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Personal branding “Me 2.0″ style
Stop loosing opportunities. Be your strongest business magnet, exude authority, earn trust and enjoy more success today.

My friend Dan Schawbel’s new book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success is out today. It’s a great read for its dedicated audience of young professionals, along with us older folks who act all different ages.

Here are some pointers I soaked up from the book and some inspirational, insightful thoughts from a couple of my favorite business experts.

Dan professes, “personal branding describes the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, and then leverage it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish reputation and credibility, advance their careers, and build self-confidence .”

He also suggests you ask yourself this important question before you launch off into your Me 2.0 initiative.

Does your career path make you happy?

If yes, great keep working it. Make the most of your talents and skill set to achieve maximum success.

If no, change it. Find the right path for you and focus on making it work.

If you’re unsure about your future—define it. Weigh all the factors that matter to you and find the career path that fits best.

Dan believes it takes a four-step process to build a powerful personal brand for a successful career:
Discover. In the discover step, you will learn about yourself, figure out what makes you distinctive, and learn how to develop the right skills.

Create. In the create step, you will build a complete marketing kit that you can use in interviews or when networking.

Communicate. In the communicate step, you will take everything you’ve created and promote it to others.

Maintain. In the maintain step, you will perform routine maintenance so that your reputation is monitored and protected.

A big chunk of his book is focused on e-Branding through social media and online channels. Here are some great tips.

When applicable
-Always include your name, picture, and personal brand statement.
-Always include personal information, not just professional experience, so that the user can get a feeling for your eBrand.
-Always keep your site engaging, user-friendly, and easy to navigate.
-Always use aesthetic choices (font style, background color, logos, etc.) that will capture and hold your audience’s attention without annoying them.
-Always use design choices, including a color scheme, that represents your personal brand.

Dan knows first hand about creating a personal brand. For being on earth for only a short time, he walks his talk. Personal brand requires hard work and dedication. But if you’re dedicated and create an online and offline brand presence that relates to the demands of your target audience and delivers what they’re looking for, they will embrace it. When this happens, you’ll be amazed to see how many opportunities for success open up.

Just consider these cool, smart guys quoted in Dan’s book who have certainly earned their top places in business and society through their strategic and persistent online footprints.

“I kicked off my un-keynote at the first PodCamp by telling everyone there that they were superheroes. Why? Because through their use of social media, they had the power to bypass hierarchies, discover and connect to meaningful two-way conversations, and build value and brand without getting permission to do either.” —Chris Brogan, cofounder, PodCamp

“People should do what they do/love as well as they can. For me, it’s blogging and speaking. My thinking is that if you do good stuff, your brand will naturally come out of your actions. But if you focus on ‘what makes me look good,ʼ you’ll just be a slick and shallow persona.”—Guy Kawasaki, managing director, Garage Technology Ventures

Keep up the great work gentlemen and congrats Dan on a solid, valuable book!