Loading the content...
Tag archives for:

brand communications

5 Tips to Make Your Personal Brand Shine

Personal Brand Shine

This post originally appeared on flexjobs.com blog on July 31st. Flex Jobs makes your search for a telecommuting, part-time, freelance, or flextime job better, easier, faster, and safer. Their site is easy-to-use and even allows you to build a professional-looking resume right in your profile which you can digitally send to any prospect. The platform allows you to create more than one profile so you can filter your search and find the best matches for you.  Enjoy the post!


The L.A. Times reported recently that, “A whopping 92% of U.S. companies say they are using social networks to find talent in 2012, according to a new survey. In addition to checking your resume, nearly 3 out of 4 hiring managers and recruiters check candidates’ social profiles — 48% always do so, even if they are not provided.

When you are on the hunt for a new job, it is essential that you have your personal brand in order and your online ducks in a row. If you have not yet taken the time to polish your personal brand, let’s review this handful of essential tips to help you outshine your competition.

1. Define You

The most significant step to developing your personal brand, is determining what your brand represents. Your core values are the heart of your brand. It is the foundation for all of your brand and communication strategies. Ask yourself a few questions. What motivates you to get up in the morning and tackle the day? Why are you unique? What are you passionate about?  When you begin to answer these questions, your personal brand will take shape. Once you have discovered your core values, you can easily draft your personal vision statement. Your vision statement will serve as your personal brand guide and will keep you in check as you continue your search and promote yourself.

2. Set Goals for Your Job Hunt

Setting your goals will help you filter your search results to apply only for jobs which align with your brand.  How well does a company and job listing fit your brand’s values? If they don’t match up, don’t apply. FlexJobs has a great feature, which allows you to develop more than one profile.  You can create very specific profiles to look for jobs tailored to your specific goals. There is even a video tutorial to show you how to set up multiple profiles. This will really help you narrow your search and save you valuable time.

3. Develop a Content Plan

Develop a detailed content plan so that you are continually engaging audiences, sharing valuable content and affecting perceptions of your image.  Think about how often you will post to your social accounts.  What topics are relevant to your job search and to your desired industry? Use a calendar to map out your social content plan and develop a strategy. Use a tool like Hootsuite to manage posts for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, among others. Your communication strategy will help you stay focused on your goals and in-line with your brand identity.

4. Promote Through Social Media

Digging a bit deeper into some of the specific platforms, you’ll gain a better understanding of why you need to plan your content. It takes time to manage your profiles, but your hard work will pay off as you will be more easily found, and will be proud to share your social links because you can be confident what others will find.


  • Add video to your LinkedIn Profile. This Sprout Insights article is a good tutorial for that.
  • Utilize Sections on LinkedIn to highlight your achievements, especially if you have less work experience to leverage.
  • Remember to include LinkedIn as part of your content plan and schedule posts.


  • Tighten up your controls so that your posts, photos and/or activity are not set to Public.
  • Use Facebook Lists for easy use of custom settings.
  • Strategically use Life Events to post your achievements to your Timeline. Set those posts to Public so recruiters can see them.


  • Schedule some Twitter time each day to reply, retweet and converse.
  • Use the list function to set up lists for leads, businesses, news sources, etc.
  • Update your bio to reflect your job hunting status.
  • Take care with who you follow and who follows you.


  • Use Pinterest as the visual form of “Interests” on a resume.
  • Share photos relative to your hobbies and life goals.
  • Pin the items which make you a person a Hiring Manager can relate to.


  • Establish your own website, blog or splash page like about.me.
  • Make sure to mention that you are looking for employment.
  • Write about or post information that is applicable to your chosen industry.

On your FlexJobs profile, you can list one website per profile. Promote your site or list a splash page or your LinkedIn account to help you make a positive first impression.

5. Be Consistent

  • Use the same profile photo and color schemes/background photos across all networks for easy identification.
  • Make sure your bio information is listed the same on all sites.
  • Follow up with your leads and conversations and track interactions.

With sites like FlexJobs, the search for that perfect job is made much easier with so many tools and resources at your finger tips. Taking the time to build your personal brand and engaging online will prove to be worth the effort, as your brand will be refined, professional and ready for any recruiter to discover.

