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Robots, Time Travel and The Interview of a Lifetime

Posted: Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

It was almost as if I was dreaming when I heard the first words come out of his mouth. It took me right back to those hundreds of hours of CD’s that my high school tennis coach gave me to listen to.  At first I shrugged those CD’s off as useless “self-help” stuff that people who didn’t have ambition or the right attitudes in life needed – in order to try to get out of their own way.  But, the further I got into training at  higher mental levels – state championships, official visits at universities around the country and setting my sights on making an Olympic run for my home island of Barbados – the more I noticed that the words coming out of ...read more


Why Personal Branding is Worth the Effort: Four Benefits of a CelebrityExpert® Brand

Posted: Thursday, June 26th, 2014

We have written a great deal about personal branding in these blog entries and articles – and today, we are going to step back and review why personal branding is such a big deal to begin with. It’s not just a trend – creating a CelebrityExpert® brand is a powerful growth strategy for your business. The bottom line is that consumers prefer to do business with a trusted expert, so when you become that expert, you have many advantages. Among them: 1) Being the expert allows you to charge higher rates. Think about it… you’re willing to pay a premium price to work with an expert when it comes to your health, right? Or your finances, or your car, and the list goes on. Expertise is ...read more


Personal Branding 101: Tell Your Story

Posted: Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The marketplace is more competitive than ever before. The weak economy means that consumers and businesses are less likely to spend than they have been in the past, and the arrival of the internet means that the competition is truly global in many cases. That’s why, as a business owner, your personal brand is more important than ever. You need to stand out from the crowd… or you’ll be lost in it. And one of the best ways to build a memorable brand is to place facts and figures on the backburner and instead focus on storytelling. A good story differentiates you and your business from the competition, and it makes you and your business more memorable. 1) What makes you unique. Don’t start by reciting your ...read more


Celebrity Branding 101: Five Steps to a Stronger Personal Brand

Posted: Monday, April 21st, 2014

A strong personal brand is critical for the success of your business. Specifically, a personal brand that positions you as a leading expert within your marketplace will make it easier to attract and retain clients, and make it possible to charge premium rates and still win the business. How do you go about creating such a powerful brand? It takes time, and it takes a strategic approach. Below are five steps you can take to build an effective personal brand. 1) Create a business card that sets you apart from the crowd. Your business goes a long way towards creating the first impression that people have of you – particularly in a setting that doesn’t allow for an extended conversation. It’s worth investing into the design and ...read more


Social Media Marketing: Four Reasons You Can’t Afford to Wait to Get Involved

Posted: Friday, April 11th, 2014

We’ve written lately about how to get started on social media, but in case you’re not yet convinced that you need to get on social media, this blog entry is for you. As a business owner, social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter give you the opportunity to reach a potentially huge audience for very little cost. Here are four reasons you can’t afford to wait to get involved: 1) Your competitors are on social media. Whether you are on social media or not, you can count on this: you have competition on social media. Businesses in all sorts of industries, from landscaping to law to financial planning, have increasingly turned to social media to market their business. If you’re not engaged, you are ...read more


Getting Started on Social Media: Four Steps for Success

Posted: Friday, March 14th, 2014

By now you have heard how important social media is for marketing purposes, and particularly for small businesses who don’t have the multi-million dollar budget to advertise through more traditional channels. If you’re convinced that your business needs a social media presence but aren’t sure how to begin, here are four keys steps in the process. If you’d like some help along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact us! 1) Select the right platforms for your business. The “Big Three” social networks are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Nearly as popular are networks like YouTube, Google+, Instagram, and Pinterest. Every business should have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you regularly produce video, YouTube is a must. And if you use images to promote your ...read more


Celebrity Branding Online: Four Common Social Media Mistakes to Avoid

Posted: Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The internet in general, and social media specifically, have revolutionized the way small businesses market themselves. Today, reaching an audience of thousands or even millions doesn’t require a six-figure marketing budget. With the right strategy and proper execution, even a small Mom-and-Pop shop can reach a large audience with their marketing message. So it’s no surprise that businesses all across the country have turned to social media in order to bolster their marketing efforts. But as with most things in life, there is a learning curve, and many small businesses are forced to learn the hard way by making costly mistakes on social media. Today we’re going to identify four of these common mistakes to avoid: 1) Not branding your profiles. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, ...read more


Personal Branding 101: Are You Leveraging the Power of Social Media?

Posted: Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

As we kick off the New Year, it’s an opportune time for business owners to evaluate their branding and marketing efforts and look for opportunities to improve. And one of the best ways to do this, if you aren’t already, is to tap into the power of social media. Social media platforms offer business owners an effective and cost-efficient way to reach their target audience. In this blog entry, we’re going to cover the “big four” social media platforms and a few others. Are you taking advantage of each of them? 1) Facebook. Facebook, the world’s most-used social network, is a great way to connect with your target audience. In addition to posting links to your blogs, articles, and other informational content, you can use it ...read more


Take Your Personal Brand to the Next Level in 2014

Posted: Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The holiday season is here, and the New Year is right around the corner. That makes this an ideal time to pause and reflect on the state of your business as 2013 winds down and the New Year begins. We’d like to encourage you to take a few moments over the next weeks to evaluate the state of your personal brand. Have you built a brand that establishes you as the unquestioned CelebrityExpert® in your market? Does your brand give you the ability to lock out the competition and build a loyal clientele? If your brand isn’t where you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: 2014 offers you the opportunity to start fresh and build the powerful personal brand your business needs. Here are ...read more


Personal Branding: Four Foundational Principles

Posted: Friday, November 15th, 2013

In this blog post we are going to focus on the basics. We are going to discuss why personal branding is so effective, and we’re going to cover several key concepts which will keep you focused as you work to create your CelebrityExpert® brand. 1) People buy people. First and foremost, it is important to understand that people buy people. When given the option, consumers prefer to do business with individuals that they know, like, and trust. For that reason, an important focus when creating a personal brand is ensuring that it resonates with your target market in order to achieve these results. 2) Consumers prefer to do business with an expert. Imagine for a moment that you’ve just moved to a new city and your child ...read more


Personal Branding 101: You Don’t Have to Be An Extrovert to Succeed

Posted: Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

We speak about personal branding a whole lot, as you can imagine. And one of our favorite parts about speaking is having the opportunity to talk to business owners before and afterwards. We are often asked great questions, and one that we hear from time to time goes like this: “I love everything you said about personal branding and I know that my business needs it. But… I’m just not a people person. I could never get in front of a large crowd. I can barely handle a networking event. So what do I do?” Here’s the good news: You don’t have to be an extrovert to build a powerful personal brand! Today, we are going to cover several ways that you can create an engaging and ...read more


KIM KARDASHIAN AND THE POWER OF A CELEBRITY BRAND

Posted: Thursday, September 26th, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Kim Kardashian And The Power Of A Celebrity Brand Kim Kardashian, according to CelebNetWorth.com, gets paid about $20,000 to tweet out a product endorsement on her Twitter account. She earns from $50,000 to $100,000 for one appearance at clubs, parties, and other events. For some international events, she’s been paid a cool million. It’s a lot cheaper if you come just to see her--she supposedly charged guests from $1,000 to $2,500 to attend her 30th birthday party in 2010. In 2012, according to Forbes Magazine, she earned a total of $18 million from product lines, personal appearances, her TV series, and everything else the Kardashian empire has its ...read more


Personal Branding 101: To Become a Celebrity… Act Like a Celebrity!

Posted: Thursday, September 12th, 2013

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is very simple: celebrities are regular people, just like you and I. They have special talents and abilities, just like you do. They just know how to promote their expertise, and today we are going to talk about how you can too. Why is this important? As we have discussed in previous blogs and articles, your business can benefit tremendously if you create a powerful CelebrityExpert® brand. Becoming the “expert” in your market leads to more customers, better retention rates, and ultimately more money in your pocket. So the fact that celebrities are people just like you… means that you have what it takes to create a CelebrityExpert® brand of your own. Celebrity status isn’t something you’re born with (ok, unless ...read more


Celebrity Branding: Four “Little Things” That Will Enhance Your Celebrity Status Overnight

Posted: Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Building a CelebrityExpert® brand is a process. And to achieve this goal, we help our clients to leverage a variety of media tools, from video productions to cutting-edge websites and everything in between. But as I tell clients, building a powerful personal brand isn’t just about large-scale media strategies. Just as important are the “little things” that a business owner must get right in order to build an authentic brand. Below are four of these “little things” that play a big role in creating a powerful CelebrityExpert® brand. 1) Sharpen your elevator speech. When you have 20-30 seconds to tell someone about your business… what are you going to say? A well-crafted elevator speech is critical in order to intrigue your audience and help them quickly grasp ...read more


Is Your Personal Brand Lost In Translation? How To Clearly Communicate Your Value

Posted: Friday, August 23rd, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Is Your Personal Brand Lost In Translation? How To Clearly Communicate Your Value ---   “The small grass is feel ashamed to smile, please don’t bother it.” “Please use the escalator on your behind.” “Take the Initiative for Bringing Invalidity Pregnant Parks.” No, we’re not making the above phrases up. These are actual public signs posted in foreign countries, where English is definitely not the first language. Now, the reader can almost get the idea of what they were aiming at – but not quite. That’s because the authors of those signs have some of the right words – but definitely not all of them. Result? A ...read more


Personal Branding for Success: Five Benefits of a Powerful Personal Brand

Posted: Thursday, July 25th, 2013

We have talked a whole lot about personal branding in these articles and on our blog. We have talked about branding strategy. We have talked about practical steps for creating a powerful brand. We have even looked at “hits and misses” from celebrities and public figures in order to gain insight into what to do, and what NOT to do, when it comes to branding. read more


Personal Branding: Five Simple Ways to Enhance Your Celebrity Status

Posted: Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

If you have been reading this blog regularly, you know how valuable it is to build a brand that establishes you as a CelebrityExpert® within your market. Developing your Celebrity status will help you bring in more business, allow you to charge higher rates, and make it easier to retain clients and customers. read more


Personal Branding: Five Simple Ways to Enhance Your Celebrity Status

Posted: Thursday, June 20th, 2013

If you have been reading this blog regularly, you know how valuable it is to build a brand that establishes you as a CelebrityExpert® within your market. Developing your Celebrity status will help you bring in more business, allow you to charge higher rates, and make it easier to retain clients and customers. We’ve spent a great deal of time discussing strategies to develop such a personal brand, and today we’re going to cover five simple tactics that you can put in place to help you enhance your Celebrity status. 1) Make the right impression with a strong business card. Your business card plays an important role in formulating the first impression that you create. So it’s important that your card positions you in the right ...read more


Every Entrepreneur's Biggest Mistake (And How To Avoid It!)

