Something happened last week. I was nominated for the danish award “Ivækstprisen” together with editor-in-chief, Maria Fynsk Norup because of my work with Geek Girl Danmark and our startup Geek Girl Magazine. It was an extreme honour to be nominated – but what was even more extreme, was the response from the network – something I have been living high on ever since. It seems like I’ve struck a chord and it keeps humming.
A couple of years back, I had a talk with a person who specialized in coaching personal brands to become better public speakers. After a while I found out that he was a truly great coach, if you where into being a mainstream public speaker.
But for me, a curly creative business avantgardist who had NO interest in becoming a public speaker who spoke for hundreds of people at the same company at once, about happiness in the workplace or motivation, it didn’t really work out.
He didn’t know what box to put me in. However he said one thing that I still think a lot about. He thought I was too accessible. He didn’t think I could become a public speaker or a huge personal brand being so accessible. I mean everybody could get into contact with me everywhere right? on social media, on the streets, book a 1-on-1 digital feedback session with me.
I even had my email listed on my webpage instead of having a contact form!
To him it seemed unprofessional. Relating to people eye to eye. For me it made me wonder; is some personal brands build on inaccessibility? On people not replying to other people? On people not being able to book a meeting with another person because that person is too busy to relate ?
Well I disagree – there’s a new kind of rockstar public speaker in town – she’s called Henriette Weber and she’s SUPER accessible.
People copying your work will make you stronger. It’s something that only happens to the best of us (she said, time and time again, while rocking back and forward). No honestly. Getting copied by others sucks big time. It makes you want to do something completely different with your work, life, sweat, joy and tears. I have tried it around 5 or 6 times now and it’s not fun, it hits right up on the ego, and you end up having this small voice inside your head saying “see? I told you, that you wheren’t good enough”.
But you can take a couple of precautions for when it happens. Like having a good lawyer and friends to discuss your approach to it. And some time to craft a polite, yet a “stop using my stuff/terms/whathaveyou” email to the person who has been ripping you off.
I would strongly disencourage everyone to ever rip other peoples work off, and instead use their work, but make sure that the person who created it in the first place they know, they’re thankful and they get a karma boost of a couple of 1000 because you’re using their work. I have written about this before in an article called “getting credit matters”.
As the ever awesome Danielle Laporte has said:
“People say “It doesn’t matter who get’s the credit” – well screw that, it matter a lot”.
I think it’s sad that people are so in doubt about what kind of personal or corporate brand they can be. What kind of brand is aligned with them. A brand is something that should be closely aligned with your identity or personality.
I totally get where you’re coming from. When I read some of my first stuff on branding I thought it was sky-high and I couldn’t but a finger on anything I could actually use it for. But then slowly I switched into action gear and started to create stuff around me that I thought was aligned with my personality and personal brand. Suddently I didn’t only see a blank canvas (my blog) I saw a million creative ways I could make a living being myself and giving my practical and curly inspiration to the world.
Listen rockers! it starts out with one thing: Great ideas! If you’re thinking about your branding and you suddenly come up with something that you, yourself think is a great idea, then it’s something that’s worth considering. If you get the “I should totally build something around this idea” feeling. There’s probably an aspect of that idea that is aligned with you and what personal or even corporate brand you can have.
On Friday I’m flying to Düsseldorf to be a keynote speaker for Shift Relays about being real, branding for startups and how they stick together.
(Actually I am just going there to be a speaker, but I am opening the programme, and for SEO purposes I need to have some content saying “Keynote Speaker” – so there you go).
There’s a lot of stuff that I am not an expert in, but being real and branding combined is a speciality of mine. I’m sitting here trying to figure out what should be my key points and I am building the whole presentation. I think it’s going to have some elements from this presentation that I did in Stockholm for Aggro Pekuliar in May:
Some casestudies and finally my own casestudy around rockbandism, rockbands and how it became/I made it my brand.
I really like to measure stuff – internally and externally around my business and me as a business-owner. And one of the things I often end up looking at, internally – is how bad ass i feel as an entrepreneur.
Bad ass – to me, is to show confidence in everything I do. A personal goal of mine is to make sure that it’s there most of the time. I could call it self-confidence in your worklife, but bad ass-ness makes more sense to me. And let’s face it, sometimes you’re doing amazing and everything is cool -you feel bad ass but other times not so much. Last night I got all kinds of downs professionally because I don’t feel like Im writing enough.
I know. To some people I am probably doing a lot, I am running a consultancy, a startup and I want to be champion of all trades so I want to write more books as well. Mostly to honor my creativity. But to be honest, I didn’t feel that bad ass last night.
When that happens: I do two things: Get my action into gear and start doing more of the things that I feel like I’m missing out of – like writing. And then I go back and think about that I responsible for my own happiness. Not my dog, not my clients, not the husband or the daughter. But just me. If there’s something I don’t like – I need to get smarter around it and change it. Buy some books. Spend more time reading and producing at night instead of watching Orange is the new black with the man. I should get a mentor in some field or hire somebody to help me out. I should smarten up and get going. But I feel like these days, that one of the things I really LOVE – which is those things that are super important for the long-term success of my business life – like writing books, is something I keep postponing because there’s a lot of other stuff to do. So I need to start delegating to other people so I can feel bad ass again.
Last week I did a workshop called “Brand your Band” on my thoughts on rockbandism, at Trigger Creative Conference in Borlänge, Sweden. (and my “oldie-but-goodie ebook “why every company should be a rockband“).
