Improve your Personal Branding through Sharing

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  1. 1. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.Improve yourPersonal BrandingThrough SharingI post a lot of walkthroughs and information to social media sites. I started doing this though for purelyselfish reasons. Primarily they were:To give customers a resource to see how I did what I showed them in demonstrations so thatthey didnt get mad at me.To give consultants a resource to see what I am showing customers in demonstrations so thatthey wouldnt get mad at me.And to show to lawyers to prove that I wasnt just using smoke and mirrors duringdemonstrations, so that I dont get deposed (again).Along the way though I found that I was creating a small personal brand, and this has helped me a lotwith everything that I do.I have a simple system that I use that allows me to turn something that I find cool or interesting intosomething sharable, that also helps extend out my personal brand.Systems dont work for everyone, because everyone has their own personal style, but I thought I wouldpass this on just in case it works for someone else.Capturing Your Initial Blog StoryboardThe first thing that I always to when I am planning to create a blog about something is to capture thestoryboard of the process that I am going to blog about. This does not involve any writing, I am justcapturing the flow of the visual process.Using this as an initial starting point is good because if I come across any road blocks in the processwhere I cannot get something to work, then I have only lost an hour or so of my time, and I can cut mylosses and file the storyboard away within the dumb ideas, or try again later folders. I was writing theblog at the same time, I could have invested a lot more time, and its emotionally harder to throw awaythe words.I use PowerPoint as my storyboarding tool. I use a simple template that just has the screen capture, aslide title and the blog narrative.I like using PowerPoint because it allows me to organize the slides afterthe fact, write working notes against the slides as I am capturing information, and it makes everythinglook consistent and clean through the slide layouts.
  2. 2. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.My secret weapon though is a product called DuckLink Screen Capture. Dont be turned away by thesilly name this is a free product, and I would pay for it if I had to.DuckLink is a simple screen capture tool that allows me through the normal screen capture hot keys toquickly grab screen captures, and scrolling windows of information.So all I do as I am working throughan example is press CTRL-Print Screen and then paste it into a blank PPT slide and then move on. Thecapturing adds maybe a minute or so of extra work above and beyond what I would normally be doing.Organizing Your Blog StoryboardAfter I have proved out the flow for my storyboard, I start working on organizing the flow. I still am notgoing to write any narratives, this just gives me a way to browse through the slides, delete any badslides, move ideas around, and also group the screen shots into bite-sized flows that I can then workwith.First, I start off by creating sections in the PowerPoint slides, and then adding a section title. This allowsme to have working titles for the sections, although later on these will probably change as I write thecopy, and some may be merged together as well.Each one of the sections could be their own separateblog posts, or could be combined together into a larger blog post if I like.
  3. 3. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.Then I use a tile page layout slide to give my blog a working name, and also I add a couple of categoriesor tags to the slides which I can search on later on.Writing Your Blog ContentOnce storyboard has been organized, the real work begins, which is writing the narratives to describewhat is happening on the storyboard cells. Although I usually do this step right after organizing thestoryboard, I dont always do it. The benefit of having the screen captures is that if I have other things Ineed to do I can put the post on hold and return to it later on, because they remind me of what I wastrying to do.I work backwards through this process. I start off with the slide contents and describe what I am doingat that point in the storyboard. Also, along the way, if there are slides that I dont think need to becommented on, I just hide them. I dont delete them, just in case I realize why they are important.
  4. 4. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.Then I create a section introduction describing what I did. If I find that the section went in a differentdirection than the initial title that I gave it, then I have the opportunity to change the title.Also, if I findthat the sections need to be split or combined, then I can do that here as well.After I finish all of the sections, then I create an introduction for the blog. Usually I change the title ofthe blog as well, to better match the content that I ended up creating.
  5. 5. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.Publishing Your Storyboard to SlideShareAn ulterior motive to using PowerPoint as my initial blog is that I can start publishing the blog postthrough SlideShare right away, and get a lot of publicity to my personal brand.If you havent discovered SlideShare yet check it out. I have been using it for probably the past 4 or soyears. The site is simply a place that people post PowerPoints, and other documents.The URL is: http://www.slideshare.netIts great just to browse around in, but is also a great brand engine.To publish the storyboard that I just created, all I do is save it off as a PDF.Note: I reuse this PDF any time that someone wants a copy of the presentation I rarely give away theactual PowerPoint source file.
  6. 6. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.The within SlideShare, once you have signed up, you can go straight to the Upload screen and add thePDF file to your gallery.As the file is uploading, I usually change the title of the storyboard a little, add some tags for indexing,and also add a description.For the description, I simply cut and paste the description from the title pageof my storyboard. There is no point in reinventing the wheel.I have my SlideShare settings set to automatically post to LinkedIn once it is published.
  7. 7. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.If you edit your SlideShare entry though you can also post it to Twitter and Facebook.Note:I usually change the default tweet a little, and also add tags to help publicize the posting.I use Twitter purely for my professional account. If you use yours for personal tweets, you might wantto think about creating a professionally branded version.
  8. 8. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.Im also not ashamed to say that I post to Facebook as well. My family probably doesnt care much forthe post, but I do have a lot of past colleagues that I am friends with here, and they may find the postsinteresting as well.As I mentioned, I use SlideShare a lot. This also is my personal portfolio to show people what I do. If arecruiter calls up and says that they have an Oracle job, or a GP position, then I politely direct themto:, and suggest they research me better.