Posted: Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Every Entrepreneur's Biggest Mistake (And How To Avoid It!) In 2006, Salemi Industries thought they had a surefire moneymaking product. It was something totally new that (a) had an obvious need and (b) could be sold worldwide. Anthony Ferranti, the man behind the innovative product, had noticed that with the widespread usage of cell phones in public areas, callers needed a private place to have their conversations--and to not disturb others in, say, a restaurant. So he decided to create a solution. That solution was his invention of what he called “The Cell Zone”, a large plastic pod that he saw as the modern equivalent ...read more


Personal Branding: Confidence is Key to Making a Great First Impression

Posted: Friday, May 17th, 2013

Creating a strong first impression is important when it comes to creating a strong personal brand. The first impression you give sticks in the mind of the people you meet—for better or for worse. And one of the most important things you can do to create a powerful first impression is to project confidence. But this is often easier said than done. I have worked with plenty of business owners who struggled to project confidence—even though they were very successful and highly intelligent individuals. Here’s a secret: you don’t have to actually be confident to project confidence. And oddly enough, training yourself to project confidence even when you don’t feel it will often help you become more confident. (You’ve heard the expression “fake it ‘til you ...read more


Boost Your Personal Brand… in Ten Minutes or Less

Posted: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

I talk to a lot of business owners every year. Between speeches, seminars, conferences, and similar events, I am blessed to have the opportunity to get to know business owners from all over the country in a wide variety of industries. And over time, I have come to identify a number of common “themes” that business owners often use during our conversations. One of the most common is something like this… “Nick, I really like what you have to say about personal branding – I just don’t have the time.” So today, I’m going to cover several steps you can take to strengthen your personal brand without spending much time at it. 1) When you meet with a client, tell a story. The best way to communicate your ...read more


The Critic, The Mouseketeer, And The Iron Lady: Three Giants In Personal Branding

Posted: Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: The Critic, The Mouseketeer, And The Iron Lady: Three Giants In Personal Branding -- Recently, the world mourned the passing of three very different and unique personalities--Margaret Thatcher, Annette Funicello, and Roger Ebert. Each member of this high-powered trio left a mark on those who loved and admired them. They also enjoyed fame for the vast majority of their lifetimes, and all three were even the subjects of movies (Meryl Streep won an Oscar last year for her portrayal of Thatcher inThe Iron Lady, Funicello had a highly rated TV movie produced about her life, and Ebert is the ...read more


The Kanye And Kim Kardashian Lesson In Personal Branding: Combining Audiences For Impact

Posted: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: The Kanye And Kim Kardashian Lesson In Personal Branding: Combining Audiences For Impact -- Hip-hop star Kanye West may be a musical genius--but he’s definitely not one of the most liked celebrities around. He’s infamous for interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2009, as well as other public displays of bad behavior. When even the president of the United States goes out of his way to call you a jackass, you know you might have an image problem. Keeping all that in mind, you ...read more


Personal Branding: Be a Giver, Not a Taker

Posted: Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

The legendary motivational speaker Zig Ziglar used to say that “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” He was right—but you wouldn’t know that by the way much of our culture operates today, especially in business. Businesses and professionals often seem to approach those around them with a “what can I get out of this” mentality. What does this have to do with personal branding? Personal branding is all about defining and communicating your personality, your abilities, and your strengths. Establishing yourself as talented, intelligent, experienced, and so on is very important. But I’d like to challenge you to add something else to the brand you are creating: brand yourself as a giver. As someone who ...read more


Branding 101: How Will the American Airlines - US Airways Merger Play Out?

Posted: Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The business world has been buzzing since the announcement of a major merger between US Airways and American Airlines earlier this month. As a frequent flyer, I can testify that this story got my attention too! Obviously, a merger of this scale is enormously complex. And one of the many factors that must be carefully managed is the customer experience that will be provided. This is no small challenge when you’re dealing with businesses of this size—particularly in an industry where customer service is often suspect. A recent article on Forbes.com previews these challenges and offers some suggested areas of focus for the airlines. I think that many of these principles could be applied to your business, as well. Take a look: Setting and then ...read more


Your Customer Compass: Are You Headed in the Right Direction?

Posted: Monday, February 11th, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Taking Direction From Disney's Customer-Care Philosophy -- Last month, we held our first Celebrity Expert Marketing Academy. And, because our Dicks + Nanton Agency is located in Orlando, we knew we didn’t have to travel far to give our clients the best (and most productive) experience possible. We just took them all over to our neighbor’s place, which has plenty of room. And we’re not kidding when we say that. It covers over 30,000 acres and includes four theme parks, two water parks, 24 themed resorts, two spas and fitness centers, and five golf courses. Our neighbor, of course, is Disney World, the world’s most visited entertainment ...read more


Personal Branding: Why It’s Worth Your Time

Posted: Monday, January 28th, 2013

We talk about personal branding strategies regularly in this space. But every once in a while, it’s a good idea to remind ourselves why we’re working so hard to build a strong brand. The payoff, if you will.  Below are some of the primary benefits of a powerful personal brand: Instant credibility.  If you’re an accountant, for instance, the last thing you want to do every time you come in contact with a potential client is have to convince them of your expertise.  If you’ve built your personal brand right, you’ll be seen as an expert before you even meet.  Your website, your staff, your marketing materials… everything works together to position you as the expert in your area of practice—so by the time you meet ...read more


Lance Armstrong, Branding Catastrophes, And What Not To Do

Posted: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Lance Armstrong, Branding Catastrophes, And What Not To Do ---- For years, cyclist champion Lance Armstrong denied using performance-enhancing drugs to aid him in his record-setting string of Tour de France titles. He stonewalled critics, threatened whistleblowers, and repeatedly denied all doping charges. Until this week. Armstrong threw himself at the mercy of the official court of public opinion this week--that would be Oprah Winfrey’s show – and finally admitted to doing what he’s been denying for over a decade. Is Armstrong doing too little too late? It’s probably too soon to tell. Armstrong, of course, has done a lot of good throughLivestrong, his cancer survivors’ ...read more


Personal Branding: Do You Need to Shift Your Focus in 2013?

Posted: Friday, January 11th, 2013

As we’ve discussed previously, one of the key elements to a powerful personal brand is focus. Effective brands, personal or corporate, are focused on a particular niche and a particular set of characteristics that separate the business from others in their market. McDonalds is very successful at what they do—namely, selling affordable burgers and fries that taste the same no matter which location you visit. Meanwhile, just about every city in the USA has at least one local, high-end steakhouse. They’re not cheap, they’re not fast—but they are classy, distinctive, and known for delicious entrees. Two very different restaurants with a very different focus—and both have found success. The question is… what is your focus? Who is your target market? What are the characteristics of your ideal customer? How ...read more


Chris Christie, Honey Boo Boo, And The Top 10 Celebrity Branding Success Stories Of 2012

Posted: Monday, December 31st, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Chris Christie, Honey Boo Boo, And The Top 10 Celebrity Branding Success Stories Of 2012   As another year comes to a close, everyone is posting all kinds of 2012 Top Ten Lists. Don't believe us? Well, if you happen to have a few minutes during the holiday rush, here are 55 of them, courtesy of Time magazine. Frankly, we can't resist the temptation to offer one of our own--focusing on our own specialty, of course. Without further ado, here is our 2012 Top Ten List Celebrity Branding Success Stories, celebrating those notables who best exemplified a specific and crucial facet of building a successful ...read more


Take Your Personal Brand to the Next Level in 2013, Part Two: Ten Resolutions

Posted: Monday, December 31st, 2012

In a recent article, I highlighted five New Year’s resolutions to help you take your brand to the next level in 2013. As promised, here are five more: 6) Make your customers feel like insiders. If you can make your customers feel like “VIPs”, they’re going to be much more loyal to your business and your brand. Let customers get a glimpse “behind the scenes” from time to time. Sharing pictures of your team in action on social media is one great way to do this. 7) Provide value to your social media followers. Let’s be honest, most of us aren’t in position to “break” news in today’s fast-paced media environment. But you can provide analysis and other valuable information to your online audience. If you’re a ...read more


Three Reasons Why The Customer Experience You Provide Can Make or Break Your Business

Posted: Thursday, December 6th, 2012

You’ve probably heard talk about the importance of “customer experience” when it comes to growing your business. But have you ever wondered why it’s so important? Below are three reasons that it pays to create a brand and a business that is known for providing a stellar customer experience. 1)     Your business becomes immune to price undercutting.  Once your customers have experienced the unparalleled experience your business provides, it will be very hard to persuade them to go anywhere else.  Do you own an iPad, or do you know someone who does?  Ask them how likely they are to purchase a different tablet in the future, simply because it is priced more cheaply.  If you surveyed 100 users, you would be hard pressed to find more ...read more


Are You Leveraging Your Personal Brand to the Max?

