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Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself
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Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself

By Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy

Recommended by:

Liz Marsha, Certification Program Coordinator at MRAA

Briefly summarize Branding Yourself and talk a bit about some of the main ideas dealership/marina owners might find valuable.

Knowing your audience, reaching them with unique content, and building an online presence is critical for business success and Branding Yourself presents ideas that are “practical, easy, and effective (Deckers, Lacy, 2011).”

This book quickly highlights the power of social media-- its ability to connect you to multiple generations, the vast number of social media channels available, and the importance of using them as a means of branding in today’s fast-paced digital world.

Branding Yourself is a great way to get familiar with the many tools out there, as well as the types of messages that should be shared on each, and the tracking capabilities to manage overall reach.

The authors’ focus on the importance of building a connection with potential customers/clients through an authentic brand which starts with establishing goals and a brand story. One chapter at a time you are walked through the creation of that brand story, how to share that story through some of the many available media channels, and then how to measure success.

How did you come across Branding Yourself and what made you decide to give it a read?

I was introduced to Branding Yourself through a Masters in Mass Communication course that I took recently. It was a mandatory read and I’m glad it was! I read it at a time when I was moving 20 hours away from my entire existing network and it served as a great reminder of the importance of using social media to brand yourself and connect with others. At the authors’ recommendation, I chose to start using Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram once again. These tools helped put me in front of potential employers- like MRAA (we connected on LinkedIn)- and allowed me to start building a brand new network. 

Did you find the book easy/fun to read? Or was it more analytical and data driven?

Branding Yourself is an easy read that could also be a great reference guide in the future. The book is easy to navigate and offers a variety of quick reference lists that helps drive home the critical networking tools. The book creates a great balance between analytics and helpful but relatable advice. Additionally, the authors continually remind you that social media branding is best taken on in small, realistic increments which inspire you to keep reading and not be overwhelmed by the many social media options available!

How many business books do you typically read during the course of a given year and where does Branding Yourself rank as far as usefulness and relevance?

The MRAA is huge proponent of education and personal development, so between my Master’s courses, personal reading, and MRAA recommended readings I reach an average of one business book a week. Branding Yourself ranks high on my list of books due to its applicability and the importance that I place on knowing your brand (both personal and professional) and the power of social media to hinder or support that growth.

After reviewing this recommended reading list, it is clear that I now have many more to add to my library!

What question(s) would you ask the authors, Erik Deckers and Kyle Lacy, if you had a chance to meet for coffee or lunch?

If I had the chance to meet that authors, I would ask them where they see the future of digital branding moving? What do they believe will be the tool of the future and how can businesses be best prepared to take on these platforms when they emerge?