The first author Dr. Jing Song did a wonderful presentation to discuss the motivation, theoretical background, and findings of the study.
However, Jing missed the award ceremony the next day and I got all of fame to receive the award on behalf of my co-authors. I really wish Jing were there.
Other than all of excitement of receiving the award, I had a great time at CIMaR and Italy. I got to see Dr. Cavusgil, who is my mentor and my dissertation committee member. I got to catch up with Jing, whom I haven’t seen more than three years. In addition, with my family, I got to tour around Italy to learn about its culture, history, and life. Love to learn more about Italy and visit again! Here is a short video clip about our trip to Italy.
I am definitely not the type of people who like to draw a lot of public attention. However, it is time for me to share what I know about about international trade and to explain why trade is more than an opportunity than a tread for our country and the world.
My interview with Long Island Business News was printed in the article on Feb 3rd. titled Heated US-Mexico talks fuel tensions for LI businesses. It is a mixed feeling to see my picture printed in the newspaper, especially side by side with the two Presidents. In this interview, I mainly discussed the wrong perception for international trade, especially the relationship between trading and unemployment. The followings are my quotes in the article:
” ‘Protectionism never worked for trading.’ She said, referring to the process of restraining trade between countries through such methods as tariffs and other means. Earlier tariffs, she pointed out, on steel and even the sneaker industry did not keep manufacturing jobs in the United States.”
“What we need is not a trade war, we need an open discussion to see how both countries can benefit.”
“Countries should trade on their strength. The U.S. strength is to produce financial services, innovative high-tech products, green energy products, etc. On Long Island, we export a lot of for the aviation and biotech industry. That should be out focus- not labor-intensive manufacturing job.”
“One outcome of NAFTA is that it helps improve the economy of Mexico, that enables Mexicans to afford to buy U.S. products. Nations’s improved economy boosts its standard of living, and reduces the number of Mexicans coming to the United States to find work.”
“As for jobs that were relocated abroad, don’t focus on brining those job back. Instead, provide training to those workers so that they have news skills and place then in other industries. We have unfilled manufacturing jobs, and we don’t have the skilled workers.”
“The focus should be on technology and innovative industries. How can we continue to be the leader of the world economy without those new industries? There is a perception that job loss from trade. But 80 percent of job loss today is from technology changes, automation, and computerization.”
Thanks to the newspaper of Long Island Business News, especially the reporter Adina Genn, to allow me sharing my thoughts with the local community.
Dear all students:
It is the end of the semester for the class of International Business. I hope you have learned plenty of knowledge and practices about conducting business internationally: You have learned the opportunities and challenges brought by international trade and globalization; you have understood why and how companies internationalize their business to remain their competitiveness; acting as as small businesses and non-profit organizations, you have exercised the process to export many wonderful products or service from the USA to the global markets; and you also have read many current news articles to be aware of the changing world today with the trend of anti-trading and anti-globalization which I believe to be a temporary setback for our society. At the end of the course, I hope you have developed an objective view about international business and may even expand your career into the global scale. Although the course is over, I hope you can continue to search for an answer for this important question for yourself: how can I remain competitive in today’s changing world?
First all, we should be all clear based on we discussed in the semester: job lost today is mainly due to automation, not international trade. “The US did indeed lose about 5.6m manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2010. But according to a study by the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University, 85 per cent of these jobs losses are actually attributable to technological change — largely automation — rather than international trade”.
Let’s remember the story of Kodak: In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just three years, they went bankrupt because the emergence of digital cameras. What happened to thousands Kodak employees in the past will happen to many other industries in the near future, because we are living in the 3rd and going toward 4th Industrial Revolution, driven by the growth of computation, artificial intelligence, and automation, “a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres”.
Even in the service industries, we see a tremendous shift of using technology, software, and artificial technology to replace human workers. McDonald’s and restaurant chains are using computer tablets as a solution for rising labor costs. IBM Watson artificial intelligence can provide diagnosis for patients and offer legal advice for clients, faster and more accurate than doctors and lawyers.