Posted: Saturday, December 1st, 2012

As you begin to build a strong personal brand, it is important to leverage it fully in order to grow your business. Whether it is networking, direct marketing, or meeting with a prospect face-to-face, make sure to incorporate the celebrity brand that you have created! For instance: Incorporate your personal brand into speeches and public events. Whether you’re speaking to a large audience or you’re networking with two fellow business owners, don’t be afraid to tie your brand into conversation.  Tell stories.  Talk about your hobbies.  Let your audience get to know you, personally—not just in your professional capacity.  By interweaving your brand into your conversation, you can simultaneously impress your audience with your knowledge of your industry and create a strong personal appeal. Use direct marketing—but make ...read more


The Twinkie Template For Building An Eternal Brand

Posted: Friday, November 30th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: The Twinkie Template For Building An Eternal Brand In the last couple of weeks, have you ever heard so much about Twinkies? I mean, since you were six years old? In case you missed our recent national panic attack, America collectively gasped when it was announced that the Hostess snack food company was going out of business due to a labor dispute and, as a result, its flagship product, Twinkies, would soon disappear from store shelves. The Twinkie feeding frenzy quickly began. Shoppers stormed stores to hoard the packaged treats, and escalating bids for Twinkies and Twinkie-related products were soon helping eBay sellers realize some ...read more


Personal Branding: Five Ways to Draw More Attention on Social Media

Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be great channels by which to connect with your target market. The explosive growth these platforms have experienced in recent years gives you the opportunity to reach a potentially huge audience in a branded, consistent, and cost-effective way. That, in a nutshell, is why so many business owners are excited about social media. But this growth presents challenges as well. Most obviously, as more and more businesses jump in to the fray, it can be very hard to be seen and heard. And as you know, it doesn’t matter how great your social media content is, if nobody sees it! So today, we are going to cover five ways to engage a larger audience via social media. 1) Interact. ...read more


Five Personal Branding Secrets You Can Apply Today

Posted: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

We talk a lot about personal branding on this blog, and most of the strategies focus on long-term strategy, planning, and solutions. Today we’re going to change it up a bit and highlight five branding techniques that you can use to start building a more powerful brand immediately: 1) Practice your handshake and introduction. Obviously as a professional you know how to shake hands and introduce yourself. But give this process some thought, and ask yourself “am I projecting the best possible first impression?” If not, what needs to change? Work on it and put it into practice immediately—the first impression really does count. 2) Refine your elevator speech. When given 30-60 seconds to talk about yourself and your business, do you know what to say? Do ...read more


Why You Need a Personal Brand, Not Just a Company Brand

Posted: Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Branding is a very common element of a marketing campaign, and has been for many years. We all recognize the power of international brands like Nike, Coca-Cola, and Apple. Personal branding, on the other hand, is a little bit less well-understood. Rather than focusing on a business, personal branding seeks to help an individual build a powerful brand. Think Donald Trump or Oprah. That brand can stand for anything, though for most business owners credibility and expertise are significant components. From time to time, I am asked why personal branding is so valuable—why a business owner should focus on their personal brand instead of simply their company brand. Below are three important answers to this question: People buy people. When it comes to choosing a business to ...read more


Personal Branding: Do You Have a Book in You?

Posted: Friday, October 5th, 2012

One of the best strategies for building a powerful personal brand is publishing a book. I’ve helped hundreds of business owners through this process—and most of them would tell you that publishing their first book was among the most significant turning points in their career. Yet, many business owners flinch at the idea of publishing a book. The most common reaction they have is “I don’t have anything to write about.” Most of the time, they’re just plain wrong—they DO have a book in them, and a successful one at that. Do you have a book in you? Below are four questions to ask: 1) Do you have a unique perspective on your industry? Most industries deal with “groupthink” to some degree—but not everyone agrees. Do you have ...read more


Giving Your Brand Story “Primal Power”: The Science of Storytelling

Posted: Monday, September 24th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Giving Your Brand Primal Power Through Storytelling “Once upon a time…” Those four little words, when combined, have an amazing allure, simply because we know that they signify that something special is about to happen…a story. Humanity has used stories from the beginning to bind communities, create movements, inspire religions and promote patriotism.  From cave drawings to campfire tales, from papyrus writings to the Guttenberg Bible, our species has always rallied around stories – narratives that had the ability to hit us where we live and take us to someplace new. At our agency, we make what we call ...read more


Build Credibility Without Re-Inventing the Wheel: Learn to Repurpose Your Content

Posted: Friday, September 7th, 2012

If you have been paying attention to this blog, you know how important it is that you are consistently creating content that reinforces your expertise and your authoritative status within your market. Whether it is giving a speech, writing a book, appearing on TV, or something else entirely—creating content that positions you as an expert is a crucial element of creating a powerful personal brand. There’s a problem with that, though. You’re a business owner—and as such, you simply don’t have the time to keep creating content. You’ve got a business to run! So here’s a tip for you: don’t re-invent the wheel if you don’t have to! Learn to re-purpose content whenever possible. If you’ve just completed a big project for a client, and you have ...read more


Create Raving Fans: It's All In The Details

Posted: Thursday, May 31st, 2012

I’ve talked about the value of “raving fans” previously on my blog, but let’s take a moment for a quick refresher. A raving fan is a customer or client who isn’t just satisfied… but is so thrilled with the services or products that you provide that he/she can’t stop spreading the word. A raving fan is incredibly valuable, because there is literally no form of marketing that is more effective than legitimate word-of-mouth recommendations. So what can you do to create more raving fans? Obviously, it starts with delivering quality products and services that meet or exceed the expectations of your customers. That means not over-promising, and it means delivering consistently. But this alone doesn’t create raving fans. One of the most effective ways to create raving fans ...read more


Winning The White House--Or New Business--Is All About Better Story Selling

Posted: Thursday, May 31st, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Winning The White House--Or New Business--Is All About Better Story Selling -- You have to admit, it’s rare to see Newt Gingrich and President Barack Obama putting out the same message, but that’s exactly what happened this year. That’s because, during the primary season, Gingrich's main goal was the same one as Obama’s is now--defeat Mitt Romney. The tactic both men (or at least their Super PACs) used? Relate how Romney’s former company, Bain Capital, bought out businesses and closed them down, putting middle class Americans out of work--more specifically, by telling the story, through those people’s eyes, of how their lives were affected (you ...read more


Build Raving Fans: What the Music Industry Can Teach You About Inspiring Loyalty, Part Two

Posted: Thursday, May 31st, 2012

In the previous installment of this series, I covered four valuable lessons that business owners can draw from the music industry and apply to their own businesses. Specifically, the topic we’re addressing is how to build raving fans, that can’t stop telling people about what you do. Clearly, successful bands and artists do the same thing—and today we’re going to look at three more tools that they use to accomplish this goal: 1) Learn to tell a good story. Whether it is in the lyrics of their songs, in their music videos, or as a part of their biography, the best performers have the ability to tell a compelling story that resonates with their audience. What is the story that your business is telling? It doesn’t ...read more


You Have To Build a Relationship Before You Go All the Way...In Sales

Posted: Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: You Have To Build a Relationship Before You Go All the Way...In Sales Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where Jerry strikes up a friendship with former baseball great Keith Hernandez? Hernandez calls Jerry up to ask him to help him move out of his apartment, and Jerry completely freaks out, because, as the comedian puts it, "I mean, I hardly know the guy. That's a big step in a relationship. The biggest. That's like going all the way!" Human relationships, like Seinfeld, are funny. There are invisible lines you're not supposed to cross until you've reached certain levels of familiarity with a person. And ...read more


Mitt Romney And The Power Of Discipline

Posted: Friday, May 25th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Mitt Romney and The Power of Discipline It's been a long and grueling campaign for Romney, one that saw numerous candidates surpass him in the polls before ultimately fading out. But after months of campaigning, Romney can finally set his aim at the White House. While he’s doing so, let’s take a moment to examine the marketing strategies that ultimately proved successful: 1) Consistency counts. While Romney has faced criticism for the way in which his convictions have evolved over the years, there is no questioning the consistency of his message during the primary campaign. While Rick Santorum generated controversy by addressing social issues and Newt ...read more


The Mother Of All Branding Opportunities

Posted: Thursday, May 24th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: The Mother of All Branding Opportunities Mother's Day recently got me thinking about the power of Mom. No, I'm not talking about her power to get us to finish all our vegetables or clean up our rooms--I'm talking about her power in 2012 to brand. Let's face it, the American mother is an incredibly iconic figure that is constantly changing and growing. That evolution is most evident from television over the years; from the sweet 1950s apron-and-pearls portrayals provided by Donna Reed and June Cleaver to today's TV housewives that are both Desperate and Real. Moms are long past being just about apple pie and folding ...read more


How Does Your Brand Position You Within Your Market?

Posted: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Macy’s versus K-Mart. Ferrari versus Honda. Apple versus eMachines. What comes to mind when you think about these comparisons? Words like expensive, high quality, and classy likely come to mind when you think about Macy’s, Ferrari, and Apple. On the other hand, K-Mart, Honda, and eMachines probably generate thoughts like value or affordability. Many people prefer to purchase from pricier, more exclusive brands. Others seek value and affordability over exclusivity. And there is no “right” or “wrong” answer here. In fact, all six of the companies I mentioned have built profitable businesses on the backs of their brand. But here is what’s interesting—all I have to do is mention “Macy’s versus K-Mart”, and the vast majority of you immediately know where you stand in that comparison. Why? ...read more


Personal Branding: Where to Start

Posted: Monday, May 21st, 2012

We talk often in this space about personal branding strategies such as book publishing, video production, and TV appearances. There’s a reason for that—these strategies have proven to be valuable tools for helping us turn business owners into celebrities within their market. The results are impossible to argue with. That said, not everybody is ready to pursue these strategies. If you’re new to the personal branding arena and just want to know how to get started, this blog entry is for you. The first step, of course, is defining your personal brand. We’ve talked extensively about that process elsewhere on this blog, but feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more. Once you’ve defined your brand, here are four good places to start ...read more


Attention Must Be Paid - Or It Will Cost You Business

Posted: Sunday, May 13th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and JW Dicks can be found here: Attention Must Be Paid--Or It Will Cost You Business -- Does the title of this blog ring a bell? It might if you were listening in English class; "Attention must be paid," was the plaintive cry of Willy Loman's wife in the classic American play, "Death of a Salesman," now enjoying a hugely successful revival on Broadway.  Spoiler alert:  her husband ends up committing suicide because...well, attention wasn't paid. People need attention.  It motivates them, it inspires them and it engages them.  Most importantly, it makes them buy from you.  When you don't pay attention to your clients, however, it can cost you - and that loss could ...read more


Are You Living Your Personal Brand?

