Monthly Archives: March 2010

Work Day Rejuvenation

Work Day Rejuvenation

Are you seeing Double? Do you wish there were 2 of you to complete your job?

Do you need a mental vacation while you are stuck on a call?

Is  your work day already turning into a rollercoaster?

Glued to your Blackberry/ IPhone and need to escape the office?

Floundering under your workload?

Dreaming of a vacation after tax season?

Are you having a slow Monday after a long, exciting weekend? Is the dreary weather getting you down? Do you need a quick “pick me up” at your desk? No matter how much you love your job, everyone can get a little stressed out when working in a confined space with others, especially with tax season approaching.  Here are our top 13 tips to rejuvenate your day in the office.  You can actually turn your work space into your personal mecca and do yoga moves right at your desk!

Top 13 Tips to help you get through the day:

1. Go for a walk around the block- Escaping from a stuffy office for some fresh air can help clear your head and sharpen your focus. It’s also a great chance to see some adorable dogs on their afternoon walks.  Even 3-5 minutes of fresh, clean air can make all the difference. Breathe in positive thoughts.

2. Take a coffee, tea or smoothie break- Refreshing your afternoon with your favorite drink can help boot your spirits and liven up the rest of your work day (and if you do a coffee run for the office, it can probably get you in good graces with your coworkers too.  

3. Be PATIENT! People say patience is a virtue so you should stick to it. If  something isn’t going your way or as efficiently as it should be: take a breather and figure out exactly what the problem is, and then go back to working on it. You’ll be at least twice as efficient.

4.  Do Yoga at your desk- Spend your lunch hour doing yoga, or try some great stretches at your desk to increase circulation. This is also a great way to make friends with new co-workers.

5. Custom Affirmations- Google “positive affirmations” and create a Word document of all of the affirmations that will help attract success and happiness into your life. Googling the law of attraction is also a great place to start with this. After you have assembled your list, print it out and put it in a safe place and start your day off with your top 10 affirmations!

6. Make a fun to-do list. Writing down activities to do later in the week will remind you of your fabulous life outside of the office. Plus, it’s always a satisfying feeling when you get to cross things off your list!

7. Make that lunch hour count! Socialize with fellow employees, take a client out to a new restaurant you’re dying to go to, make that one call you keep forgetting to make, hit the gym or eat a fresh, organic meal.  Making the most of your lunch hour will help you feel motivated to tackle the rest of the day.  If you are too busy to eat lunch, then take a solid 5 minutes to yourself to savor every bite of the meal you are chewing and turn away from the computer to decompress.

8. Light is your best friend. Staring at a computer screen for hours on end has the power to make anyone go a little nuts.  Most people often forget that sunny days and well-lit areas can cause someone to be in a better mood. Turn on that lamp, open those blinds or go outside if you have the chance!

9. Play some tunes! Music has the power to alter moods and increase brain stimulation. But be weary of what you play- 90s pop music may not be everyone’s favorite genre.  Forgot your headphones at home? Try Pandora- it is free and easy to create personalized music lists straight from your desk. Create customized play lists that will get you energized to complete the project you are lagging on.

10. Leave the baggage at home! Remember why you came to the workplace, to work and get PAID and hopefully do something you love! If obsessively checking your news feed is causing you emotional baggage in the work place, step away from the computer and make a commitment to only check the social sites after work hours.

11.  Pack snacks to eat throughout your day. When you complete a project or need a break, bust out that candy or take a bite of your yogurt parfait. When you have a prize to work for, the work seems to go much faster. If you are on a super health craze, pack protein bars, almonds and healthy mood boosters.

12. Decorate your workspace. Chances are you spend more hours at work than at home, so why insist on staring at your blank cubicle wall? Put a few pictures of friends, family, pets, an interesting paperweight, or a funny comic strip on your desk. A picture of your family or a postcard from a friend will help remind you that there is life outside your office walls.

