5 Essentials to Effectively Promoting Your Brand in Crisis

This is not a time to sit still and wait until ‘everything is normal again.’ This is a time to use your isolation to intently think long and deep about who you are as a professional, what your company REALLY does, and what the world should know about your brand – either professional or corporate.  Get clear, and get ready to make sure your voice, your talents, your value and your message are heard, not silenced ….revealed, not suppressed…made visible, not extinguished…during and long after this temporary cloistering.

Without self promotion, something terrible happens – nothing.  Being the best kept secret in the world is nothing to be proud of, unless you are in special ops or other covert line of work….If your breakout strategy depends on waiting to be discovered and rewarded based on merit alone, bring a lunch and several good reads – you will be waiting a long while.  You have just this one life to live, and without mastering the fine art of self promotion, it is likely to be small and insignificant.

In this time of self quarantine, there is plenty of opportunity for self reflection and self direction.  Take the chance to rebrand yourself, or refresh your brand, and then let the whole world know how you will  be representing yourself and using your talents once we emerge.  Start today.

So, why must you toot your own horn? 

Why do you need to believe that self promotion is one of the key factors for fast tracking your goals?  One of the essential differentiating drivers  that separates high achievers and experts from their contemporaries is their willingness to promote themselves.  They understand that tooting their own horn is a mandatory condition for success.  They have a healthy belief about the role of self promotion in their lives and careers.  As a result, they choose to share their gifts and talents rather than suppress and cover them.

Let’s be clear.  This is not about a sleazy, cheesy, narcissistic blowhard approach.  It is not about over-inflating your abilities, skills and successes.  We are talking about promoting yourself with dignity, class and creativity.  There is an art to everything.  Tooting your own horn is no exception.

The ability to influence people without irritating them is the most profitable art form known to man.  Make mastering the skill of character driven self promotion a primary goal.  The master self promoter is an artist who can paint word pictures into the hearts of others as skillfully as Rembrandt could blend colors on a canvas.  They are the maestros that can play a symphony in human emotions as effectively as Beethoven could tickle the keys of a harpsichord.

A master self promoter is a strategist at influencing human behavior.  They can marshal the thoughts of an audience as well as Alexander the Great could direct his armies to conquer the Persian Empire.  A master self promoter is a character analyst who knows their audience as well as Einstein knew mathematics.  

Promote Yourself

While it may be true the world could beat a path to your door if you make a better mouse trap, you must face the music the BIG rush on your business or demand for your skills will not begin until you have properly, professionally promoted your wares.  Without a doubt, there are an infinite number of ways to self promote and increase your visibility.  There are also essential rules to doing it right:

1.     Be authentic – most people are mimics.  Their thoughts belong to others.  Their passions are from someone else’s quotations.  To do this right, decide who to be, and go be it.

2.     Be creative – it is important to always be clear we can infuse every facet of our lives and business with some form of creativity.  The realm of self promotion is not exempt.  Copying what everyone else is doing is a big no-no.

3.     Share ideas – your ideas demand you be courageous.  Your audience needs your big, bold and courageous ideas.  When you promote big ideas, you give people something to cheer about.  People promote the things that make them feel good; they do that for and with the people who make them feel good.  Your great ideas increase those feelings.  Your big ideas will inspire hope and thought.  If they are really good, they will inspire action.

4.     Promote other people first – the best way to promote your own visibility is to promote other people and their big ideas.  Share the brilliant posts of others; point a link in their direction.  Collaborate with them.  They will publicly thank you and return the favor.  You will establish yourself as a resource and build relationships with others in your industry.  This increases your network and eventually, your net worth.

5.     Support a cause – one of the best ways to get people excited about your ideas is to support and promote a cause.  You can align your altruistic self with the practical need to promote your work.

It is rare to find people with all the equipment needed for success. As a general rule, people have strengths and flat spots.  Broadly speaking, when it comes to self promotion, your success will depend on two things:  your ability to get, and your ability to hold.

All around you, there are people you know who are masters at getting what they want – money, position, influence, power, customers…..anything!  But, when they get them, something goes wrong.  They fumble the ball, make a series of bad judgment calls, become arrogant, complacency creeps in, they take things for granted, and, as a result, all gains quickly become losses.