Shanna Bright founded Beaming Bohemian, unconventionally brilliant communication, to infuse communications with positivity and purpose and to empower you to build a meaningful, personable brand which connects and inspires people. She consults with several university programs, businesses and individuals about personal branding and strategic use of social media.  You can learn more about her work at http://beamingbohemian.com or contact her directly at [email protected] to schedule a private consultation. 

A Strong Brand Identity Recruits the Right Members


Membership Recruitment: A Strong Brand Identity Recruits the Right Members

This article originally was written for and published in the Club Membership and Marketing Magazine, an online resource for Private Club professionals. The article appears in full below, as the magazine is subscription only. The Magazine is a resource provided by PCMA, the Professional Club Marketing Association.
In a world that has gone almost completely digital, it is easy to get caught in the online current of promoting your Club through various social channels. It’s a natural tendency to advertise the Club’s events, golf tournaments and membership programs, to show the public how great it is to be a Member at your Club. Without doubt, Private Club Membership is rewarding on many levels. However, before you post another status update, craft that 140 character tweet, or share another photo, take a few steps to make sure you are recruiting the right Members for your Club.

Review your Club’s core values
Every Club most likely has a vision or a mission statement somewhere. Perhaps it’s written on a plaque which hangs in the library or it may be collecting dust within the founding documents box. Where ever that may be, it is time to find it and read it. Your Club’s vision is based on the core values of your Club’s brand. It’s a good idea to discover what those are, too. If you haven’t reviewed the Club’s core values and vision in a while, then it is time for a re-education. This is the heart of your brand. This is the foundation for all of your communications. And the Members you want to attract should connect with those core values. The Club’s values are the most significant component of your brand identity. Your Membership is the embodiment of your brand identity.

Take a temperature on your Club Culture
Is your Club culture in-line with the core values of the Club? If your programming has fallen a bit out of touch with the vision of the Club, then work with the executive team to get it back on track. Determine what events best promote the vision of the Club. Tweak some of the less successful events to better represent your values. For example, if your Club is founded upon being a family-friendly retreat and you have very few kid-friendly events, they you may want to add activities that kids will love to the appropriate festivities.

Be a good listener
Most of a Club’s advertising and promotions tend to be all about the Club and what the executive team wants or needs to push. But let’s change that focus to be more about what Members and prospective Members want and need to hear. Do your programs truly add value to their life? In what way? Does it offer a solution? Make their life easier? These are some things to consider. Your brand messaging should definitely be infused with your core values, but it should also address your Members’ core concerns. Online, it’s easier than ever to understand what people want. They talk all the time! This is a key step in finding prospective Members who have a need for your Club. Listening to what people want, need and are concerned about will help you reach out to them with all the great answers wrapped up in a Membership at your Club. Spend more time listening online to discover who is a match for your Membership.

Choose the right channels
While you might love posting every event and program to Facebook, your Members and prospects may be checking their LinkedIn profiles three times a day and Facebook only three times per week. Part of listening is also learning where your Members are living online. You will better connect with your audience if you find them, versus them having to search for you. Learn and understand your Members’ social habits to better promote your Club culture and find new Members who are a good fit.

When you and the staff are living and breathing the Club’s core values, you’ll find the culture warmly reflects this vision, the Members embody it and that your communications reach prospects who want and need what you offer because you address their core concerns. This is the strong brand identity that will recruit the right Members for your Club…and keep them.

Shanna’s private club experience includes an award winning role as Member Relations Director at City Club on Bunker Hill, a ClubCorp Club in downtown Los Angeles, California. Shanna is pleased to be presenting Private Club IPO: Go Public With Your Club Culture at the PCMA Convention in Las Vegas on September 25th, 2012.

It’s Just My Opinion


“It’s not about what made me unhappy,” Solo said. “It’s not about one game. I have my beliefs that the best commentators and the best analysts should be analyzing come Olympics, come World Cups, and it’s only my opinion. You can take it or leave it, to be honest, so it’s my opinion, and I think analysts and commentators should bring energy and excitement and passion for the game, and a lot of knowledge, and I think it’s important to help build the game, and I don’t think Brandi has that.