  9. 9. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.I also have upgraded my SlideShare account to the Pro version. It costs me an extra $19 a month, but itallows me to capture the names of the people that are downloading my presentations.I think thatcommunicating with my audience is important, so I always save away the leads that I am sent and alsoemail them back personally with a SkyDrive link to the original presentation. This way, if they have anycomments or suggestions, then they will return my email.The pro version also gives you a great analytics tool on how your brand is performing on SlideShare. Itend to get about 200-400 hits a day on my SlideShare account.The other benefit that I was completely surprised about was that all of the presentations that are postedto SlideShare get a lot of visibility on the search engine.For example, when it comes to using DynamicsAX and PowerView, I am #7 & #12 on the first page list. I am a little bit disappointed though I shouldhave higher rankings.Archiving and Sharing through SkyDriveI use SkyDrive a lot for backing up my work, and also use it for sharing content.
  10. 10. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.For each presentation that I make, I archive it to SkyDrive. This has the benefit of saving the file away inthe cloud just in case something happens to my computer, and also it allows me to sync the files to myhome workstation so that I can work on the blogs wherever I may be working.The best feature is the sharing though if someone wants a copy of any of the presentations that I havecreated, then I can just click the Sharing option for the file and create a read only link that I can forward.Converting Your Storyboard & Narrative Into AStoryAfter doing all this work, I usually start creating variations of my post that I can use in other socialmediums. To do this I create a story format for my post within Word. This version I will print, cut upand publish, and also convert into chapters later on. All of the hard work has been done though at thispoint. I dont need to do any more writing, just repurposing.I start off with a word template. I use a recipe format that matches the PowerPoint format that I usewhen capturing my Storyboard and Narrative. All I need to do is cut and paste from the PowerPoint intoWord.
  11. 11. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.I start off with the Title, the description from the title page, and then a listing of each of the sections.Then I copy the section title and description into the Topic, and then each of the narratives can bepasted in as well.
  12. 12. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.Then I look through the screen shots that are associated with the narratives and paste in the ones that Ithink add value to the recipe. The cropping feature in Word allows me to cut out the detail that I am notinterested in and also makes the document shorter.After you have done the first section, just repeat the same process for all of the other sections andfinally I add a summary section to the document and I am done. The whole process should only take 10-30 minutes or so.Publish Your Story to a Blog SiteOnce you have your story created, you can start reusing it to post to traditional blogs. You can do thisthe hard way, or the easy way through Word.I use Word to publish to my blog sites. If you havent noticed there is a Blog Post template in the Wordtemplates gallery that makes this process a snap.
  13. 13. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.To use the template, just start off with the blank document and paste the content from your masterWord version in.You can double check the formatting within the Blog version, and make any changessuch as cutting out sections, breaking your blog into multiple publications etc.The reason why I like Word so much is that you can attach it to multiple blogging accounts.From the dropdown box below the blog title, you can choose the blogging account that you want topublish to, and post to multiple blog sites in just a couple of seconds.You can also choose to publish yourblog post, or save it as a draft on the blogging site.You can then go straight to your blog, and all thecontent and images would have been uploaded for you, making the process simple and quick.Note: I use both WordPress and TypePad as blogging sites, but post to both of them via Word.
  14. 14. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.If you dont have a blog site already, I would suggest using WordPress, because its free, and you canalso spend a little more money and brand it with your own personal domain name if you want.Once I am happy with the formatting of the blog post, I just publish it.And now its available for all tosee.Extend your Brand by Syndicating Your BlogOnce you have some content in your blog, try reaching out to others to syndicate your content so thatyou can get a wider audience. There are a lot of aggregator sites that would love to have more guestbloggers publishing to their site, and you may be surprised at how easy it is to do once you have yourblogging processes in place.I contacted the Microsoft Dynamics Community site through Brandon George (a guest blogger there)who I had got in contact with through my posts on SlideShare, and also was able to meet in person atConvergence a year or so ago. After exchanging a few emails with their content manager they set me upas a guest blogger.
  15. 15. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.All I do is give them a feed from my WordPress site that contains only content specific to Dynamics AX which I do by making the content through the blog post categories.I dont have to do anything else their content engine trolls my blog for new content and automatically syndicates my Dynamics AX blogposts. They automatically appear on their site, linked back to my personal blog.How simple is that.Turn Your Stories into a BookThe final step that you can take with your brand is to become an author. All of the hard work hasalready been done, and this becomes almost a no-brainer.First you need to find a publisher that will take you under contract for a book. The hard part aboutwriting a book is to describe the content of the book, and also write all of the content.Starting from scratch is a daunting task, but if you have been creating content through blogs, stories,and storyboards, then almost all of the work has been done.It is just a matter of organizing the
  16. 16. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.information into a set of chapters with the sections that will be covered.If the organization looksfamiliar, then there is a reason for that. All of the content up until this point has been designed to fitthis mold.All you need to do is convert the Word copy that was created into the format that the publisher wants,and then send it in to them for editing.SummaryWe all are learning new things every day that we may think that others know, but usually they dont. Sowhy not share it.Along the way, you may find that you become just a little famous.
  17. 17. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.
  18. 18. Murray Fife 2013. All rights reserved.AboutMurray FifeWith over 18 years of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Business Software experience, initially as adeveloper, then as an implementation consultant, and now as a technology consultant specializing inMicrosoft Dynamics AX solutions.For the past 15 years Murray has been educating, training, presenting and demonstrating to C-Levelexecutives on topics ranging from ERP software selection to business intelligence strategies.EMAIL: murray@murrayfife.mePHONE: +1 (404) 425-9616TWITTER: @murrayfifeBLOG: 2013 Murray Fife. All rights reserved.The information herein...


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