The Internet has dramatically shifted consumers’ attention away from traditional media. Knowing how to leverage the Internet and the available social media tools to your advantage is of critical importance to your businesses success.
In “Six Pixels of Seperation,” Mitch Joel provides a detailed explanation of how to build your digital brand, but he does this from a unique perspective – starting with you, the entrepreneur, and how to develop your own personal brand.
Why in the world is this important? We are living in a time when consumers are more suspicious of big companies and advertising than ever before. Leveraging our own personal brand is critical when trying to build credibility and trust. Now let’s take a look at a few of the key things I took away from “Six Pixels.”
What I Loved
- Personal Branding – Joel provides you with a great case for why we as business professionals should be investing a lot of time on our own personal brands and how companies can assist in this process. This becomes incredibly important as businesses try to leverage the personal brands of the people working for them. As we move further into the future, putting your team’s remarkable talents and personalities front and center as part of your marketing can be a key differentiating factor for businesses.There is a trust factor involved in all of this. We have to trust our employees. Sure, they might say things that we don’t like, but we have to be open to the fact that they might be providing use with valuable feedback.
- Authenticity – Part of developing your personal brand is finding your own voice and what you are passionate about. There is no secret formula for finding this. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of insight. Going through this process can really help you as you try to differentiate from your competitors.Throughout “Six Pixels,” Joel shares his own story about how he has used social media to build his personal brand and how it has helped him professionally. There is a lot to learn from just this aspect of the book.
- Openness – As professionals and businesses, we have to get used to the idea that privacy is no longer what it once was. But don’t get too hung up on the fact that you are more exposed than ever. Use it as an opportunity to show the world who you are and to connect with those you are most interested in. We live in an amazing time where, if we are resourceful, we can easily build relationships with people half way around the world without ever leaving the comfort of our office or couch.
- Be Selective – It’s pretty easy to get caught up in trying to use all of the latest, greatest online tools. Joel makes it pretty clear that this is a mistake. Though you want to adapt and change when needed, you also have to be strategic and selective about the tools you are using.
What I Didn’t Love
- Overly Detailed – My personal opinion is that this book isn’t for everyone. Joel writes with an incredible amount of detail. Having consulted with a variety of entrepreneurs, I can say that many people will probably get lost. There is a lot of material and great ideas to digest. If you are committed to using social media, developing your personal brand, and are looking for a great resource for how to do this, Joel is your guy and “Six Pixels of Separation” is your book.If you are looking for a lighter read on the same topics, be sure to check out my review of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It.”
I really enjoyed this book. Joel provides a level of detail that most “social media” books do not. More importantly, he places a keen focus on strategic efforts. I have read a ton of other social media books and Joel stands out as one of the few authors that isn’t easily tempted by “shiny objects” – the latest greatest free social tools. He understands that this isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” media landscape. As entrepreneurs, we need to choose the tools that will help us tell our story best and that will help us connect with our customers in meaningful and powerful ways.