“It’s just my opinion, and nothing else really matters, to be honest. What matters is tomorrow’s game against North Korea, playing at Old Trafford. The team’s excited. It’s my birthday. I don’t really care to answer any other questions about Brandi.” via ESPN


Those of the words of an Olympic athlete. Hope Solo, the US women’s soccer goalie, made no apologies for her Twitter rant about the skills and ability of NBC correspondent, Brandi Chastain. This Mashable article has all of the tweets that Solo spewed, which were also tagged for Facebook posts.

Solo’s comments about Chastain were inappropriate enough that coach Pia Sundhage called Solo in for a meeting to discuss. What’s unfortunate, though, is that it appears Hope Solo was not reprimanded in any way.

What lesson does that teach Hope Solo?

Solo’s posts and commentary may be “only her opinion” but how will she learn that her opinions, expressed in a very public forum where the whole world is watching, does not favorably represent the U.S. women’s soccer team nor Team USA?  How will she understand that her opinions do not reflect the opinions of the team or the USA? Will she understand that tweeting nasty comments teaches young girls who look up to her that that kind of behavior is acceptable? Will she realize that she comes across as a spoiled brat who doesn’t care what anyone else thinks? What lessons in leadership are missed here, as well?

I wonder what drove coach Sundhage to conclude that she would not discipline the birthday girl. She could have at least insisted that Solo apologize to Chastain. Solo could have been fined. Solo could have been benched for 15 minutes, a half or even an entire game. It would have been interesting to see if Solo is that big of a factor on the team. And it certainly would have driven home the point that smack talk is not an acceptable communication style for US Olympic athletes. Freedom of speech can be used as an argument here, but certain people are held to higher standards. We have greater expectations of the athletes that are privileged to represent our country in the Olympics.


During my softball days, my dad, who was also my coach, ran a very tight infield/outfield drill. As he and the other coach would smack softballs at us, one rule stood: If you drop the ball, everyone runs a lap. It was one drill which has stuck with me forever. My actions affect others.

Hope Solo could stand to learn the drill that her words are not just her opinion. In this scenario, they affect and reflect her team, her coaches, the US athletes and you.

TK’s Twitter Troubles


I’m about to make a confession. I love USA Channel’s Necessary Roughness. Do you know the show? The lead character, Dr. Dani Santino is a psychotherapist whose main client is the fictional football team, the New York Hawks. She was brought on board after their star wide receiver was unable to catch any passes. She was referred to the team because, fresh off her divorce, she had a one-nighter with the team’s trainer. Juicy.

I was a little behind in this second season and finally caught up on last week’s show. (It airs every Wednesday night at 10pm for those interested!)  The episode guide for last week’s “Mr. Irrelevant” promises, “Dr. Dani works her magic on a world-renown illusionist whose next trick could prove his last. In addition, Dani tells the kids about her relationship with Matt as he learns to navigate front office politics. Plus, TK gets into a Twitter flame war with an all-too-familiar foe.”  Forget about everything except the last sentence.  Twitter (and Twitter used by athletes) was actually written into the episode!

I hadn’t read the episode guide before watching and so I was thrilled when Twitter became a part of the conversation, and then a main thread of the story.  Here’s the scoop, again from the episode guide, this time the full summary:  TK is irritated by his lack of “cred” on Twitter so he hires a celebrity Tweet Master to help him fight back against his detractors, including “The Minefield.”

This episode was absolutely delicious. The writers of the show threw in a bunch of Twitter slang, as TK talked about how he needed to be trending, was panicked that his arch rival was trending, not him and constantly worried what everyone was saying about him. There is a scene where after he hired his ghost tweeter, his friends are reading what people are saying about him. Since he’s not the one actually tweeting, TK says at some point, “What did he say? What did I say?”  I may have even picked up a new term, as the character TK was talking about Twaters. Twitter + haters = Twaters. Don’t you just love it? All the panic and worry are all just to stay relevant. When his ghost tweeter starts posting photos of TK in all of the other team’s uniforms, the GM steps in and warns not to continue down that path. In the end, it turns out that he and his rival had both hired the same ghost tweeter and make amends. Imagine that!