The same is true with self promotion.  Your ability to sell yourself and get the attention of your core audience is one thing; your ability to hold their attention, to maintain their loyalty, respect and admiration over the long term is everything.

So Toot Your Horn

Regardless of age, position, business acumen, we all must understand how essential self promotion is to success and how we must use it to increase in influence and reach.   It is inescapable.

The good news – we all have a chance to toot our own horn.  We all have the right and the responsibility to showcase our talents and ideas.  That is why your challenge today is to 

  1. Change the paradigm;
  2. Think of yourself as a brand requiring clear, consummate self promotion;
  3. Actively look for ways to toot your own horn, as “ain’t nobody gonna toot it for you”!

Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Diagnostic and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Oncology and Genetics. His team manages recruitment for all levels within the commercial area of these businesses. 

As a leader who has worked at all levels of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who works with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, ever day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside. 


Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose to work with Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results. 

That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Allstars that help you set records.

Adapted from 100 Day Challenge

Gary Ryan Blair

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7 Ways to Use This Time to Craft Simplicity Into Your Life

We have spoken with so many people over the least two weeks who are sharing with us they have worked harder and their schedule seems more complex than ever before.  One might think, without commutes and cross-country or global flights, the days would get easier.  Yet juggling, in some cases, entire families working from home – whether it be professional or school – cooped up and possibly getting a little cabin fever, many are finding working from home far more challenging than they had hoped.

How can we take advantage of the change and intentionally add a little simplicity to our new routines?

 A Rube Goldberg machine is a deliberately complex contraption in which a series of devices that perform simple tasks are linked together to produce a domino effect in which activating one device triggers the next device in the sequence. The ultimate end is to complete a final, simple task that makes you wonder why the bizarre, ingenious and complex interconnection of events was even necessary, while amusing.  The source of bemusement is named after American cartoonist and inventor of such contraptions, Rube Goldberg.

Mr. Goldberg once described his inventions as a “symbol for man’s capacity for exerting maximum effort to achieve minimal results.”  Over the years, the expression has extended beyond just describing these complex machines to describe any confusing or complicated system which deliberately slows progress and serves as a complex barrier to productivity and transparency.  Examples include the IRS Tax Code, healthcare, banking and financial services, the legal system, and customer service in most large corporation,  just to name a few.  They have consciously chosen complexity over the virtue of simplicity, and we are all paying for it dearly.

Today, Simplify Your Life, and flip Rube Goldberg on its head.  In this time of quarantine, this goal could become this simple – get intentional about removing complexity and confusion from your life, your relationships, your day and your business to accomplish maximum results with minimal effort.

Simplicity vs Complexity

Simplicity is a beautiful word meaning the condition of being easy to understand or do.  By its mere mention alone, simplicity creates this real sense of relief and freedom in this increasingly complex world.  We need to actively pursue it, use it as a benchmark measurement, and include it as a part of every decision we make.

Complexity is a barrier to success.  It is intellectual pollution which smothers clear thinking and has a negative impact on productivity, customer delight, corporate profitability and your own peace of mind.  Complexity is also the curse of the digital age; whether in product design, decision making, education, or any daily function, it is to be avoided at all costs. 

Simplicity, on the other hand, denotes beauty, elegance, purity, clarity and ease.  Leonardo Da Vinci described it as the ultimate form of sophistication.  It is a virtue worth striving for, yet it all too often seems difficult to find or deliver, even if and when we actually have time to think about it at all.

Simplicity must be designed

And that is where the problem starts.  Simplicity doesn’t happen on its own.  It must be designed into things.  Without a constant awareness and sustained effort to produce simplicity, the opposite – increased complexity –  is certain to be manifested.

Throughout history, the tools and technology we use have changed our bodies, our arts, our buildings, and our minds.  Now, the digital tools we are using and developing are even more quickly changing us and, in many ways, controlling us.  Our modern world generates complexity at warp speed.  

Where we once communicated with the outside world by fixed phone lines or regular post only, we now must deal with a powerful computer in our pocket, fax, email, text, voicemails, Skype, FaceTime, posts on social platforms….the list goes on…!  Where we once had a simple paper file cabinet, we now have a desktop, a laptop, tablets, smart phones, iPads, the cloud, thumb drives, multiple apps with multiple passwords and an entire suite of encryption, firewall, antispam and privacy controls, all combined to coordinate the complexities of our digital lives.