13. Change your daily routine. Working in an office 40-80 hours a week can often have you stuck in a rut of doing things the same way day in and day out. Try doing something different today- whether it is saying hello to a coworker you usually breeze by, getting to work a few minutes early, or making a commitment to respond to all of your emails on time, little changes can make a big difference in your day.

14.  Dress for Success. Try wearing something very bright, wearing your hair differently, or pick a new nail color you have been eyeing at the salon.  Changing up your style is a great conversation starter and ice breaker and will also keep you feeling good about yourself throughout the day. Also try complimenting a coworker if you notice they have changed up their style!

Any one of these tips can change a trite workday into a more enjoyable one. Remember to stay strong and fight the good fight of the Monday workday blues!


Microsoft Social Media 201 Conference in Seattle- Kris Ruby to speak on Personal Brand Authenticity

Building Your Brand Socially

Conversations about your brand and your products and those of your competitors are happening online right now. Learn how can you listen, engage and build your brand socially.

Personal Branding and Social Media Marketing is a complete lifestyle change. It involves getting in the habit of sharing information publicly as opposed to privately, and this may seem overwhelming for many at first. Personal Branding expert Kristen Ruby will present how to build a personal brand and transition into a “social” lifestyle and how individuals can establish leverage social media to establish credibility as opinion leaders in their respect industry. Additionally, Kristen will describe the important steps to navigate through the Personal Branding process, from creating your online presence to maintaining and expanding network connections.

To register for the conference, please visit SO201

Speaker Reviews:

“Kristen Ruby did an outstanding job for the Columbia Business School Alumni Club’s Social Networking workshop that she conducted in Greenwich, Connecticut earlier this year.  Not only were her slides well-organized but her presentation manner was engaging and articulate. Based on the enthusiastic response from the audience we  plan to have her back for a follow-up session!” Dean Gamanos, Co-Chair Columbia Business Alumni Club of NY

“Kris Ruby led a roundtable on Personal Branding at the BDI Social Integration Conference that was useful and informative. As the President of of NY AMA, I am very aware that social media  is an important new frontier in marketing and Kris was able to speak to and engage the multiple generations of marketers at her roundtable on the topic.” Rick Kendall, President, NY America Marketing Association (NYAMA)

The ROI of Social Media, HBS Recap & David Meerman Scotts Comparison of Social Media to the Venture Capital Model

“Social media marketing is similar to the venture capital model- you don’t invest in 1 firm & hope for the best, you invest in 50.” @dmscott

The ROI of Social Media, HBS Recap & David Meerman Scotts Comparison to the Venture Capital Model

David Meerman Scott- Harvard Business School: How and Why Social Networking is Revolutionizing Marketing

After my dear friend Tim Washer invited me to attend the the Harvard Business School Conference that he was leading with David Meerman Scott on How and why Social Networking is Revolutionizing Marketing, the ROI of Social media has been on my mind.  This seems to be a very popular topic at many of the conferences I speak at and there is a great debate over whether social media is better for B2C rather then B2B.  Social Media is an entirely new way of marketing, and it is most effectively used for brand building.  In today’s economy, people are looking to their social media specialists to be their marketers, publicists, brand builders, strategists & lead generators.  Before delving into social media, you really need to decide if it is ultimately right for your business. I do not believe that social media is right for every business model.  I think it is one marketing function underneath an entire marketing umbrella- and it needs to fit in collectively with the other marketing efforts you have already began.  Prior to initiating a social media campaign, lay out your goals and determine your end objectives.
Are you looking for social media to:
  • Generate Leads
  • Increase web traffic
  • Generate publicity
  • Gain attention from bloggers

After you have answered some of these questions, you can then begin determining if social media is the right vehicle for you.  As a marketer & public relations practitioner, I ask my clients these questions before initiating any type of campaign. I feel it is vital to stress the point that as the entire social media industry is newly emerging, it is important to be ethical when determining if social media is right for your clients. For some clients social media may be the best vehicle, but for others it may not be.  It is up to you, as their trusted social media consultant & social media agency, to truly evaluate if it will best meet your clients needs. If it is not right for them, you may have to walk away from the business or re-asses what area of marketing will best meet their marketing needs.  A lot of people today say they want to be on “Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN” but they are not really sure what it entails or how it will benefit their business. As their trusted consultant in this new industry, you have a moral obligation to break it down for them and honestly assess if it is the right move for their business given their objectives.

