5 Books on Building Personal Brands That Everyone Should Read

Today’s guest post is from Kelsey Castle is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on small business topics. She has a degree from Penn State and lives in Maryland.

There are a lot of opportunities out there for someone who’s motivated. However, it can be hard to get noticed. Your personal brand refers to who you are, what you’re passionate about, and the strength of your reputation.

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Learn more about developing your personal brand with an expertly written book.

If you’re still trying to figure out your personal brand, investing time in reading a top-rated book might put you on the right track.

Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand
By William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson

Sometimes it’s not enough to just tell you how to build a brand, but to show you as well. This book includes case studies of successful professionals who have defined their brand and used it to their advantage in the workplace.

Authors Arruda and Dixon offer a step-by-step guide to identify your target audience, tell your brand story, express yourself clearly and consistently, and understand the importance of online reputation management. The book comes from a duo that are widely respected in the career-coaching community. [Read more…]

Book Review: The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia DiMaulo

The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia DiMauloThe Apple in the Orchard  by Sonia DiMaulo is an illustrated storybook about finding the courage to emerge as a leader. I hesitate to call this a children’s book, even though many who pick it up might think of it that way. The lessons in this book are suitable for children and adults alike, though.

The story itself is about Brave Apple, who learns the importance of living with purpose. She learns to question the status quo and look beyond what’s familiar to find her place in the world.

Brave Apple grows on Pale Green, a tree on the outskirts of the Orchard that is pale and produces sickly fruit because of his disconnect from Red Harvest, the largest, strongest and healthiest tree in the Orchard.

Red Harvest nurtures the relationships among the trees in the Orchard and cultivates collaboration as they grow and produce fruit. Since Pale Green is so far from the center of the Orchard, he misses the messages of Red Harvest. As a result, Pale Green believes that he is separate and apart from the rest of the Orchard. Believing that he is completely independent, Pale Green struggles without the support and connection of the rest of the Orchard.

As Brave Apple surveys the Orchard from the branches of Pale Green, she can see Red Harvest’s glow, but not feel it. A desire to connect with Red Harvest overwhelms her. She battles fear and uncertainty as she does what no one else has ever done. She leaves the safety of her branch, and begins her pilgrimage to the center of the Orchard. Her desire to learn is overwhelming.

Brave Apple’s story is an allegory of every leader’s journey. There comes a time when we question the things we’ve always been told. Our desire to learn forces us to seek out mentors and other leaders who can help us discover the secrets to achieving our passions and realizing our goals.

It’s a wonderful story to share with children, to show them that conformity is not always the best way. It encourages the reader, showing that curiosity and a desire to learn are noble qualities.

For adults, the story is equally appealing, and will resonate with many readers as they work to become emerging leaders themselves.

But don’t just take my word for it! This story has also been endorsed by the likes of Ken Blanchard, Mike Henry Sr, Roy Saunderson, and S. Max Brown; some pretty heavy hitters in the leadership arena.

Ken Blanchard has this to say about The Apple in the Orchard:

The Apple in the Orchard by Sonia Di Maulo is a lovely little book with a profound message: To pursue greatness, aspiring leaders sometimes must dare to leave the familiar. Opportunities for growth and learning are all around you—so take the leap, and grow!

To get your copy of The Apple in the Orchard, click here.

Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me by the author. No further compensation was made or promised. Additionally, no affiliate links were used in this post.

We Wrote a Book — And the Miles It Took to Get There!

The Character-Based Leader - Tara Alemany http://alewebsocial.comWhen the idea was first brought up early in 2011 for the Lead Change Group to write a book, we had no idea what we were getting into. There was some thought that with a large group of contributors, we could go from concept through writing, editing and publishing in three or four months.

Ultimately, twenty-one of us got on the bandwagon and committed to the project. As time drew on, some of the original participants had to drop out due to other constraints on their time. But the vision persisted and the project moved forward.

No one in their wildest imaginings could have anticipated that this project would ultimately take over 16 months to complete.

Can you imagine the consequences of a project at work that took 4 or 5 times longer than the planner had anticipated?!

Of course, none of us had the luxury of working on the project full-time. We all had other responsibilities, and progress was made much like that of a fire brigade. Each of us took as much or as little responsibility as we were able at any given time, and pitched in to the best of our abilities. When we needed to drop out of the line for a time, that was completely understood and respected by the rest of the team.

