Today, I’ll be the keynote speaker at Fresno State in California to kick off #GoBrandYourself week. I’m excited to teach personal branding tips and strategies to a college audience who are eager to jump in, get experience and find a job in the communications industry.

With unemployment in Fresno hovering near 9%, my goal is to help these students stand out from a crowd, define their personal brand, use social media platforms powerfully and expand their networks. So they can ROCK IT!

At some point after the keynote, I’ll share my talk. But, before that happens, I wanted to give you a few personal branding tips you can implement right now.

Before you do anything else, I encourage you to create a personal brand statement. This article by Jörgen Sundberg explains that first, you need to know the answers to these three questions:

• What value you provide (what problem do you solve)
• How you do it uniquely (your USPs – unique selling points)
• Whom you do it for (your target audience)

In our second article, Jim Joseph states for Entrepreneur magazine that “each of our personal brands began at birth. When Mom and Dad gave us a name, they unknowingly launched a new brand, the first of a lifetime of personal decisions that makes us each uniquely our own being — or brand. From that day forward, we spend our lives living up to our given name.” I’ve really never thought of it this way – but it is so true!

Jim says (and I couldn’t agree more): “A personal brand, like any good brand, needs to be consciously managed and controlled throughout our lives.

Once you know what it means to have and create a personal brand, and you know what you stand for, take a look at our third article from Inc Magazine that walks you through 7 steps to build an awesome personal brand. By looking at each of these steps, you can take the appropriate action to #GoBrandYourself.

I hope you will #GoBrandYourself by being who you really are, not who you think you should be.

Believe me, it’s a work in progress! Tweak, Tweet and Retweet!

Last week, I was a guest at the New England Speaker’s Association meeting and auction, and got reacquainted with Belinda Rosenblum – a Wealth Expert, CPA and Founder of OwnYourMoney.com. Belinda and I sat next to each other and talked about business, blogs and babies. She has a one-year old, and mine are traveling the world!

Because her expertise is so vital to entrepreneurs and growing yourself and your brand, I asked her to write a guest blog about money and how it relates to spending hard earned cash on your business and self-promotion. See if you agree with her findings!

Money, Self-Worth &
Promoting Yourself

by Belinda Rosenblum

Spending – and earning – money for entrepreneurs is a tricky subject. Every dollar earned is essentially one you had to ask for – directly or indirectly – so we attach more weight to the spending of it.

In particular, spending money on promoting ourselves feels counter-productive since it causes money to go out with an initial unclear return.

However, when we hold on too tight, we literally stop the flow of money – both out of and into our business. Since this clearly thwarts our larger goal of business growth, we as entrepreneurs need to become more unemotional and powerful when it comes to making decisions with our money.

As a start, watch out for these 5 culprits that hold people back from spending the money necessary to grow their business (including promoting themselves):

1) Fear of being seen (or being a fraud) If you really go big, then people will see you for who you really are. And if that happens, then will you suffer a case of the emperor’s new clothes. Of course not! You are brilliant – and doing the world a disservice by not letting them in on the inadvertent best kept secret.

2) Afraid you won’t be able to handle the volume. I call this a “high class problem.” If you have a lot of people interested in your work, then be willing to call in the staff and the advisors to support your growth. It does not mean you’ll have to work 80 hours a week, but it does mean you’ll have to ask for help. (It’s ok, you are actually more powerful not less powerful when you do this. This has been a tough but crucial lesson I’ve learned along the way.)

3) Afraid of laying out the money with an uncertain return. As business owners, we take way more risks than the average employed person. AND, for sustainable success, it is imperative that you learn how to take risks and recover quickly from whatever feedback the risk shows you. It is all helpful feedback. The key here is leveraging the opportunities you create for yourself – and then building momentum and excitement around your business with the visibility.

4) No depth to your offerings. The concern here is that if you got the exposure, you wouldn’t have anything to sell to all the people who come to your site. So what are you waiting for? Create a free awesome juicy gift to collect their names. Start with an easy $97-$197 product that people can try you out – allow them to “date” you before you want them to “marry” you with a higher-end offering.

And the kicker…

5) Lack of belief in your own worthiness. Are you really worth spending money on and allowing people to get to know you and your services more? Absolutely – but it all starts with you believing in you.

Get out there in a bigger way – the world needs exactly what only you can offer!

I hope you enjoyed this article, and as always, please feel free to post your comments on the social media platforms below!

Belinda Rosenblum, Wealth Expert and CPA, just got you started with today’s guest blog post. If you’re ready to really make more, save more, and stress less about your money, start with her complimentary “Money Makeover Kit” available here: www.OwnYourMoney.com/gift.

