Personal branding is so often today measured in page views, Twitter followers and friend counts. Numbers don’t lie, if your fan base is constantly on the rise, you are saying something that people want to hear. The big question, are those the people that will give you a job?
In Scott Monty’s case, it was. As a former employee at a B-to-B ad agency and a social-media strategy firm, Monty spent about three years making a name for himself in social media by blogging about the convergence of marketing, advertising and PR. Ford Motor Company approached him about joining the team and it took over six months to convince him that he could leverage his personal brand at Ford.
When he joined the car maker, he brought with him 3,500 Twitter followers; he now counts 41,000, conceding many of those came with the oval logo that now accompanies his tweets. Monty kept his own Twitter handle (@scottmonty) and continues to build both his brand and the Ford brand. Twitter is a focus for Ford, as CEO Alan Mulally joins Monty on Twitter to answer questions.
While there are many opportunities to become the Twitter voice for a company or manage other social media outlets, most of us won’t be doing that. Personal branding means something different for everyone.
David Sokal became known as Mr. Fix-it within the Berkshire conglomerate. That’s a brand that is respected in most businesses today and it doesn’t require any tweeting or Facebook prowess to make it happen. A 1978 University of Nebraska graduate, Sokal worked his way up to the CEO role at MidAmerican Energy by 1991. When Berkshire purchased the company in 2000, Buffet was quick to find out they now had Mr. Fix-it on board.
Most recently, Buffett asked Sokal to dive into NetJets and find out when they were on their way to losing $711 Million in 2009. That was a quick fix, and NetJets is set to make $200 Million this year.
On any given day, Sokal may be managing any of the three businesses for which he is chairman or jetting off to China, Brazil, Germany or elsewhere to find a new opportunity.
How does Mr. Fix-it do it? Sokal has a formula, one that is laid out in Pleased but Not Satisfied, a self-published book he hands out.
The concise, 129-page essay expounds on Sokol’s six laws: operational excellence, integrity, customer commitment, employee commitment, financial strength and environmental respect. Mr. Fix-it has a formula for success and he uses it diligently. No need for Twitter; David’s brand stands on a consistent process and his accomplishments.
Whether you use social media, write a book, or talk about your accomplishments, you must advertise what you do and how you do it so people will know what you have to offer.
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photo by blue_diamo nd