When I attended the Harvard Business School Social Media with David Meerman Scott & Tim Washer, David presented some interesting & powerful thoughts on the overall ROI of social media and compared it to the venture capital model. David said,

“We are not focused enough on reaching people enough in the way they want to be reached.

Take the Venture capital model for example- they don’t invest in 1 firm and hope for the best-they invest in 100- they expect that a high ratio will go bankrupt & hopefully a few of them will go public or be acquired for a ton of money.

The people who are successful in social media are the ones who are willing to fail- not every video or blog will gain traction.  Just like the venture capital model, there’s bound to be something great that emerges and goes viral.

Social media is a different model for marketing- if you do 20 things, maybe 1 of them will hit.  And while it is a leap of faith, if you are smart, if you choose well, if you are lucky a few more will hit.”

In summation, here are my final thoughts on the ROI of Social Media:

What social media is and what social media is not:

Social Media is an extension of corporate branding.  As a client, you are paying for the ability to utilize modern electronic techniques to get in front of a targeted audience.  Social media is not an advertisement and it is not a banner ad.  Social media is inherently about branding to a focused audience.  It is about the ability to quickly get in front of prospects, current clients and leads, and to establish an online relationship with them and build customer engagement.  Social media marketing differs from traditional marketing in that it does not focus on immediately establishing the value of your services or products, but rather it is about establishing you as an icon and thought leader in the industry- to create an awareness of your name and brand.  It is not a specific advertisement for a given product or service- it is about brand engagement.  The type of results you should be looking to expect is similar to what you would expect from a long term branding campaign.  Social media marketing is essentially a global awareness and branding campaign that takes time to develop.

In case you missed the event, I live tweeted from HBS & captured the most compelling quotes from David & Tim Washer.  They can all be found on twitter.com/sparklingruby.

Nuggets of Social Wisdom:

“If I were starting a company right now- I would hire journalists- they are great storytellers. I call it brand journalism” @dmscott

“Be honest & open. If you have a customer who is negative- engage with them- you can turn it around.” @dmscott @harvardbiz #HBS #socialmedia

PR Crisis Communication Tip- “The whole world knows you’ve screwed up- say something, be human- stop hiding” @dmscott @harvardbiz #HBS

“Social media marketing is similar to the venture capital model- you dont invest in 1 firm & hope for the best, you invest in 50.” @dmscott

“Uncover the most compelling stories, find the most compelling experts, rely on humor to gain awareness” @timwasher #HBS IBM

“Whenever you implement a social media strategy, gain agreement on the rules , then convene bloggers, lawyers, marketing & PR” @timwasher

“Manage fear- fear is the greatest barrier to these new ideas. We have never marketed this way, we have always done it other ways” @dmscott

“Lose Control of your Marketing- If you want people to spread your ideas, you have to let them do it in their own language” @dmscott

“Nobody cares about your products except for you. Speak to your buyers in their language, not yours” @dmscott #HBS #socialmedia

“On the web, you ARE what you publish. Are you publishing great information? Encourage sharing-word of mouse” @dmscott #HBS #socialmedia

“Old Rules-Buying attention with advertising, Beg your way in with the media, Bug your way in by selling. New media- EARN ATTENTION” @dmscott

“Focus on buyer personas, don’t market for your own ego!” @dmscott #HBS #marketing #socialmedia

“Imagine if instead of creating web marketing around a product, you focused on individual buyer personas…” @dmscott #HBS

“Think about how you can tell your story to individual people rather then nameless, faceless prospects” @dmscott #HBS #socialmedia

