Brand Yourself – or be the Next Scumbag Steve

“Brand yourself, or Google will” is wise advice from branding expert Dan Schawbel. Scumbag Steve is a case study of what happens if you don’t.
For those unfamiliar with him, Scumbag Steve is a meme gone viral. Entire websites have been created to showcase the best memes – customized captions on a photograph. The crazy part is that the guy in the photograph (his real name is Blake Boston) didn’t even know this was going on. His entire “brand” was created by total strangers without his knowledge.

It started simply enough. Blake’s mother was taking a photography class and took a lot of photos of her children including the iconic one of Blake. Only 16 at the time, Blake wanted to be a rapper, and used the photo for an album cover, some marketing materials and on a MySpace page. There it languished until someone copied it and added a caption, picking up the name “Scumbag Steve” along the way.

While Scumbag Steve had a huge presence on the Internet, Blake was virtually invisible. It was only after friends told him that Blake became aware of his alter ego. Eventually, Blake became Scumbag Steve – attempting to channel his notoriety into a music career. So far, he’s been unsuccessful – people seem to like Scumbag Steve a lot more than they like Blake Boston.
Can this happen to you? Sadly, yes.

You should not only create your distinctive brand and make sure your online presence is positive; you should also regularly Google yourself (web and images), and take immediate action if you see anything negative.

Take control of your online presence and position yourself for career success, not as the next Scumbag Steve.

Author
Marilyn is the Assistant Director of Graduate and Alumni Career Services at Bentley University. She brings an uncanny ability quickly discern strengths and differentiators and turn this knowledge into strategic career plans. She is passionate about equipping graduate students and alumni with cutting edge skills. Marilyn has a great deal of corporate experience, primarily in the technology, biotech and healthcare industries. She is a long-time user of social media (she was mentioned in Fast Company’s “Most Influential People Online 2010”). She holds degrees in Psychology and Public Administration from The Florida State University. Marilyn immigrated from Cuba as a child and is bilingual. She is active in Boston’s Hispanic business community.

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ReTweet, +1 and Share Your Way to a Personal Brand

By: Mark Babbitt

This time of year, most students are excited about the fresh start to a new school year. However, many are also anxious about fitting in classes, homework, clubs, Greek life, internships, a job, a social life, networking and yes, building that all-important personal brand everyone is telling them is so important.

The latter issue is a real concern, as students seem to think that to set the foundation of their personal brand, they must start a time consuming blog, spend countless hours on social media, and develop an ultra-creative way to present their personality and passion. They seem to think personal branding is an intimidating, exhausting process that can take 10 or 20 hours per week, or more.

And, fortunately for them and their careers, they are wrong.

To start building a strong personal brand, a student just needs to share, retweet and hit the ‘+1’ button.

I’ve seen many young careerists begin building an amazing brand, in about five, maybe seven, hours per week, simply by sharing excellent content within their career choice – or by retweeting those influencers others respect in their industry. They do not spend hours writing and editing an original blog. They do not sit on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter for hours at a time. And they are not necessarily creative.

They are, however, consistent and constructive:

They consistently seek out the top three or four industry-related posts that interest them – write an eloquent, yet brief, comment in the blog’s Comments section, and then click one (or more) of the ‘Share’ buttons.
To demonstrate their passions and diversity, they find two to three videos, posts or pictures that inspire them, or help them achieve their current goals – and share them on Facebook or Google+.
They create a stream of their Top 10 Twitter followers – and retweet the posts from the last few hours that really interest them, making sure they are also relevant to their followers.
About twice a week, they attend a Twitter chat such as #jobhuntchat, #HFChat or #InternPro; they engage, ask good questions and share their opinions – and they build respect and integrity in the process.
They spend maybe an hour a week doing nothing but helping others – expecting nothing in return.
And all of this effort to build a personal brand takes just a few hours per week.

Everybody can find an extra hour per day… can’t we? And perhaps in the process, knock a couple of other to-do items off the list each week, such as networking and finding a job or internship.

Do yourself a favor: do not over-think this. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Don’t wait for the energy and motivation to start your own blog. Don’t sit around and wait for an “a-ha” moment that leads to that uber-creative way to prove you’re unique. Do not let the anticipated amount of effort intimidate you into inaction

This time, just this once, take the easy way out (while putting yourself well ahead of those who will compete with you in the workplace): retweet, +1 and share your way to an amazing personal brand.

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5 Strategies to Increase Your Engagement on Facebook

By Michelle Pescosolido

If you want to run a successful Facebook Marketing campaign you will want to start with a Facebook Fan Page that should be built around your brand.  Your brand should be your avatar and what you represent. You want to represent something you are passionate about and that will attract your prospects to your page because of the value you offer on a daily basis.

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A Guide to Manage your Facebook Career Page

Trufflepig Search

Managing a Facebook Career Page is another way to broaden a company’s social engagement.  It may seem a bit superfluous to have a Facebook Career Page in addition to a company website or company LinkedIn profile, but having a career page on Facebook immediately opens up a business to the 901 million Facebook users.

By curating your Facebook Career Page yourself, instead of letting Facebook automatically create one, you are taking control of your brand, much the same way as creating a page for your business gives you control over the content.  Managing your company’s page yourself is the only way that you can control how your brand is marketed.

Having a career page provides an outlet for you to create a dialogue with your consumer base.  Marketing through social media is all about creating a community of followers and interacting with your followers can strengthen your brand, SEO, and…

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