All I have to do is look out my window and see a garden that is full of potential, without much help from yard workers. You see, left in its natural state, a flower will bloom without much encouragement as long as the environment is cooperative, and it’s not held back.

So are we, full of life and potential until we’re held back – by what we think are outside forces, but are actually inside forces – fear, doubt and worry. “I’m not good enough, smart enough, I don’t have the time to do it right, what will others think of me”, and on and on the list goes.

Today, we’re weeding early in the season so there will be nothing holding the flowers or you back from your beauty or greatness. Because in truth, we all are great and have unique gifts to share. No one flower is the same, and how boring would it be if every bouquet were the same!

I once took offense to being different, and carried on as a teenager when my BFF told me ‘when they made you, they threw away the mold.” I felt as if something were wrong with me, rather than celebrating my uniqueness. Now I know better so I can help others and share with you:

3 Ways to Blossom So You’re Awesome

1) IDGAF – It’s an acronym for ‘I don’t give a &^%&’. One of my dearest mentors taught me this, and although I was a little shocked hearing it come out of his mouth, I got it. What I find more interesting is that far wiser people than me have coined it, IDGAF, which tells me that they have the courage to be themselves and live their truth. When you live someone else’s truth, you forget who you are. IDGAF has color and personality and can be expressed appropriately in multiple ways in your personal and business life – kindly, boldly, passionately and quietly. When it pops up, take notice then decide how to communicate. Use IDGAF as a meter.

2) It’s wonderful that you’re blessed, but are you a blessing? I heard this on the radio as I woke up this morning. Somewhat groggy, I tuned in a little more closely. It’s fantastic that the world has given you so much and you are grateful. The question is, are you sharing that (your gift) not only in your work, but in your everyday life? Start the habit and watch not only your personal work blossom, but your career too. Don’t be surprised when opportunities seem to come to you more readily. Remember how the floodgates open.

3) Use your gut. We are so conditioned to use our head to make big decisions that we don’t listen to our intuition, one of the most guiding indicators of if we’re on track or not. My thought is that when we check in with what’s right, we’ll never go wrong. Perhaps it’s that I’ve lived a full life, had my share of ups and downs and can see things more clearly. When I reflect upon those tumultuous times when I didn’t use my gut, things didn’t turn out so well. We wait, when sometimes we should run. Listen to your inner music.

Blossoming will happen when you marry your inner most with your outer most. Your intentions with your desires. It’s a natural expression of who you are and a DNA-able blend of your greatness. If you like yourself, fantastic. If you love yourself, even better. Loving yourself is the first step in having others love you!

In business, PR, marketing, sales or any field where you share your thoughts, ideas and strategy, it’s the blossoming of your personal brand – who you are, your message, and clarity. Are you vibrant and growing, or is your season done?

Everyone wants to work with someone awesome – why wouldn’t it be you?

YOUR TURN

If ‘IDGAF’ had a color, what would yours be?

Do you prefer random acts of kindness, or are you strategic in your blessings?

My gut has saved my life. Has yours? Do tell!

Robin Samora Inc., a Massachusetts-based communications company, has expanded its services to help its growing roster of expert-turned-author clients place their books in front of people who matter and make decisions.

Communications company Robin Samora Inc. has expanded in order to provide expert authors the same cost-effective, results-based PR, marketing and coaching services that it has successfully delivered to Fortune 500 businesses for decades.

“In a crowded marketplace, experts of all stripes – from financial gurus to health specialists and everyone in between – are discovering that handing out a business card is basically an invitation to be forgotten,” commented Robin Samora, principal of Robin Samora Inc. “And even having a great website and glowing testimonials just isn’t enough to stay on the radar screen. Having a book changes everything. It doesn’t just open doors – it knocks down walls. Our new, expanded services allow us to place our clients and their books in front of people who matter and make decisions.”

Some of the expanded services that Robin Samora Inc. is now offering its roster of expert-turned-author clients, such as Business Relationship Specialist Shari Harley and Legal Business Development and Marketing Expert Julie Fleming, include:

* Public Relations/Promotions
* Event and Promotions Strategy and Execution
* Brand Training and Development
* Assessment and Evaluation
* Editorial Timing and Planning
* Media Kit Review and Creation
* Press Release writing and distribution
* Signature Speech Development
* Public Relations Campaigns
* Visibility Strategies

Clients can also connect directly with Robin Samora for VIP Coaching that provides them with the strategies, tactics, tools and methods they need to get noticed, generate results, and create a platform that brings more of their ideal clients to their door.

For interviews and all other media inquiries, contact Robin Samora at (617) 921-3448 or visit RobinSamoraInc.com.