“Everyone here can achieve the same kind of success in your marketplace but you must unlearn what you have learned about marketing” @dmscott

“People are fearful of things they don’t understand– biggest obstacle stopping people from plunging into social media” @dmscott #HBS

About David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott has written hundreds of magazine articles and wrote five books including the recent hit new book, “World Wide Rave” and an award-winning BusinessWeek number-one bestseller, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” which is published in 25 languages. The marketing programs he has developed are responsible for selling over one billion dollars in products and services worldwide.  David is a recovering VP of marketing for two publicly traded technology companies and was also Asia marketing director for Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the world’s largest newspaper and electronic information companies. David has lived and worked in New York, Tokyo, Boston, and Hong Kong and has presented at industry conferences and events in more than forty countries.

His speaking and seminar clients include Cisco, HP, Microsoft, the New York Islanders, NASDAQ Stock Market, the Province of Ontario, McKesson, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, SAP, Google, Digital River, Hill & Knowlton, Hanley Wood, Dow Jones, National Investor Relations Institute, the Fortune Conference Group, Milken Institute Global Conference, America Credit Union Conference, TS2, Giant Screen Theater Association, Self Storage Association, Realtors Conference, and many others. For more, see www.davidmeermanscott.com

About Tim Washer

Tim Washer is the Head of Social Media Productions for IBM worldwide.  In addition to managing global production initiatives, Tim wrote/produced the company’s most successful YouTube series, “Mainframe: The Art of the Sale,” which was covered by the Chicago Sun-Times, Forbes and others, and was selected by Comedy Central as a “Staff Favorite.” His comedy TV credits include the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Saturday Night Live, and the Onion News Network. For more, see www.timwasher.com


RMG Reports: YJP Fashion Summit Tips from Top Fashion CEO’s

YJP Fashion Summit Tips from Top Fashion CEO’s

RMG was a proud host of the YJP’s first ever Fashion & Beauty Summit on March 3rd, 2010 at The Chelsea Pearl in Manhattan, NY.  Hundreds of young professionals from the apparel, accessories, beauty and footwear industries attended the event.

The evening featured CEO’s from top fashion lines including:

Abe Chehebar (Chairman, Accessory Network)

Sam Edelmen (CEO of Sam Edelman Shoes)

Efraim Grinberg (Chairman, Movado Group)

Brendan Hoffman (President & CEO, Lord & Taylor)

Andrew Rosen (President & CEO, Theory)

Mark Weber (Charmain & CEO of Donna Karan International & CEO of LVMH)

The CEO’s had some great advice for aspiring fashionistas & entrepreneurs looking to get into the business.  They also commented on the widespread importance of the integration of social media into fashion PR & Marketing and discussed their most challenging “Devil Wears Prada” moments throughout the duration of their fashion careers. We captured the most compelling quotes from the CEO’s during the open panel discussion.

What is the most important attribute you have to possess for getting into the industry?

“You must have passion! Passion & experience are critical. Corporate culture is also important- get involved in a company whose culture you aspire to be part of.”

What are your thoughts on the ever-changing aspect of fashion and how it plays into marketing & the economy?

“The most important thing to ask yourself is- do you have a product that is appealing to a wide audience? Make sure you have a great product and that you understand your customer before marketing to them.” Brendan Hoffman, CEO of Lord & Taylor

What about the hiring process for those interested in starting a career in fashion today?

“I recommended working for someone first and gaining experience.  A lot of the overall decision-making process is based on instincts.  My top advice for hiring is to have a gut instinct, react emotionally and always disaster check!” Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory

“Learn about the corporate culture in the company you are interested in working for- it is the most important thing in a company.  I originally came to Lord & Taylor from Neimans, and shortly after joining the company the market crashed.  I was brought up to use analytics first, but I now rely on my instinct more and have literally repositioned my brain.” Brendan Hoffman, CEO of Lord & Taylor

What is the current status of the luxury business today and what advice can you give to others in the industry?