In these examples only linked to technology, consider the complexity imposed upon us by the ever-increasing number of choices available to us at every turn, or lack thereof in lockdown  Simple acts such as choosing a paint color for a room can quickly become a labyrinth of complexity…a black hole that consumes your time and distracts your attention.

Cost of Complexity

The consequences of complexity are loss of focus, loss of productivity, wasted time, and an increase in uncertainty, second guessing and paranoia.  In a world characterized by constant change, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, there really is only one rule – simplicity beats complexity.

Simplicity is a very good thing.  It often does not precede complexity but follows it.  As Einstein said, “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler”.  This is a scientist’s statement of knowledge – of lightness, completeness and accuracy.  Simplicity removes waste from our value chains.  It saves time and money.  It improves decision making to give you a new competitive advantage – a leg up on less effective teams who fail to peel away complexity in their organizations.

As a matter of course, modern business evolution contains the seed for complexity.  It does not encourage simplicity. Have you seen anyone advertise any tech piece with less features or an automobile offering downgrades?  Wall to wall complexity and unlimited options are here to stay.  It is a new normal.

That leaves us with two choices:  1.)  get swept away on the big wave of complexity, becoming increasingly rushed and distracted while we attempt to absorb everything thrown at us; or 2.) make conscious decisions to trade off that boundless expansion of complexity for efficiency in our business and our lives by pruning away the unnecessary and getting back to the essential.

Creating Simplicity

Recently, a friend of mine and his wife purged their attic.  For a few days, they were taking at least 2,000 pounds of stuff to the Salvation Army –old uniforms, books, binders, office supplies, toys and clothes that occupied that unused space in their home, and lives, for too long.  Some of it was found in boxes that had not been opened in the last twenty years….over three moves!  He describes it as being cathartic and says they recognized, “Wewere significantly unburdened by shedding the complexity brought in boxes of unused things.”

Reaching perfect simplicity is something none of us is going to ever achieve; however, if we do not make the concerted effort and train ourselves to look for ways to simplify, we are guaranteeing our lives will become even more complex, busier and highly stressful.  

Most people are not taking voluntary actions to live more simply as acts of sacrifice, but rather, to seek deeper sources of satisfaction away from the immediacy of the distractions found in our digital, consumption-based and stress filled lives.  Regardless of motive, the solution requires radical acts of simplicity, new rituals, and a little common sense.  For example, many high-tech gurus and are now giving their staff mandatory electronic free days.

The opportunities for radical simplicity abound when we know where to look, which is right under our nose.  Know, too, the simple life is not simple.  Temptation will present itself with new features, greater, speed, clever design, luxury and other fascinating gimmicks.  But, if we are to leapfrog forward in the quality of our lives, that will certainly include a shift toward simpler, sustainable and more satisfying ways of living.

Simplicity is not the process of dumbing down, as nothing could be farther from the truth.  In fact, when we embrace simplicity, when we invite it into our lives and bake it into our businesses, true genius flourishes as earnest effort to make the complex simple is an example of superior thinking.  That’s why your challenge today is to:

1.     Begin by creating a flow chart of your daily activity, and then aim each act toward simpler work with greater results.

2.     Look for simple solutions, simple pleasures and simple ways to accomplish maximum results with minimal effort.

3.     Stop multitasking.  Study after study has proven it never works…for anyone, even those that claim they are great at it.

4.     Examine your work for the Rube Golbergs that are sapping your energy.

5.     Then, ask yourself things like:

a.     How can I simplify my sales effort?

b.     How can I help simplify marketing?

c.      How can I maximize follow up efforts?

d.     How can I simplify our returns process?

e.     How can I simplify the In-service of clients?

f.      How can I simplify the buyers’ journey?

g.     How can I simplify our billing efforts?

h.     How can I simplify gaining referrals?

6.     Then, do the same thing in your personal life.

7.     Focus on simplicity in everything, every day.

I assure you, once implemented, you will be delighted by the results.  You will feel lighter and more alert.  You will experience far more energy and greater peace of mind — something we can all use a hefty dose of right about now.