Posted: Saturday, May 12th, 2012

When most people think about personal branding, they think about big, exciting initiatives—like a photo or video shoot, or appearing on TV, or publishing an article in the Wall Street Journal. They’re right, of course, a big part of building a powerful and credible personal brand is leveraging major media sources. But that is only half of the equation. The other half is not as glamorous, but is equally important. In addition to your “big” initiatives, it is important that you live out your personal brand on a daily basis. Every interaction that you have with your clients, your staff, your colleagues, and your market must reflect the brand you are trying to build. If this isn’t the case, your brand will fall apart. Your staff and ...read more


Personal Branding Like The Stars: How A Systematic Approach Will Revolutionize Your Business

Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog, written by Nick Nanton and Mikkel Pitzner can be found here: Personal Branding Like The Stars: How A Systematic Approach Will Revolutionize Your Business Whether you love Kim Kardashian or you can’t stand her, you must acknowledge her ability to leverage media in order to create constant publicity. Whether it’s appearing on the cover of a book or simply attending church on Easter Sunday, Kardashian never fails to generate headlines. She isn’t alone--Hollywood is brimming with actors, actresses, and celebrities who have learned to create a constant buzz even as they live exceptionally fast-paced lives. We have the same goals--for ourselves, and for our clients. Granted, most of us are pursuing publicity and exposure on a smaller scale, but ...read more


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Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

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Zero in On Your Target Market

Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Before you can create an effective personal brand and leverage it through a marketing campaign, you need to zero in on your target market. This sounds obvious, I know, but you wouldn’t believe how many business owners invest thousands of dollars into elaborate branding and marketing campaigns that don’t appeal to their target audience. If you are in the midst of a marketing campaign, take a moment to sit back and objectively assess whether your efforts are well-suited for your target market. If you’re in the planning process, now is the perfect time to ensure that you’ve properly identified your market—and the best ways of reaching them. Here are three questions to help you get started. Where are your customers geographically? Are they spread across the ...read more


Personal Branding: How NOT to Use Twitter

Posted: Monday, April 9th, 2012

Most of this time, this blog focuses on practical strategies and tactics that will help you enhance your personal brand, with the ultimate goal of positioning you as a respected celebrity expert within your market. However, every once in a while it’s a good idea to examine what NOT to do when it comes to personal branding. Today, we’re going to focus on Twitter… and without any further ado, here are several of the most common personal branding mistakes we see: 1)     Too much selling. Your Twitter audience isn’t interested in a sales pitch. If you can subtly work in references to your products and services along with other valuable content, great—but if the majority of your tweets are self-promoting, you’ll be ignored. 2)     Post… and forget. ...read more


Larry King Embraces Internet TV--Should Your Brand Follow Suit?

Posted: Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog can be found here: Larry King Embraces Internet TV--Should Your Brand Follow Suit? Larry King is back...kind of. The legendary TV host will be back in front of audiences once again, but this time it will be over the Internet, not over the airwaves. Ten years ago, the idea of a credible personality like Larry King launching a web-based show would have been laughable, but the fact that it barely raised eyebrows today indicates how accepted the medium of Internet TV has become. In fact, a 2011 study shows that over 70 million adults in the United States watch full-length TV shows online. That number is rapidly rising, and the same study projects that in 2014, over 190 million ...read more


Does Your Brand Resonate with Your Target Market?

Posted: Monday, April 2nd, 2012

There are many factors that go in to creating an effective brand, whether personal or corporate. From the colors you utilize to the attributes you seek to highlight, there are a tremendous amount of details that must be managed. Unfortunately, this often results in some of the most important questions being overlooked. As you build your personal brand, ask yourself this essential question: Does my brand resonate with my target market? It’s obvious when you think about it, but you’d be amazed how many professionals have devoted substantial time and resources towards the creation of a dynamic personal brand… only to ultimately realize that their audience doesn’t appreciate it. How can you be sure that your brand will resonate with your market? Below are three steps: 1)     ...read more


Don't Be Like Rush: Tough Lessons In Crisis Management

Posted: Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog can be found here: Don't Be Like Rush: Tough Lessons In Crisis Management Whatever you may think of his political views, there is no question that Rush Limbaugh is a gifted communicator and entertainer. For over two decades he has maintained an audience in the millions, dwarfing most of his talk radio competition. But early this month, he stepped over the line (by his own admission) and launched a personal attack on a law student named Sandra Fluke. Rush eventually apologized, but by the time he did so, the damage had been done. The outburst of negative publicity led over 140 advertisersto pull their support, and caused at least one radio station to drop his program. (Rush disputesthat ...read more


Establish Value With a Strong Personal Brand

Posted: Monday, March 5th, 2012

I have been talking recently about the importance of competing on value, not on price. When your business can charge higher prices than the competition in your market, yet still attract business because of the superior value you provide, you are well on the way to success. How can you establish this value? Your personal brand can play a significant role—and below are several first steps. Highlight your experience and qualifications. Your customers want to feel that they are in good hands. If you can position yourself as experienced and well-qualified, you allow them to simply relax and trust that you’ll take care of their needs. That sense of confidence is exceptionally valuable—and most consumers are willing to pay a premium for it. Emphasize your expert status. Media ...read more


What Apple Can Teach You About Competing on Price

Posted: Thursday, March 1st, 2012

This post was originally featured on FastCompany.com.  The original blog can be found here: What Apple Can Teach You About Not Having To Compete on Price Rumors are swirling across the blogosphere regarding the expected introduction of Apple’s iPad 3—the third iteration of their groundbreaking tablet device. And while the specifications of the device have yet to be revealed, experts project that millions will be sold in 2012 alone. The idea of an Apple product selling like hotcakes isn’t surprising. But when you consider the difficult economic environment Apple has battled over the past four years, the success they have achieved is remarkable. It’s even more impressive when you consider that Apple products are rarely, if ever, cheaper than the competition. The iPad, for instance, retails ...read more


Personal Branding: What We Can Learn from Adele

Posted: Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of once again attending the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, along with a group of over 30 clients that were in town for our Annual Hollywood Mastermind Meeting. The event is always a blast, and this year was certainly no exception. For many, the most compelling story of the evening was Adele’s stunning success—she left Staples Center with no fewer than six Grammys in her possession. Adele’s story is about more than musical talent, however—she’s a very savvy marketer as well. Below are three lessons I took from her success… how can you apply them to your business? Seek exposure wherever you can find it. Adele’s first big breakthrough came in 2006, when a friend posted a song she ...read more


What the GOP Primary Can Teach You About Your Personal Brand

Posted: Friday, February 10th, 2012

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: The GOP Primary Proves Personal Branding Isn't Optional The race to become the Republican presidential nominee has dominated headlines for the last several weeks. But this process is more than just political theater—in fact, the GOP race has illustrated several important concepts that relate to personal branding. As a business owner or a professional, here are three key takeaways: If you don’t define yourself, competitors will do so for you. In the weeks preceding the Iowa caucus, New Gingrich began to cut in to frontrunner Mitt Romney’s lead. Unfortunately for him, Romney’s campaign had the resources to launch an ad campaign casting doubt on Gingrich’s qualifications. Because Gingrich ...read more


Does Your Website Reflect Your Personal Brand?

Posted: Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

What should a strong website accomplish? It should represent your company accurately. It should provide information regarding the products and services you offer. It should generate leads. And… it should represent your personal brand! In fact, in many instances, the first interaction a potential client has with you will be via your website. For that reason, it’s essential that your website reflect your personal brand. Below are five great ways to do this… how many of them are you utilizing? 1) A prominently featured picture of yourself. Many business owners are shy about using their picture—but doing so is essential to build a connection with your audience. 2) A video introduction. Video is an effective way to catch the attention of your audience. A well-produced video ...read more


Capitalize on Your Points of Differentiation to Create a Powerful Personal Brand

Posted: Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

A primary objective of every personal branding campaign is to create a brand that helps you stand out from the crowd. A strong personal brand is both distinctive and memorable—which means that it is essential that your brand highlights traits or talents that make you unique. To accomplish this, it’s important to identify your personal points of differentiation and to identify several that can be incorporated into your personal brand. For instance: Do you have a unique educational background? Perhaps you attended a prestigious college or earned a prestigious degree? Or maybe you are a lifelong learner and have acquired multiple degrees. If your educational background makes you uniquely qualified to provide services to your market, emphasize it! You spent plenty of time and money pursuing your ...read more


Lebron James is Back—What Can He Teach You About Your Personal Brand?

Posted: Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1804460/lebron-james-is-back-what-can-he-teach-you-about-your-personal-brand The NBA season tipped off on Christmas day, which meant a return to the spotlight for Lebron James and the Miami Heat. As you probably know, Lebron James generated controversy (not to mention numerous headlines) last season with his decision to publically jilt the Cleveland Cavaliers in favor of the Miami Heat. In the process, Lebron’s personal brand evolved substantially—from a fan favorite, to a villain, to a gradually “rehabbed” image this offseason. There are a number of lessons that are relevant to business owners seeking to build a strong personal brand in 2012. Below are three of the most important. 1) If you’ve got bad news, ...read more


Do You Have a Plan… and a System?

Posted: Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Every successful personal branding campaign features two components: a plan, and a system to ensure that the plan is successfully implemented. Without both of these components, no branding campaign will work. This should be an obvious point, but you’d be amazed at how many business owners approach branding (and marketing in general) with only one half of the equation. There are some that have a great vision and an aggressive plan to brand themselves as an expert in their field—but that fail to create systems to ensure that their plan is executed. Then there are others who utilize systems to get things done, for instance, posting on their blog twice per month, using Twitter, speaking at networking events—but that don’t have any overarching strategic purpose behind their ...read more


Netflix and the Power of Perception

Posted: Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1797961/netflix-and-the-power-of-perception Over the last couple of months, Netflix has undergone a major brand transformation—and not in a good way. They’ve gone from a trendy, convenient video provider to a bumbling, greedy, corporate entity—and the significance of this transformation has shown itself in terms of cancelled subscriptions (over 800,00 accounts lost in the third quarter alone) and a plunging stock price (a drop of nearly 75% since July). What caused this massive fall from grace? At its core, of course, were financial challenges. Netflix is facing increased competition and higher operating costs. But Netflix leadership made a fatal mistake while planning their response to these challenges—they failed to consider the power ...read more


Personal Branding 101: “But I Don't Need a Personal Brand"

Posted: Monday, November 21st, 2011

I once had a business owner tell me, “Nick, I don’t need a personal brand. My business isn’t flashy and neither am I. My customers know me as trustworthy, honest, and reliable—what more do I need than that?” What he didn’t realize is that, in stating that he didn’t need a personal brand, he had just identified his personal brand! Namely, this business owner is known to be “trustworthy, honest, and reliable.” I share this story to correct the misconception that a personal brand is something only for Hollywood celebrities and public figures. The reality is this: everyone has a personal brand. Your personal brand is simply the collection of thoughts and emotions that your friends, family members, customers, clients, prospects, and competitors have whenever you cross ...read more


Get More Mileage Out of Your Brand

Posted: Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

A strong personal brand is incredibly valuable for a business owner.  A well-developed personal brand allows you to lock out the competition in your market—and it enables you to stop competing based on price.  In other words, you can charge higher prices than the competition, and still win the business.  However, it’s important to understand that a strong personal brand alone won’t provide the results you are looking for.  Your personal brand is a tool—it’s a part of your overall marketing strategy.  It’s a huge part, to be sure, but it must be combined with other marketing strategies in order to deliver maximum results.  Below are several effective ways to accomplish this: 1) Incorporate your personal brand into speeches and public events. Whether you’re speaking to ...read more


Have Fun With Your Personal Brand!