“The luxury business is alive and well- people who spend money will continue to. You have to develop a great product and create a name that stands for something.  I would also point out that interaction with consumer enhances your ability to navigate your business.” Mark Weber, CEO of Donna Karan & LVMH

“Streamline business and empower people.” Brendan Hoffman, CEO of Lord & Taylor

“I went from selling $2000 handbags at Neimans to $200 handbags Lord & Taylor- at the end of the day both bags are still luxury items. You now have the opportunity to create a luxury environment for your consumer at multiple price points.” Brendan Hoffman, CEO of Lord & Taylor

“I made my career selling to retailers- today the model of the business has changed and the future of business rests with the retailer.”

“Control your product and pricing. Be good at what you do and you’ll be your competitor.”

“Luxury can be at very different price points- what it can’t be is cheap!” Abe Chehebar, Chairman, Accessory Network

“Luxury from Hermes & Gucci is based on quality. When there’s a quality Commodity, luxury will always survive. You must give an image to the buyer and you have to buy quality products.”

“People must appreciate the DNA of the brand- when this occurs the brand will always thrive regardless of economy.”

“The most important value proposition is that the product must have a clear DNA.  For example, how did Tory Burch create a great product? She spoke to her customer in the language they wanted to hear.”

What is your best career advice?

“Find something you LOVE.  When you are young you have the choice to find a career that suits you.  99% out of the days I love what I do!” Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory

“Everyone has everything you need- we are in the “want” business.” Mark Weber, CEO of Donna Karan & LVMH

“Success is limited to your imagination- products shouldn’t prohibit your creativity.”

“The best way to create value is not about promoting the wrong price- promote the brand name and image as well as attributes that make it desirable.”

How is social media impacting the fashion world?

“Social media is impacting the fashion world by creating brand awareness and increasing web traffic to new products.”

“We are currently building a fan base for several of our brands on Facebook. Social media marketing enables you to really find the people who are passionate about your brand and it gives you a chance to directly communicate with them.  We love finding these people and try our best to now respond to them through social media within 24 hours. We also look at reviews on people’s web sites and blogs. Social media will rise very fast in the fashion world within the next 12-18 months.” Abe Chehebar, Chairman, Accessory Network

“Facebook, Twitter & all of the mediums are new and the industry has not yet recognized the potential. We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to interact with the consumer via social networks.”

1 CEO’s response when questioned on social media: “We are all over it!”

Click here to see photos from the event!


85 Broads Member Kris Ruby to lead International Jam Session on Personal & Corporate Branding

85 Broads · presents ·

85 Broads Member Kristen Ruby, President and Founder of Ruby Media Group on

HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR PERSONAL AND CORPORATE

BRANDING

DATE: MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2010 — TIME: 12:00 p.m. EST

JOIN US FOR A LIVE (FREE) GLOBAL JAM SESSION

What social media industry groups are your colleagues and competitors a part of?
Are you aware of the Meetup groups, conferences and industry events taking place in your field?

When you speak at an industry event, are you remembering to update your LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook statuses? Are you sharing this information with others?

Do you recognize the need to establish a “personal brand” for your business in the virtual world of social media, yet have no idea how to do so?

Branding is no longer only for business owners and corporations. Due to the rise of social media and the new world of PR, personal and corporate branding have become increasingly accessible and critical for individuals and companies looking to promote their brand. Branding tools allow you to inherently “celebritize” yourself and get your name out without involving the high cost of traditional public relations. They are also critical for securing upcoming speaking engagements and establishing yourself as a thought leader and opinion leader in your industry.

Personal branding and social media marketing involve a lifestyle change, as they put you in the habit of sharing information publicly as opposed to privately, which may seem overwhelming for many at first. Digital press kits have typically been created for companies, but with the advent of personal branding, you can create your own “press kits” to showcase your strengths and industry expertise. Join us for a Jam Session with Kristen Ruby, a personal branding expert, on how to ease your transition into a social way of life and establish yourself as an opinion leader in your field.

