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Careers: Personal Branding for the Gray Hairs

How do you reinvent yourself if you’re a middle-aged, non-techie working in yesterday’s business?Just ask Flyn Penoyer who five months ago at age 58 reincarnated himself as a web marketing guru helping small businesses harness the power of the Internet. A successful sales consultant for over 20 years, Flyn had a long-time dream to be an Internet marketer but didn’t fully take the plunge till necessity and opportunity called.

How do you reinvent yourself if you’re a middle-aged, non-techie working in yesterday’s business?Just ask Flyn Penoyer who five months ago at age 58 reincarnated himself as a web marketing guru helping small businesses harness the power of the Internet. A successful sales consultant for over 20 years, Flyn had a long-time dream to be an Internet marketer but didn’t fully take the plunge till necessity and opportunity called. “I decided sales consulting was a dead end in Silicon Valley, where I’m based; the market was shriveling up like turtles,” said Flyn with characteristic honesty. To grease the skids, Flyn about a year ago enrolled in Stompernet, an online marketing program, joined social networking site LinkedIn and partnered with someone with the technical skills he lacked. Less than a year later he had his first Internet client, and was the top-rated expert on LinkedIn under its marketing sales and sales techniques categories. Come later this month, he’s launching his first information product, which is designed to help others succeed on LinkedIn.  Having remade himself into a web entrepreneur, he’s hung out his Internet shingle with the mission of helping small businesses grow using SEO, social marketing and web lead generation strategies. Check out his free reports on online networking. As a networking maestro, Flyn quickly realized the power of LinkedIn for personal branding. “I have used LinkedIn to build up my reputation as an expert, help a lot of people making myself a valuable resource, and gain a tremendous amount of visibility in the process.”Like most personal branding success stories, Flyn’s strategic use of personal branding has had a large pay-off. “Now, my efforts on LinkedIn are providing me most of my business income without any prospecting or advertising,” he says.Flyn’s key rule for LinkedIn success:“You need to follow a pure networking, as opposed to a prospecting strategy. If you prospect you may get a customer but the concept of prospecting is one person at a time while the concept of networking is all about developing valued relationships that over time lead to opportunities for everyone. It’s the difference between fishing with a line and trawling.”So what else can we learn from Flyn? For one, how to better sell on line. According to Flyn, there are three things every business needs to do online:•    Create websites that engage customers. “That way you can capture visitors who are not ready to buy now but may be in the future.”•    Create effective selling propositions. Engage visitors on your site in a conversation.•    Leverage the power of the Web 2.0 tools for developing relationships with customers.

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About the author

Wendy Marx is President of Marx Communications, an award-winning boutique B2B Public Relations agency known for turning companies and executives, including start-ups, into thought leaders. Follow her on Twitter @wendymarx and on Google+ @ plus.google.com/+wendymarx.

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