Posted: Friday, October 21st, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1787569/have-fun-with-your-personal-brand You recognize the importance of building a strong personal brand—otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog entry.  But have you found a way to make personal branding fun? Quite frankly, branding is much less effective when you view it as an inflexible job, something that you have to do on a regular basis.  Your audience will identify branding that feels forced and artificial, and are going to be more attracted to a brand that appears genuine, vibrant, and fun.  So how can you make your personal branding fun? 1) Make sure that your brand represents your personality and your interests. If you asked your friends to describe you, how ...read more


Personal Branding: Relationships Are Key

Posted: Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1782187/personal-branding-relationships-are-key As you know, personal branding is all about building credibility, visibility, and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.  But there is another element of personal branding which is often overlooked, and that is relationships.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that personal branding that doesn’t create and nurture relationships is almost useless.  Creating a relationship with a target customer often turns him or her into a prospect, and nurturing that relationship can turn the prospect into a customer.  Strong relationships with referral sources often lead directly to more great prospects.  And the relationships you nurture with colleagues can be an invaluable source ...read more


Personal Branding Tips: Three Reasons You Need to be on YouTube

Posted: Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1777410/personal-branding-tips-three-reasons-you-need-to-be-on-youtube As technology continues to evolve, video is becoming more and more prevalent across the internet.  Even five years ago, filming and publishing professional-grade video content was much more difficult than it is today.  From a personal branding standpoint, video is a fantastic tool as it allows your audience to see your face and hear your voice… instead of simply reading text.  Below are three great reasons why, if you are serious about personal branding, you need to be on YouTube: 1) Video allows you to connect with your audience in a way no other medium can. Blogging is great.  So is a strong social media presence and well-written ...read more


Personal Branding: It's the Details that Count

Posted: Thursday, August 18th, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1773630/personal-branding-its-the-details-that-count There are plenty of misconceptions when it comes to personal branding, but I have found one to be particularly damaging: the idea that personal branding is nothing more than how you dress and the first impression you make on an audience. While it is true that your personal appearance and the impression you have on those around you are both important, the reality is that personal branding is all about the details. When you create a brand, you are telling a story. It does you no good to build a “mostly strong” brand--because the details that you get wrong will undermine the brand you are trying to build. Have you ever ...read more


Rebranding 101

Posted: Monday, August 8th, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com.  The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1771299/rebranding-101 Rebranding is a drastic action that's is rarely necessary. But nonetheless, it's sometimes the only option...so today we are going to walk through that process.  Below are the essential first steps in the rebranding process. 1) Understand your market. The essential goal of branding is to differentiate yourself from your competition. Therefore, before you do anything else, spend time thoroughly researching your market. Understand the branding strategies of your competition. Evaluate which brands have been successful--and why they’ve been successful. 2) Identify your niche in the marketplace. Before kicking off your rebranding campaign, it’s essential that you know exactly which segment of your market you are aiming for. Which ...read more


Four Hidden Branding Opportunities

Posted: Friday, July 1st, 2011

Branding is all about repetition, right?  (If you have been paying attention to this blog, you know that the answer to this question is yes!)  Whether it is your logo, your picture, or your writing—the more your customers and your market are exposed to your brand, the more powerful it becomes.  That’s the reasoning behind many of the campaigns I help my clients run—social media, blogging, article publishing… it’s all about getting their names out there regularly.  However, if you focus only on the “big” branding tactics, you overlook many less obvious but powerful branding opportunities.  Below are four of my favorite hidden branding opportunities: 1) Email signature. How many times per week do your clients see your signature?  For many of you, that number will ...read more


Personal Branding: When Is It Time to Rebrand?

Posted: Monday, June 20th, 2011

There are times in business and in life when it is time to simply start over.  A new career, a new relationship, a new location—sometimes, it’s time for something new.  This holds true in the world of personal branding, too.  There are times when, for whatever reason, it is simply not worth continuing in the same direction.  While this is a last resort, rebranding can be an exciting opportunity to completely revolutionize your business.  Below are questions to help you determine whether it is time to rebrand: 1) Does your brand still differentiate you from the competition? The core purpose of branding is to separate yourself from the rest of your market.  If your brand is no longer unique, it may be time to rebrand. 2) Has ...read more


Personal Branding: Make it a Habit

Posted: Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Personal branding doesn’t happen automatically. Building a strong brand takes intentional effort. Today, a strong brand includes an active social media presence in addition to more traditional branding efforts. Effective branding takes time and effort—there’s no getting around it. I’ve spoken to many business owners who recognize the importance of a strong brand, but simply fail to devote the necessary time on a consistent basis. Here’s a secret: your branding campaign doesn’t demand hours of attention every day—in fact, taking ten or fifteen minutes to engage your Twitter followers may be enough most days. What your branding campaign does require is consistency—you need to be active multiple times per week, if not daily. And there is only one ...read more


Personal Branding Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore

Posted: Monday, May 23rd, 2011

It’s unfortunate that many consultants and branding experts portray personal branding as a serious, difficult process. The truth is that not only can personal branding be fun—but it is actually most effective when you are having fun with it. So today we are going to look at ways to make your personal branding efforts more fun as well as more successful. 1) Be yourself. Many business owners make the mistake of building a serious, all-business personal brand. And while the core of your brand has to be your business expertise, a boring brand is simply not going to be memorable. So spice it up. Showcase your sense of humor. Share some opinions that may surprise people. Don’t hesitate to ...read more


Why Media Kills Most Small Businesses

Posted: Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Inevitably, one of the first questions I get asked by new clients, or even just casual acquaintances, is, “how do I get on TV?” And I’m usually met with a blank stare or a really generic answer when I follow up their question, with my own, “why do you want to get on TV?” Their answer is almost always one of the following: 1. I just want to get out there more 2. I need some exposure for our product/service 3. I’ve always just thought that if we got on TV, our business would explode Getting on TV can do all of these things for you, but most people miss out on the fact that getting on TV, by itself, isn’t a very sound marketing strategy. In order to make you understand this, ...read more


Personal Branding Online: Dealing With Criticism

Posted: Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I talk about social media all the time in this space, and you’ve often heard me talk about the incredible personal branding opportunities offered by blogs and social media. But like most things in life, while there are great benefits to branding interactively over the internet, there are drawbacks. And in the case of social media and blogging, the drawbacks are the other side of the coin that makes those platforms so valuable to begin with—namely, the real time and interactive nature of conversation. Every business would love to have a “viral” campaign—a video or other promotional material that explodes in popularity and is viewed by millions of people in the span of a couple of days. Social media makes this ...read more


The Biggest Mistake Most Business Owners Make: Failure To Control The Conversation

Posted: Monday, April 25th, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1748833/the-biggest-mistake-most-business-owners-make-failure-to-control-the-conversation In this blog series we've covered positioning and how if you position yourself correctly you'll have no competition. We've covered how to build credibility, and I even gave you my million dollar secret for media success and our formula for the business trifecta. We've laid it all out. But the third and final pillar of the Brand or Die triad is what ties it all together. To refresh you, the first two pillars are Positioning and Credibility. The final pillar is Community. Here's the secret: when you build community, you build value. You can base a community off of anything. A community is a group of people who have ...read more


Twitter for Personal Branding

Posted: Friday, April 8th, 2011

You’re using Twitter, right? Or if you’re not, you’ve at least heard of it. In the last couple of years, Twitter has exploded in popularity along with other social media giants like Facebook and LinkedIn. Twitter represents a great opportunity for anyone with an internet connection to reach an audience virtually unlimited in size—making it the perfect personal branding tool. If you haven’t begun branding through Twitter yet, now is the time to jump in. It’s very easy to create your profile and get started—but below are some often overlooked tips to help you make the most of your branding efforts on Twitter: 1) Choose the right picture. The space for your picture on Twitter is small—so anything other than a ...read more


What Can Apple Teach Us About Branding?

Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2011

Another month, another successful product release for Apple. As you’ve surely heard, Apple released their iPad 2 earlier this month amidst great fanfare. Sales have been brisk, and are expected to remain strong many months into the future. Here’s a question for you: how many other companies can grab instant media attention simply by announcing the release of a new product? Do Toshiba users breathlessly search the blogosphere for hints related to next year’s laptop model? How many people line up outside the Sprint store for the release of the latest BlackBerry smartphone? Clearly Apple is doing something that very few contemporaries can do. This success hasn’t happened by accident—it’s a result of a deliberate branding and marketing ...read more


Video: The 4 Letter Business Word That You NEED!

Posted: Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Personal branding expert Nick Nanton talks about the four letter business word that you need! Check back often for more business, marketing and personal branding videos from Nick Nanton! read more


Personal Branding: Make the Most Out of LinkedIn

Posted: Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Facebook and Twitter seem to be the brightest stars in the social media universe, at least for the moment. But equally important from a personal branding standpoint is LinkedIn. In fact, when it comes to your career prospects, LinkedIn can have a much greater impact than either Facebook or Twitter. So today I’m going to share personal branding tips specifically aimed at LinkedIn… I hope you find these helpful! 1) Completely fill out your profile. You know that often-irritating little reminder on the right side of your LinkedIn home page, the bar that shows how “complete” your profile is? Don’t stop working on your profile until it’s at 100%. Many LinkedIn users don’t bother to do this—so not only will you ...read more


VIDEO: From the Outside Looking In

Posted: Friday, February 25th, 2011

Nick Nanton discusses the importance of looking to the outside in life and business to achieve success. Check back often for more business, marketing and personal branding videos from Nick Nanton! read more


VIDEO: Personal Branding Expert Tip: Lessons from the 53rd Annual Grammy Award

Posted: Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Nick Nanton gives personal branding tips from the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards: Hope you enjoyed Nick's personal branding take on this year's Grammy Awards! Check back for more personal branding videos! read more


Personal Branding Lessons from Lady Gaga

Posted: Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Attending the Grammy awards in Los Angeles earlier this month, I had the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the brightest stars in show business. While I’ve often talked about the importance of personal branding in the world of celebrities and entertainment, I was again reminded just how well Lady Gaga markets herself. Even in her glamorous world, Lady Gaga manages to stand apart from the crowd. And while she is a talented performer, she’s not the best ever. There is more to her rise to fame than simply her musical abilities. Below are some of the personal branding lessons we can all learn from Lady Gaga: 1) Live your brand 24/7. Everybody knows about the outrageous costumes Lady Gaga ...read more


The Business Trifecta and the Secret formula for Media Success

Posted: Thursday, February 17th, 2011

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1727569/the-business-trifecta-and-the-secret-formula-for-media-success In today's post, as promised, we're going to reveal the secret formula for media success. But, before we get into that there's three things you have to do to grow your business--media, marketing, and PR. Let's cover how many people make the same avoidable mistakes. A lot of people spend a ton of money on creating media. Let's look the example using video. A business will hire a video production company. They'll spend oodles of money to try to get a great looking video and then when the final video is delivered, they are often in a bind. They're now ...read more


Have You Defined Your Personal Brand?