This is going to be an interactive session, with Kristen answering your questions.

Location: Global – Your Computer. Participants can be located anywhere in the world.
Date: Monday, March 15, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m. EST
Fee: Free for Annual 85 Broads Members (members who have activated their Annual Membership at the Trailblazer, Visionary, Investor, or Power Circle level)

To register for this Global Jam Session:
1. Go to http://bit.ly/cdnOxg
2. Click “Register”.
3. On the registration form, enter your information and then click “Submit”.

Once 85 Broads approves your registration, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.

Participants can be located anywhere in the world. To fully participate in this online event, you will need a high-speed internet connection, a computer, and a working set of computer speakers.

Space is limited to 200 Participants. Jam Sessions are FREE for all Trailblazer, Visionary, Investor, and Power Circle members of 85 Broads. If you would like to become a subscribing member of 85 Broads CLICK HERE to login.

About the Presenter:

85 Broads member Kristen Ruby is the President and Founder of Ruby Media Group.  Kristen “socializes” businesses for web 2.0 and helps companies adapt traditional marketing into social media platforms.  Kristen specializes in social media optimization, branding in real time and optimized PR.  By utilizing various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Kristen helps companies and individuals create online visibility and increases overall branding awareness. Kristen’s competitive advantage focuses around creating a comprehensive social media strategy that is in alignment with her clients’ overall marketing & PR strategy to bring their marketing to life.  Kristen takes companies from the initial new media planning phase, straight to implementation and overall social media maintenance.
Kristen graduated from Boston University’s College of Communication with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Sociology. Kristen has worked in several different facets of the communications industry including Public Relations, Broadcast, Event Planning, Marketing and Domestic Television Distribution.  Kristen has network experience in Los Angeles, Manhattan and Boston.  She has worked for Morgan Stanley Global Wealth Management, Sirius Satellite Radio, John Varvatos, PBS, CBS Domestic Television Distribution, DataKey Consulting and The Ether in Hollywood, CA. She frequently speaks to business groups and associations on new media and viral marketing, and presents social media workshops for CEO groups to empower business owners.  Kristen is also the Director of the” Girls In Tech” social media mentorship program to encourage girls to enter the field of social media marketing.

Read Kristen’s blog: http://blog.rubymediagroup.com/

Follow Kristen on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sparklingruby


About 85 Broads

http://www.85broads.com

85 Broads is an exclusive global women’s network whose mission is to generate exceptional professional and social value for its members. Through our regional events and online, password-protected community, our members engage in a rapid, high-powered exchange of ideas and information which is what makes 85 Broads so unique.

The women in 85 Broads are investment bankers, lawyers, educators, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, philanthropists, athletes, scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs. 85 Broads was originally founded in 1997 as an exclusive network for women who worked for Goldman Sachs at 85 Broad Street, the investment bank’s NYC headquarters. In 2000, the network was expanded to include a more diverse group of women from a variety of fields and backgrounds, including the non-profit sector. Today, over 20,000 women who are alumnae and students of the world’s leading colleges, universities, graduate business schools, law schools, medical schools, and other graduate programs belong to 85 Broads Learn more about our exclusive network and apply for membership.


JMAG: How Social Media is Changing the World of Online Dating- By Kris Ruby Featuring Interview with David Berkowitz

Recently at the Mashable holiday party, I spoke with good friend and fellow blogger David Berkowitz about the intersection between social media and online dating.  I proposed a new social network that would allow you to “rate” your dates similar to a Zagat® guide.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear that David had actually met his wife on JDate and scored an exclusive interview with him on his top dating tips for the lonely hearts out there.

