This is a condensed version of the interview I gave to Ryan Rhoten for the Brand New You show. The recording can be accessed below.

Career Pivot was selected as one of the top 100 career websites and has been featured on Forbes.com, CBS money watch, and US News and World report.

Marc is a career design specialist who helps baby boomers design a strategy of manageable pivots in order to help them move towards a career they can grow with and be fulfilled with for decades.

No stranger to career pivots himself, Marc has personally made 6 of them including stints at IBM, two successful start-ups in Austin TX, teaching math in an inner-city high school and even working for a local non-profit.

He is the author of Repurpose your career – A practical guide for Baby boomers. In the book, Marc provides a roadmap for boomers who are looking to find a career they can grow into and that meets their needs.

In His latest book which is called Personal Branding for baby boomers – Marc answers personal branding questions such as What is it, how to manage it and why it’s no longer an option.

Marc, Welcome to the brand new you show.

Recommended book(s) for the show

Since I believe that reading is a necessary part of becoming a BRAND New You, I ask all of my guests what non-fiction book are you either reading now or just recently finished.

Dustin is currently reading a book written by Greg McKeown called:

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Affiliate link)

Summary from Amazon – The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done.  It is not  a time management strategy or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.

CAREER PROGRESSION

Today Marc is a career design specialist, but this wasn’t always the case. He started his career out like many other baby boomers by becoming an employee and working for a corporation.

Using what was then the formula for career success Marc spent the first twenty plus years of his career working at IBM.

In Marc’s words he “wandered around” IBM for those years holding progressively successful roles with the company.

Marc’s career trajectory was on the rise until it was impacted by a major event which we discuss during the show.

After this event, Marc started to ask a lot of questions his position in life. These questions led him into his own career pivots and ultimately to founding Career Pivot.com.

Since founding Career Pivot Marc has written two books:

Repurpose your Career – A practical guide for baby boomers (affiliate link)

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What it is, How to manage it and Why it’s no longer optional (affiliate link)

CAREER PIVOT AND PERSONAL BRANDING FOR BABY BOOMERS

Marc looks at personal branding as being able to tell your story in an authentic way.  Not so long ago your personal brand was limited to your reputation within the “four walls” of the corporate office.

Today however with the internet and social media we compete with people from all over the world for the same positions. In these cases getting the next position or promotion comes down to your ability to help people answer this question:

“How do I know that you know your stuff?”

Some people see personal branding or telling your own story as self-promotion.  These folks were not raised to be self-promoters. Marc and I talk about a very simple philosophy he uses with his clients to get past this mental barrier.

Key Elements to building your Brand Story

When building your brand story Marc describes three key elements that make up every brand story. Each designed to help us tell our story in a compelling way.

Marc also discusses who should write our brand story and why it’s not who you think. We talk through the exact exercise Marc uses with his clients to help build their story.

We also discuss where to use your story once it’s written. Besides the obvious I think you’ll be surprised at some of the creative places Marc tells us where we can use our brand story.

1 – Strong Opening

Marc compares the strong opening to reading the headline or opening paragraph in a newspaper or magazine article. It’s something that makes you want to read the rest.

What is your opening? How do you grab someone’s attention?

2 – Memorable label

It might help to think of a memorable label as a tagline or phrase that makes it easier for others to remember you. This usually comes from brainstorming and self-reflection.

Knowing your common career thread will help you develop your memorable label.

3 – Brand theme

Your brand theme is the over-arching premise that ties your brand together. Marc offers three potential brand themes for us to consider.

> Major Event: Is a single “thing” or event that shapes you and your career. This major event is easily recognized by us and others.

> Common Theme: The common theme is something that “weaves” its way through our careers and is not typically something we can see on our own. We usually need help from others to see it.

> Proof Points: Specific “points” that can be highlighted to quickly tell your brand story and show others who you are.

These are usually things that you have done repeatedly  throughout your career.

