The web is awash with internet marketers, social media gurus, thought leaders and the like all trying to etch their names on the WWW roll of honour. To build a profile, a personal brand that can be turned, sooner or later into hard cash. The ebook, the webinar, the conference, the paperback. Some people clearly have it nailed – the Chris Brogans of this world, the Brian Clarks, Olivier Blanchards, the Seth Godins.

Getting your voice heard above the noise isn’t easy though. It’s a jungle out there and a very loud jungle at that. The volume generated through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Posterous and the hundred of social media formats out there is deafening.

So what are the social media ninjas doing that others aren’t? What are the secrets of their social media and personal branding success? How can you develop your brand and your business using social media in a way that is both credible and leads to new business opportunities?

In his book State of the Art, Guy Kawasaki, one of the best known writers, thinkers and doers of social media shares a few thoughts on personal branding success and how to go about achieving it.

Make meaning – Add value – improve people’s lives with your insight, knowledge, information. Make meaning not money. ”Right a wrong, or prevent the end of something good.”

Make a mantra – distil what you stand for into three words or four words. FedEx stands for “peace of mind.” Wendy’s – “ healthy fast food.” Nike – “authentic athletic performance.” You? What do you or your company represent?

Polarize People. Take a stance. Don’t try to please all the people all time. They’ll all think you’re mediocre.

Find a Few Soul Mates. Identify people who compliment you skills and abilities who fill in the gaps. Make time for them, schedule around them. You’re only one person why should be you be good at it all?

Don’t Let the Bozos Grind You Down – “Ignore people who say you won’t succeed. Use negative words as motivation. Prove people wrong,” says Kawasaki. There will always be those who for whatever reason won’t support you. Some may even obstruct. The losers are easy to spot. It’s the smart, plausible ones you need to watch. Just because the Chairman of IBM said (admittedly in 1943): “I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers,” didn’t mean he was necessarily right.

Do what you need to do and don’t let them put you off.

By Martin Williams

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