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Have you ever felt completely validated by something? When Gary Vaynerchuck posted this video last weekit was just like he and I were stepping to the same drummer. (Nice to be validated by one of the biggest social media marketing gurus in the world!)

Wow. So personal brands have become so powerful, especially in the tech sector that big “brands” are leaving their companies and launching out on their own. Seth Godin has been hammering on this purple cow effect for years.  Tom Peters pioneered the concept of the Brand Called You long before the current social networking channels existed.

Tim Tebow in action

Today I’ll be hosting product managers from across the globe in a conversation on personal branding on Global Product Management Talk on twitter and on blog radio. We’ll be talking about the power of some of our most famous personal celebrity brands like Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow, now ranked the most popular athlete. Tebow is controversial but he also set records not only for his game winning pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers but for the tweets per minute that followed. We’ll also mention the Dolly Parton brand as I discussed here last week. Her staying power has crossed generations and multiple communications channels. And, talk about topical. She rolls out a new movie with Queen Latifah and then Dolly announces plans for a new Nashville based snow and water park! Now that’s one sharp and busy businesswoman.

So how does a product manager or a person reading this blog begin to see him/herself in the way that the celebrities already know is powerful? First, determine your niche. There is bound to be some area of expertise that you know more about than does anyone else. That’s what social media affords us today that we didn’t have in the past.  Today we all have opportunities to be our own publishers and media outlets. Here is a good quick tips video from the AMA featuring tips from Sherri Thomas. Good luck and as we’re heading toward Super Bowl Sunday remember: once you get that ball run with it!

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050423-F-7203T-185.JPGEditor’s note: While on the subject of personal branding this month I thought I would re-purpose one of my all-time most searched for blog posts that first ran in April 2009. Guess it showed me how much people love Dolly Parton! I’ll be hosting a talk on personal branding on Product Management Talk blog radio and #http://www.twitter.com/prodmgmttalk on twitter Monday, January 23 at 8 PM Eastern.

All professional marketers can learn a lot from Dolly Parton. The rags to riches singer  is an icon. Her personal marketing and branding skills should be required study for those of us in the marketing business. Why? Let’s just look at the past 24 hours.

While my husband and I were watching the basketball tourney on CBS Saturday we saw an ad for Dolly’s interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday night.  Earlier on Saturday we bumped into some family friends. Where were they heading for Easter break?  Dollywood. Then Sunday morning my husband began channel surfing only to land on an Arts and Entertainment special on Dolly.

Later, after church we stopped by Cracker Barrel for lunch. Who was on the sign out front smiling at me as I entered the restaurant?   And whose music was playing in the background as we shopped and played checkers while waiting for our table? And who could be heard advertising her special music offer  just for Cracker Barrels?  One word answers all these questions: Dolly. No doubt the publicity blitz is a tie-in to the opening of her new Broadway musical 9 to 5 based on the  movie of the same name in which she starred some 30 years ago.

I admire Dolly Parton for many reasons. She single handedly formed and funded the Imagination Library program which provides free monthly books to all Tennessee children ages 5 and under. Mostly though I love and admire her marketing genius when it comes to personal branding.

“Here you come again” Dolly.

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