Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Facebook Username - Blaise Dipersia, originally uploaded by Hajj Flemings.

Facebook is growing up. It is no longer just a social network it has officially moved into the branding business. The driving force behind the move is the search for identity and you can debate whether that is your identity or Facebooks (Facebook desires to be like Twitter). Nevertheless it will impact your searchability in Google. The days of just connecting with friends and having fun is over. It is time for the Facebook Username gold rush for 200 Million users. Can you say Technical Nightmare?

Be Ready

Note: Calling all personal brands, job seekers, entrepreneurs, students, business owners, organizations, mommypreneurs, and the like.

As of 12:01 a.m. EST on June 13, Facebook will begin allowing users to create custom URLs that include their name and/or company.

What does this mean? You will no longer be a randomly generated number but a personalized URL. (i.e. Facebook.com/yourname). Users will be able to choose these usernames on a “first-come, first-serve” basis for any profiles or pages that they serve as administrator. As a personal brand strategist I promote ownership/personal branding of social network URLs.

Personal Branding Advice

o Be Careful: Once you select your new name you won’t be able to change or transfer it.
o Social Network Privacy: Gone

Trademark/Branding Protection
o Facebook is allowing trademark holders to pre-register.
o Anyone how registered after May 31st can not participate in username registration. At least not initially.

Whatever it takes get some Starbucks and be ready!!!

For more information go to the Facebook blog.

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

How do you capture the scope and depth of your life in an 8.5 x 11 white paper?  One dimensional thinkers in times past (pre social networks) could be captured in a white box, but the transformation of networks to social networks, face-to-face to online conversations have changed the rules of engagement.

Traditional resumes or resume 1.0 are dead and it is not because of the Green movement.
As a personal brand you engage your community, perspective employers, customers, and future business partners through a series of brand impressions that can be leveraged through your online community. With social networks like Twitter, Linkedin, VisualCV and Slideshare and other free tools a person can more effectively communicate their personal brand and what makes them different?

Definition of Visual Resumes –  Is a visual communicator of your personal brand that creatively tells your story through a brief series of images, ideas, and experiences that are  in a sharable and searchable format.

Examples of Visual Resumes
o    Dustin Sommer – A student from my Personal Branding Class (@Dustin Sommer)
o    Saranyan Vigraham - Employee at Qualcomm (@Saranyan)

Goal of Visual Resumes: Extend the engagement of your personal brand (Employers spent 20-30 seconds viewing resumes)

Visual Resume Elements
o    Brief - Recommend 15-20 pages
o    Story Telling Format
o    Avatar- Global ID
o    Spreadable – Embed into your blog, Linkedin, and Twitter
o    Searchable – The use of tags for searchability in the social network and in Google
o    Images – Sources: Flickr and istock photo

Why Create a Visual Resume?
o    Shows your creativity
o    Optimize your elevator pitch.
o    Think in soundbites
o    Practice story telling
o    Extends the engagement.

A Note to GRUSTLERS:  (Grind-to-Hustle)
Especially if you are a GRUSTLER, the traditional resume doesn’t work.  Your resume is probably loaded with experience that is not directly related with your passion and doesn’t do you justice.  You need away to communicate the varying dimensions of your life.

Share a link to your visual resume.

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

I ♥ TWITTER - 3D typography, originally uploaded by flexgraph.

Love and loyalty is fleeing. As people we are finicky and our loyalty changes daily. One day we love Myspace, the next day it’s Facebook, and now it is Twitter.

Twitter is a simplistic communication tool powered by people. It allows you to irresistibly engage the Twitterverse with your personal brand in 140 characters or less.

Definition of Twitterverse: A geographically disperse community of connected passionate people sharing content in its most organic form a Tweet.