About Robin Samora Inc.

Telling a story is personal. Sharing it is an art. Technology makes it global. Robin Samora Inc., a Boston based PR firm blends all three to take its clients’ businesses and brands to the next level. With clients like Comcast, WBZ-TV and Blue Man Group, and a roster of authors, entrepreneurs and experts nationwide, the firm prides itself on being a “Promotional GPS” that takes its clients’ brands where they want to go to be seen, heard, engaged and remembered. With over two decades of experience, the firm is as comfortable on major media highways as it is on out-of-the-way niche back roads.

It’s winter here in New England and sometimes it’s more than just darn cold. It’s funny how the weather can influence your decisions more than your brain, and hold you back from doing what you want to do, personally, and in business.

Mind over matter prevails in instances like this, and I make it a point to ‘shake it up’ and ‘get on out’ to re-energize my spirit and follow through on keeping my lifestyle fun and active, and my business on target so weather won’t make decisions for me and prevent me from meeting my goals.

Here are five (5) thoughts:

  1. Attend at least two new business events this month. Pick a group that’s on the fringe of your target audience and focus on meeting at least one new person who may become an ally or supporter of your business. There’s no end goal here, just be open to who shows up. There’s always a reason for your connection and like picking a new destination for vacation, there are hidden benefits to exploring new territories.
  2. Add one fun activity per week to your calendar. We often are so busy with work that we don’t make time for joy. Whether you love to dance, cook, sing or participate in a book club, it’s important to incorporate pleasure into your life. This holds true year-round, not just when ‘weather’ prevails. Really, what makes you happy? Do it.
  3. Work out at the gym. Consider joining classes instead of a solo workout. The camaraderie of others and energy of a group can be beneficial to your mood, and leave you feeling more uplifted than just being by yourself. I’ve always believed that a positive attitude is contagious and it shouldn’t be surprising that you’ll not only become friendlier, but others will be friendlier towards you.
  4. Invite company to your home. Some of us tend to be hermits during the cold winter months, and hibernating becomes a way of life. It’s easy. It’s cold. Pick up the phone, and have an impromptu potluck dinner, or ask friends over just because. Engagement is key to feeling vibrant and full of life, and laughter is the best medicine. Watch a funny movie. Kick off your shoes and enjoy downtime with friends. Laugh and play makes a wonderful day.
  5. Go outdoors, even if it seems counter intuitive. Bundle up baby. Get your blood moving and brave the elements. Dress with a layer or two, and feel the rosy glow of the cold. I’m not asking you to freeze to death, just get some fresh air. Your Mom might have told you the same thing, and she was right, right?

Nature in all of its seasons is beautiful. Enjoy it all, every day.

At the beginning of every year, I take time to write what I’d like to have in my life, with no restrictions. It’s a way for me to be clear about where I want to go — dream big, and not filter my expectations.  It’s an exercise I ask my clients to do as well. 

In business, it’s equally important to have this same clarity. Clarity of mission, expectations, agreements and goals.  But sometimes, there’s incongruity.  Left unchecked, it can lead to misunderstanding, hurt feelings, or worse… resentment.

Not being clear or on the same page, can be critical to your success.

Being clear means having the courage to ask for what you need, and creating and delivering your message in a manner that’s easily understood. When you have clarity, there’s less chance for confusion, or getting off track — unless that’s the path you choose.

I’ve noticed that some people opt-in and like being confused.  It saves them from making big decisions, being unpopular or seemingly assertive. Being unclear can give you permission to be a victim to circumstances that are many times, within your control.

Think about the last time you were unclear. Did you get what you wanted?

Sometimes you can get what you want by letting others win or by yielding your power.

Be clear on that too.

This week, I’ve been away at an Internet Boot Camp which has taught me some behind the scenes techniques that I’ve never heard about, thought of, or imagined. It’s amazing to learn new strategies that can impact your brand or products, and influence who sees your message and acts on it. Targeted links that with the click of a mouse or push of a button can elicit reactions or buying decisions – all over the world — based on brilliant keyboarding hidden from the eye. Amazing to observe, and fascinating to explore!

Since it’s impossible to know everything, conceptual knowledge is important, especially in your field or what you have interest in. That’s why I took this course and others on a consistent basis. To learn. To stretch my thinking, look at the world from another viewpoint and meet others who will teach me their insights or tricks of the trade. To be open to do things a different way, because the SOSO (same old same old) doesn’t always work, especially when we want different results.