The role of Blogging and Social Media in Personal Branding

Marc and I spend time discussing blogging and social media as well.  The benefits of blogging is something I’ve discussed many times both here on the blog and in other podcasts as well.

Marc talks about how blogging helps you demonstrate what you do and what you know. He gives some great examples of this from his clients.

Blogging also helps put our names “out there” which gets back to our earlier comments about self-promotion. This is where social media and blogging can work together in concert to help you get found.

Marc and I discuss how social media has completely changed the job search process. The way you find and get a job today is dramatically different than it was even five years ago.

Candidates should use social to be social and help others understand that they know their stuff. Use social to build real relationships like we discussed with David Fisher during our discussion on networking.

WRAP

Below are the best ways to get in touch with Marc and pick up a copy of his books.

Website: Career Pivot

Repurpose your Career – A practical guide for baby boomers (affiliate link)

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What it is, How to manage it and Why it’s no longer optional (affiliate link)

Marc leaves us with these final thoughts:

“Career reinvention is all about being introspective. It’s about knowing thyself.”

This post originally appeared on the Ryan Rhoten Brand New You Blog.

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Ryan RhotenThis post was written by Ryan Rhoten. Ryan is a personal branding coach who works with business professionals to build their personal brands both online and offline in order to grow their influence and impact their career. As the host of the BRAND New You Show podcast, Ryan interviews career coaches, recruiters and social media experts, in order to arm today’s job seeker with the latest tools and tactics required to become recognized in their field of expertise. The best way to reach Ryan is on Twitter @RyanRhoten

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

3 Personal Branding Tips for Baby Boomer Job Seekers

branding tipsBranding Tips

The concept of a personal brand is relatively new. In 2009, when we were in the middle of the great recession and the ideas for Career Pivot were germinating in my head, I picked up Dan Schawbel’s Book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. This was my  introduction to the term personal branding.

The concept of a personal brand became clear when I read the following quote:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

We all have a brand…whether we like it or not.

Personal Brand for Baby BoomersLet me give you a few simple branding tips that come from my new book, Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional.

Branding Tip #1 – Your LinkedIn Photograph

Your LinkedIn photo is absolutely critical. What does your current photograph say about you? If you are not sure, check out PhotoFeeler.com and get other people’s opinions about your current photograph.

I want you to consider three things about your photo:

  • Background – This is much more important than you think. Take a look at Jason Seiden’s article called, “What Profile Photo Works Best on LinkedIn: A Real-Life Experiment.”
  • Cropping your photograph – Headshot photographs are rectangular. Social media photographs are mostly square. Your headshot needs to be cropped. When you crop the photograph, does the background still convey the appropriate message? Check out my headshot and LinkedIn photograph from the book.
  • Color of your clothes – The color of your clothes has to be compatible with the background. If you are a guy, you may need to get help with this…like I did.

Branding Tip #2 – Your Brand Story

Your brand story tells the reader who you are—not what you have done. This should be written in 1st person. It is your story.

Who should write this story? NOT YOU!

In the book, I give you three methods for writing the story, but the actual writing should be done by someone other than you. It could be someone you hire, a friend, or a relative. I have had the best luck with adult daughters. They will brag on Mom or Dad with an insight few others have.

Your brand story should be placed in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile. The summary section is limited to 2,000 characters, therefore, this needs to be tightly edited and well written.

Branding Tip #3 – Rich Media Links

Each section of the LinkedIn profile allows you to upload content or link to content on the Internet. This is a great way to demonstrate what you know. This could include:

  • YouTube videos
  • Articles you’ve written
  • Work product
  • Product descriptions for items you’ve sold or serviced
  • Spreadsheets
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • LinkedIn Publisher posts
  • Links to personal websites

You should include anything that shows that you know your stuff.

If you are interested in more information on writing LinkedIn Publisher posts that work, read my recent Forbes article, Using LinkedIn Influencer To Build Your Personal Brand.

