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Alex Ruggieri a personal brand interview on BIGG Success

How a Local Broker Built His Personal Brand

Alex Ruggieri a personal brand interview on BIGG Success

Think you need to tell your own story to build a personal brand? George & Mary-Lynn talk with a guy who’s built a local and national name, by helping others tell their stories. Click PLAY to learn how he did it.

Alex Ruggieri is a highly-recognized real estate broker and Senior Advisor for Sperry Van Ness. But he’s also a media mogul, with a radio show called Central Illinois Business; a TV segment, Business Insider on WCIA Channel 3, and the Commercial Connections Podcast for the National Association of REALTORS®

A Personal Brand is Born

When starting out as a broker, Alex didn’t have the money to spend on advertising to help him stand out from all of his competition. So he asked himself this question: “What do I have that I can give that would provide value to others that isn’t money?”

He thought about his strengths and what he loved to do.

What he came up with has made him a thought leader in his industry at both the local and national level….

A Personal Brand Grows

As a young man, Alex felt fortunate to be introduced to business people in the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois community whom he considered mentors. People he still looks up to today. He noticed no one was telling their stories.

Alex approached a TV station to pitch an idea for a program that would showcase the stories of the business people in the community. He got the green light to host the show! From there, a local radio station asked him to do the same kind of program for them. That station happened to also own the city newspaper.

Alex was getting exposure everywhere by giving his time to create compelling content for local media outlets. Alex also loved the fact that he was able to give back to the business community by giving them an outlet to to share what they do.

Alex’s media work in his hometown caught the attention of the National Association of REALTORS®, who asked if he’d host their national podcast!

As he says, “If you give enough…the universe will take care of you.”

Alex gets business by doing what he loves…talking about business. Find what you’re passionate about, and use it to build your personal brand. It leads to BIGG Success.

More Personal Brand Building Advice

Become a free member of our Entreprenurturing™ Center to hear our extended discussion with Alex where you’ll also learn:

  • How his work in media has helped his bottom line
  • His “Jay Leno Theory” and how it can work for you
  • His advice on how to find that one thing that can elevate your brand

Plus, Alex shares the BIGG defining moment that pushed him towards the work ethic he still uses today.

Just sign up for our free download to get instant access.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00888-010914.mp3

Best Job Opportunity

Don’t Miss Out on This Job Opportunity

Best Job Opportunity for BIGG Success

Listen to this post! Click Play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show (Duration 4:05)

The best job opportunity today is far different from the ideal job of days gone by. Back then, someone created a job for you.

Today, there’s a new model – you have to create the job yourself.

There’s still plenty of work to be done. It’s just increasingly not being done by employees.

The goal used to be one employer for life. Now it’s no employer for life. One employer is too limiting: You get stuck in an industry which may die. You don’t grow enough. Your skills become too specific.

With the new model, you grow as much as you want, as fast as you want. You learn transferable skills so you can adapt to any environment.

In the old model, employees had one customer (their employer). All their eggs were in that company’s basket.

They lived and died on the success of a single business. If the company you were working for laid you off, 100% of your income was gone.

The new job opportunity is with a portfolio of customers. If one of them stops doing business with you, your income only takes a partial hit.

You’ve diversified your income – something every single financial planner suggests you do with your money. Why should your career be any different?

In the old economy, a cover letter and a resume were the primary marketing tools. Companies posted jobs which were available. People responded like cattle.

They all pretty much looked the same. Companies sifted through the piles for the few who stood out.

The new model requires a complete marketing toolkit. You have to cut through the clutter so prospective customers know about you. After all, you won’t find these opportunities posted.

And that’s a wonderful thing – it means you can separate yourself from the masses just by out-marketing them.

Which brings us to our next difference between then and now…

In the old system, the company brand was all that mattered. Employees didn’t need a brand because they didn’t want to go anywhere. They just wanted to keep working for the company.

The new way requires a professional brand. We purposely didn’t use the term “personal brand.” It implies it’s all about you. It’s not – it should be about how your business helps your customers.

What makes you unique? How do your skills and expertise make their lives better? How do you they find out about you?

These are the some of the challenges for modern “job” seekers – because today’s best job opportunity is a business opportunity.

It’s also an opportunity to stop living on your employer’s terms and start living your life on your own terms. That’s BIGG success!

Do you agree? Is the best job opportunity today to own your own business?

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00875-082013.mp3

Image from Flickr

the danger of customer acquisition

Why Customer Acquisition is Dangerous

the danger of customer acquisition

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast (Duration 5:48)

Is it dangerous to think about customer acquisition? We say yes – it may have been fine in the past but the best customers today can’t be acquired.

[George] As a money guy, I loved it when I first heard the term “customer acquisition.” I could easily wrap my mind around the concept. But I’ve come to realize it’s a way of thinking which hurts the bottom line today.

We think the concept is dangerous because you can’t “acquire” customers. They can’t be bought. They can’t be owned.

[George] I learned that the hard way: My biggest customer replaced us, but not with a competitor. They got bought out and the new owners brought the service we had been providing in-house. They did it themselves.

If you’re with us – if you agree that customer acquisition is a dated concept, what can you do?

Read more

closed minded business_thumb

Are You Open to Opportunity?

closed minded business

Warning! The stories you are about to hear are true. The names and some details have been omitted to protect the guilty parties!

Listen to this post! Click play to hear George & Mary-Lynn on The BIGG Success Show Podcast. (Duration 5:10)

Throwing away a new customer
We were on the phone with a business owner who told us about a prospect who had turned down a recent proposal.

He was bringing them a brand new customer. They didn’t have to invest any time, money or other organizational resources.

They turned him down flat.

Read more

BIGG Success Logo boxed

Is the Election Killing Small Businesses?

how politics affects small business | BIGG SuccessWe were chatting with a media executive recently who made an unsurprising observation: Business is great, thanks to the election.

Since we’re always trying to gauge the state of the entrepreneurial economy, we asked: Are small businesses advertising?

We found the answer to be both intriguing and sad: For the most part, they can’t afford to.

Ads are selling at a premium due to demand. Most small businesses can’t afford the current rates.

Promoting one job or many?

The political process is squeezing them out. That may not make much of a difference in an economy experiencing slow growth, but what about elections during boom times?

Political ads help one person get a job – be it a local, state or national office. When a small business promotes, it may lead to tens, hundreds or thousands of them.

Should it affect the timing of your startup?

More importantly, this conversation also made us think about a common question. We’re often asked: When is the best time to start a business?

Our answer has been: There really isn’t one. You can make the case for starting up in just about any market.

Some of the biggest success stories were started in a recession. Others started in a boom. Still others started in between the two.

However, this conversation made us think about something we had never given much thought to before:

If you rely on major media to get the word out for your product or service, you may want to start in a year with no elections. And you may especially want to avoid a Presidential election year.

What do you think? Is the political process killing small businesses? Should you consider this when starting up?

Image in this post from stock.xchng