Jun 20

Content Marketing Gets Real

By Lauren | Brandworking , Marketing

Gary Vaynerchuk once suggested every company needs to become a media company, creating valuable content customers can enjoy and interact with.

And he’d be right.

A recent Vanderbilt University study found that people had more positive reactions to advertisements that were told as stories than those who used facts and arguments.

Which is why native advertising such as sponsored ads, promoted posts, advertorial style or product placements have begun to take over from standard advertising tactics.

So why does storytelling resonate so much better with consumers brains than facts?

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Jun 05

6 Steps To Create A Sticky Personal Brand

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

The Bua Tong Waterfalls are a delightful day trip from Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. They are also known as the “Sticky Falls”, because of the lime content in the water, making the rocks viscous enough to easily walk up the three tiered, fast flowing cascade.

This quirk of nature certainly confused our brains, which totally expected the rocks to be slippery (and in some patches where algae grew they were), but each time we tentatively placed a foot in the water to ‘walk up the waterfall’, we found a grippy surface we could be sure of.

You can watch a video of the sticky falls here:

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May 27

Your Style = Your Self Confidence

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is minutes from our apartment and we frequently pop down for dinner, yes our family of 3 can eat a delicious meal including drinks for around $12, so it is an easy option!

We weave through the night market stands and street sellers with their fake brand handbags, electronics and trinkets (yes we’ve bought a few too) and of course often see the very glamorous and glitzy ‘show-girls’ promoting the nightly cabaret.

I got to chat with them briefly the other night and yes, for a tip I also got photos and a video (watch below) to ask them about why it’s so important to look so good.

It takes about an hour for them to get ready for the show (shorter time than I thought it might, which goes to prove, once you know your style, you can look great in an instant) and it’s a lot of fun, making them feel very 'happy'...

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May 18

Give Your Personal Brand Some Zip

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

One of the must-do’s while we were in Chiang Mai Northern Thailand was the Flight Of the Gibbon zip line made famous by the Amazing Race program and we weren’t disappointed.

With over 7 kilometres of zip line stretching high in the canopy, one section an awesome 800 meters long and the possibility of seeing the gibbon apes in their natural environment, adventuring into the mountain jungles of the area was an absolute must.

Interestingly the zip line facility was initially developed by a Kiwi guy and built in just 3 short months. He passed away a few years ago from skin cancer, but the ingenuity and innovation in the platforms, bridges and staircases that link each section lives on as his legacy.

They also have a keen focus on the environment, taking the time to teach visitors about the village and its ecology, the plants and animals and how they are supporting replanting and care for the natural habitat.

Apart from fun and excitement, what on earth can zip lining through the trees possibly teach us about personal branding?

I was amazed at just how many lessons there actually were, and they are pretty zippy to implement too: Watch the video here.

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May 08

The Itty-Bitty-Shitty-Committee Is Killing Your Personal Brand

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

The #1 one thing that is holding you back from becoming well known, well paid and wanted is….You!

If you question whether you are really that good or simply delusional, or consider at times that you are tricking people out of their money because they don’t really need you or that you’re not that good and not worth that much, you are holding yourself back.

And if you believe that there are way better experts out there and that you can’t really charge $$$ for what you do because you don’t have any expertise, you’re nothing special and everyone already knows how to do what you do, then you are only swindling yourself.

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May 07

Camera Shy

By Lauren | Brand Magnet , Marketing

Fear is a funny thing. It’s possibly one of the most powerful influencers inside the entrepreneurs brain.

The fear centre of the brain, or Amygdala, works on memory and emotion, it generates that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, the fluttering butterflies and sweaty palms.It’s not all bad though, the Amygdala is there to keep you alive, so that’s pretty useful.

It stops you from making bad decisions and reminding you of pain or suffering to avoid repeating mistakes.

Fear also stands for False Expectations Appearing Real though, and that can have serious consequences for your personal brand.

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May 03

Rustle Up Your Personal Brand

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

One of the things we really love about Thailand is the amazing food. Eating is a way of life here and there are so many fresh dishes to try, of course you wish you could replicate them at home.

There are lots of Thai cooking classes you can attend. We found one nearby called Aroy-Aroy which means “delicious” - literally it translates as “I like-I like” (you can say this to the chef after a meal and it means “It was delicious, I liked it a lot”). I highly recommend this class if you are in Chiang Mai, it’s so much more than a cooking school.

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Apr 24

Lessons From Elephants

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

While in Thailand, we spent two fantastic days at the Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation centre for pachyderms, in the Chiang Mai provence, and yes, they taught us some valuable lessons in Personal Branding.

Initially all the elephants look the same and although the guides share each animal's story (many of which told of torture from the now illegal logging industry, landmine injury and ongoing abuse from tourist trekking where they carry almost half a ton of chair and human weight for days on end) it was at first, hard to remember each elephant individually.

We started to identify them by their physical appearance, like Lucky who endured forced breeding programs and cannot control her bladder, or Kabu who manages to get about quite swiftly with her disabled leg which was crushed by a log when she was a baby. 

Very quickly however, we discovered that each elephant has unique characteristics and personality. The guides even recognise the noise each one makes, one elephant being called a “drama queen” because of the ruckus she starts with her trumpeting.

The lesson of course is that we are all unique, we all have our differences, our quirks and idiosyncrasies which make us instantly recognisable to others, but there's much more to learn from elephants about personal branding than that...

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Apr 15

It’s OK to make mistakes with your brand

By Lauren | Insight , Personal Branding

Songkran in Thailand is the New Year celebration held in April.

Songkran comes from the Sanskrit language. It means "movement" or “changing" and is a traditional festival which lasts for three days.

In the old days Thai people would pour scented water over the shoulder and down the back of one another to wash away the sins of the previous year. They would also utter good wishes and blessings for the New Year.

The water symbolises cleansing, refreshment of the spirit and all the good things in life.

Today Songkran is more like a crazed carnival of people throwing water on one another, so during the festivities you can’t leave your home and go out without getting at least a little bit wet and in most cases, completely drenched.

Makes it interesting when you’re not quite sure where the water you are being sprayed with originates from and in many cases the bins of water used to replenish the guns and buckets have huge blocks of ice in them, giving you a shocking blast of freezing water in the back!

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Apr 03

Time, is on your side…

By Lauren | Brain food , Insight

Yes it is! (Thanks Mick Jagger for those fabulous lyrics)

Each and every one of us has 24 hour in each day to do something magnificent. Given only 8(ish) are spent sleeping, some of it eating and even a bit of it using the bathroom, you still have plenty of time left to make a difference in the world, stretch your influence and generate massive impact…

So why aren’t you?

Time really is on your side, especially when it comes to personal branding, because (and I’m sorry if this comes as a shock to you) it’s going to take at least 5 years to really rocket launch you and your personal brand.

Yep 5 years,

But there’s good news…

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