I recently had a client who included links to product descriptions of the multitude of sophisticated manufacturing machines he had sold within the previous 10 years. It was quite impressive. This was a major factor in him getting an interview for the job he was subsequently hired for.

If you follow these three branding tips, you will be long on your way to creating a personal brand that people will remember.

Plan on attending my FlexJobs Webinar: Leveraging LinkedIn to Get Noticed by Employers at Tuesday, October 13th at 1:00 p.m. (EST) to 2:00 p.m. (EST). Register here for the webinar.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

This post originally appeared on Flexjobs.com

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Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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PBfBB_kCover-02Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

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You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

The Dirty Little Secret Baby Boomers Need To Know

The Dirty Little Secret?

dirty little secretYes, there is a dirty little secret around personal branding and baby boomers. First, let me digress.

I was born in the mid 1950s. I started my career with IBM in the late 1970s. This thing we call personal brand did not exist. What did exist was your reputation. Your reputation was largely established by the good work you did. Your colleagues experienced working with you first hand.

I was raised to believe that if I worked hard, kept my nose clean, and obeyed the rules I would be rewarded accordingly. I was going to work for IBM for 30 years and then retire off into the sunset.

The problem was…they moved my cheese in the 1990s.

First, there was the rise of the Internet and then Social Media. Rather than competing for work with people in my company locally, I was competing for work worldwide with people both inside and outside of IBM.

I was first introduced to the concept of personal brand in 2009, when I picked up Dan Schawbel’s Book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.

The concept of personal branding became clear when I read the following quote:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

The kicker is that, in our hyper-connected world, people may say things about you when you have never been in the same room, city, country…or even continent!

The dirty little secret is that we all have a brand…whether we like it or not.

Personal Brand – We All Have One

I hear from a lot of folks my age:

I am not a brand, but a person!

My response is:

Get over it!

Personal Brand for Baby BoomersThis is why I wrote Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional. It is a step by step approach to defining your personal brand and then implementing those steps so that you can easily be found.

Step 1 is to define your personal brand. How do you want to be perceived?

Remember that, in the past, people only experienced you face to face. Now, people connect with you online. You need to define how you want to be perceived and then manage it. This is no longer optional!

What does your LinkedIn picture say about you?

Have you written you brand story?

How are you going to promote your brand? WHAT?! We were taught not to brag.

The dirty little secret is that you have a personal brand whether you like it or not.

Are you going to manage it?

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

This post originally appeared on Career Sherpa

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

————————————————

You can also download my latest white paper “Strategic Networking – A Career Pivot White Paper

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

What is a Personal Brand? – Guest Post

What is a Personal Brand?

This concept was introduced to me about three years ago. I remember hearing about it at a “how to use social media to find a job” workshop that I attended. I also was told that I needed to present this personal brand of mine on social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and your own webpage.

Personal Brand for Baby BoomersSo I as normally did when I wanted to find out more about something new, I spent time reading about creating your personal brand on the internet via blogs, career sites, books and talking to career counselors. I found out that the concept was hard to define and every expert person or document that I consulted seemed to have a different answer.

The information that I gathered about creating your personal brand told me to write about my likes and what I wanted to achieve but not necessarily create a list of my accomplishments and successes as you normally would do on a resume. It was to be a story about how and why I was in my current career, what were things that I liked doing, excelled at and made me the “go to person” in my field. And finally, the story would explain what I was passionate about and what did I want to do next.

In other words, I would have to bare my soul to the world to write my personal brand story.

Ok, this was a tall order for me.

Some Background

Let me back up and tell you a little bit about my background.

I am a baby boomer and an introvert. I went to college and picked my career that I was going to do for the rest of my life. Graduated from college and found my first couple of jobs but nothing stuck.

I found my third job at a company that I have been employed with for over 20 years. In my role for the company, I worked in a supportive role for most of the employees, did what I was told and worked for the greater good for the company. Accolades from clients or managers regarding a job well done were given out to the company. I learned a lot of interesting things, got to work on some amazing technical projects and meet all kinds of fascinating people. In other words, I followed the prescribed path to happiness and for a long time that was fine for me.