In short, we are not competing with other people around the world, but competing with robots and computers. It is what face us today and nothing can prevent us from the use of technology to advance the world. It sounds scary in a way because the job market today requires us having a lot more knowledge to be a competitive individual. I could not advice you what career you should go for a long-term job security, but I can say what you should do to become competent and ride the wave of technological innovation: You must be a creative and critical thinker, be flexible to adapt to changes, sharpen your skills and knowledge through continuous learning, and keep yourself informed with reliable information sources. And last, respect and collaborate with others. I hope that my suggestion will help you to identify a career which you are passionate about and become successful in. When you are prepared for the changes and equipped with innovative ideas, what globalization presenting to you would be more opportunities than challenges.
For those who graduate in December: My best wishes for your new endeavor and stay in touch with your college and your professors.
For those who come back in the Spring: Enjoy the winter break and see you around in the Spring!
As a scholar, the best recognition is to receive Best Paper award. It is always my goal to receive such award so you can imagine how I jumped up and down when my pedagogical paper received the inaugural CUIBE award for Best Paper on “Teaching International Business” at 2016 annual conference of Academy of International Business (AIB2016). As an educator, I also feel proud that my instructional approach is recognized as innovative and valuable for the education of international business.
The conference paper has been improved and published at Journal of Teaching in International Business, titled Improving Intercultural Competence in the Classroom: A Reflective Development Model. In this paper, I propose a four-stage reflective development model to enhance intercultural competence for undergraduate students and implemented in my class of International Management. The model provides a pedagogical approach for motivating students to engage in intercultural interactions, for helping them learn to make sense of their environment, and for advancing their learning about intercultural interactions.
After the exciting and cheerful PhD hooding ceremony, I am now officially titled as a Doctor of Philosophy. I am delightful to achieve such a milestone in my life after four years of studying in the doctoral program in Georgia State University. I would not say that it has been easy for me to get here. I am yet to be a successful researcher in my field as I am still struggling with to get my first academia journal publication. However I would say that I had an enjoyable experience during these years pursuing my doctorate, while being a first-time mom to raise my son from a crying infant to a happy little man, and assisting my husband growing his photography business. I have been extreme fortunate in my path to achieve such milestone: I am fortunate to meet Dr. Tamer Cavusgil as an undergraduate student in Michigan State University, who is a distinguished scholar in the field of International business and led me to the path of PhD over a decade; I am fortunate to meet Dr. Leigh Ann Liu, my faculty mentor and advisor, who opened the door to the intriguing subject of cross-cultural management and inspired me in many ways as a researcher; I am very fortunate to have my supporting and hard-working spouse, Zac, who helps me getting through these years without complaining; and I am very fortunate to be in a doctoral program which allowed me balancing my life and study. Very soon, I will begin my new life as an assistant professor and face other new set of challenges. It is time for me to reflect what I have learned from my PhD program and hope I can apply them again in my future career and life. In particular, what are the most important factors to make my doctoral experience as a cheerful and memorable journey?
Spirit of Entrepreneur
Majority of doctoral program in the United State is very well structured with seminars. We learn various research methods and literature before we start our dissertations. However, we often have to deal with ambiguity and confusion during our study. At the beginning of my program, I had very vague idea about research and did not know what I would be interested in. Unless some advisors would like their students to carry on researches based on their agenda, it is often up to us to identify our own research subjects which interest and inspire us to explore and discover. Like entrepreneurs, we will identify opportunities and challenges, develop an actionable attack plan, grow “thick-skin” from rejections, seek for supporting resources, and learn the right way from many trials and errors. With such spirit, we can get away from all those frustrations from rejections and failures, and keep us going in high spirits.
Curiosity of New Knowledge
In my past education, I had various trainings in the subjects of management and business administration, from accounting, to finance, to process improvement, and to strategy management. However, I felt what I had been lacking is the knowledge of how people, individuals, or groups, or companies, make their decisions and behave in organizational settings. I expand my readings from management to sociology and psychology, which lead me to another world of knowledge about the software of the mind. It can be a curse for me as a researcher because I have a wide range of research interests instead of focusing on developing myself as subject expertise. However, I could not only enjoy conversing with scholars from other fields, but also apply the learning from other disciplines into my field. The continuous learning from broad (although lacking of breath) subjects enlightens me with the power of knowledge and keeps me pondering and seeking answers for my questions.