That’s the thing I love the most about my fellow Lead Change Authors. We made every effort to share one vision and use one voice, supporting a core belief that character-based leadership matters.

Individually, when we expound on what that means, you will get different responses, because each one is filtered through the lens of our own beliefs and experience. But in the end, we all believe that character-based leadership matters, and it matters significantly enough to spend countless hours dedicated to nothing more than birthing a book.

Today, this book has seen the light of day. And like the proud parents we are, we’re busy celebrating its launch, enjoying thecongratulationsof friends and family, feeling a bit tired, shaken and very relieved.

It’s been a long road to reach this point. It took more effort and heart than any of us ever imagined. Yet, now that we’re here, it all seems so very worth it.

What we’ve created is a book that’s inspiring. We’ve each made each other think in new and different ways about what it means to be a Character-Based Leader, and I hope that what we’ve shared will make you stop and think too.

What would happen in the world around you if you applied more character to your leadership? If you mentored your followers in more meaningful ways? If you reached out to help the people around you find their own way in the world?

What we’ve given you inThe Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Leadership Revolution… One Person at a Time is a sampling of our own experiences. It tells of the strengths and weaknesses we’ve identified in ourselves as we’ve tried to become the changes we want to see in the world. We are flawed at times, but striving to improve.

It is my hope that as you read this book, you will be inspired by what we have shared to make your own difference in the world, in whatever way you are uniquely suited to do.

If you want to learn more about the book, you can purchase it on Amazon. If you’re interested in helping us promote the book, we have a Resources page filled with tweets and status updates we’d love for you to share. And if you’re interested in reading a free sample chapter, that’s available here.

Thanks for joining us on this journey!

How to Promote Your Book Online – A DIY Guide

The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books by Tara Alemany of Aleweb Social Marketing - http://alewebsocial.comMany authors I know struggle with what the next steps are after they’ve finished all the writing work. They search the internet and book stores for “how to” guides to get them started with marketing and promotion, but many of the ones that are available either are incomplete or lack the level of detail required to do it yourself.

Until now, that is… Like any entrepreneur, I listen to my clients and look for those common issues they encounter; the questions I answer on a regular basis. The need I kept hearing over and over again was for a Do-It-Yourself guide to book marketing. And now it’s here!

Introducing The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books!

Within its first 24 hours on Amazon, it is already ranked in the Top 100 for both of its categories. So, it must be resonating with my readers as well!

I have taken my extensive training and technical writing experience to create a comprehensive, 89-page, easy-to-understand eBook that you can use all by yourself. I have spent as much as $27 on book marketing materials in the past that turned out to be simply lists of things you needed to do with lots of white space around them and no additional information to get you started. That’s not useful! So, that’s not what you’ll get in this eBook. (If you like to figure it all out on your own, let me know and I can point you to some of those books.)

For each marketing strategy I outline, I discuss various considerations for the option, and recommend tools and techniques. This allows you to make informed decisions about what you are capable of doing, and where you might want to get a little help. (Of course, Aleweb is always here to support you!)

So, if you or someone you know is an author and book sales are not what they should be, consider picking up a copy of The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books today! It could be the best $9.99 you’ve ever spent. But you won’t know until you try it. 🙂

If you dobuy a copy and would like me to autograph it, you can request a Kindlegraph here.

 

If you are a blogging book reviewer and are interested in reviewing this eBook, please send a review copy request to info@alewebsocial.com with your name, blog address and preferred format (Kindle or .pdf).

Book Review: Uprising by Scott Goodson

Publicists will tell you that if you want to gain visibility for your brand, you should tie it into relevant current events. Make your message timely by clarifying its connection to news-worthy topics. It’s the only real way to get the media’s attention.

However, in Scott Goodson’s book Uprising: How to Build a Brand – and Change the World – by Sparking Cultural Movements, he shows you how to flip that paradigm around. Rather than tying your brand, book title or product to a naturally occurring news topic, create your own by starting a movement.