As delightful, and a bit silly, as this particular episode was, we can actually gain some insight into what might go on in the head of a pro athlete. I’m sure there is great pressure to stay relevant, a huge desire to be trending and that it is all too easy to get caught up in smack talk. These athletes have a lot of pressure to perform during the game, and now in the digital age, to perform well in the social stratosphere. We’ve seen all too many pro athletes pop up in the news because of something dumb they posted on Twitter. When was the last time one of them made the news for a positive and influential tweet?

What also seemed outside the norm, was the interest the GM took in what was appearing on TK’s Twitter feed.  I’m sure there are plenty of teams who take a mild interest in what their players are posting, but how many GMs step in and reprimand their players for some of the stupid things they say on Twitter and elsewhere?  What would be totally awesome is if even the pro teams would come to understand that a social media education and how to use these networks effectively, sets a foundation for a successful PR game. Working with all the players, coaches and staff in pre-season builds the foundation for a strategic communication program, where everyone is singing the same tune. The team can spend the season building each other and the fans up, instead of getting stuck in Twaterville.

Redskins Need a Lesson in Branding

If you follow the #smsports feed on Twitter, you may have caught the discussions about Tim Tebow’s move from the Denver Broncos to the NY Jets during the NFL trades.  You may also have caught some buzz about a particular tweet that appeared on the @Redskins feed today. The tweet that started the discussions began with a comment about Tebow’s move:


[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/Redskins/status/182526346185015296″]


Was that the view of the team? Everyone who works for the Redskins agreed that it was an awkward fit? Collective opinion? Most of us could see that it was not the Redskins organization that held that opinion, but the person in charge of the Twitter account, Gary Fitzgerald. So when @dcsportsblog called him out on the comment, the Redskins feed posted:


[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/Redskins/status/182531179784847360″]


And that was exactly the point. Just an opinion.  On a corporate, team or business Twitter account, personal opinions of the tweeter have no place in the feed.  This echoes the GM scandal awhile back when an employee made a nasty comment about the driving capabilities of his fellow citizens, a tweet which appeared to be from GM itself. Major hiccup which led to the firing of the employee who tweeted the statement.

Those of us who were chatting about the Redskins comments agreed that the team had not only misstepped by tweeting a personal opinion as representation of the view of the organization, but also really missed an opportunity to bring their 93k fans into the conversation.  Instead of letting Gary tweet his personal opinions (which weren’t even positive), why not stimulate conversation with a simple question, “What do you think about Tim Tebow’s move to the Jets?” Redskins fans react, discuss and grow affinity for their own team and the Redskins positively impact engagement. Win.

It was clear that Gary picked up our tweets, as we all made sure to include the @Redskins handle in most of our conversations.  A few hours later, this comment appeared:


[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/Redskins/status/182569952820211713″]


Again, a misguided employee tweets something inappropriate for the brand. The Redskins need to yank that computer away from Gary Fitzgerald and let him understand that he needs to stop injecting Redskins communication with his own personality.  The above tweets were not edgy, informative nor entertaining. The Redskins allowed the person in charge of Twitter to share his personal opinions as though they were the opinions of the team and everyone within the Redskins organization.

What is clear, then is that the Redskins have lost their grip on their brand’s core values. They do not have a clear brand message and certainly, they have no social media guidelines for employees to follow. It looks like Gary runs redskins.com, which also makes me question who they’ve assigned to communicate their brand messaging. Is the webmaster the right person to manage the Twitter feed? What value does the Redskins organization place on social media if they just toss the duties to the web department? Why not hire a branding, marketing or communications professional?

More important than the lack of internal organization and training, the Redskins simply don’t understand that Twitter provides more than a forum for information and entertainment. They could have used the Tebow news to their advantage to spark dialogue with fans, and shed some positive light on their brand. Sure, they would have been talking about Tim Tebow and the Jets and possibly even Denver and Manning, but they would have engaged their fans on the topic of football during a crucial time in the off-season. There were so many opportunities missed here, mistakes made, and that’s why their comments came into focus – for all the wrong reasons.

My course of action for the Redskins?

1. Do an organization-wide branding exercise so all employees are aware of the brand’s identity and messge

2. With all employees, players and coaches, provide social media education and training

3. Consult with the marketing and communications staff to integrate social media throughout their marketing and business plans.