Passion of Discovery
It is more important to choose research subjects that we are passionate about. There are roadblocks and challenges in the path of researching. Many tasks are tedious and repetitive. The paper revising process is frustrating and endless. I have to confess: I have projects sitting in my file-drawer and feel reluctant to revisit. However, for the projects I am truly interested in, I could stay motivated and excited with the small new findings and progress. It is the passion of discovery keep me going to overcome the challenges and to stay focused.
Relax Whenever Necessary
We have very limited time, while we have so many things to do with our family, teaching, researching, and socializing. We barely have time to take a break. But I would suggest anyone feeling burnout to take a break once a while. If we feel that we are stalled and going nowhere, why not stop reading, writing, cleaning, and anything we are planning to do, but watch some comedies or take a long night sleep. Yes, we need to work hard because we have pressure of publication and tenure, but we should also enjoy our life as a spouse, a parent, a child, and a friend, and spend time with people important to our life. We should treat ourselves fair, if not nice. Taking a break from what we are stressed about can often give us a new look later on.
The list can go on, but those learning is the most important for me to help me through my doctoral program. I believe those thoughts will continue to help me enjoy my future career as a scholar. But most important of all, quote from Dr. Cavusgil’s key-note speech during the hooding ceremony, “Take what life gives you. Don’t hesitate to embrace chance.”
Both cases illustrate the typical challenges facing western retailers success in China. The big-box retailers not only need to face the challenges from their local competitors and the different practices in Chinese retail industry, but also to adapt to Chinese consumption culture. Facing the complex operating environment, both companies need a long-term vision and commitment to strengthen their brand image and create values for their customers.
Brownfield Entry in Emerging Markets
Author(s): Klaus E. Meyer and Saul Estrin
Source: Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 32, No. 3 (3rd Qtr., 2001), pp. 575-584
Greenfield: A Greenfield project gives the investor the opportunity to create an entirely new organization specified to its own requirements, but usually implies a graduate market entry. It is a start-up investment.
Acquisition: An acquisition facilitates quick entry and immediate access to local resources, but the acquired company may require deep restructuring to overcome a lack of fit between the two organizations.
Brownfield: A Brownfield is a foreign acquisition undertaken as part of the establishment of a local operation. From the outset, its resources and capabilities are primarily provided by the investor, replacing most resources and capabilities of the acquitted firm. It is a hybrid mode of entry.
Two frameworks establish determinants of entry mode choice
Resource requirement based on transaction and integration costs
Managerial applications: Decide the entry mode based on transaction and integration costs and resources
1. The relationship between institutional variation across countries and emergence of brown strategy.
2. Incorporate brownfield into analyses of both determinants of entry mode choice and the impact of entry modes on subsidiary performance
In my class of Qualitative Research, we were assigned an interview task to conduct an interview with someone, who we do not know well, about his or her personal usage of social networking websites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. For students, like me, in Marketing major, we need to interview the person from a marketing point of view.
Being an active social media user, I of course posted a message in my Facebook status looking for someone to interview for my assignment. Quickly, my friend in Facebook connected me with his friend who is an owner of an IT consulting firm, so I accomplished my assignment easily and satisfactorily.
It was a very interesting moment when every student of the class met yesterday and reported out their interview result. The purpose this exercise is to learn conducting interview for our future qualitative research. There were frustrations, disappointment, and satisfaction (like my case) among our five students. Not to mention our learning for improvements from this simple assignment, I found there are at least four entirely different social media users identified among a case of mere five interviews .
1. Mature user
My interviewee is a mature user. He uses every social media tool: Facebook, Linkedin, Foursquare, etc., and knows the boundaries and limits. He also understands the power of social media and leverages its power to market his own business. He has many family members in his Facebook friend’s list and he uses Facebook to update them with any important status as a way to keep his family members informed. He selectively likes fan pages, only when he feels the fan pages can bring him useful information. He also uses those Facebook Ads when he is in the market looking for something, such as getting some fishing tools for his fishing hobby. He also uses LinkedIn, but as a tool to open the door for his professional network. He still believes that nothing can replace face to face meetings and handshakes. He also uses Foursqure. As a matter of fact, he enjoys those promotions by checking in Foursquare. Being an active social media user, he also started being the social media champion for his own business, and uses social media to get referrals from his friends. However, he knows very well the limitation for personal usage of social media, which means no crazy comments or outrageous photos which will damage his image. Marketers will love this type of mature social media user. They are not afraid of social media; they know what they are looking for and at the same time enjoy the benefits brought by social media.
