miércoles, 24 de octubre de 2012

The power of personal branding – an interview with Thomas Power

If you maintain a professional online profile – such as a LinkedIn page – or if you’ve done any business networking on the web, the chances are that you’ve come across the name Thomas Power. A renowned author, speaker and C-level gun-for-hire, Thomas has worked in the technology industry for over 30 years and, true to his name, is widely known as a power networker extraordinaire. With his wife Penny Power, Thomas was a founder of business networking website Ecademy, and is now focused on what he describes as “internet business development” – helping CEOs and business owners to harness the latest social media platforms and online tools to grow their business. With a reputation as an early adopter and a passion for the latest and greatest online technologies, Thomas – of course – has a Telnames .tel profile, so we spoke to him about his work and asked for his thoughts on his. tel as a business tool…
Tell us about what you’re working on right now…
We sold our business networking website Ecademy in July of this year, which is actually our third successful exit as business owners. I now sit on half a dozen boards as a non-executive director, chairman or as an investor. Penny has a new group of companies focused on the education sector and the youth unemployed, so we’re already reinvesting our money in other companies.
How much time do you spend managing your social media presence?
It never ends. Everyone knows that I try every system until I get bored with it. Right now, all of my time is being spent on Google+. If you roll forward another five of six years, I think Google+ will be dominant. I think its success will mainly be down to the clever integration with elements such as Gmail, which is delivering major benefits for my personal productivity. It really is light years ahead of any other platform out there. And the more effort you put into Google+, the better your search results and served adverts get, so it’s a very powerful system. I also currently have a big focus on cloud computing, since this is the largest driver of the next draft of new businesses being born in Silicon Valley.
In terms of social media in general, I’ve worked hard over the years to maintain a major online presence. I’m a member of 700 networks, I currently have 80,000 followers on Twitter, I’m number one in the world on LinkedIn, I have more than 30,000 followers on Google+, and I manage a massive email database of 45,000. As a result, my online “authority” is well-ranked, with a high Klout score, Kred score and Peer Index score. So, as you can see, I’m a hugely active networker. This isn’t about ego or online “status” though – I invest the time to learn how all these systems work so that I can advise directors and the boards that I sit on. As a former plc director, I empathise with how difficult it is to run a company and keep up with constantly evolving technology. So I try to position myself as a digital non-executive director, a companion for the CEOs as they climb up Mount Everest. I’m trying to be the porter – the one who carries the bags and cooks your food and pitches your tent up when you’re scaling the mountain.
I’m always looking at new technology and when Ian Bowen-Morris [Telnames’ Chief Marketing Officer] showed me Telnames, I was immediately interested.
What drew you to Telnames?
Firstly, I love HTML5 because it saves you the burden of having to develop an iPhone app, an Android app, and a Windows app – you just create one version and it works seamlessly across all the platforms. The implementation by Telnames is excellent, including your Twitter details, Facebook page and YouTube videos. So, I was really keen to set up http://www.thomaspower.tel. It looks terrific, many people have commented on it, and contacts are already phoning me on my mobile straight from my Telnames .tel profile, which is perfect. It’s just a really convenient mobile profile and keeps everything in a single location. It’s useful for anyone who wants to contact me on the move and, because it’s a top-level domain name, Google indexes it within 24 hours. That’s really significant. I’ve also added http://www.thomaspower.tel to my Twitter profile – it’s such a neat user experience when you click through especially for mobile Twitter users. Now I’m looking to include my .tel in all my online profiles.
Twitter to Telname
What type of businesses and professionals would benefit from a .tel?
The Telnames .tel product is a simple, clean mobile profile without all the complicated interaction of “likes” and comments. It’s totally functional and so it’s a perfect entry point for having an online presence – it works well for businesses taking a first step online as well as those that have a website but realise it doesn’t display nicely on mobile phones. Also, from a personal point of view, we all do many different things and have many part-time jobs, so having a single profile for your own “brand” – your name – is key, in fact an important part of managing your online reputation. I’ve built my personal Thomas Power brand online over 15 years, so having my own .tel is a natural step for me.
It’s a simple to use yet very effective product, so I think it has very wide application for businesses and individuals looking to get noticed online. It looks great on iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. When I show it to people they invariably say “That’s cool, what’s that called?”. And I’m happy to tell them it’s my .tel name, my smart digital profile.
You can find Thomas online at http://thomaspower.org and, of course, at http://www.thomaspower.tel. And don’t forget to secure your personal .tel name here. Personal brand building starts here!

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