We stood up and screamed. Twice. We were asked for “something guttural from deep inside” to loosen us up. And we didn’t quite get it on the first try, emitting a half-hearted “whoo” like a bunch of preschoolers who just found out they were getting free t-shirts. However, on our second shot we sounded like two hundred housewives who were just told they had won free makeovers from Oprah. Our guest speaker, with his hand over the mic, was louder than all of us both times. What’s the matter with us? We were about to find out, because Mitch Joel was going to give our “personal brands” a makeover.
It shouldn’t be surprising that Mitch Joel can be louder than a roomful of people. He’s bigger than a roomful of people. In fact, he’s big everywhere. After the meeting, I Googled Mitch and got 78,900 pages (in 0.03 seconds)—and every single page was about him! Does this guy know anything about “personal branding?”
Mitch Joel is the “President of Twist Image, a marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert, community leader, freelance journalist, blogger, podcaster and believer in doing the impossible” and he came to tell the PMCQ that “we don’t understand the power of our personal brand.” Mitch advises having an internal conversation to find the real you. What’s your story? Who are you? And, even more importantly for business purposes, what do you do? No, you are not “in marketing.” You help people improve their lives. Harley Davidson does not sell motorcycles, they sell the open road. Revenue Canada does not take your money, they provide peace of mind by not putting you in jail. I think you get the point.
Mitch Joel’s lively, entertaining and certainly thought-provoking presentation focuses on you because that’s where your focus should be. He wants you to “be the mental tattoo on people’s minds” and he cites his “Six Pixels of Separation” as the tool to do it. The power of the Internet as a personal marketing tool has never been more evident. The power of your mouth as a sales tool is only drowned out by the power of your ears. You need to listen more than you speak. But when you do talk, always talk to strangers—in person and via technology, where you can have one-to-many conversations through blogs, podcasts, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace… Six Pixels of Separation proves that it’s “no longer all about who you know. It’s all about who knows you.” Now, I’m going to post this article on my blog because it mentions Mitch Joel’s name four times, which means when anyone Googles Mitch, they’ll also find me. That’s personal branding.