Take care. Be well. Keep it simple.


Scott Rivers is the Managing Director of Cerca Talent+, a talent agency for the Diagnostic and Life Science Industries. Scott’s recruiting experience extends into the areas of Diagnostics, Life Sciences, Oncology and Genetics. His team manages recruitment for all levels within the commercial area of these businesses. 

As a leader who has worked at all levels of commercial, medical sales and global marketing, Scott is an intense professional who works with organizations to fine tune talent branding. If you are a leader looking to expand your team with professionals who are focused on delivering work in which they take pride, and you can be proud of, every day, then Scott would be privileged to help you in the process. Having been a professional in the fields where you focus, Scott knows the ins and outs of the companies, the business and the customers you are working to come alongside. 


Cerca Talent+ is a full-service Executive Search Firm with a strategic focus in the areas of Clinical Diagnostics, Molecular Diagnostics and Oncology, Genomic and Genetic Medicine. Our clients choose to work with Cerca because of our deep understanding of the industries we serve. They continue to work with us based on our extensive market knowledge, vast connections and quality of results. 

That’s a good match for any company. Partner with the group that can talk shop and gain rapport with the pros who will lead your business into the future. Email Scott Rivers today at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call direct at 201-594-2101, and we will begin the process of finding you Allstars that help you set records.

Adapted from 100 Day Challenge

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Interview Preparation: How much is too much when it comes to interview preparation? How much do you really want this position? When preparing for an interview, it's imperative that you do your homework on the company. Knowing their products and competitors isn't enough. You should know what's really happening at the company so that you can ask questions that will make you stand out to the person who is interviewing you. Have they had an earnings call that you can listen to? Have they announced mergers or acquisitions, and what does that mean for the future of their business? What tradeshows have they attended, and what did they present during break out sessions or poster sessions? These things show the minimum of what's expected if you are really interested in making a career change. Everyone else will know the products and competitors. Stand out, if you are truly interested in impressing the interviewer and the company!

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Bobby McIntyre is a singer/songwriter whose melodies and lyrics warm the heart and touch the soul.  His vocal range is something remarkable, boasting tenor notes of the greats, such as Steve Perry and Lou Gramm, complemented by an ability to hit the highs of power rockers.  He has opened for Rascal Flatts, Clay Walker, Tracy Lawrence, Jo Dee Messina, Chely Wright, and Daryle Singletary and been privileged to create songs with some of the best songwriters in the world.

Oh, and he is also a social media marketing and S.E.O. guru, with ten years experience in online marketing and another 11 years experience in direct sales and marketing with his own businesses.  His social media and online following and viewers are now over 1 million and rapidly growing.

Bobby has worked with some high-profile musical artists and companies to amplify their brand awareness and social media presence using his extensive S.E.O. and social media marketing skills.  LL Cool J and Sheila E are just two of many.  He has also worked with public and private multi-million dollar corporations, including companies in clinical research.

Bobby is a driven person, and the well honed skills and grit he has used to stand out in the music industry have also enabled him to be successful in the online media and marketing arena.  Rob and Bobby look forward to working with you to make your business dreams and goals a reality.