He emphasizes that he’s referring a “movement” with a little m, not a “Movement” with a big one. As he puts it:

These “movements with a small m” may involve, say, a group of passionate activists, creative types, or even rabid consumers of a particular product. When these people band together around a shared passion or idea and try to turn it into something bigger and more significant, they’re not necessarily trying to change history or to change the world as we know it. They’re just trying to change the world (or some small part of it) as they know it.

Following in the footsteps of Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment (Guy wrote an endorsement for Uprising), Scott shares the concept of creating a vision that builds into a story as your movement grows. It has to be something that captures the attention of an individual and draws them in, enchanting them because of a shared affinity for the subject.

For example, the vision may be to promote kindness. The only real prerequisite for participating in a movement is passion. To spark a movement, it has to be something that you, and others, can get behind. People have to feel strongly enough about it to want to collectively do something. It is passion that transforms an idea into a movement. As you spark that movement, you can tie your brand, book or other product into that story by being the narrator, sponsor or an active participant.

The author goes on to explain how marketing models are shifting. Technology has played a role in this, but so have shifts in our social conscience, interests, etc. Today’s marketers need to “ditch the pitch” and figure out what people care about and how they can be part of that conversation. This transition to movement marketing is not without its risks. But Uprising does a good job of clearly outlining the steps required to build and maintain a strong and effective movement with your brand securing trust and value to the consumer in the process.

Scott’s writing is clear, easy to follow, and filled with excellent examples of both large and small brands that have made the transition to movement marketing. It provides actionable advice that you can apply to building your own brand and sparking your own movement. If you’ve read Seth Godin’s Tribes and Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment, and are looking for further ways to be inspired, this book should be next up on your reading list.

 

Disclaimer: A free review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher, McGraw Hill. No further compensation was made or promised.Additionally, no affiliate links were used in this post. Aleweb is based in a state where we can’t be Amazon affiliates. Darn!

Book Review: Cracks in the Sidewalk

While most of my book reviews are relevant to social media, business, job seeking, technology or leadership, I recently was offered the chance to read some lighter fare; a book by Bette L. Crosby called “Cracks in the Sidewalk,” which is an award-winning novel about a grandmother’s 20-year search for her missing grandchildren. Since I knew I needed a break from what I had been reading and the holiday season is upon us, I thought perhaps you might enjoy something different as well.

I first met the author, Bette, on LinkedIn, where we both participate in the Book Reviewers group. She shared an excerpt of “Cracks in the Sidewalk,” and I got hooked on the story right away. Bette creates characters that are believable and who struggle with the events of their lives. Some of the characters accept that life is not always a bed of roses. Others play the Blame Game, and do all they can to avoid responsibility for their own problems. As I read the excerpt online, I found myself wanting to learn more. Read the opening lines yourself, and you’ll see what I mean.

“I’m an old woman now. Some might say too old to dream, too old to still believe in miracles. But a dream your heart has held onto for the better part of a lifetime doesn’t disappear easily, it tucks itself behind the everyday worries that pick at you and waits—waits until theday you can again feel your heartbeat and know that hope is stirring insideyour soul.”

With those first few words, I knew I wanted to learn more about what was going on, and the rest of the story didn’t disappoint me. I walked alongside Charlie and Claire as they wrestled with the terminal illness of their daughter, Elizabeth, and the inconceivable response of her husband, Jeffrey. I was there as they made every effort to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives, even while mourning the loss of their daughter and fighting against the manipulative resistance of their son-in-law.

Each chapter is told from a differing viewpoint, so you are granted glimpses into the minds and hearts of the four main characters and those whose lives they affect. Perhaps we aren’t given as much insight as we, the reader, might like, but to do so would have made the book intolerably long. As it was, the story kept a brisk pace with lots to keep my attention.

If there were any significant disappointments at all, it wasn’t in the story or character development, but in the fact that the book could have used a thorough editing. There were many missing quotation marks, and repeated or misspelled words, which I personally find distracting and frustrating. But they did not detract from the quality of the story or the fact that I grew to dislike the antagonist more with every page turned, and that I admired the way the protagonist handled all that she went through.

Oftentimes, we can look at our lives and wonder why things happen the way that they do. We can even be tempted to feel cheated or gypped out of what’s rightfully ours. We can let bitterness rule our hearts, as Jeffrey does, or let acceptance and forgiveness rule, like Elizabeth. In the end, we may even be granted a second-chance we never thought possible, as Claire receives.