2. Selective user
Selective users will only use heavily one type of media which is a benefit for their professional image or career. They have a Facebook account but barely use it at all. They do not feel updating status in Facebook is a good way to connect with their friends. They consider Facebook as a youngster’s toy and actually despise it in some way. They feel using Facebook-type social media is wasting their time. However, they do not hesitate to invest significant amount of time in professional social media sites such as LinkedIn. They use LinkedIn to build their professional network. They check their connection’s connection and expand their network through connections. They invest their time and efforts in LinkedIn groups by joining group discussions, as a way to build their professional reputation. They also use LinkedIn to connect with HR and use it to identify talents. This type of users is normally at a higher position in an organization or seeking the opportunities to build their professional business or career network. Their goal of using social media is to enhance their professional image not their personal image. Selective users can be quite difficult to target by consumer goods marketers because the marketers can hardly know what their true personal flavors are in terms of goods and services. But they can be great customers for business to business marketers.
3. Social user
I will say that social users are the majority of social media users. Social Users use social media because it’s convenient to connect with their friends, not necessarily their family members. They use social media also because their friends are using it. They spend significant time every day on social media websites to chat with their friends, to look around their friend’s status, and to comment on the status. They might post every single photo showing their day to day life even though some of them might not be considered as “safe” from a professional image point of view. But they show their true personality in social media so marketers can easily target them as their potential customers. However, they might not be the best consumers to the marketer. They might shop around, costing a lot of Ad expense of the marketers, but not necessary convert to a real purchase in the end.
4. Withdrawn user
Marketers will have no way to connect the withdrawn users through social media. They might have had a social media account in the past, but some incident happened to them in which they were perhaps embarrassed or hurt by other user on these social media sites. As a result, they totally withdrew themselves from social media, especially Facebook, closed their account and never tried social media again. Their negative attitude towards social media might stay with them forever. Marketers will not be able to find those users through social media so they will need to use traditional marketing channels to reach those former users.
Without further researching if there is a similar theory existing in the market, which by the way is absolutely not recommended for any academic research but forgivable for my quick blog writeup, I summarize this analysis purely out of the discussion from my class interview assignment. I am very surprised to see that we can easily identify four types of social media users out of five interviews. I believe a solid deep research will further develop and establish a profound social media user profile. The users with different profile use social media in different ways with diverse social or professional behaviors, and react or interact with social media marketing approach at different levels. For social media marketers, there will be a huge marketing opportunity by utilizing social media user profile, to establish their social media marketing strategy applicable to their products and services, and to allocate their marketing efforts and resources wisely for different users. By then social media marketing will not be an abstract concept anymore.
(P.S. thanks again to Zac for his proof reading and improvement suggestion for the blog. )
First of all, I am so sorry for not being available to write the business blog for a while. So what have I being doing recently?
My PhD study in Marketing and International Business has started in August so I have been adjusted myself to get used to this challenging while intriguing student life. Very different from the learning in my MBA, which is quite practical for a business professional, the PhD learning is quite theoretical while beneficial for my future research. I am also glad for my choice of moving my concentration from supply chain management to international marketing and business. With my interest in international trading and global cultural, this transition provides me a broader platform to fulfill my career goal to comprehend international conflicts and to promote global conversation and fair trading.
As a Chinese origin, I of course will pay more attention to the growth of Chinese economy and its relationship with other nations. Recent frictions between Chinese and U.S. over Chinese currency appreciation and penalty tariffs against each other draw my attention. As an advocate of fair trading, I hate to see this kind of political game between nations which only hurt businesses and consumers as a result, especially between two important trading partners. However, there are too many misconceptions and misleading information regarding the root causes of job loss in American manufacturing, China obviously became an easy target to blame and be used as a scheme for political goals.