Posted: Friday, February 4th, 2011

What do you stand for? What is your personal brand? I’ve spoken and written plenty about the subject—now it’s time for you to perform a self evaluation. Ask colleagues or friends the following questions (if you’re not comfortable asking them, do your best to answer them honestly from their perspective.) 1) Describe my personality in three words. 2) What are my most valuable skills? 3) When you hear my name, what single word comes to mind first? 4) What makes me different from everyone else? 5) Describe my attitude in one word. Make sure that you ask several people these questions so that you can develop an accurate picture. The answers to these questions will paint a strong picture of the personal brand you’ve been broadcasting. Look at the results—are they what you ...read more


Be a Movie Star: Using YouTube for Personal Branding

Posted: Monday, January 31st, 2011

When it comes to personal branding, there aren’t very many tools more powerful than YouTube. For a viewer, seeing your face and hearing your voice is much more impactful than simply reading your tweets or Facebook updates. On the other hand, branding through video requires more knowledge and time than simply using Twitter. And it can be intimidating—putting yourself out there for the world to see isn’t easy. Here are some tips to help you get started on YouTube: 1) Invest in good equipment. Nothing will sabotage your videos as quickly as poor sound or visual quality. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but make sure that your setup allows for a sharp picture and clear audio. 2) Don’t ramble. You ...read more


The Importance of Consistency

Posted: Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

One of the challenges of personal branding is staying focused. As we’ve talked about in the past, an effective brand is focused on a few traits or qualities. When you think Rolex, you think “expensive, high quality timepiece.” If Rolex sold cheap watches, their brand would be destroyed. Imagine the impact on the Wal-Mart brand if they began selling high end, expensive furniture. Or imagine if Taco Bell began selling hot dogs. In each of these cases, a strong, focused brand would be weakened by trying to do too much. The key to a strong brand is focus… and that goes for your personal brand as well. If you’re hoping to build a strong personal brand, the ...read more


Personal Branding Through Facebook

Posted: Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

When it comes to personal branding through social media, most professionals gravitate towards LinkedIn and Twitter. Despite the fact that Facebook is the dominant social media platform, LinkedIn and Twitter are often seen as better suited for personal branding. This is in large part due to the perception of Facebook as a “Family and Friends” network. While LinkedIn and Twitter are certainly great platforms for personal branding, Facebook can also be used effectively for this purpose. Below are several tips to help you get started: 1) Don’t hesitate to be “friends” with colleagues. OK, this one is a bit complicated—there are many professionals that prefer to use Facebook only for personal activity. This is understandable… after all, most of us keep ...read more


Defining Your Personal Brand

Posted: Monday, November 29th, 2010

I devote a substantial amount of time talking about personal branding in this space. However, I’ve realized that though nearly everybody has heard of personal branding, many people aren’t clear on exactly what it is and how it is defined. A great way to understand the concept is as follows… when somebody hears your name, what pops into their head? That’s your brand, for better or for worse. Try a few examples: when you hear the name Michael Jordan, what do you think? Competitor? Basketball player? Winner? How about Nelson Mandela? Obviously Nelson Mandela and Michael Jordan are better known than most of us. But everyone has the opportunity to develop and project their personal ...read more


Conan O’Brien: Social Media Success Story

Posted: Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

I talk often about the importance of social media for marketing and personal branding, so today I thought I’d share a success story… Conan O’Brien. Whether you are a fan of his show or not, you probably remember what happened to him early in 2010. Conan had just taken over The Tonight Show, but NBC executives were concerned with his low ratings and decided to replace him with Jay Leno. Conan wasn’t allowed to appear on TV for 9 months—a length of time sure to destroy his public visibility and marketability. Soon after, O’Brien signed a deal to host a show on the cable channel TBS. At that point, it looked as if Conan was going to have to ...read more


The Rise of Internal Evangelists

Posted: Friday, November 5th, 2010

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1695023/the-rise-of-internal-evangelists In our last blog on FastCompany.com, we talked about putting some personality in your marketing, but we wanted to expound a bit due to some questions we got. This whole concept fits in very well with the new transparency movement, which you've undoubtedly heard a lot about recently, because letting people know who you really are is an important part of transparency. But you might be saying, "Well I'm not a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, or (insert what you do here) so that won't work for me." Or, "but I run a large company, and it's not just about me." What we want to share ...read more


Does Your Business Offer a Payment Plan?

Posted: Friday, October 8th, 2010

In this economy, lump-sum payments are becoming more and more difficult for people to swallow. Often it isn’t the actual cost of something that prevents a person from purchasing a product or a service but the inability to cough up a large lump sum up front to pay for that product or service they want. After more than three decades, even Disney (the family Mecca) has expended its branding strategy to include offering a family-friendly payment plan for Florida’s season pass holders. Gasp $275.84 to purchase a seasonal pass for Disney, ouch. But $15.74 per month to take the family to see the Mouse any time they want, now that’s something to think about. That’s what, three lattes a month? Do you have a ...read more


Personal Branding: Building Your Brand With Video

Posted: Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

In our last blog, Personal Branding: A Great Picture Can Go A Long Way, we discussed the importance of consistently using a quality photo of yourself to help build the foundation of your brand – not to mention a good first impression. Now, with that in mind, just imagine how video can build upon that! The age-old quest for small businesses has been to separate themselves from the pack, and offer a new and unique experience to their customers. With personal branding, we recognize that building your business around your personality can be the most unique attribute you have – you are the only you! Use your personality to let people get to know you. Once people get to know and ...read more


Personal Branding: A Great Picture Can Go A Long Way

Posted: Friday, October 1st, 2010

If you want people to know you, they have to SEE you! Choosing the right photo of yourself and using it consistently can be one of the easiest and most effective things you can do right now to provide a foundation for you personal branding strategy. Here are a couple tips on using the right photo to represent you and your personal brand. Quality Matters The easiest way to instantly lose credibility with prospective customers or clients is to showcase an unprofessional photo. When I visit a new website, or even a twitter page, the first thing I look at is the photo. It bothers me when I see professional people using unprofessional photos. I instantly think that if they didn’t take the ...read more


Personal Branding Tip: Put a Little PERSONALITY in It!

Posted: Monday, September 13th, 2010

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1687239/personal-branding-tip-put-a-little-personality-in-it Many people who we come into contact with have amazing personalities, in person, and then we go check out their content (their blogs, articles, videos, books, etc), and it's totally flat and stale--or what we often describe as very institutional or corporate feeling. We're going to tell you to do the exact opposite. That is not at all what your clients and prospects really want. They want to know who you really are. Think about it this way, the way that you connect with people is really based on a scale of how much ...read more


Personal Branding Tip: Choose To Be Different!

Posted: Thursday, August 26th, 2010

I love when I come across a story that shows a business thinking outside the box when it comes to their marketing. I recently heard an interview with one of the members of the band Cheap Trick. The band was preparing to do a string of 9 shows in Vegas where they will play the entire album of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, along with some of their own popular hits. This is interesting enough on it’s own, but what really stood out to me was a little interesting and humorous exchange at the end of the interview. When asked about their new album, front man Robin Zander proclaimed “Right now we have the number one 8-track in the world!” ...read more


Personal Branding Tip: Forget What YOU Know

Posted: Thursday, August 26th, 2010

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1682547/personal-branding-expert-tip-forget-what-you-know Watch the Video Blog from Nick here: Personal Branding Tip: Forget What YOU Know In my last blog for Fast Company, I explained to you that you have to display your expertise and all the ways you could do that. But I've had a bunch of emails and posts that have asked me, "But, Nick, where do I begin?" And here's where you've got to begin. You have to forget what you know. Now before you go off saying I'm crazy because I told you before to "get out of the business you're in" and now I'm telling you to "forget what you know", here's what's important--you ...read more


Personal Branding Goes Gaga

Posted: Monday, August 23rd, 2010

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1679211/personal-branding-goes-gaga Not satisfied with the small screen any more, reportedly Lady Gaga is looking to move to the big screen in what she hopes will be the next blockbuster music movie even though there is no script, producer, director, or plan. The slight negative tone to this blog is not to diminish the music star's ability to keep her career in the news and everyone guessing, "what's next"? Does anyone know, may be the better question. Naturally, an announcement of a potential movie deal is a long way from the appearance of one and hints of movies give Gaga and company many opportunities to continue to stir the press machine ...read more


Are You a One-Hit Wonder?

Posted: Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Many of you know that I have been involved with music my whole life. I’ve learned that the music business is pretty much like any other industry. A lot of the same strategies we use with our branding agency, I used in one way or another managing bands and artists over that last several years. I’ve always tried to help others, whether it is in music or other areas of business where developing a personal brand is key to long-term success. I’ve always asked if they want to be a “one-hit wonder” or a “hall of famer.” Remember these gems? 1974 - “Kung Fu Fighting” Carl Douglas 1983 - “Too Shy” Kajagoogoo 1992 - “I’m Too Sexy” Right Said Fred All of these ...read more


Tony Robbins's Personal Branding "Breakthrough"

Posted: Monday, August 2nd, 2010

This blog was originally posted and featured on FastCompany.com. The original post can be found here: http://www.fastcompany.com/1675170/tony-robbins-perosnal-branding-breakthrough By Nick Nanton, Esq. and JW Dicks, Esq. If you missed Tony Robbins's new mainstream premiere of Breakthrough, his new reality TV show, you missed the evolution of the blending of infomercial, reality TV, and soap opera. While these adjectives describing Tony Robbins's new show could be viewed as negative, we don't intend them that way. It is the representation of the re-launch of Tony's career in personal development and the launch of a new and powerful blended medium. Had this show been an infomercial, there would have been a strong call to action for viewers to buy the hot product Tony was selling. This may have resulted in ...read more


LeBron, The Media, and Your Message

Posted: Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

By FastCompany Expert Bloggers Nick Nanton & JW Dicks Companies must take control of their own brand message and use their own media to do so when possible. LeBron James' control of ESPN's own show, to announce his jump from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Miami Heat NBA Franchise, was as strong of an in-your-face illustration of the point as you can make. James told ESPN who would interview him, when they could pop the question on his choice of teams, which sponsors would fill the hour long show, and perhaps more importantly, where the money paid for the sponsorships would go. Like it or not, and many journalists don't, this is just the beginning of high profile sources taking control of a news event. The ...read more


Are You Using The Media? You Should Be.