I was happy in my career at my company but I was beginning to grow restless and knew I wanted to more not only in my career but in my life in general. But I was having a hard time identifying what “more” was going to look like and how was I going to bring about those changes. About that time, I met Marc Miller, a Career Design Specialist, who specializes in helping baby boomers transition into their next careers. I was the poster child of his typical client.

Through Marc’s guidance and a series of probing questions, I was able to begin to identify how or why I was in my current career, what was I good at or excelled at, and finally was I passionate about anything? And if so, what would that look like?

So as I sat down to write my story, the empty page stared back at me and I just started to write and out came my story. There, I had told my story. My story was expression of my personal and professional reputation that was all my own. It was ready for me to share.

In Marc Miller’s new book, Personal Brand for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How To Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional, he will discuss his own personal experiences and explain the importance of a personal brand. He will guide you through the steps in this journey by encouraging you to reflect on your past and current experiences and help you navigate outside your comfort zone to create the personal brand that best reflects you.

Web-Rabaey, Elizabeth-5469-EditIf I can write my personal brand story, so can you. Share your journey, thoughts or reflections as you work through this process with me in the comment box below.

This post was written by Elizabeth Rabaey, a Baby Boomer herself, is a creative with a love for details. She has spent over 20 plus years working for environmental engineering and consulting companies providing project management and technical assistance on many innovative engineering projects. She has applied creative, literary and scientific skills to these projects to help the client maintain a profitable business operation and protect humans, health and the environment.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

————————————————

Check out my latest book which is available on Amazon.com!

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers: What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional

————————————————

You can also download my whitepaper “Don’t Retire Even If you Can and What to do Instead – A Baby Boomer Manifesto

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers is now available on Amazon.com!

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers

Personal Branding for Baby BoomersToday, Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional is available for purchase and download on Amazon.com.

Let me give you some background on how this book came about.

Personal Branding Concept

In 2009, when we were in the middle of the great recession and the ideas for Career Pivot were germinating in my head, I picked up Dan Schawbel’s Book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. This was my  introduction to the term personal branding.

I was on LinkedIn. I was also on Facebook, but only because my son was there. At this point, I was just starting to understand social media.

The concept of personal branding became clear when I read the following quote:

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon

We all have a brand…whether we like it or not.

The kicker is that, in our hyper-connected world, people may say things about you when you have never been in the same room, city, country…or even continent!

I got it!

Personal Branding Blog

In June of 2013, I was given the opportunity to contribute to Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog. For the next 18 months, I contributed to the discussion of personal branding, but from a baby boomer’s perspective.

I wrote many posts on the aspects of personal branding, all from an older and wiser perspective.

The Career Pivot white paper on personal branding was created from those posts, and released in 2014. I have to admit, I was surprised at the reaction. It was all positive—if not glowing.

What had I done?

I am a self described recovering engineer. I built a system for creating and managing your personal brand. You might call this a “recipe” for personal branding.

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers E-Book

With the help of my editor, LuAnn Glowacz, I added several additional chapters to the white paper, added action steps to each chapter, and multiple pages on the website which the book links to for images, videos and additional material.

Table of Contents

  • WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?
  • SHOULD BABY BOOMERS CARE ABOUT PERSONAL BRAND?
  • THREE KEY ELEMENTS OF YOUR BRAND STORY
  • THREE THEMES FOR WRITING YOUR BRAND STORY
  • YOUR BRAND STORY: WHO SHOULD WRITE IT?
  • ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY THROUGH BLOGGING
  • PERSONAL BRANDING USING SOCIAL MEDIA
  • THREE KEY ELEMENTS OF YOUR LINKEDIN PHOTOGRAPH
  • GET NOTICED: LINKEDIN PUBLISHER AND SHAREABILITY
  • WRITE A BOOK TO ESTABLISH YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
  • MAKE IT HAPPEN

Reviews

When I initiated the process of requesting reviews and quotes for the book, I was curious and a bit nervous about what people would say. Take a look at what leaders in my industry said:

Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0

“Establishing a personal brand is critical to career success regardless of age. Marc shows Baby Boomers why they should care about personal branding and how to craft their unique story and share it through social media so they get noticed.”