There are also much focus on the growth of China and many articles have discussed this new challenge to China. After decades of leapfrog growth, China is facing significant challenge to remain its double-digit annual GDP growth. A very recent HBR blog Will China’s Growth Slow Over the Next Decade by Liu Shengjun points out there are four dividends behind the growth miracle: population, reform, opening and resource. Facing the diminishing return of those dividends, Mr. Liu recommends the following consideration for China to create new dividends:
Eliminate discrimination against private enterprises.
Further reform state-operated enterprises
Those recommendations are well analyzed and right to the point. However they may not be easy for the Chinese government to make such huge turnaround in the near future. Corruption at all levels of central and local governments will not allow such reform to be easy because many people in power will lose their advantage of authorization and grey income. To encourage innovation, China needs to first fight against the challenge or habit of plagiarism and copyright infringement, and establish a stronger IP protection law. Otherwise, the innovations by the enterprises are not able to be protected thus discouraging their investment in R&D. Overall, China needs a political reform in order to create those dividends. Right now, I do not see such push from the central government.
What will happen among nations and how will China and the U.S. can grow together? I do not know yet. We are now living in a flat but quite complicated world. I hope my future studies will soon bring me more knowledge to solve those puzzles regarding global trade issues and challenges. And of course, I wish to see my future research contributing to a “flatter world”. I will keep everyone posted!
During our Third Business Buzz Podcast, Jodi and I are going to talk about personal branding and we will debate the question, is there a wrong or right way to do this? The question arose after reading several blog posts and comments about personal branding and in particular, the approach some people are taking by printing out business cards with their names on it and the words “Google Me.” So shall we “Google Me” or Not? Is there a right and wrong way for personal branding? Let us listen to what Jodi and I have the say about it.
Business Buzz Podcast: Is there a Right or Wrong Way to do Personal Branding?
Jodi: Hi everyone! Welcome to another edition of our Business Buzz podcast. My name is Jodi Kiely of the blog Jodi Kiely Communications. I work as an independent PR and communications consultant based out of Orlando, Florida.
Zac: Thanks for joining us again listeners, my name is Zachary Long, small business owner of CameraConcierge.com, photographer, and social media pundit based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Jodi: Folks, I know it’s been a long time since our last podcast but regular listeners may have picked up on something in Zac’s introduction and that is, he has now moved to Atlanta! Pretty exciting! So in case you were wondering if episode 3 was ever going to happen, that explains our little hiatus. So Zac, how is Atlanta?
Zac: Atlanta is great, a bigger city than Orlando and a lot more opportunities. We are finally all moved in but I don’t think we will ever finish unpacking!
Jodi: I know how that goes. I hate packing and unpacking.
Anyway, during this episode of Business Buzz, Zac and I are going to talk about personal branding and we will debate the question, is there a wrong or right way to do this?
The question arose after reading several blog posts and comments about personal branding and in particular, the approach some people are taking by printing out business cards with their names on it and the words “Google Me.”
Zac: There has been debate on whether this – and other self-branding methods – is an effective way to market oneself or if it is really just portrays the person doing this as being self-centered and egotistic. While discussing this together, it became clear that Jodi and I have different views about self-branding and what is acceptable or not.
Jodi: First of all, I would like to point out that there is a difference between self branding and corporate branding. I recently posted on Twitter a very good article discussing the difference. In a nutshell, personal branding focuses on you as a person. Are you easy-going? Do you have a sense of humor? What are your interests and if I were to ever work with you, would I feel comfortable around you?
Zac: According to that same article, corporate or executive branding focuses on your actual work record. It touts solid, measurable results, much the same way a resume would.
So back to our original question, Jodi. Is there a right or wrong way to do personal branding?
Jodi: I think there is, not so much in the sense that, “Here is a book or manual telling you step by step how to personally brand yourself,” but more along the lines of, “There are good and poor approaches you should be mindful of.”
For example, the whole idea about putting the words “Google Me” on a business card. I’m trying to think of a situation where that would be appropriate but I really can’t.
