Brand YOU – an online celebrity or John Doe?

Personal Digital Brand

Personal Digital BrandYou’re a professional, you’ve worked in companies that guard their brand. You know what that’s like. A marketing  team enforces identity guidelines, everyone must use consistent fonts, colors, use the right language in the media and more.

Just as you set or comply with stringent guidelines for a corporate brand; you should do the same for your personal digital one. Why? Because:

1. Reflecting on the aspects of your personality you want to share and those you prefer to keep private helps create a loyal following of advocates who engage regularly
2. Consistency in your image and messaging improves recognition and recollection. Seeing the same profile photo on Facebook, twitter, linked-in and other channels helps followers remember you.

Here are a few tips on how you can do that:

  • Principles & Policy –  reflect on your standards for following, befriending, liking and criticizing others.  Think of how you’ll engage fans, friends and followers on topics you find interesting.  Be consistent.
  •  Your avatar photo – defines your personality.. make it reflect who you are.. keep it consistent across networks.Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 5.02.47 AM
  • Covers & Backgrounds – are important digital real-estate. Use it to give insights into your passions. Share your causes, creations and concerns on your covers and backgrounds.
  • The language you use – dictates your followers.. how you speak, the tone, the language, the topics all determine who follows you. create a dialogue (not a monologue) around topics you like and can maintain an interest in. Don’t be a trend follower, be a trend starter.
  • Hashtags – You can use to subject trends that spark your interest by hash-tagging. It keeps your content current. Anyone who searches for a hashtag finds you. Take the time to develop your hashtags and use them consistently. My favorites #SOCENT  (Social Entrepreneur) and my personal ones #elevate and #live2give
  • Keep it in character – while being different is good, being you is great!  I often come across content that’s trending and unique, but it doesn’t reflect my character. I move on!  You can get fans and followers by riding a trend wave, but do you really want just anyone riding your coattail?

Or on the topic from the expert:

7 Tips to Finding “Your” Writing Voice | Jeffbullas’s Blog.

If you have any more insights on creating a personal brand online, please share them in the comment section. Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Arabs love to watch! video rules social media


Content is king.  Video is Emperor in the Arab world.  Don’t wait for a Monitor Report on the matter. Check out the numbers of hits accumulated by regional youtube video production channels:

  • Saudi Satire video production machine “la yekthar” and Fahed Al Buthairi average a million hits per clip. They have 458,053 subscribers and 59,698,504 video views
  • Arab Idol’s youtube channel has 551,441 subscribers and 137,150,562 video views
  • Indie productions from Jordan “Bath Bayakha” averages 300k hits per video and are on their 3rd season

What this means is go video and you’re a hit.  It is that simple! And its not just entertainment, it is education, professional training, product demonstrations, service descriptions, workouts and lots more!

Tips for video:

  • Keep it brief.  1-3 minutes for a home-grown production, 3-5 if you have all the bells and whistle!
  • Front-load it – make the case upfront.. don’t drag on the intro.
  • Storyboard it – don’t be all over the place.. write a coherent script..
  • Keep it simple – business or entertainment, the simpler the better.
  • Know your audience – target it well. Don’t make it for everyone.

Last but not least, socialize it.  Its not enough to upload to twitter.. push it out to the social media sphere.

Enjoy being a youTube Star!

Who do you influence?

I’d like to think I have influence.. I’m certain we all do.. but what type of influence do we have online?

Business Insider Infographic - The Many Faces of Influence
Those with clout

Pick your profile from a lineup by Business Insider or define a new one..

  1. The Celebrity
  2. The Authority
  3. The Connector (me)
  4. The Personal Brand
  5. The Analyst
  6. The Activist (me again 🙂
  7. The Expert
  8. The Insider
  9. The Agitator
  10. The Journalist

I’d like to add

11. The Offender (not me but common around political social media circles)

12. The Authoritarian (those who want to bully everyone into submission to their personal opinions)

I’d define the two lateral categories as totally uncool!

How To Identify Social Media Influencers – Business Insider.

Like me do! engage your fans

Screen Shot 2013-05-14 at 8.50.48 AMTo like or not to like.. that’s the question facing millions on social media. Make it easy for your fans & followers.  This 5min video advice from the folks at Wildfire is useful.

  2. Build a content calendar around real life events.. tie it to your brand (personal or professional)
  3. Stream .. don’t drip!  make it regular and ..
  4. Engage.. DIALOGUE don’t monologue

Cinco-de-Maya | Wildfire.

Thanks Wildfire!

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If it makes you cry.. this one did!

A few years back I read this quote in the US National Newseum photography exhibit section:

“If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture” Eddie Adams

Since then, I’ve been so conscious of the emotional value of photography.  Over the past year, like all Syrians I’ve been bombarded with horrific images of violence, pain, suffering, anger, violations of human dignity.  I avoid these images like the plague, because I firmly believe they leave a print of hatred in our minds and hearts.  They prevent us from seeing prospects of peace, hope and love.  I chose peace and chose to avoid seeing such images at all costs.

Today, I came across an image with a simple message on Facebook that had me crying for hours. My life felt empty. I feel humbled by the fact that I can do so little for this beautiful angel.  Mariam Al Fawal’s father has been in a Syrian prison for 5 months and 20 days.  Mariam is counting! Her message is a simple prayer for his safe return. Her father is a civilian who ran a children’s clothing factory. A father of four beautiful children, husband to an amazing woman and a man dedicated to serving the less fortunate.

Maher Al FawalThe only thing I can do for Maryam is spread her beautiful message of a simple, sweet wish.  Her and her father’s smiles are so peaceful and beautiful.  Please join me in praying for his safe return.

 Screen Shot 2013-05-09 at 5.01.58 PM

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