Kerry Hannon, career and retirement expert, author of Love Your Job: The New Rules for Career Happiness, What’s Next: Finding Your Passion and Your Dream Job in Your Forties, Fifties and Beyond and Great Jobs for Everyone 50+

“Rah-rah self-promotion is one of those things that makes Baby Boomers flinch. Building a ‘personal brand’ seems somehow crass. But stop right there. Career Coach Marc Miller has worked with hundreds of clients, and he knows firsthand that it’s non-negotiable for successful job seekers. In his new e-book Personal Branding for Baby Boomers, he has written an indispensable guide for people looking to learn why they need to take control of their personal brand in today’s workplace and how to do so in clear, actionable steps.”

Nancy Collamer, author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Retirement and founder of MyLifestyleCareer.com

Lots of experts talk about the importance of personal branding for career success, but Marc Miller teaches you how to make it happen. This quick read is chock-full of helpful resources, smart tips and easy-to-implement strategies that will empower you to grab control of your career and stand out from the competition.

Hannah Morgan, job search and social media strategist, Career Sherpa

Marc Miller’s book puts Boomers in the driver’s seat, providing a step-by-step resource to help capture the essence of a seasoned professional’s personal brand. As Miller says, “the world has changed” so it’s time to adapt using his suggestions for some healthy self-promotion using social media and blogging. It’s a simple read, but don’t let that fool you! The action steps and questions Miller suggests are spot on but do require some deep thought and outside input! Get going! You won’t regret it!

Miriam Salpeter, social media strategist and consultant, Keppie Careers

Personal Branding for Baby Boomers teaches you exactly what you need to know to successfully build relationships and expand your professional reputation. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to use today’s tools to market your skills and accomplishments.

Virtual Book Tour

I will be taking the book on the road virtually for the next few months. The current schedule looks like this:

Please check back here for the latest updates and links.

Next Steps

My plan is to release a new version every other year with updated material. Look for a 2nd edition of Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomer in 2016.

If you purchase the book, please write a review.

All reviews are valued and only help me make the book better.

I hope you do more than read the book by also working the action steps to better manage your personal brand.

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

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Mid Century Classic – You Can Control Perceptions

Mid Century Classic

classic

Source Wikipedia

I first heard the term “mid century classic” from a realtor on a home design program on television. She was referring to—of all things—a ranch house built in about 1957. Instead of describing it as low, cramped, and plain (as I saw it), she raved about its “clean lines, sleek styling and accessible decor.”

You are what you say you are.

I run into fellow baby boomers every day who describe themselves in terms that peg them as over the hill.

“I don’t really get Twitter.”

“I barely know how to use this stupid new phone.”

“I just want to make it a couple more years until retirement.”

“I need a flexible job so I can spend more time with the grand kids.”

News flash, boomers: it’s time to get your swagger back!

We were born in the 1950s and, in retrospect, it was a very cool era. The 50s produced cultural icons like James Dean, the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Rock ‘n’ Roll was invented. Blue jeans became the national uniform. Disneyland opened. These things are still cool today. You can be, too.

Old School. Classic. Vintage. Retro. Original. All ways of saying the same thing: old—but old with swagger!

“Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.”