I’ve always been a proponent to change things up, even when I’m fighting and screaming the whole way. One of my favorite coaches who had a great impact on me recently told a fellow colleague that I was “the most resistant person she ever met.” I thought she was joking really. But, she wasn’t. I was fortunate to learn what I had to from her, and since then, my life has been transformed. It wasn’t easy. I challenged my learning curve and hers, but came out on the other side, blooming. What a journey, with so many stops along the way. For now, I came home to Me, and where I’m supposed to Be.

Today is 11/11/11 and whatever you think or believe in spiritually, on paper it’s a date with a series of numbers. Perfectly balanced. All ones.

Worldwide You is about You as #1 in this world, and a choice to acknowledge who you are and expand your horizons in a bigger, better and bolder way to make a difference in this world.

My experience is that when you’re comfortable in your own skin, you can travel freely through all circles of life, helping others who aren’t ready yet to be #1.

Worldwide You.

It’s a good thing. Whenever you’re ready.

Rock on,

Robin

Recently, I’ve had some new opportunities come my way and they’re challenging me more than I expected, and causing some restlessness that I’m unfamiliar with. Going out of my comfort zone for sure, in fact, more than I remember, and ramping up all kinds of questions and second guessing that I normally wave aside. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, and to practice what we teach is the ultimate lesson.

Given the fact that business decisions can sometimes be more costly than planned, it’s interesting how we handle the inner chatter, especially when fear and uncertainty come into play. On one hand, we know that we want to play bigger, but there’s a risk. It’s crunch time and the only way to play bigger, or make a splash is to be “all in”, take the risk, have faith in yourself and your abilities, and expect the best. I’m sure that even the CEO of a major corporation has these same thoughts, though he/she may have a Board of Directors, and the decision making is shared. With an entrepreneur, the decision and results most often rest on our shoulders. A few wrong decisions can make an impact that can alter the course of history. Conversely, a few right decisions can do the same.

Ultimately, I decided late last night to just stop thinking. To stop carrying on a never ending dialogue in my head, and go to bed, asking for what the best solution would be.

I slept like a rock and woke up with a plan.

The Dream Team helped, and delivered the answer which I had been seeking all day.

Ask and you will receive.

Have you asked for the help you needed lately? Better yet, have you listened?

All the best to you,

Robin

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk
through the rooms of our lives…
not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
~ Ellen Goodman

I love this quote by Ellen Goodman because it stirs up unfinished feelings and thoughts in all of us. Longing, ideas, and “I should, but I’m too busy. I can’t , because I don’t know how. I’d like to, but how can I manage something like that?”

It’s amazing that most of us use only 10% of our potential. Where is the rest? Hidden in our fear? Dormant in our dreams? Buried in a “to do list” that doesn’t really even matter? After years of listening to clients, I’m convinced people know (some of ) their potential but it’s too much trouble to uncover the brilliance of their own true light. Decisions have to be made, changes need to occur, relationships may be affected, and most importantly — it’s uncomfortable to address our innermost desires, and then make a plan and stick to it, to make our dreams come true.

As we start the New Year, and you make plans for 2011, I’d like to ask you three simple questions:

  • Where are you now?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • What does your perfect life look like?

When answering these questions, be open for what comes up for you. Journal if you like. Chew on it a bit. No judgment. Be brutally honest with yourself and look at your life –every part of it. Then ask, “how is this serving me?” You’ll be surprised that sometimes the answer is “not so well”. Listen to your intuition. Part two of the question requires further thought. “And, what are you going to do about it?” If the answer is “nothing”, or a “hmmmmm” then it could be you aren’t willing to risk living at your fullest potential, for whatever reason (or excuse), and sometimes that’s OK for where you are in your life. I’ll be perfectly clear. Risk is involved if you want to change. That’s just part of the process.

Here’s the good news. We all have greatness. We all deserve to live in the light and share our gifts. If you are aligned with your true purpose then you are living in some way to serve – not always through your day job, but through your daily life. It all starts with a decision. To be more, to do more, to live more, to have a more amazing life, which in turn will help someone else along their path. It’s funny, one small gesture, or kind word, or phone call can be the catalyst toward making someone’s day a bit brighter – or can be a lifesaving comment to change how they look at the world. I’ve been witness to it many times, and it is humbling.

Your words and your actions are all dots that connect to a much bigger picture. When you aren’t being your glorious self, and living to your maximum potential, you’re not only doing yourself a disservice, but also not being who you were meant to be. You know those “tingles” you get? That’s your connection to what’s really happening in life. Follow those tingles, and your intuition, and take a real look at who you are now, and peek into the future of who you were meant to be. I can assure you, that you are way cooler than you ever thought you could be, and here to make an enormous difference in this world. I’m tingling as I write this now.

Happy New Year!