Eleven Reasons to Tweet for Personal Brands
1. Passion Principle:
The ability to re-tweet, share, and connect to what you are passionate about.
2. Real-time input: Time stamped input. Allows you to input time sensitive responses. (Maximizing the Moment)
3. Transparency: People get to follow your thoughts
4. Brevity: Helps you hone your sales pitch ability. Create great re-tweetable sound bytes.
5. Brandability: Twitter Background, Bio, blog URL, thoughts, expand your network, add to your email signatures, and include on your business cards.
6. Listening: Connect with people without interrupting with search and feeds.
7. Virtual Mentorship: Learn from thought leaders and be mentored for free.
8. Mobility: Connect with a mobile device without being attached to your computer.
9. Free: The cost is sweat equity. It doesn’t get any better than that.
10. 24/7: Twitter is always open and someone is always online.
11. GRUSTLE-Ability: You can Tweet with your Grind and your Hustle.

Bonus Twitter Personal Branding Tips
o Create a 140-Character Twitter Resume/Bio.
o Use your Twitter address as a URL
o Let your personality shine through.
o Attend Tweet-Ups.

Twitter is one of the best online personal branding tools ever. It is a free service with the ability to outperform paid marketing initiatives. It allows you to search emotionally charged content in real-time with people who are passion about your area of expertise. The simplicity of 140 Characters or less in building a personal brand is awesome. In the comment session leave your Twitter handle so that people can connect with you. Happy Tweeting!

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Dougie Under Glass, originally uploaded by Ryan Brenizer.


The New Transparency. Does Google know your name? Are you transparent? The perspective of this blog is not focused on telling you to become transparent, but to heighten your awareness that actively participating online makes you naked, exposed, and searchable. Let’s start by defining the subject of this blog:

o Transparency is defined as the state or quality of being transparent.
o Transparent is defined as characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices. (One of the definitions)

I am sure you are being told you need to be transparent. Have you heard the quote, “Clear is the new black.”? I hope not because I thought I created it, but you understand my point. Transparency is less of a decision and more a by-product of being online and being active in social networks and in the blogosphere.

The Birth of the Online Personal Brand
Social networks in the beginning were simply way to communicate with friends and share content and have evolved into a platform to brand products and people. Being online has become a full-time job, listed below are some of the task:

o Securing eBrand Assets: Domain Names and Social Network URLs.
o Avatar Managements: Uploading consistent avatars across all your social networks.
o Online Reputation Management:
Monitoring your online presence.
o And the list goes on . . .

My Rant about: Private v. public

Is there a public versus private Internet? I was a part of a discussion last week at dinner with Oz Sultan and some other friends and this term was tossed around. Needless to say there isn’t a private Internet, everything goes into the public domain. As a personal brand your life is lived in stream. There is no compartmentalizing who you are, you can’t live one way online and another offline. Your digital footprint is in Google and can be traced. In fact if you don’t have a presence online you are not relevant and employers and other decision makers probably aren’t interested in getting to know you. YOU don’t exist.

A person doesn’t need to ever talk with (email, DM, IM, or face-to-face) you to understand how your think, what you like, or what things are important to you. Listed below are some of the ways people can read who you are.
o Tweets
o Facebook Messages
o Friends/Contacts/Connections
o Tag Cloud
o Comments
o Blog Post
o Photos

My Random Thoughts on Transparency:
o Don’t be a Social Media Bully: Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say in person.
o Be Constant: Constancy is one of the hallmarks of a successful brand be the same online and offline.
o Character is Important: Be true to yourself. Reputation is managed but character is lived.

How transparent are you?

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Interesting talk by Evan Williams of Twitter at the TED Conference where he talks about the unexpected uses of Twitter. The success of Twitter has been chronicled as it has hit the mainstream media. At this point in my life I couldn’t imagine going through the day without my laptop or blackberry to check the pulse of the world through the eyes of the Twitter community.What grabbed me the most about his talk was the fact that Twitter started off as a side project. The first word that comes to mind after watching the video is the word GRUSTLE.

GRUSTLE is the combination of a daily Grind (job) and a Hustle (your passion) and most people are caught between the two. Most peoples side project is their passion, which I believe fuels their success.

The average person is one side project away from their greatness. What side project are you working on?

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Twitter Time in Royal Oak, originally uploaded by Hajj Flemings.

The Detroit Twitter community has grown and recently captured the attention of the media. Stephen Clark (@sclarkwxyz) of Channel 7 News covered the latest tweet-up in Royal Oak on 02/27/09. Detroit is not known for social media nationally, but has always been a city of first.

