The You Get It Award is presented monthly to someone who effectively uses technology to exemplify their personal brand. Past winners can be found here. If you have any suggestions for other winners please use the Contact Us form to let us know.
I met Rob Frankel on the YoungPRPros Yahoo Group a few months ago. Since Rob had his own URL (www.RobFrankel.com), and because his contributions were smart, I thought I’d go check him out. What I found was… well… an ugly website. With a ton of information.
My first (and second, and third, and fourth) impression was that Rob Frankel really knows what he’s talking about. I’m a critic of web design – I don’t think it needs to be super-flashy, or amazing, or whatever. But I like to give my two cents on what I think looks good and what is a distraction.
Note: I actually spent time on the phone with Rob this morning. I said “um, er, well, I don’t really like your web design… and I want to talk about that a little.” He replied: “bash it all you want… there’s a reason for the design.” But that’s for a another blog post.
Distractions aside, Rob has a strong personal and professional brand. And he is making excellent use of technology to convey this. Even his Skype profile has a little tag-line that is catchy – and reinforces his branding! I hesitated awarding him the You Get It award because, well, Rob is a branding expert (seems a little unfair, doesn’t it?). Here’s why he won:
Ugly site: Let’s get this out of the way. The first impression counts for a lot, and Rob’s website has a number of things that I think can be changed (and still not affect his strategy, which is for another post). I wanted to mention it here because (a) he knows it, and says he gets hit up about 4 times a month from web designers, and (b) if he can have an excellent brand with a website like this, I want you to know that you can too! There can be more substance to who you are than how flashy your website is, and Rob proves that.
The Blog: a few things…
You have to scroll down quite a bit to find a link to Rob’s blog… but at the very top of the page, one of the first things you see is the invitation to subscribe to the blog…
Rob’s blog is a part of his overall strategy. It looks like he posts about once a month (last month there were multiple posts). Rob says the blog:
- … fills a void in his offerings – he has a paid newsletter which has tactical strategies, answers, questions, etc.
- … is where he talks about non-tactical stuff that doesn’t fit into the newsletter.
- … has posts by topic and is not on a schedule (I think this is fine for Rob – if you don’t have a lot of other offerings like Rob does I suggest you have a more frequent posting schedule).
- … has subscriber that tend to be media people, reports, producers, and client prospects.
- … (most importantly, I think) shows how “global” (or BROAD) his expertise is – from political to celebrity to other current issues in branding. This is where Rob is able to showcase his breadth (over time) and his depth (in each post).
The Expertise: As you scroll down the site you’ll see 3 images where Rob was on TV, undoubtedly talking about branding (his expertise). This lends huge credibility – if the TV folks thought he was expert enough to talk about branding on the air, wouldn’t a future employer, er, client think that also?
And if that isn’t credibile enough he has a huge listing of other media where he has been (see the image to the left – this is only a part of it!).
On the right side of his website you’ll see HIS books and other resources. This is like Frankel’s Arsenal and there are many things here to let me know he is an expert and wants to have a relationship – no matter what my learning style is, I can find something here for me. The message I get big time is “Rob Frankel is an expert”… but the message that Rob Frankel tells me is this:
So here’s the deal. Rob obviously didn’t get this award because of his beautiful website, or his amazing blog (with exception to the post frequency, it is very good and something that you might want to subscribe to).
Rob wins for his substance… the amount of quality material and expertise coming from this site is huge. I can quickly get past the distracting layout and look at what Rob is made of – the media recognition gives significant credibility but I know it’s not hollow. There are books, downloadable eBooks, audio MP3s to buy, newsletters and blogs to sign up for, and my favorite, a weekly one-hour teleseminar that anyone can get on for free.
What does this mean for your own career management and personal branding? What do you have to offer? How can you establish yourself as an expert in your field (or hey, why not the “best on the planet”)? Please don’t be discouraged by super-duper fancy flashy websites – if you have content, if you have substance, if you have the message, then use techonology as the tool it is! I’m not suggesting to be half-baked, but if you are getting hung up on having the perfect layout, or something like that, it’s a poor excuse for not getting started. Just Jason Alba’s two cents
Congratulations Rob! – You join a special group of professionals and have a coveted link from my monthly winnerâ€™s blogroll area (on the left), six months of premium JibberJobber (you can transfer/award this to someone else ), and a cyber-high five!