Don’t Rank Me – Getting Past Scores and Numbers – TypeACon 2012

Here we are at the 2012 Type-A Parent Conference at the Hilton Charlotte Center City in Charlotte, North Carolina. My first session of the day is Don’t Rank Me – Getting Past Scores and Numbers with David Binkowski and Kelly Whalen.

Our speakers have no table and no mics, but they’re getting started anyways.

Don't Rank Me: Getting Past Scores and Numbers

Creating & Growing Your Brand

You may think you have a brand, but it may not be what you think it is. Kelly is the owner and editor of the centsible life – she loves talking with people about personal finance. She turned what she wanted to talk about into her personal brand. David was working for another agency at last year’s conference, but Kelby pushed him to go into business himself – Large Media. He tells it like it is.

What is a brand?

Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from other sellers. Coke and Pepsi both sell cola, but they are very different brands.

What makes a blogger’s brand?

You are a brand. Every time you present yourself, people get a picture of who you are. Your story is what makes you special, so don’t try to be like anyone else. Your blog is also a brand. Try not to confuse your personal brand with your blog brand. You are not your blog, even though it can be easy to get lost in it. Your design and logo are key. Find a design that is you, but doesn’t distract from your message. Find a clean design. If you aren’t a good designer, hire one. What is your story? Your about page should tell that story. Have an elevator pitch. At this conference, you will literally be in an elevator with people who will literally ask you about yourself and your blog. Be able to tell people about your blog in 20-30 seconds.

Differentiating Yourself

Creating distinction is not achieved by copying someone else. That’s why David went with “word of mouth” as his brand. He lets people know that he is experienced, he provides service on demand, and he doesn’t do B.S.

Brand Equity

Brand equity is a phrase used in the marketing industry yo try to describe the value of having a well-known brand name, based on the idea that the owner of a well-known brand name can generate more money from products with that brand name than from products with a less-known brand name.

The Brand Equity Pyramid


Judgments | Feelings

Performance | Imagery


<- Rational | Emotional ->

Creating Your Home Base on the Web

  • Your blog
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • and more…

You have to have a presence on all of the social networks even if you aren’t passionate about all of them. Engage with people without using them for purely self-promotion. Take advantage of writing your bio and getting your links back wherever you can on these profiles.

David says that LinkedIn is the most underutilized tool in his business. “It’s where your money is.” Don’t connect LinkedIn with your other social accounts that aren’t business-related.

  • Increasing your traffic
    • Topical
    • Searchable
    • Shareable
  • Guest blogging
    • Guest post on other blogs
    • Guest post on well-known websites (put your best foot forward)
    • Use Google’s author tools (Google+, rel author)
  • Social Networking

Clicks, Impressions, or ???

  • What measurement tools should you use?
    • Google Analytics
    • StatCounter
    • Followers
    • Likes
  • Knowing your numbers: What do they mean?
  • Measuring success
    • Measure against yourself
    • Know where you want to go
  • Measuring influence
    • Know your audience
    • Know what they act on

You are getting databased by tools like Radiant 6 when brands are looking for influencers. Don’t put too much weight in Klout.

Pitching Your Value Proposition

  • Define your brand
  • Know what you’re good at (if you’re not good on camera, practice or don’t do it)
  • Know what you want
  • Know when to walk away

Don’t forget about offline!

  • Coworkers and former coworkers
  • Local community
  • Volunteer roles
  • Coaching
  • School

Brands want the whole picture of you, to know that you’re out there living life, and you have more to offer. If a marketer comes to you, you can let them know what your schedule is like without being difficult.

Why Pitching is Like Dating

  • It’s better to date someone you’ve met than to go out on a blind date.
  • Do your research before you “go out.” (Google them. Check out their site, Facebook page, etc.)
  • Make the conversation about your “date,” but be sure to talk a little about you.
  • Make sure your date knows what you are interested in.
  • Dress to impress.
  • KISS (keep it simple, silly)

Why Brands Want Free Publicity

  • They still see this space as all earned media
  • Not measuring properly; can’t justify business value
  • Afraid of long term commitment

Don’t fall for it. They have money. Planning cycles for marketers start in the “off-season” on campaigns, though, so budgets may be on a long-term thing and not responsive to quick turnarounds.

Going Beyond Dating

  • Think like a marketer
  • Get the bigger picture
  • Get ahead of planning
  • Pitch back
  • Don’t give it away for free

Don’t take NO as NEVER. Just because a company doesn’t have the money to work with your pitchback now doesn’t mean they can’t work with you in the future.

If these liveblogging posts are helpful to you, please consider liking WELL, in THIS House on Facebook.

Christina Gleason (914 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead. I have started writing no fewer than five novels, and I hope to finish one of them...eventually.

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