Detroit First

Innovation: Thomas Edison (Light Bulb)
Mass Production: Henry Ford (Automotive)
Techno Music: Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, and Eddie Fowlkes, (Belleville Four)
Hockey’s Origin Six: Detroit Red Wings (11-Stanley Cups)
Pop and Soul Music: Motown/Berry Gordy (50th Anniversary)

The automotive industry was the silicon valley of its time and is responsible for single handedly created the middle-class. There is a new spirit of entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation brewing in the motor city and the twitter community is determined to be apart of the movement.

Michigan Tweet-Up Facebook Groups
Detroit Tweet-Up
Mid-Michigan Tweet-Up

Partial List of Attendees:

For a complete list go to the Detroit Tweet-Up Facebook Group

Check out the video on Channel 7 News: Twitter Time Video Clip.

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Mind Share- by Hajj E. Flemings, originally uploaded by Hajj Flemings.

Market share versus mind share is a question for the ages. Is market share for personal brands important? Can personal brands grow market share? How do you determine if your personal brand is stronger than someone elses? For most people it would be hard to calculate market share and would be meaningless if identified?

Market Share

Market share is the percentage or proportion of the total available market or market segment that is being serviced by a company or by a brand.

o Coke has 43.1% of $65.9 billion soft drink beverage industry.

This makes it very easy to define how much of the soft drink beverage industry that Coke-Cola owns.

Mind Share

Mind Share is owning a slice of mental real estate in the mind of your customers or potential customers. Personal branding has a lot to do with creating a top of the mind experience and making your name synonymous with the industry or space that you want to occupy.

For Example
o Tiger Woods = Golf
o Seth Godin = Marketing
o Anderson Cooper = News

Capturing Mind Share

How does a personal brand capture mind share? That is a great question and I am glad that you asked. Mind share is captured through conversational capital. There are many touch points of a brand that create brand impressions that simulates awareness.

Brand Impressions

o Social Network (SN) Connections: Adding Friends, Connections,
o Twitter Conversation: Humanize your brand and connect.
o Post Video Content
o RSS Subscription
o Email Distribution
o Blogs: Blogging, commenting on others blogs, number site of visits
o Sales: Products/services that connect people to your thoughts.
o Downloads/Views: Podcast (Video/Audio) and video content
o Face-to-Face Interaction: Speaking engagements, networking events, meetings, and presentations.
o Write a book: Traditional book, eBook, and/or audio book
o Web 2.0 Cards: Social media cards by www.BrandCardz.com, my personal favorite.

Results of Capturing Mind Share

Mind share is not about numbers, one can easily artificially inflate the number of social network connections, downloads, or view.

o Fame
o Notoriety
o Trust/Creditability
o Brand Awareness
o Inflated Ego
o Opportunity
o Influence
o Followers
o Stalkers

Converting Mind Share into Personal Brand Value

One of the challenges of personal branding is to convert mind share into value or basically creating a business model to monetize your new found brand awareness. Let me know your thoughts on you how you convert your personal brand into value!!!!

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

PRSAi Tweetup, originally uploaded by eschipul.

The 2008 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) opening night Tweet-up at Sweet Lorraine’s in Downtown Detroit was a great success. The Roster of Tweeter Rockstars is listed below. To follow the conference in Twitter use #prsa08.

Gaugarin Oliver
Andrew Koeck
Rose Tantraphol
Ed Hayward

If I forgot someone please leave a comment and I will add you. Thanks to @eschipul for the picture. Note I am busy adding new digital friends at the Tweet-up.

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Twittermobile, originally uploaded by Documentally.

Twitter, is it just another social network, is it a business tool, is it caffeinated texting, or just a cool web 2.0 business that hasn’t made a penny, yet! Everyone that gets on Twitter has that deer in the headlights look and probably feels that Twitter is silly when they first start and I was no different. The easiest way to understand Twitter is to sign-up and follow the updates of those that interest you. For more information read Chris Brogan blog post entitled, ‘50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Business’ it provides the basics of starting in Twitter.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a free micro-blogging service with 140-character field that is used to communicate your brand. It is a real-time digital journal that allows you to listen to, talk to, and influence real people in an organic way. Twitter allows you to combine the human and digital sides of your personal brand in the simplest form, which I believe has made it the most relevant social network to date.