Every time I am at a networking function, I realize that such situations are more for the purpose of personal branding. I want people to remember me, to think of me positively as a person so that when the need for my services arises in their lives, they will remember me as being friendly, professional and knowledgeable in which case they may want to learn more about me and in then take the initiative to Google me on their own – or else pick up the phone and call me. But I have heard of others taking the opposite route.
Zac: In my opinion putting “Google Me” on a business card is a way to differentiate yourself from the dozens of other business cards passed around at these events. Once everyone else starts doing it then it loses its charm and uniqueness, but for now it serves two purposes: One, it shows a bit of your personality that you are unique with a bit of creative flair, not one to simply use a standard Kinko’s printed card. If you are a creative type such as a photographer or other artist, then sometimes your name is your brand. Two: This also speaks to your confidence in managing your own personal brand. Growing up I didn’t know any other “Zachary’s” but on the internet I’m not the only “Zachary Long” out there. However, googling my name does bring me up on the first page though not the first result. If I were to give this out to a prospective employer, they would know that anything out there on the internet is fairly mild since I am basically inviting someone to start digging around based on my name.
Jodi: Well, those are worthy arguments people make in favor of using that technique. But there is another thing about the whole “Google Me” approach that makes me a little nervous. I want to come off as being knowledgeable in my industry, but I also want to be seen as being a person who puts customers first. If I tell a potential client to “Google Me,” isn’t that just the same as saying, “I don’t want to take the time to connect with you in person so just go ahead and research me on your own”?
Now granted, if someone did hand me a business card with the words “Google Me” on it, sure, if I ever remembered to, I probably would Google them. And sure, maybe what I would see online would impress me, but at the same time, I can’t help but be turned off by the whole “me first” attitude when it should be a “you first” one.
Zac: Ha! Well at the end of the day at your power networking session, who do you remember more: the guy in the black suit with the standard cardstock business card with name and title, or the confident guy with the unique Google Me card that no one else had that night?
Jodi: Honestly speaking, the person I meet at the end of the night is the one who didn’t try to hard sell me like the others did, and the one who took an active interest in me as a person. I remember the person who tries to build a relationship with me first before trying to get me to buy.
Having said that, I think it is possible to relay the same message as “Google Me” but in a different way. Instead of simply writing “Google Me” on your card, do what folks are already doing and include the address to your website and on that website, link to other online mentions of you and your work. Even a simple message of “Let’s connect” can be powerful.
My email signature does just that. I have the message, “Let’s connect” along with links to my blog, LinkedIn account and Delicious bookmarks where I share a lot of industry-related links.
I’m a big believer in social media. “Google me” doesn’t say “social.” It says, I know I’m great and I want you to know I’m great rather than, “I can help you and I invite you to find out how.” Key words being “invite” and “you.”
Zac: Wait, aren’t you inviting them to Google You? You’re inviting someone to use the number one site on the internet, Google, and to simply type in your name instead of typing in a possibly complicated blog address. Another reason for a simplistic URL to your blog but I think that is a whole other conversation on SEO!
Jodi: True! But to me, “Google Me” is not an invitation. It sounds like a command.
In comparison,“Let’s connect” sounds like an invitation. I hate to be a grammar teacher here but let’s break down each message:
“Google Me.” All I’m hearing is “me.”
“Let’s connect.” Broken down into words, “let’s” is “let us.” Let us connect. I know it sounds weird when you say it like that, but see the difference…it’s not about me. It’s about two people now.
Kind of like when you’re writing a cover letter to a prospective employer. You can only talk about yourself so much before the reader wants to know what you can do for them. How you can help his or her company? I really do think there is a reason why we are taught to use the company’s name and the word “you” more often than the word “I” in a cover letter.
Anyway, we agree to disagree on this one. I think we’ve hammered to death the perceived down and upsides of using the phrase “Google Me” in one’s personal branding campaign. Can you think of other tips our listeners may want to know of?
Zac: I think we can review some general personal branding tips, the first of which is to have a home base. Where do you want people to go when you hand them that business card? The simple answer may be a link to your LinkedIn page showcasing your accomplishments, or your twitter profile where you actively participate and add to the discussion about your industry. All of that aside, I think the most powerful way to drive traffic around your personal brand is to develop a blog with a custom URL to consolidate all of those extraneous sites we mentioned briefly before like Delicious Bookmarks, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Jodi, I know you have recently had some success since you launched your blog, how has this helped your personal brand?
