Tuesday

Interview #13: Kyle Lacy - Personal Branding and Twitter Expert Helps Others Succeed


Watch a quick preview of Kyle's interview
Check out Kyle’s responses to our Word Association Challenge under “Boxers or Briefs”
Click “read more” for Kyle’s full interview 


Author - “Twitter Marketing for DUMMIES” and the newly released “Branding Yourself: How to use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself(Click on the links to view details & buy the books)
Founder of MindFrame (previously Brandswag)
Blog KyleLacy.com has been featured on the AdAge 150, Wall Street Journal Online and ranked on over five global blog lists


Connect with Kyle:
Twitter - @kyleplacy
LinkedIn


Kyle Lacy is a dynamic young leader, entrepreneur, author, speaker, and social media expert.  With a fun, laid back attitude he has built a strong personal brand that is worth emulating.  Coming out of college Kyle created his own marketing and social media company called Brandswag.  Once he realized how valuable his knowledge base was for others, he and his business partner Brandon Coon created a social media boot camp.  This helped him land the book deal for “Twitter Marketing for Dummies.” Since then he has been regarded as a top name is social media and personal/corporate branding.  His views and insights are unique and refreshing.  He is now a Principal at MindFrame and is blogging daily on his popular www.KyleLacy.com.  Check out the full interview to learn some great social media tips and hear how he became a successful young leader.












Book Recommendations:  Click the links to Buy a Copy
Blue Like Jazz


You can re-create yourself no matter who you are and use technology and content to build a strong brand.
What is the one piece of advice you have for young leaders? 
  • Be who you are - you can’t fake your way into something unless you are a master salesperson
  • Believe in what you do - otherwise you won’t be able to survive when it gets tough
  • Have people around you who can support what you are doing
Give an example of when you applied this advice in your own life.
  • Before Brandswag (2 1/2 years ago)- Kyle and 2 other guys were on the team (all under 25) providing marketing services across the board - going into pitches with clients against major competitors and they were losing every time.
  • They had to believe in their capabilities and in themselves as entrepreneurs to help companies succeed - they transitioned into offering social media expertise - their strong suite as young professionals...they had the advantage over the larger - more senior firms.
Let’s go into your success path...many Millennials would love to learn how to become a leader in social media just as you are...let’s give them an inside look and a path to follow.
  • Have to produce content - gain credibility
  • Learn how to present yourself in front of others - presentations
  • Cut the fat...focus on what can be the largest market for you and focus like a laser on becoming the best at that
    • At Brandswag they stopped doing web design and focused on Social Media training...that paid off greatly.
  • Ad firms will be taking over the social media game in the next few years so differentiate yourself starting now and provide extra value
How did Brandswag get started?  (You were just out of college...)
  • His now business partner called him up and asked if he wanted to start a marketing firm
  • Kyle graduated college in Dec 2006, Brandswag started in June 2007
Do you think you could have done it alone, or was it best to have a partner?
  • Definitely needed the partner
    • Find someone who is the opposite of you
      • Brandon is a finance major, where Kyle is more of the creative mind with ADD --Brandon kept them on track when needed.
  • Depends on what you are doing - Kyle knew he was good at building a brand - needed others to handle the rest, so he found business partners.
    • Surround yourself with people who are better than you are.
Groomed to be a business owner - Kyle’s dad taught him the fundamentals of building and running a business from a very early age.
  • Bought Kyle a mowing business at 16
  • Supported his entrepreneurship spirit and provided him with excellent leadership.
  • Advice from his dad:
    • Balance your checkbook - literally - become fiscally responsible
    • It doesn’t matter who you are, age you are, if you believe in what you are doing enough to not fumble when someone asks you about it, then you will be successful.  So know what you want and immerse yourself in it.
You are now known as a social media expert.  How did you establish yourself as such?
  • Brandswag - bootcamps and trainings
  • Author of 2 books
  • Blog with consistent relevant content
You are now a published expert with two books - how did you get the DUMMIES gig?  
  • Brandswag was doing a 6 week bootcamp on social media
  • One of the participants knew an editor at Wiley (publisher of DUMMIE books) - the publisher was struggling to find a Twitter writer...within 3 weeks Kyle was writing the book.
  • This book created a major advantage for Brandswag - they could now go to their clients with heightened credibility and win.
QUICK NOTE: We’ve heard this over and over...build relationships and network...Kyle never would have gotten that HUGE break if he hadn’t done so.  Secondly, get something off the ground - the bootcamp Kyle started brought in the woman who knew the publisher who needed a twitter writer...because of the credibility of the bootcamp, Kyle was able to solidify his expertise and the gig...Relationships and actions -- killer combo!
How long after Brandswag started did you land the book deal?
  • About 2 years - August 2009
Did you get to decide what to wrote on?
  • The publisher had a template, but Kyle submitted the content
    • Started with Table of Contents as an outline and then expanded with what he wanted to add - they were pretty open and flexible.
--Social Media Marketing tips--
  • Rule of 3s
    • Sending out 3 tweets at a time (not just all about you)
      • 1) Industry
      • 2) Someone you work with or are helping out
      • 3) Yourself
Always build other people up when you are sharing - don’t just blast your own personal interests.
  • Import contacts from email accounts to find people who are already on the social media sites - so instead of searching for each individual, you have a mass of connections all at once.
  • Facebook Ads - you should be using them more - they are extremely effective and worth the minimal cost
    • Targeted marketing - ppc
  • Ask questions at the end of your blog posts
  • Write posts that are lists - Top 10, 100 Ways to do X...
  • LinkedIn - use introductions - don’t connect to people you don’t know
Branding Yourself - what is the most important thing a young leader can do to effectively brand him/her self?
  • Build a storyline for yourself - you are just another resume unless you find a way to differentiate yourself
  • Build a network that can verify that differentiation
QUICK NOTE: Kyle will never have to submit a resume...he has landed himself as an expert in a specific field and built up a network who trust his expertise...this “story” has secured his future.  You should work on doing the same.
What would you suggest to young leaders who want to... 
get published? 
  • Start blogging! - you could use the blog posts as your book content
  • Produce an outline - create a Table of Contents
What has been your greatest success to this point?
  • The books - always wanted to be an author
  • Company - building MindFrame (Kyle describes the company in detail @ min 36)
    • helping Non-Profits be more successful and getting their connections to actually donate
Goals for the future
  • New York Best Seller list before 30
  • Publish a fiction book
  • MindFrame - $1.5 mil in revenue - change landscape of how to communicate to donor base

How would you describe Gen Y in 1 sentence?  
  • We are movement driven, community driven, mobile driven, and ADD as hell.
Gen Y - some say they are the most tech and social media savvy generation.  What have you observed?
  • We grew up in the playlist era - we have everything at our finger tips (iTunes, Amazon, etc.)  
  • Ford Fiesta - "we don’t care about what the ad agency thinks, we care about what the customer wants."  
  • It’s all about being loyal to us as customers...
Closing - 
If you were designing the perfect Leadership/Mentorship program for up and coming Gen Y social media experts, what are 2 key components?
  • Bring in Veteran Marketers who have been in the industry and understand the concept of integrated media
    • The only way to be successful in social media is if it is fully integrated in all other marketing efforts
    • Core concepts of Marketing
  • Teach them to speak about social media in a way that others (who are not social media savvy) can understand and engage.
    • Develop a system of exact phrasing used
Kyle is open to you connecting with him anytime at www.KyleLacy.com.  


Remember, Be Bold, Build Relationships, & Be Successful




QUESTION FOR YOU: If you could be an expert in anything, what would it be? Why?
Thanks for your comments!


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