Over the coming months you will begin to see Twitter used as a strategic part of people’s personal brands and businesses. I talked with @VincentHunt this week and we discussed about five Twitter driven ideas with a business model that could be monetized today! I assure you we are not the only ones having this conversation. I challenge you to think strategically about using Twitter to impact your personal brand.

Tips for Personal Branding in Twitter
o Brand Your Background: Add a customized background (@HajjFlemings) that is consistent with you brand, add blog URLs and other contact information. Think creatively and add elements that distinguish you from the pack. Your Twitter background should make people curious about what you do, attract followers, and drive traffic to your blog or site. I like @phloss backgrounds because of the creativity and the social entrepreneurship component (they give 50% of the design fee to charity.)
o Branded Avatars: Your avatar is your global photo ID and it should be consistent throughout all your social networks.
o Promote your Twitter URL: Use your twitter address on all marketing materials especially your Brand 2.0 Cards (Business Cards) and email signature.
o Twitter Plug-in on your Blog: Add a twitter plug-in to your blog so that people can follow your conversation from your blog.
o Review Tag Cloud: Assess content you talk about to see if it is consistent with your brand message and tweeting strategy. You can use TweetStats to review your tag cloud.
o Twitter Profile: Do not leave blank. Description: Should be a description of your personal brand. Link: List the URL that you are trying to drive traffic to.
o Be Authentic: Be who you are. Twitter is the perfect vehicle to merge the human and digital elements of your brand.
o Create a Twitter Resume: Develop a 140-character Twitter resume which is a sound bite or elevator speech of who you are. This idea was inspired by an article I read in BusinessWeek,‘Write 140-char resumes for BW.’

o Secure eBrand Asset: It is one of the internet real estate properties (www.twitter.com/yourname) that you need to own. If for no other reason secure this eBrand Asset before a squander takes it.

Other Reasons to Master 140 Characters

1. Think in Sound Bites: Twitter reduces word pollution and forces you to think and write in sound bites.
2. Stay Current: Buzz starts in Twitter. The Twitterverse starts talking about topics before they hit standard blog post.
3. Create Buzz: Post events, projects, and things you have going on creatively.
4. Accessibility: Twitter is mobile device friendly it enables you to blog from anywhere and gives people access into who you are.
5. Become a Conversationalist: It is a great way to develop your conversation skills.
6. Get Ideas: Use Twitter Search and get ideas for blog post, articles, or projects. Great place to do research.
7. Stay Connected: The Twitter community contains geographically disperse influencers who share their thoughts, ideas, and resources in a 140-space rectangle.
8. Humanizes Your Personal Brand: Twitter is a medium that connects the human and digital sides of your personal brand.
9. Follow Conferences/Events:
If you can’t attend follow the conversation. (i.e. Web 2.0 Expo @w2e and Blog World Expo @BlogWorld)
10. Establish your personality: Brand your background, with @Phloss. Create authentic content and establish your voice. I know this is @RohitBhargava favorite tip. LOL.

Some interesting Twitters that I follow:

Popular Twitters:

 Share how you have used Twitter to enhance your business!

Warning: copy() [function.copy]: Filename cannot be empty in /home/content/h/f/l/hflemings/html/blog/wp-content/plugins/mytube/mytube.php on line 220

Is Detroit the next social media hub? It remains to be seen, but it is official the ‘D’ is on the Twitter map. Chris Brogan social media guru was visiting Detroit at ITEC May 20-22 and reached out to local twitters and Detroit responded. If you have never attended a Tweetup it is a must do. It is a very diverse group of thinkers, creatives, and leaders with common interest and common ground.

Tweetup #1: Seldom Blues- Detroit, MI
Tweetup #2: Buffalo Wild Wings- Novi, MI

Tweetees (from Tweetup #2):


Join the Detroit Tweetup network!

Twitter logo, originally uploaded by Travelin’ Librarian.