Posted: Friday, June 11th, 2010

Did you know right now there are journalists sitting at their desks wondering what’s new that they can write about? It’s true. Having worked with a number of journalists over the years, I can’t tell you how many times I have been told that the information I just provided is exactly what they needed to meet a deadline. Journalists, like potential clients, are at the mercy of the information they find. When information comes to them, it makes their job easier. Easier job = happy journalist. So what does this mean to you? It means that if you are marketing and branding your company, you need to know what journalists are looking for and be ready to supply it. Maybe it’s information about a grand opening, ...read more


How to Choose Your Avatar

Posted: Friday, April 16th, 2010

No, we are not talking about picking a movie time here, but if you saw the movie, then you know that an Avatar is a representation of yourself. Wiki says, “An avatar is a computer user's representation of himself/herself or alter ego, whether in the form of a three-dimensional model used in computer games, a two-dimensional icon (picture) or a one-dimensional username used on Internet forums and other communities... It is an object representing the user.” Now that we have that straight… Choosing the right avatar to represent your personal brand is just as important as selecting a logo for your company. Perhaps more important in the world of social media because that is what people see every time they correspond with you on Twitter, ...read more


Put Your Best Image Forward

Posted: Monday, March 29th, 2010

One of the most important personal branding tools is a professional photo. Please note that I said professional photo; the image you use for your personal brand should be taken by a professional to ensure that you are portraying the right image. There are photographic styles for every image, but a quick snapshot taken by your friend with poor lighting, a busy background and other people in the image is probably not the best image for your brand. A friend in the publishing industry tells the story of a famous actor – I dare not name – who was to appear in a magazine. When a request was made for the actor’s photo, he sent a picture of himself at what appeared to be a ...read more


Mickey Mouse, The Personality Brand

Posted: Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

In a recent New York Times article by Brooks Barnes, it reported that the Walt Disney Co. was going to take a risky step of recasting Mickey’s image for the future, adding, “Disney has quietly embarked on an even larger project to rethink the character’s personality from the way he walks and talks to the way he appears and how kids interact with him online.” This acknowledgement by Disney of the importance of “thinking”, about how a personality brand is perceived on many levels by your audience, is a lesson we all need to keep in mind. Clearly Disney is concerned about brand reception and its effect on a brand with $5 billion in annual merchandise sales. Your company’s brand might not have billions at stake ...read more


Your Direct-Mail Campaign is Only as Good as Your List

Posted: Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

We talk a lot about technology because it's new and sexy, but sometimes it's important to refocus on the basics. The basics may not be as sexy, but they have built great businesses for years and are still working for branding and marketing in the new economy. Even in our highly digital world, branding consultants will tell you that the direct-mail campaign is still one of the most important tools in a branding agency’s bag. But even if you plan the best campaign, if your campaign doesn’t reach your intended recipients, you might as well throw your cash out the window. When your mail piece arrives at the post office, it is feed into a machine to read the address and give it a barcode for ...read more


Get Your Business in Shape

Posted: Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Maintaining your personal brand is a lot like maintaining your personal appearance, except instead of looking like a slob at the grocery store, if you don’t maintain your personal brand you won’t make money. Actually, since you need money to maintain your personal appearance, perhaps personal branding is even more important, although I guess this is where the chicken and the egg comes in… Here are 3 branding strategies to do this week: 1) Hit the weights – While you may not work up a sweat, take a moment each week to exercise your mind and learn something new to help you build your business. Whether it is keeping up with the latest and greatest in your industry or checking in on your favorite branding agency (hint, hint) ...read more


Behind the Scenes At Disney

Posted: Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Our Company does an event a couple of times per year and part of it is a “behind the scenes” look at Disney and an education on how they do the business magic they do so well. One segment of the tour is a visit to the “underground” part of the Magic Kingdom - the tunnels below. On tour, the very knowledgeable guides explain in detail some of the “insider” points of what Disney does and the thought process that goes with it. On this particular trip the guide told us about Disney’s Pin trading. For those of you who don’t know, Disney borrowed the idea of trading Pins from the Olympics when they observed people from different countries using it as an ice ...read more


Texas and Australia Collide!!...???

Posted: Friday, March 27th, 2009

It's hard to believe that 1 week ago last night, Thursday night, I was in Austin at South By Southwest (SXSW), the biggest music festival in the U.S., rocking out to one of the bands I represent, "A Day to Remember." These guys have been tearing it up recently. Their most recent release hit #21 on Billboard's Top 200 records in February of this year. You can check out some video of them on youtube, there's lots of them out there! Be forewarned, they rock pretty hard and heavy :). But the story I'm going to tell you about actually happened exactly a week ago, on Friday morning, at one of the biggest brunches you can be invited to, the BMI SXSW ...read more


All You Need in a Video (Part II)

Posted: Thursday, March 5th, 2009

In my previous post "All You Need in a Video" I talked about the fact that a heartfelt video that connects with your prospects and clients, regardless of production value, is all you need in order to connect with your audience. Well, here is an example of me taking my own advice (notice that the birds weren't added sound effects! they were just part of the background, and I was still able to get my message across!) Here is a link to the video: http://www.celebritybrandingyou.com/cby-video/ read more


Celebrity Branding You™ - Isn’t He Just Talking About Personality Driven Marketing?

Posted: Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

I was being interviewed on Inc. 500 CEO, Chris Hurn’s Small Business Success Strategies series, last week and he asked a question that I answer all too frequently in person, but I’m sure many of you have never heard my answer. What he essentially asked me is, “How is Celebrity Branding® different from personality branding, and the long-standing concept of a personality driven business?” While I can’t summarize everything that Celebrity Branding® includes in one short article, let me tell you one of the main differences. The main difference is in the magnitude of focus and commitment you give to your positioning. You can have personality in any brand. But Celebrity Branding® is taking your personality and making you the focus, not the back-story ...read more


Somewhat like on American Idol, "I'm going to Hollywood!"

Posted: Friday, February 6th, 2009

I'm heading out to the GRAMMY's with my wife and my business partners tomorrow. We're really looking forward to it and we're actually staying right across from the Kodak Theater where they film the Idol finals. We even got invited to Ne-Yo's after-party. We'll let you know how that goes... Anyhow, as I was packing, I was reminded of the last time I flew on a plane, a few weeks ago when I was coming back from France. I had so much time on the plane I actually ran out of things to do, watch, read etc, so I resorted to the airline's shopping catalogue...in german. I saw an image very similar to this one: nickblog-pic-small.jpg Now I can ...read more


It All Comes Down to This…

Posted: Saturday, January 17th, 2009

I’m writing this at 5:50am at the Nashville airport, getting ready to hop a plane back to Orlando. I arrived yesterday afternoon to watch our client Johnny Bulford www.johnnybulford.com compete in the finals of the Colgate Country Showdown. It’s kind of like American Idol but it’s only for country music and it’s been going on a lot longer! It’s in its 27th year! Artists like Garth Brooks, Martina McBride, Leann Rymes, Billy Ray Cyrus and many others got their career starts in the Showdown. There were thousands of local and regional contests that all culminated in the final that was hosted last night, by Leann Rymes, with the top 5 winners from the final 5 regions. Johnny was the ...read more


ALL YOU NEED in a video!

Posted: Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I wanted to show you a video from none other than LeAnn Rimes. I went to her website because I'm actually going to be in Nashville on Thursday where she'll be hosting the finals of the Colgate Country Showdown on TV and one of our clients is in the Top 4 and is competing for the title. I'll let you know how it goes! But, in any event, check out the video she has up on her site: http://www.leannrimesworld.com/splash/splash_wicc.php It's to promote her song, "What I cannot Change." What I want you to notice is that even big stars don't always spend lots of money and time to get a great quality video up online. Many of us hide behind the fact that we ...read more


Building a Business on the Back of your Blockbuster

Posted: Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

In the past several months I have been traveling the country and meeting with many highly successful business owners and entrepreneurs, including several "household names" that you would certainly recognize if I mentioned their names...but that's not the point of this blog. The point is that I'm going to teach you how to avoid making the big mistake that most people make at the height of their success. These celebrities, at one time or another, had millions of dollars media (radio, television, internet and newspaper), F-R-E-E media, talking about them and giving them publicity because what they had to offer, whether it was simply an entertaining personality, answers to a burning question the fans wanted to know, or the answer to a common problem the ...read more


Do your clients think you would wash their kids in your kitchen sink?

Posted: Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

What do all of these images have in common? Keep reading and I’ll tell you! As I was driving into my neighborhood a couple of weeks ago (before I moved into our new house, which is tiring to even think about, and why I didn’t get a chance to send you this sooner!) I saw a sign taped to a stop sign that read: College Babysitter 555-555-1212* *(actual number withheld to spare the poor kid) Now, it doesn’t take more than about 4 seconds to find your own punchline, but if you’re like me, the first thing your mind conjures up, is probably something like one of the above pictures, or this: No one gave this “well-educated” college kid the first lesson in marketing! You’ve got ...read more


Meeting With George Ross

Posted: Thursday, July 24th, 2008

I am writing this blog on my flight back from New York City after some great meetings. I flew up yesterday to speak at the New York/Northern New Jersey chapter of Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle on my book tour to promote Jack and my new book, Celebrity Branding You. You can check out some pictures here: http://tinyurl.com/6kvog9 When I finalized my trip to New York, I decided to take up George Ross, Donald Trump’s Lawyer and Chief Negotiator as well as his board room co-star on The Apprentice, on his offer to visit him at his office next time I was in the city. So I emailed George and we set up a time to visit yesterday morning. You can see ...read more


A Funeral Home that has Members and the Secret to Moderate Success

Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2008

As I write this blog post I’m sitting in the exit row on an airplane coming back from my second trip to Baltimore this month (I also had to go to Cleveland for 2 days which was even more interesting!). The guy sitting next to me was looking for some calculus homework help…fate obviously placed him in the wrong seat! I could have spent the entire duration of the flight convincing him to throw in the towel and take up something useful, but hey, I can’t save everyone. Oh well… I can assure you the marketing conferences and meetings I have been attending have been well worth the trips or you would never get me to leave my wife and 2 sons to go to any such place! And yes, for ...read more


Are you relevant?