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XM Radio Categories


Here are the main music categories that you can find on XM satellite radio broadcasts:
The Decades - songs from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s
Country – classic country hits are at home here, but you will also get a good share of new pop country and blue grass country.
Hits – this is for all hit lovers out there. Packed with Top 20 on Channel 20, the hits XM Radio channels also include some FM channels: KISS FM in LA or Houston's Pop FM station, KMIX. You also get MTV and VH1 stations and if you’re in the mood for some popular love songs you can tune into The Heart and Lite channel. Another interesting channel is Cinemagic, where you will be able to listen to all your favorite movie soundtracks without being bothered by commercials. There are also two Christian rock channels and a classic alternative channel.
Rock – XM Radio features 10 commercial free channels dedicated to rock:
* Deep Tracks: classic and contemporary hits
* Bone Yard and XM Liquid Metal: the first channel goes with classic hard rock while the XM Liquid Metal plays hardcore metal.
* Fred: there is a lot of classic alternative music, some 80s alternative rock and punk music
* Top Tracks: classic rock tracks
* Unsigned: unsigned bands
* XMU, XM Café, the Loft, XM Music Lab: soft rock, eclectic rock and any other rock type that doesn’t fit anywhere else
Urban – rap and hip hop, both modern and from the 80s.
Jazz & Blues – 6 channels altogether out of which four are commercial free
Dance – techno and trance music rules here, but you also get some disco music
Latin – 5 commercial free channels of Latin, Spanish and Mexican hits.
International Music – 5 channels of music from around the world. You might find these five channels a welcomed break from all the music you are used to. Fresh music from around the world is presented daily.
Classical – classical music from both famous and less renown classical musicians. You get the XM Pops, XM Classics, Vox and Fine Tuning. As you would expect, all 4 channels are commercial free.
Kids - Radio Disney and XM for Kids. Excellent programs that will keep your kid busy and happy for a long time.
News – you will get Fox News, CNN Headline News plus other TV related news channels. They feature XM commercials.
Sports – you will get channels like ESPN Radio, ESPN News, Fox Sports Radio, Sporting News, NASCAR Radio. These channels cover most of the important sporting events in the United States but you can also get international sports news here.
Comedy – both family oriented comedy stiles and uncensored comedy bits. These channels are commercial free, which is really enjoyable.
Talk & Variety – there are different talk channels and shows that are really engaging, such as E! Entertainment Radio, ABC News and Talk, Buzz XM, Ask channel, The Power and Family Talk. However, these channels have plenty of commercial time which is a bit of a disappointment from a paid subscription service.
Variation and content

These are the things both XM Radio and Sirius are after. With over 100 channels, each provider is able to identify and target all the important age and social groups in the United States. When it comes to music, there are extremely specialized channels on XM Radio, so the consumer knows exactly what kind of music they will run into on that particular channel. The kids channels are pretty good and the sports channels are also ok. If you like to get your news TV style, XM Radio’s choice of channels is also interesting. The fact that commercials are present is not that bothering, as they are only allowed to play 6 minutes of commercials per hour. However, some of the music channels are kept 100% commercial free, which is good news for music fans who do not want their audition to be interrupted by intrusive commercials.

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4735515360d3616b5b2827ba473beb9d rock music artists buy music

With the popularity of the Internet, many people are violating music copyright law and do not even know it. Music copyright law can be very tricky. There are multiple music copyrights that you must keep in mind – lyrics, composition and the recording of the music by an artist. Using someone’s music may involve you acquiring many different licenses such as mechanical, synchronization, performance and publishing licenses. Music copyright law has separate copyrights for the vocal or instrumental recordings of a composition or performance and the copyright of the written lyrics and music.

Standard music copyrighting practices usually entail that the writer of the song retains the rights to the right to the music composition which the studio that did the recording of the music holds the rights of the recording. Music copyright law can get very complicated. It can involve negotiations with the writers, producers, agents, heirs and more.

Many artists and studios are upset with the decline in music sales. They are attributing this decline to people who are violating music copyright law by downloading music on the Internet. Music files are under the same copyright law as music recordings and the owners of these copyrights are entitled to royalties or compensation for the music that people are illegally downloading on the Internet.

The simple fact is you are stealing if you make copies of copyrighted music recordings without authorization to do so. If people were sued for the music they have downloaded illegally, it could result in thousands of dollars. Music copyright law states that it is illegal to duplicate and distribute creative work. If you send someone an email with a song that you have illegally downloaded on the Internet, you could be in for some serious trouble. To put it bluntly and plainly, if you download (or upload) music that is copyrighted without permission to do so, you are breaking the law.

Many people violate music copyright law and do not even understand how their actions are criminal. If you purchase a music CD you can make a copy of it for yourself on your MP3. However, if you then use that recording and put it on your website or blog and make it available for everyone to download, you are performing an illegal act. Even if you join a site and pay a fee to download music you are in violation of music copyright law.

This may sound like something that would never come back to haunt you. After all, if you were caught, it would be a first time offense, right? Well, you should know that there have been first time offenders who have been fined up to $250,000 and up to five years in jail for violating music copyright law. It is so much easier to go out and pay 20 bucks for a CD.

Whether you are uploading music or downloading music, educate yourself on music copyright law. No one wants to ruin their financial future and face jail time. Enjoy music, just do it the right way!

 

 

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