David Mamet

Here are some tips to make sure you make the most of your classic self:

  1. Get a little thinner and a lot stronger – In part, what people perceive as youth is really about energy level. Fit and well-rested is appealing at any age, and great posture will make you look taller, thinner, and more confident. A smile gives you an instant facelift and makes you much more approachable.
  2. Remind yourself that beauty doesn’t disappear with age, but it does change – The Japanese have a term for it: wabi sabi. Wabi sabi reminds us that beauty is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Therefore, we appreciate objects (and people) with flaws; in fact, it’s the flaws that make them beautiful. This explains the demand for reclaimed barn wood. Its flaws, its age, and its back story all go into its unique appeal. Actress Helen Mirren, who will turn 70 this year, kills it on the red carpet. She doesn’t look like Emma Stone, and she doesn’t want to. She wears long sleeves, minimal jewelry, and trusts artful draping. She is the picture of radiant confidence.
  3. Get comfortable with technology – It’s not fair that our generation is being pegged as tech-averse; after all, Jobs, Wozniak, and Gates were all boomers. But the perception is there, and even the appearance of refusing to adapt to new gadgets instantly ages you. I know it’s a pain to learn every new software iteration and download endless upgrades (patience was never the boomers’ strong suit), but your professional survival depends on it.
  4. Finally, focus on what you do best and position yourself as an expert – Young workers are willing to try everything and hope for the best. It’s part of their learning process. “Classics” like us know what we do well after years of honing our skills. We tend to specialize and build deep expertise. Show your prospective company what they will get when they hire someone with skill and experience: a team member who knows how to lead as well as follow (and who learned both by understanding when to get out of the way!).

So, remember this the next time you’re tempted to feel sorry for yourself: no one would ever choose a 2014 Prius over a 1958 Corvette as his dream car. Miles plus hip attitude beats that new car smell every time.

Are you a mid century classic?

About the author

Candace MoodyCandace Moody is a writer, blogger and career expert who has worked for a regional workforce development organization since 1997. She’s also an adjunct instructor at Jacksonville University’s Davis College of Business, where she teaches executive communications to undergrads. Candace has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources, training, recruiting, and assessment.

Candace’s writing on employment and career issues can be found at her blog named @ Work  and in her weekly column in the (Jacksonville) Florida Times Union. She also writes for several national blogs and business magazines and is frequently quoted in the media on labor market issues. Find her at LinkedIn here.

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Working for a Family Owned Business – Pros and Cons

Family Owned Business

family owned businessHave you considered going to work for a family owned business?

These businesses have their own special qualities.

What prompted me to write about this was an e-mail I received after I posted my LinkedIn Publisher post, Are You a Perfect Fit for the Job? Then You Will Not Get It!

The author of the e-mail said she had been a perfect fit for her last job, but had to quit after one year. She wrote that her predecessor lasted only seven months. The job was crazy! The boss was crazy!

My response was, “I bet it was a family owned business!”

She said, “Wow. Yes. The owner, her husband, and son worked there.”

From my experience, there are pros and cons when it comes to working for a family owned business.

Pros

Family owned businesses tend to be smaller. If you are a generalist (versus being a specialist), this is a good thing. You will likely get to wear more hats—getting a greater variety of assignments.

A family owned business can feel like a family for the whole staff. I have known many owners who treat their employees like they are part of the family. For the right person, this can be quite comforting and create an inviting environment.

Cons

A family owned business is exactly that—family owned. Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family like I did? If the family is dysfunctional, then it is highly likely the family owned business will be dysfunctional. I have worked for a non-profit that was dysfunctional, and cannot imagine working in a dysfunctional family owned business.

Do you want to move up? Well, if you are not family, the likelihood of taking a leadership position is small. Well-run family owned businesses also tend to have very low turnover. This can make moving up within the organization difficult.

Is the business growing? Yes? Will the business grow past the capabilities of the owners to manage it, and are they willing to bring in outside talent? If you are in your 50s, you will remember a book titled the Peter Principle. The premise of the book is all of us will inevitably rise to his or her level of incompetence.

I have seen this with multiple clients who work for a family owned business. The business grows and grows, but the management team rises to their level of incompetence. The family cannot see that they need to bring in talent from outside of the family.