4. Reassign the Twitter responsibilities to someone who understands that they speak for the brand, and that every letter they type needs to be in-line with brand messaging. “Just an opinion” is never something we should see from a brand like the Redskins.



MINI Mistake

I was at my parents’ house when they asked me if I had heard about MINI’s massive recall. Actually, I hadn’t caught the news, hadn’t received an e-mail from MINI nor did I catch it in any of my social media feeds.

When I got home, I easily found an article about the recall:  CLICK HERE

I combed through my e-mails just to make sure that I didn’t miss something or that the significant letter didn’t land in spamville. Curiously, nothing.  I started to get a little worried. So I went hunting online to see what I could find.

On the MINI USA twitter feed, there was ONE tweet that addressed the issue, dated January 18th:

I couldn’t understand why MINI was addressing owners after the news had been posted. I couldn’t find anything on the website and I imagined that the phone lines would be tied up. So I tweeted to MINI hoping for some information:

Much to my surprise, I received a call from MINI about 20 minutes later. They received my tweet, looked my name up and contacted me. The woman on the phone told me that it looked my vehicle would be affected and that they were collecting their information before they sent out letter to owners affected by the recall.  I gave her two suggestions:

1. Put up a page on the website where owners could enter their VIN number to see if their car was affected. If the VIN number was a hit, let them know that an e-mail or official letter would be forthcoming.

2. Send out an e-mail, a letter or post a message on the website acknowledging the recall and letting MINI owners know that correspondence would be arriving soon.

I explained that MINI owners shouldn’t have to learn through third parties that their cars may be a part of a massive recall. That new should have come directly from MINI, well before it went public.

I did give MINI a shoutout for responding to my tweet with a phone call:

Today, February 22, I finally received the “official” letter in the form of an e-mail from MINI of San Diego, where I got my car. It said:


Attention all MINI “S” model owners only

Your vehicle may be involved in a product part update for your auxiliary water pump. Please reply to this email with:

Your Name – and if possible the last 7 of your vehicle identification number [located on the driver’s side lower windshield corner]

please email Terry Zito at: [email protected]


And so I responded with the appropriate information and received another e-mail which said only:


VIN #######

Your vehicle has no open recalls per MINI data base and OR is equipped with the updated part.

Thank you again for your business


And that was it. No “Dear Shanna” no signature, no personalization or possibility to exceed my expectations.  So I decided to call the ASK MINI number which was previously tweeted. A man answered this time and I explained the chain of events. I told him that I was confused because the woman I spoke with previously had told me that “it looks like your vehicle is affected.” He asked me who I spoke with (the one time I didn’t actually jot down a name!) because there was “no record of the call” and that my vehicle VIN number was definitely not part of the recall. He then asked me, “How many miles do you have on your vehicle?” And when I told him, he said, “That’s about the same you told us in the last call.”  So I told him, “When I called MINI the last time, that was the first time I called. And the woman I spoke with also asked me for the mileage on my car. So if that is the case, how do you know that that was the mileage I reported in the last call if you have no record of my phone call?”  He was clearly embarrassed and then made the excuse that he was confused.  I ended by telling him that the communication from MINI has been less than stellar, and that as a MINI owner, I simply want to understand if my car has been affected. I also explained that I am not the one who should have to seek out the information, but that MINI should be overly accommodating and make it as easy as possible for owners to get information.

As much as I love my MINI, this episode was thoroughly disappointing. Not only did they not deliver what they promise, but the lack of communication and the strange manner in which they quietly handled this… it’s just not in-line with their brand.  It’s a good lesson for other brands.  Sometimes things happen that are unfortunate. Sometimes mistakes happen.  But if you are a solid brand, you own up to it, and take responsibility for the situation. You can actually take advantage of the situation to deliver your core values and strengthen your brand.

Have you ever had an experience where a brand that you love falls short of your expectations? How did your opinion of that brand change?







Get Bright Life E-News

Get free education and updates from Bright Life Media. E-news contains exclusive content for subscribers only. Say YES to a Bright Life now!


YES Please


Let’s Tweet

Connect on Facebook

Visit Shanna’s Other Sites



Back to top