As the President of a social media marketing agency, I am intrigued by how social media intersects with personal branding.  It is more critical now than ever before to create a cohesive brand identity between all of your social networking sites, because one of the first things that people who meet you on dating site will do is look you up on other social networks.  With the advent of social media and the Google indexing of real-time tweets, it is imperative that you clean up your digital footprint and are well aware of what information your date will find about you before they search for you.  If you think they aren’t performing online searches of you, then think again.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is creating very separate identities on all of their social sites. For example, someone could write that they are looking for a “long- term relationship” on their JDate profile, then after you connect with them on Facebook® you see that they are friends with 500 girls and have pictures posted of them partying every night.  If you say you are looking for a relationship, you need to make sure you are backing this up on your other social sites. Conversely, it is also important to remove pictures of your exes if you truly are looking to meet someone new.  It sends out better vibes to your prospective mate that you are serious.

Social media is rapidly changing the world of dating – both online and off. David Berkowitz recommends not connecting with people via social media until you are absolutely ready to take the relationship to the next level. He thinks social media can encourage virtual “stalking” prematurely and that it can create unfair biases very early in the courting process.

The other problem with connecting with someone too early via social media is that you are able to see all of their recent updates since your first date. For example, if they have not called you but are tagged in other pictures with new girls or guys, you may jump to conclusions that they are not that into you.  This is why it is extremely dangerous to become virtual friends with someone before you have gone on a few dates with someone – it can end up ruining the relationship prematurely. The same is true for becoming Blackberry®Messenger friends with someone before you are in a serious relationship. It encourages casual texting and does not force a man into the courtship process. If they know they are always connected with you it cuts down on the level of suspense.

My top tips for creating a cohesive online identity:

1.)    Clean up your digital footprint because whether you like it or not your date will perform an online search of you

2.)    Remove pictures of your ex on your social networks if you are serious about entering into a new relationship

3.)    Do not post status updates about your dates as new privacy restrictions may make your updates visible to everyone including your date (social media is not as private as you may think)

4.)    Be creative with your profile! Create a profile that is unique and sets you apart from the rest.  However, don’t make it so “creative” that if someone looks you up on Facebook, Twitter® or LinkedIn® they will think you are several different people.

5.)    Once you have taken the “virtual” relationship offline, do not connect online during your date! Stay off your phone, it is the easiest way to kill the chances of a second date.  Courtship is still very much alive, despite the rise of social media.

Below is my exclusive interview with David Berkowitz, a fellow social media enthusiast and blogger.  David Berkowitz met his wife “virtually” on JDate on New Year’s Day in 2006 and has been married to her for two years.  He credits meeting his wife to a “technical glitch.” She works in government relations for a social services agency in NYC.

Kris: How did you meet your wife on JDate?

David: JDate has features where you can favorite people. You put a heart around them and if they do the same to you then you are a match.  It is a way to pre-screen and “stalk” each other and show someone that you’re interested.  I communicated with her, emailed her through the site and met her four days later.

Kris: What was different about your wife’s profile as opposed to all the rest?

David: It is easy to tell one’s personality from their profile and having a real authentic personality shows quite a bit.  Cara, my wife, was very worldly, had many interests.  Specifically, she mentioned reading, travel, Netflix and attending cultural events throughout the city.  These were outright appealing because it showed that she was someone who has a lot of her own interests, as opposed to more standard profiles.

Kris: What is the worst thing you could do from a personal branding perspective on JDate?

David: Mis-represent yourself.  This typically happens when someone only shows one photo – always ask for more because a lot of times people appear very different in person than they do in their one photo.

Kris: What are your best tips for singles looking to find love and create their own personal brand on JDate?

David: My best tip is to have fun with it! JDate should not be a resume – it is not a LinkedIn profile! Be sure not to contradict yourself. I would see people write “I like staying out but I also like staying in.”  A lot of time people are hesitant to show their real personalities because they don’t want to be seen.  A lot of the information gets very redundant – if you want to stand out, set yourself apart from the rest and get creative with your profile.

Kris: How did you get creative and secure your personal brand on JDate?

