Saturday, February 22, 2014

5 Steps to Living a Recommendable Life

Is Your Life Recommendable?

Emily Bader, EVP +Zócalo Group presented the keynote address focused on social media marketing and personal branding at the 14th annual Okner Symposium Friday, February 21 at Loyola University, Chicago, IL.  The event is targeted for students interested in direct and digital marketing and sponsored by the Educational Foundation of the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing, CADMEF and a generous gift from Seymour "Sy" Okner and his family.  Fourteen students from the Dunham School of Business  +Aurora University attended the event, accompanied by Marketing Professor Dr. +Debra Zahay-Blatz

Social media marketing, digitial Marketing
14th Annual Okner Symposium, Loyola University Chicago, February 21, 2014

A social media marketing expert, Ms. Bader focused on personal branding and Word of Mouth marketing.  Since Ms. Bader focuses on social media marketing, which depends on recommendations, she suggested that students apply social media concepts to their personal brands.  Her suggestion was   "Live a recommendable life"  to succeed personally and professionally. She encouraged students to think of themselves as a brand and to work to create an authentic online image.  

Ms Bader said that in study after study consumers indicate they rely on recommendations in decision making.  In the most recent study by Nielson, 92% of respondents reported a positive recommendation from friend or family member was the biggest influence on their purchase decision.  The influence of personal recommendations is much higher than other forms of media. Therefore, students need to create a recommendable life, realizing that recommendations from others will play a big role in their professional growth.

Living a Recommendable Life

Ms. Bader's five steps to successfully living a recommendable life include:  

1) Develop a clear and purposeful story.   How do you want to be recommended?  What are the reasons to recommend you?   What do you want to have people to remember and notice? Are you creative, prompt, hard-working, innovative, resourceful?
2) Live your brand.  Be yourself and don't try to be what you are not.  Dialogue with people about creativity or whatever is your passion; create and share content on topics related to your personal brand. Surround yourself with ideas relating to your interests.
3) Be human, transparent and make your own mistakes. 
4) Stay engaging and interesting.  Use the 90/10, rule.   Ninety percent of content you share be engaging to your consumers.  Engaging content is perceived as more interesting content.
5) Regularly evaluate your persona/brand as it evolves and stay true to your core. Create a quarterly report for yourself. Evaluate how you are you being perceived and how your skills are helping your organization.

Ms. Bader encouraged students to "go and create and share your goals."  She said that you are in charge of how people perceive you online.  Live a recommendable life and make sure that people know it by your unique online branding strategy.

By Debra Zahay-Blatz.
You can find Debra on  and Twitter as well as LinkedIn.
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