Feature illustration by Aidan Jones
Recently, I’ve been invited to give a couple presentations to students and professionals about entrepreneurship and new media. Several friends and acquaintances have asked about getting started with building a website and developing a brand/logo. With each of these conversations the same point comes up.
This is very important point for all of us. Especially if you are a young professional, entrepreneur or even if you just want to get a number from a person you like at a party. Physical style, appearance and personality are all critical to success in these modern times. There are many things that can be said about style, and these points we will reserve for the new Modern Macho column here on Gozamos. Here are three basic rules to follow:
I have stated this fact multiple times. Get a smartphone! You have no excuse because the iPhone is now on Verizon. Use gmail, set up automatic email, calendar and contact syncing. Use the calendar to get organized. Make a couple calendars for business, personal and even entertainment. Start a To Do list, digital or paper, and actually do it. There are several tactics to these points, but the best advice I can give is keep it simple. Don’t over-organize or spend too much time in the process. The best systems are frictionless and end up becoming second nature. Got a meeting? Instantly add it to your calendar, plan out your week and meet in locations that are convenient to your other tasks. Your To Do list should always be up to date, organized and never have over 10 items. Everything that is listed should be items that you can do immediately. In email, use the gmail stars to keep items that you need to act on. Don’t mark emails unread that you already read, that confuses your signals on what is new and what needs action. The smarter you are at your processes, the sharper you will be in all things professional.
Less is more. Learn to appreciate minimalism and simplicity. Business cards are important. If you have zero style, then ask a designer to help you. Otherwise go to moo.com and order up some “simple single-sided cards.” Stay away from fugly colors, patterns and logos. I know tacky when I see it. Don’t provide too much information. Keep it very clean and minimal. Include only pertinent information: Your name, “what you do” and contact information. Get your twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles cleaned up. Toss out the “SOX_RULE85” email address and usernames. And don’t forget to delete all the photos of your dancing on top of a bar.
Your presence is required
Resumes are important and required, but your real presence follows you around when someone Googles your name. Get your own domain name and set up a simple blog or splash page. Go to hover.com to register www.yourfullname.com and own it. This is your new identity and it only cost $10 per year. Then go to tumblr.com and set up a an account—it’s free. The trick to tumblr is to use the custom domain name feature with the one you just purchased to it and, like magic, you have a free website! Again, pick a simple theme that goes with your business cards, even spend a few bucks on a fancy one. Then you can keep is clean with a photo and links to your profiles. I highly recommend you use it as a blog, too. Write about your field and expertise, because this is how you prove your opinion matters. If you are an artist or writer, post up your latest work and this is now your portfolio. tumblr can be limited, but realize that you just created a permanent place where you can control your brand in a matter of minutes.
Now you have no pretextos. Get to work.