David: I created a multiple-choice quiz designed to be a compatibility test. For example, I would write “add or subtract points if we have this in common.” It was only at the end of my run on JDate when I really loosened up and let my personality shine through.  I didn’t care about being too serious anymore and learned that it actually helped my personal brand when I showed that I did, in fact, have a personality. It was also a great icebreaker.

Kris: What would you say is the kiss of death in personal branding on dating sites?

David: The kiss of death is being dishonest – intentional or not. Put up good pictures that truly represent who you are not the glamour shots that put you in the best light.  Also, if you know you want to meet a religious guy you can’t then expand your search to people who don’t share your same observance level.

Kris: Do you think social media can get in the way of creating personal branding on dating sites?

David: Yes. The best thing I did was take the conversation offline as quickly as possible. You can tell so much more from a phone call than an online profile without knowing someone. My wife was a lot quicker to stalk me online than I would stalk her.

Kris: Everyone is searching online through Bing or Google for information about their dates now. Do you think this is detrimental to the online dating process?

David: You have to be ready to know how your brand is being represented. If someone knows your name it is easy to find something about you very fast.  Personal branding matters a lot more now than ever before and you should assume someone will be digging up information about you.  When it comes down to this level, it is inherently no different from the business world where you have to be ready for a potential client/customer to do background research on you.  It is crucial to figure out how your brand is being reflected.

Kris: So you do not believe in pre-screening people via social media before dating them?

David: Don’t look people up anywhere! I refused to search for people because working in our field (social media) I knew if there was something out there about someone I’d be able to find it.  I didn’t want to get that type of bias and handicap.  I absolutely refused to become Facebook friends with someone immediately so that I would not be biased about their other previously-posted pictures, etc.

Kris: What is your top dating tip for singles?

David: Be yourself! It is so crucial and it might even require getting a few second opinion from friends.  Ask your friends to view your profile and honestly ask them if it really reflects who you are. Is your profile an accurate but engaging and inviting reflection of you?

Kris: Should you become Facebook® friends with someone you meet on JDate

David: I wouldn’t recommend it until you are serious about making your relationship official.  It will become weird if they are still your Facebook  friend and you are both dating other people. If you decide you will never be in a relationship but are genuinely happy to be friends, then you can become Facebook  friends.  Most of the time many of these relationships will end within a month and you don’t want to be permanently linked to people. Then you are faced with the ultimate question of “at what point do I unfriend them?”

Kris: Do you recommend connecting with your date on LinkedIn®?

David: Do not do it! Especially LinkedIn  – which is primarily a professional network – it is very hard unlinking to people – it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to do it recently!

Kris: What about following your date on Twitter®?

David: It is easier to unfollow people on Twitter, but I think that this will promote premature stalking.  It can get to be too much information than you should have in the beginning.

Kris: What is the best thing about your wife?

David: Since meeting my wife on JDate, I have been married to her for over two years. She has opened up my horizons quite a bit and has given me a much broader and deeper perspective on just about everything. There is a lot that I give her a ton of credit for!

Kris: Any words of wisdom for the singles out there who are tired of looking after one too many bad dates?

David: It was a very tiring process in a lot of ways and definitely takes a strong commitment, but you shouldn’t give up on dating simply because you got burned or went a few bad dates.  I have a few friends who met people right away on JDate, however, for many others, myself included, the journey takes much longer. The benefit of online dating is that it is a great way to screen people and meet people who are in the ballpark of who you want to meet.  There were times where I would go on a bunch of first dates and that would be it – but ultimately I realized it was a real time investment and I was committed to finding the perfect partner.  I couldn’t give up.

Your hard work winds up paying off in the long run – it is not unlike the work world where you are in the interview process.  You just need one great interview for everything to work out! This is more permanent. For me, it is really funny that I have been with the same job and same person for the exact amount of time.

David Berkowitz works for a Digital Marketing Agency in Manhattan, NY

Kristen Ruby is the President & Founder of Ruby Media Group, a Social Media Marketing, Public Relations & Personal Branding agency.

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Full Article can be found on JMAG: http://bit.ly/bEXw2B