Posted: Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I hope my subject line didn't make your heart skip a beat because you thought I was being rude, but my point is that this should be the exact question you ask yourself when trying to communicate with your "audience" of prospects and customers. If you can stay relevant, and integrate current events, pop culture and news items that your prospects and customers are paying attention to into your marketing, your message will be much better received and it will be more likely that your audience will act on your message. If you have been reading my posts and articles for the past few months, you'll notice that I have posted several times about American Idol. It’s currently the biggest show on TV, and I have ...read more


The Power of Connecting

Posted: Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

During this time of constant media coverage of the impending Presidential election, I am constantly reminded of the words of Dr. Frank Luntz, world-renowned professor, political consultant, and author of the book Words that Work. In the book, Dr. Luntz discusses the “Beer Factor.” He says that, although many factors weigh into electing a President, one of the most important things a candidate can do to create a loyal following is to sit down and have a beer with potential voters. Bill Clinton was wildly successful due to his charisma and an overwhelming majority of people found him interesting whether or not they agreed with his past. Thus, he passed the Beer Factor test. The underlying principle here is that he had the ability ...read more


Start the Conversation

Posted: Monday, April 21st, 2008

It always amuses me when I go to a group meeting of some kind (like the last one I attended in Nashville - The GKIC SuperConference - in early April) and people walk up to me out of the blue and say things like "Hey Nick, how are you? Are the kids doing well? How have things been since that record deal you just negotiated? Is the band doing well?" This may sound like idle chatter, but what makes this exchange so fascinating is that often I have never spoken a word to this person in my life. Seriously. What I have done is started a conversation with them through blogs, articles, press releases ...read more


Why YOU Are Such an Important Part of Celebrity Branding®

Posted: Friday, March 28th, 2008

I spoke at the University of Florida’s Music Law Conference just a few weeks ago and the topic of discussion that surfaced (as it always does) was, “Where music is headed and is there a solution to stop piracy and free digital downloading?” When I gave my answer, there was a puzzled look on many faces, not because it was a profound answer, but more likely because it was an “I knew that!” kind of answer. The computer has made many things possible and many common tasks easier. But every sword cuts both ways, and the fact that digital data can be perfectly duplicated has wreaked havoc on many industries. Even though many industries have felt the effects of this phenomenon, one of ...read more


The Idol Factor

Posted: Monday, March 17th, 2008

About 30 million viewers tune in to watch American Idol each week. With significant interest and business in the music industry (and for a touch of guilty pleasure) I tune in each week and play "Armchair Record Exec" along with my wife, Kristina. I have even taken a stab at playing some "Fantasy Idol" and picking the winners. I had a good run at it last year but alas Sanjaya Malakar staying on the show led to my demise because I continued to pick him to get the axe each week, but much to my disgust (and my Fantasy Idol ranking) he stayed much longer than any of us expected! But I digress... The interesting thing about American Idol is, if you watch from ...read more


The Secret Summit of Million Dollar Marketers

Posted: Monday, February 18th, 2008

I just returned from a meeting that you probably had no idea existed. I had heard rumors of this meeting taking place in the past, but this time I too got the call to attend. The meeting took place in a midwestern town that was practically in the middle of nowhere. I assume this is because it was very inconspicuous and no one there would recognize the celebrities who were present, 20 of the best marketers in the world to be exact. I don’t know for sure how many total there were, but I do know there were at least 3 private jets at the airport from the members of this group. All that to tell you that this was not a vacation ...read more


What’s old is new again!

Posted: Monday, February 18th, 2008

Continuing on the theme of one of the articles in the Dicks & Nanton Business Growth Report (if you aren’t getting it…you should be! So shoot us an email to let us know!) I wanted to take a minute to look at how “cyclical” opportunities can create astronomical revenue for your business. Let’s look at an example. It seems if you slap the word “organic” on any product these days you won’t be able to keep it in stock (and you’ll be able to charge about 10 times the price for it!). You can look at many industries from food to cosmetics and you’ll see that if organic products aren’t already the fastest growing sector, then they will be very soon. What is ...read more


What Lance is doing that you aren’t.

Posted: Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

When Lance was the only one in his office who was single, his “friends” got together and decided to help him out. So they put up this billboard. Oh yeah and they made him his very own website as well: http://www.datelance.com/ While this is a pretty funny prank that ever so timely in the month of February, what I want to call your attention to is how clear the message is here: Lance is looking for someone to date (or at least his friends are looking for someone for him to date!). And while some might argue that he must have a strong desire to be miserable (that was a joke), lets assume that he’s looking for someone to enhance his life. In dating we look for ...read more


Product Placement and the Football Playoffs

Posted: Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Thanks to ad-eliminating “Tivo” and other fast forwarding DVR’s, expensive television ads are hurting and returns on investment are falling. To counter attack the loss, advertisers and the people that sell to them are creating new and different ways of placing your product directly in the main event. This is referred to as “product placement.” This weekend while both working and watching the football playoff games I had turned my attention to the post-game show. “What to my eyes did appear” but Jared …the spokesperson for Subway, giving live advice to all of the sports announcers about which one of the subway sandwiches sitting on the table would be the best for them to feast on. Yes, Jared was wearing his Colts game ...read more


Could this be the ABSOLUTE BEST Holiday Promotion We've Ever Seen?

Posted: Monday, December 10th, 2007

Well, we've all been bombarded with millions of marketing messages this holiday season. But if you're like the rest of us, you still haven't finished buying all of the gifts you need. Well, the promotion we're about to show you is quite possibly the most ingenious holiday promotion we've ever seen. What started out looking like a normal greeting card, turned out to be sheer genius. Click on the links below to see the Best Holiday Promotion Ever! scan1.jpg scan2.jpg read more


The conclusion to my story…

Posted: Monday, November 12th, 2007

Last time we discussed how I was speaking with a sales person on the phone and right as I was warming up to her and asking her to tell me a little bit more about her services and fees, she “flipped the switch” and became a sales drone losing all hope of connecting with me and making the sale. If you didn’t get a chance to read that, you can click here to read it. Now for the solution: What should she have done? She should have told me “the story.” She should have taken the time to understand what I was trying to accomplish and then proceeded to paint me a picture about how much ...read more


A Sales Story…with a Sad Ending

Posted: Friday, October 19th, 2007

I took a call this morning that I was actually rather excited to take. We are marketing some medical products for a client of ours who is a physician and I got an interesting inquiry about marketing through an online community of physicians. This could be a great supplement to the other forms of marketing we are doing. So I took the call and a pleasant sales woman and I began to discuss how she could help us market our producs. From the moment I asked her about the different “packages” she turned into a sales drone. I ...read more


How to Attract More RSS Subscribers – For Real (from Daily Blog Tips)

Posted: Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

This is a great article about how to attract more RSS Subscribers. You can read it by clicking on the link below: Daily Blog Tips For those of you who don’t know what RSS is, here’s a link to “Feed 101” from Feedburner, the best in the biz! Feed 101 read more


REVEALED: The 1 Trick That Will Let You Fire Your Marketing Agency and Keep More Money for Yourself

Posted: Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Jack, my law partner, and I have had this ongoing dialogue for the past year or so about which word is better: 1. Attorney 2. Lawyer What we do know is that lawyers prefer the “high-brow” word Attorney and so many of them use it in their marketing too. In their opinion, it increases the perceived value of their services. What we didn’t know is whether the general public felt the same way or not. We both had a hunch that the word lawyer was more commonplace, and therefore a better keyword for us to use in our online marketing and pay-per-click campaigns. Now, one year later, WE KNOW ...read more


Big Profits From Little Changes

Posted: Thursday, July 5th, 2007

Periodically we always take a fresh look at our product lines and those of our clients to see if any can be slightly altered to its advantage. Use a list like this, of eight ideas, just to run through quickly in your mind. One big change a year can make a huge difference in your bottom line and sometimes without adding very much in additional overhead. Those changes are Power Changes because they make such a big addition to your income stream. #1) Can you “plus” a product, service or business you have? "Plussing" is adding something to a current product you currently have, to create something else. Look at the beverage industry and all of the flavors of Coke that have come out ...read more


Getting Clients Online - “Show and Tell”

Posted: Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

One of the biggest fears for most people who are thinking about doing business with you online is that they don’t know you personally, and want to make sure you aren’t trying to scam them. The best way to remove this fear from site visitors is to literally take it back to elementary basics “show & tell.” By this I mean you should both show and tell visitors who you are. Tell them about your company: a. when it was founded b. where you are located c. who the principals are d. who the core management team is e. who some of your customers are f. what you do Show ...read more


Is Your Business Extraordinary?

Posted: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

It drives me nuts when I go into a business and I have a chance to look around for more than 5 minutes without someone noticing me or asking how they can help. I usually laugh, leave and chalk it up to stupidity. But you know what drives me REALLY nuts?! When a business serves me, but they do it just like everyone else. When you go to the store and buy something, what happens next? I’ll tell you. 99% of the time the answer is NOTHING. You can buy a television, groceries, a car, or anything else you so desire and 99% of the time they let you walk out without thinking twice and if you’re lucky you may get a half hearted “thank you ...read more


Riches In Niches

Posted: Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

While we are all inclined to say that “our business can help anyone” is that really the smartest path for your business? Lets look at a simple commonplace example. If you are having knee problems, do you go to a family practice doctor, or do you go to an orthopedic specialist? Well, I go to the orthopedic specialist and I would guess most of the rest of America does too. And you (or your insurance company) usually pays more for a visit to the specialist. This is just one example of many that I could discuss, but you get the point. You see, we’ve been taught in today’s society to go see experts. And we’ve also been preconditioned to pay these experts more for their services. This ...read more


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