Category Archives: personal branding

8 Reasons Why Conan Should Go Direct

There is an important lesson in this whole Conan vs. Leno debacle.

No matter how famous you are or how many fans you have, if you work for a huge corporation, they own you.

NBC wanted to put Conan’s show at 12:05am. Technically, that’s not even The Tonight Show. It’s The Tomorrow Show.

Conan is so frustrated, he just put the show up for sale on Craigslist.

Sure, Conan could make $40 million over at Fox and probably kill in the ratings but you can bet someday, some rube network exec would move his time slot in favor of The Sarah Palin Variety Hour. Then Conan would completely lose his marbles and he would spend the rest of his days walking around Central Park mumbling like Rain Man…

“……should have had the 11:30 slot…..18 pigeons, definitely 18 pigeons……I’m an excellent comedian…….23 times funnier than Jay Leno……definitely deserved the 11:30 slot…….”

Here are 8 reasons Conan should go direct.

1) Full creative control over his own content

Now he writes a lot of his own stuff but imagine if he wasn’t censored at all. Look out.

2) Not working for Jeff Zucker

3) Not working for anyone

4) Online video worked well for Gary V. and the Monty Python guys.

5) Never having to worry about ratings again
Let Leno have the “ratings” on NBC. His demographic is not Conan’s anyway, so why try to fight for it. It’s sort of like Newhart and Family Guy jockeying for position.

6) Any format, any device
Conan’s demographic consumes content differently. He could make videos of any length that his audience could consume and stream anywhere. iPhones, iPods, Droids, iSlates, other tablets. Design the content to be snackable and sharable and we will snack and we will share.

7) Watching a show at its original time slot is obsolete
I’ve seen plenty of clips of Saturday Night Live in the last few years, but never on Saturday night. My social network does the filtering and the best and funniest clips bubble to me on twitter and Facebook.

8 ) Your own channel means your own audience and unlimited bandwidth
You don’t see Chris Brogan and Seth Godin arguing over timeslots, do you?

It’s your world, Conan. Step out from behind the network execs and own it.

Precious Moments

At the end of a long day, you’re heading back to your hotel room. Alone in the elevator, you push the button for floor 26 and want nothing more than room service and maybe a shower before working a few more hours. Before the elevator door closes, a hand slices past the sensor and the doors reopen.

Richard Branson gets on and clicks floor 27.

What do you say?

(Replace Branson with Steve Jobs, Marissa Mayer, Russell Simmons or the person you would most like to meet, either professionally or personally.)

This used to be called having your elevator pitch ready. The truth is, most people don’t want to be pitched, although Sir Richard may be the exception.

Still, it’s important to be able to make the most of this precious moment.

How do you introduce yourself? What do you say after that? Is it a statement or a question? Do you praise them? Talk about yourself? Ask them an interesting question? Tell a joke?

The doors just closed. What do you say?

Add your thoughts in the comments. I’m really interested in what you all think on this one. Don’t forget to include who you would want to meet.

photo credit: Chris Heuer

Launching Untemplater

From when we are young, most of us are taught that there are a few specific templates to follow to a successful life.

Template 1

  • Get into a good college
  • Study hard
  • Get a good job at a big corporation
  • Work hard for 35 years
  • Retire and collect pension and gold watch.
  • Template 2

  • Get into a good college
  • Study hard
  • Meet and marry someone who will follow Template 1.
  • Not only don’t those templates work anymore, they aren’t very fun. How many people do you know who can’t WAIT to get to their cubicle every Monday?

    I bet you didn’t run out of fingers.

    Enter Untemplater.com.

    Launching today (they just opened the doors a couple hours ago….if you hurry, there should still be doughnuts and coffee), Untemplater is a unique site that helps you shatter the template lifestyle.

    Unlike similar sites and books (like Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Work Week) Untemplater isn’t a retrospective of someone who escaped and is now looking back and telling you how they did it.

    They are, in their own words:

    …real people who are in the trenches, working hard to live the life that we want to live. It’s not easy, nor is it glamorous. Untemplater was founded by six twentysomethings who’ve done it: Jun Loayza, Adam Baker, Cody McKibben, Monica O’Brien, Carlos Miceli, and Andrew Norcross. You’ll see our pain, struggles, successes, and failures as we create an existence that we are proud of and enjoy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    We are MBAs; we are husbands, wives, and fathers; we are scrappy entrepreneurs, authors, and freelancers. We live all over the globe. We’re a small group of unconventional folks who hope to build a thriving community for anyone who ever sought more out of life—and we hope to help you learn how to sidestep the traditional life to find the career, relationships, and lifestyle that makes you come alive!

    Sound interesting?

    Download the free Untemplater Manifesto

    If it speaks to you, check out the site. Join Untemplater on Facebook and follow them on twitter.

    If it doesn’t……enjoy your gold watch.

    www.yourkidsname.com

    Focused

    If you have kids that aren’t in high school yet, they’ll never need a resume.

    Never.

    Resumes are broken and they are dying (but not quickly enough).

    By the time today’s 14-year old today starts a career, they will be judged more by their digital footprint and reputation than by a Word document outlining past job responsibilities.

    So why don’t you own the domain name for all of your children?

    For $10 / year (two Starbucks lattes) you can give your child the platform on which to build their personal brand. It could be a blog or pictures or even just a digital scrapbook or scratchpad. It will evolve. The point is not to make it perfect, it’s to realize that resumes and similar representations are going away quickly and a personal URL is flexible enough to be whatever the future requires.

    [photo credit: Vince Alongi]

    The Hustler

    Gary Vaynerchuk

    This one has made the rounds but in case you haven’t seen it yet, there is so much truth here.

    Every time I watch Gary, I feel like I didn’t do enough that day, which I think is part of the point.

    Get out there and hustle, people.

    Everything is changing and will continue to change, but if you put everything you have into doing what you love, nobody can take that away from you.

    You’re already on Twitter (and Facebook)


    No I’m not, you say. I’ve never signed up.

    Let me ask you a few questions.

    1) Do you know anyone who uses Twitter? How about Facebook?

    2) Have you had any sort of communication with any of those people since March 2008?

    3) Is it inconceivable that that person Tweeted about it or posted something on their Facebook page?

    “I just had sushi at Kotobuki with my uncle John in Long Island.”

    “My friend Mike recently graduated med school and just sent me this amazing article on the future of healthcare in America.”

    “I met my friend’s boss Jeff for the first time today. That guy drinks like Mickey Mantle used to.”

    The same is true for YouTube and blogs and it will hold true when the next big thing replaces Facebook and Twitter.

    Just like companies need to understand that they no longer control their brands, you need to understand that you no longer control where you are and where you are not online.

    Like it or not, more and more, we live our lives in public. Even if you’ve never considered ‘managing your digital footprint’, some entries have already been made on your behalf.

    How does that make you feel?