In addition to having the time of my life running the “Brand your Band” workshop at my first ever music industry conference (and hopefully not my last), I loved the feeling at Trigger. All the nearness that are sometimes missing from tech-conferences-of-today (that I normally write from and speak at) was there. Bart Omlo, the organizer and his team gave me a couple of epic nights and I will be able to tell my grandchildren that I heard a swedish rockband (they’re called Great Garb and they where awesome) play a gig, just for us “VIPs” right next to the swedish Lake Runn.
The lake where nearby Gustav Vasa hid from the danes, kicked them out of Sweden and became king of Sweden (I’m not totally sure about this story, so if any swedes reading this, and are thinking “boy, is she wrong” then please mention it in the comments so I don’t look like a total ass =)
Being at my first music conference ever, was a blast. The crowd wasn’t too big or too small, just as I like it. Why? because it makes sure that you actually get to meet everybody. I got home to Helsingør being energized and with a ton of cool ideas, inspiration and a ton of cool people in my pocket (well their business cards at least) that are also working creatively – just with music instead of branding, activism, substance and involvement.
Heres Niclas, Jesper and I, in the midst of the brand your band workshop
In this age of social media and networking, people are reaching out rather than merely waiting for brands to approach them. As a result, discoverability is important – a brand and its offerings need to be discovered with ease on every platform. This is one way of putting your name and brand out there, in social networking.
But making sure that your brand is discoverable is not enough. Today savvy marketers are adopting the full measure of how people consume information and create buying decisions. Audiences are consuming media in different ways – through all kinds of screens, phones, tablets and computers. They have more control of when, where, and how they engage brands making the landscape for marketing so chaotic. But as a brand you should not only navigate the chaos, you should be enjoying it, because it’s so much more creative and exciting At the same time, advances in technology have also made relationship marketing and content marketing more effective.
Marketing based on relationship should make sure that all involvement channels are focused to advance prospects from awareness to consideration to purchase and use so that they become brand advocates. Is that the social network value chain ? yes it is. I have even published a free downloadable ebook about this, called “Rock your identity” or “rock din identitet” (in danish) which is consisting of my value chain for social networking called the “social media value chain”.
To engage effectively in social media, it is essential to know where all those relevant conversations are taking place, what is being discussed in those conversations and who are the most influential conversationalists. Before you dive headfirst into those conversations, it is important to know that it requires full transparency – identifying yourself and your affiliations – and brands that have tried underhanded tactics in social media such as pretending to be someone else other than they are have generated negative reactions from the communities, often extreme ones.
But transparency is easy – it merely requires simple acknowledgement of who is joining in online conversations – “Hey, I’m from brand X, I hear you talk about this. Here’s our take on this topic.” Or even, “I see you have some concerns about the technology. I think this is where our technology fits in.”
You have to be careful not to engage mindlessly into any conversation, plastering sales pitches all over the place. If you enter in conversations that don’t have natural and immediate connections to what you’re dying to say, don’t bring it up. Just go with the conversation flow, participate based on what the community members are talking about, and stand out from the crowd by making thoughtful and intriguing comments.
By providing valuable insights to the topic at hand, brands can gain the respect of the community. And later, when the context is perfectly relevant, you can bring out your pitch, Or even if you’re lucky they will ask for your pitch themselves.
Surely, this will generate more of a positive impact on your brand by showing the brand is involved, that the brand cares, and that the brand is human.
I have for years and years been a huge fan of ImprovEverywhere and the work of Charlie Todd. I’m psyched because it seems like the happenings shakes the status quo for a lot of people (in particular the people in the videos). I mean if I would have been in one of them, I would surely see the world as more creative and as a place where everything can happen. Well I already do. I think it’s awesome that some people are committed to this instead of watching TV. I loved how they staged a fake U2 concert in the middle of NY Anyway here’s a few of my personal favorites from ImprovEverywhere:
Best Buy uniform prank:
Open Mini-Golf tournament:
And an oldie but a goodie: “Look up more”:
You can’t stop smiling watching these right ? There’s a ton of them over on ImprovEverywhere’s Youtube Channel. And if you’re in need of inspiration I would suggest to go in and pick a random video and watch it. You will instantly feel better. But enough of the fan-whoring. Here’s some of the commercials I think is largely inspired by ImprovEverywhere and they grabbing attention as well as some of the best viral videos.
So What makes them into the best viral videos?
Well first of all they have a huge element of surprise. Something is completely out of context.
Then they have a huge involvement of people and community they are both very staged and very planned. Almost in a flashmob kind of way, but then again not quite.
They give the spectors a huge experience with a strong message. I can almost guarantee you that everyone of the people who experienced either the action happening or the stop traffiking happening will tell their friends about it.
They are shot in one take. And you even feel that when you see them on social media and in casestudies afterwards.
I think that’s what you have to aim for to create the best viral videos – here’s two of my favorites:
A dramatic surprise on a quiet square campaign:
Stop the Traffik viral campaign:
I love how these campaigns are inspiring and how they speak strong. But I am wondering how the people who where watching the actual events they felt ? I mean do they go ” oh it’s just a campaign” – well it’s not just a commercial message, it’s a viral video! and even though the actual event only have taken maybe 5 minutes to record think about how many times it’s going to be looked upon on the internet.