Family Members After the Business Fails

I have worked with multiple clients who were part of a family that ran a family owned business. They were left jobless when the business failed during the great recession. Many of them find it difficult to find jobs with traditional employers because they simply do not fit into a corporate role.

Have you worked for family owned business?

What was your experience?

Are you a good fit for a family owned business?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Mentors – Both Formal and Informal

Mentors

mentorsDo you have one or more mentors?

My one regret from early in my career was I did not seek out mentors. I regret not having someone who could guide me when there was a fork in the road. I have encountered multiple of these forks in my career, and I did not always choose the best path.

Today, I have multiple mentors. I have a business coach. I have multiple mentors that support me in different aspects of my business. I also mentor others.

Some of these relationships are formal, but most are informal.

Why would someone be willing to be one of my mentors?

I am often asked, “Why would someone be will to be one of my mentors?”

It is a compliment. When I mentor someone, I get that good feeling that I have helped them.

Think of it as a gift. By allowing someone to guide and help you reach the next level, you are giving them a gift.

Formal versus informal mentors

I have multiple informal mentor relationships. These are people in my tribe or fan club who I can go to when I need advice or a favor. We do not meet on any regular basis.

Just last week, I was in the process of moving my website to a new service provider, and I needed advice on how to proceed. I reached out to one of my mentors and I got really solid advice.

I have several informal mentors that I can go to for help with PR, sales, networking, etc.

I have formal relationships with several mentors. One is my business coach. Another is the provider of the Birkman Assessment which I use with all of my clients. I pay my business coach and my provider, but these are still mentoring relationships.

Most formal mentoring relationships will have a regular schedule that you will follow and clear goals that you are working to achieve.

Finding Mentors

You first need to determine what areas you need help in. You can then target people who might be able to help in three areas:

  • Work – Look for leaders in your workplace
  • Outside of Work – Look for leaders in the industry or discipline. They do not necessarily have to be located near you.
  • LinkedIn – You can take the same strategies that I recommend in the Targeted Job Search to find mentors.

Early in my career, I had a team leader explain to me that, when he took a new job, he sought out those who knew what they were doing AND were not jerks! It is the second part that is critical. Find those that enjoy helping others.

 

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Are You Seeking Respect and Failing in Interviews

Seeking Respect in Interviews

seeking respectAre you seeking respect and backing off your usual style when you first meet someone?

I have several new clients whose natural style is to be direct in their communication. In contrast, they have a high need for respect in their dealings with other people, as defined by their Birkman Assessment.

In other words, the way they communicate is not how they want to be treated. Hmm…an interesting combination. This is far more common than you think. Most of us communicate in a more direct fashion than we want others to communicate with us.

These clients, who are seeking respect, will often back off their usual style when they first meet someone. They will ask more questions and listen more to get the respect they desire.

Does this work in an interview situation? Not necessarily!

Have you been failing in interviews because you are not your authentic self?

Interviewing with Unfamiliar People

It is very common that you will interview with the hiring manager and potential future peers that you are unfamiliar with. What can you do? Try the following:

Probing Questions

Bring a set of probing questions with you to the interview. You want to probe for pain points. The more insightful the questions you ask, the faster you will gain the respect you want.

We are setting ourselves up to get the respect we want as fast as possible. We want to revert to our natural communications style early in the interview. We all are human, and should seek to become comfortable with the situation as quickly as possible.

Closing the Interview

Be prepared with a set of questions that will help you determine whether the job is a good fit for you. Please rehearse asking these questions so that they roll off your tongue. Practice asking these questions with others and in front of a mirror. Be as natural and direct as your usual style.

Pay Attention to You

Do you know what is your natural style of communicating? Pay attention to how you naturally communicate. Ask your friends and colleagues (who you trust) to describe your communication style.

The more you understand how you communicate, you will be able to identify when you are seeking respect in an interview and adjust accordingly.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group