Answer: They are all alter egos of the amazingly eclectic, not-afraid-to-act-goofy Lou Bortone, an online branding expert.
Bortone, like a lot of marketers, is a whiz at promoting others, but had left his own promotion more to chance. “I was a branding guy telling everyone that they should be using video, yet I didn’t have my own consistent videoblog!” recalls Bortone. He was, however, producing videos for others.
That all changed about a year ago when someone he was trying to sell video branding to asked to see his video. That was the beginning of LouTube, Bortone’s clever, zany attempts to combine branding with humor. Check out his Ten Commandments of online video, where Bortone speaks in his “voice of God” tone while donning a “Moses wig.” Or listen to his elfin voice as he reads a rhymed Christmas story dressed as one of Santa’s elves that ends in a humorous plug for his video service.
“Keep in mind, I’m a bit of an introvert and very camera shy, so this was a stretch for me,” says Bortone. “At the same time, by embracing my warped sense of humor, I seem to have hit a chord with my target market. Now I wear costumes and recite funny little poems about Facebook and Twitter. So, “LouTube” has become a part of my brand!
Bortone, a one man marketing talent show, is a copywriter, videographer, and branding coach for entrepreneurs; over the course of his career, he’s worked in radio and TV, including as an SVP of Marketing at Fox Family Worldwide in Los Angeles.
So what can we learn from this would-be Moses?
Here are Bortone’s top five suggestions for personal branding:
- Develop a “who & do what” statement – The “who” is your target market and the “what” is the primary benefit they get from you. For example, my “who and do what” is: “I help entrepreneurs build breakthrough brands on the Internet so that they can get booked solid!”
- Define your “why you do it” statement – The “why” is the reason you do what you do. It’s what you stand for. It’s important because it’s what will attract the right clients to you. My “why” is: “I stand for your brand!”
- Focus on building relationships – Social networking and video are similar in that they are tools to help build relationships on the web. You gotta give before you get! Engage, contribute, share… Build your social capital.
- Maximize social media – Entrepreneurs can develop their brands relatively quickly and inexpensively using free services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These have become powerful business tools for creating connections, demonstrating your expertise and enhancing your online visibility.
- Use Online Video to stand out and be noticed – As a long-time “video guy,” I’m especially partial to video as a resource to break out of the pack and be noticed. Online Video builds an immediate connection and makes you memorable.
Meanwhile, Bortone is continuing to evolve his “video guy” brand with his latest iteration an OnlineVideoBranding site, now in beta. “I keep saying ‘beta” means we ‘beta get it done soon!’” “Actually, it’s a site where people can find my latest videos and tutorials,” says Bortone. “I can also share online video branding tips and do some freebie giveaways. Hopefully, it will become a place where entrepreneurs can come to learn about branding with online video. Since it’s a WordPress blog, I’ll be able to change and update the content often.
Any last words?
“One point I’d love to make is that a lot of my personal branding philosophy comes from the fact that I’m a “Book Yourself Solid” Certified Coach. Book Yourself Solid is a bestselling book and program created by Michael Port.
“The Book Yourself Solid system really hit home with me, because the branding ideas emphasize authenticity and service. It’s like marketing and sales for people who don’t like doing marketing and sales. Pretty cool!”