This month Mel Carson published his second book. It’s called “Introduction to Personal Branding: 10 Steps Toward a New Professional You”. The book is available on Amazon and focuses on the first steps of building a personal brand. In this article, I will review the book.
About the author
Mel Carson is a known figure in Search and Social Media. Mel calls himself “Digital Marketing Consultant & Strategist I Keynote Speaker on Personal Branding, Social Media, Content Marketing & PR”. This shows he has a lot on his plate.
Mel took his first steps to fame at Microsoft. He was the Digital Marketing Evangelist, Community & Social Media Manager. He went there after he switched from a career in acting. After he left Microsoft he focused on personal branding. Mel set up his own business, Delightful Communications, helping ‘making brands brilliant’.
His first book, ‘Pioneers of Digital’ focused on success stories from industry leaders. Now his second book, an e-book, is out. This book focuses more on the topic Mel has been working on in the past few years: Personal Branding.
About the topic: Personal Branding
Today it is not just enough anymore to have a proper brand for your business. You need a personal brand as well. A personal brand is marketing on a more personal level. You could say it’s the TV Show “Cheers” theme enlarged: everybody needs to know your name.
Personal branding is the process of creating and maintaining that personal brand. It’s a newer form of marketing, originating from the late 90s.
Mel Carson defines ‘Personal Branding’ as follows:
“Personal Branding is the practice of defining your professional purpose and being able to articulate your experience and value to your target audience through digital media and social channels like blogs, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.”
With the growth of Social Media in the past few years, personal branding has become an important tool. People trust people. People will trust a personal brand more than a business brand.
Having a personal brand determines how people see you and how you express yourself. It is reputation management and branding together. If your personal brand is good, your business has more chance of succeeding.
Quick Summary of the book
The book is set up to be a hands-on book for everyone who wants to build a personal brand. Thus, the book is set up as an ‘introduction’. Some things might seem obvious, they still are important to do.
The book is a ‘crash course’. Its straight forward, giving you ten ways to start building your personal brand. Each chapter is one step you can take.
Steps that are discussed are in different areas of what you need to do. There are the steps you need to take to actually create a brand. For example establishing your professional purpose and embracing and expounding your experience. There are also steps around researching. Researching your own topics, but also your competitors for example and how to learn to listen. Mel also gets practical talking about your headshot (hint: it needs changing) and writing.
The book is easy to read and accessible to anyone. Even if you don’t know much about marketing, the book will still speak to you.
The nice thing about the book is that Mel makes is personal by giving examples of his own brand. Small stories. Stories about the role of Microsoft as well as the role of his network. Sometimes you can almost hear him talk (but that might be because I know him 😉 ). It makes it light and easy to read. Because it is a thin book you won’t need much time reading it as well. Just a few hours and you will be on your way.
Who is the book for?
The book is written for: “CEOs, Executives, and Business Owners who want to position themselves as industry thought leaders and stand out from the competition”. I think the small entrepreneur can benefit as well. He or she who might not be a business owner, but still wants his or her name to ‘be out there’.
Why read / not read
This book is an absolute must-read. Not just for those starting off to build their own brand. The book is also suitable for those that already have a brand. Because there are some elements you might not have thought about. But also, because it is a good reminder of what you need to do to not just built, but also maintain that personal brand.
You shouldn’t expect all the answers and details on how to become a big personal brand, though. As said, it’s for those starting to built their brands. And that’s what it is: a start.
Where to get it
There is a strange thing about this book: its only costs 99 cents! Does that mean the book is bad? It is not, far from it. So why so cheap? Because this is an introduction to Personal Branding. Mel doesn’t want to make money on the book, he wants the message to go out there.