Jodi: The blog has been really helpful in getting me exposure. It has increased the amount of inquiries I have received from people who say they are interested in working with me sometime in the future. I know this because people have actually mentioned my blog when they write to me. I think the biggest strength in that has been the fact that my blog showcases my knowledge in my area of expertise and hopefully paints me as a good person to work with.
Zac: I think that is a perfect example of a social media – and personal branding – success story! You consolidated all of the other links around the internet to one landing page, with your own thoughts within the blog posts as the glue keeping everything together. As another tip to Personal Branding, you used your own name as the site URL – further linking your name with the posts that may eventually show up in Google search results.
Jodi: That’s true and I think it is a start. I do believe in the end, the most effective method is to go out and meet people. Go to the same networking events over and over again where you will see some regulars. Establish a relationship with those regular attendees and then, after you get to know them more, go in for the hard sell. At least, this is what I am learning having attended Asian-American Chamber of Commerce events on a regular basis now. I do think personal branding helps though, and having presence online is very powerful – and mandatory.
Zac: You bring up another good point that bears repeating, and that is that relationships matter both online and offline – and that the one reinforces the other. By meeting and talking to these people over time you have built a relationship based on your personality and professionalism. Now, when they want to take the next step and engage with you, they can pull up your website that was written on your business card, and see examples of your work to reinforce that connection.
For me as a small business owner, I have had a very similar experience with making relationships which affect our brand. As owner of CameraConcierge.com, a camera equipment rental company, I am often at photography events because of my own love for photography. I don’t go to these events aggressively handing out business cards, but if I start talking to someone and we make a connection about what we do for a living I do bring up the business. Now, I don’t know if you call this a “soft sell” or personal branding, but I see my personality – and my wife’s – as a large driver of business for us. Making a personal connection either in person or over the phone has made the sale for us, allowing others to feel comfortable doing business with us and wanting to come back for repeat business as well.
Jodi: I really do think the internet – and perhaps the current economic situation in the world today – has changed how we promote ourselves. I think in a sense, we are all becoming more and more guilty of “me” marketing vs. “you marketing” and that includes myself as well.
Is this good or bad? Or, to rephrase the question, What makes a ‘me marketing approach’ good or bad? As you can see from our debate today, there is no easy answer. I think we can agree that as uncomfortable as we may feel about talking about ourselves so highly, personal branding is necessary and to ignore it means you miss out to the competition who are promoting themselves aggressively.
Zac: Well even if we may feel uncomfortable talking about ourselves, by effectively managing your personal brand you are basically letting your work speak for itself. It’s a passive marketing approach and one that once you set up with a website has little costs, only requiring a time investment for blog posts, tweets, etc. to keep content fresh. That is my final thought and tip, think of your personal branding as a long-term “slow burn” commitment, you may not see immediate results even in the first couple of months but stick with the regular updates – as you should be doing in all of your social media efforts – and eventually you will start seeing results.
Jodi: Great discussion today.
Well, this concludes today’s episode of “Business Buzz” – thanks again for listening. And in the spirit of personal branding, I invite all of you to join me for more discussion about this and other topics on my blog, JodiKiely.com (J-O-D-I K-I-E-L-Y . COM or follow me on twitter at Jodi UNDERSCORE Kiely.)
Zac: Well you really can just Google Me, but I will point people to the same places that you did Jodi – head over to ZacharyLong.com for my photoblog which has links to my various other activities around the web or connect with me on twitter at ZacharyLong.
Jodi: And one note to our listeners before we conclude: Business Buzz will be taking a rather long break as I am getting ready to take off for a very long but busy trip to Denmark with the Central Florida Rotary International program starting in September. I will be back in October though, and we will pick up from there, so don’t forget us!
I’m relying on Zac to keep us alive in your thoughts during our podcast break.
Zac: Anyway, thanks again for listening! And until next time, we look forward to more discussions on our Business Buzz podcast!