Here’s what happened:
An aviation artist in the industry had a strong social media following and great write-ups in local publications. So far, so good, right?
Well, one of the dangers of social media is that you may get the sense that you’re talking to one person when you’re actually talking to EVERYONE.
The military aviation community is a small world. People who have been certain places and made certain accomplishments all know one another and become suspicious when something they read doesn’t match up with what they know.
Specifics about airplanes are, shall we say, warmly debated by military professionals and fans.
And claiming a status that rightly is reserved for people who have served in the military might result in being called upon to justify it.
Words and images are amazingly searchable on the Internet. The partial photo was posted as a response to being called up on to provide proof of military service.
To be fair, we don’t know WHO posted these photos on a personal Facebook profile, and she later indicated that her account had been hacked.
All the more reason to keep your account access safe and private.
Yelp reviews are very public, and very permanent. They (like most review sites) have a appeal process. See our video about responding to bad reviews.
But much better to not have a problem in the first place.
One of our Insiders summed the situation up nicely.
Of course, we have a long tradition of “tall tales” in this country, and anyone who has sat around a hangar with old-timers for any length of time has probably heard a few doozies.
And whether exaggeration is for entertainment purposes, or is even morally right, is a larger topic than this humble marketing blog can tackle.
The recent movie “The Greatest Showman” shows that the question of exaggeration has been a controversial topic for quite some time in this country.
This hit my particularly hard, because I’d been recently been informed that my Project Management Institute (PMI) membership had lapsed, although I claim it on my LinkedIn.
I quickly caught up the paperwork and paid my overdue dues, but this is a strong reminder that we have to be vigilant that everything we say about ourselves is true and current!
So, how do you go about personal branding with confidence? This profile or Lorre White is a great example –
- This is a “third person” article.
- She talks more about her ideal customers than about herself.
- She includes a “real” photo. (Nothing wrong with looking your best, but don’t stretch reality!)
Speaking of photos, a great way to promote your personal brand without exaggeration is to show candid photos of you “doing your thing.” These are not perfect or professional photos, but they add a lot to the marketing materials of the company or person represented because they are real!
Top row – The Chase Family of Chase Aviation, aircraft maintenance in progress at SSC
Bottom row – Shane Ballman of Synapse MX speaking at an event, Benét Wilson, aviation journalist covering an event, and myself and John Williams with the legendary Penn Jillette at a marketing convention. (Yes, he’s a brilliant marketing strategist, but that’s a story for another day.)
We also recommend our clients develop a “racecar graphic,” with logos from all of the publications and organizations they are associated with. Once again, it’s very important to ensure each of these is verifiable.
Questions about what to include (or not!) in your own personal branding?
Join our Aviation Sales Basics course, in progress now! We cover sales and marketing tactics from an aviation industry perspective!
We get into deep discussions about YOUR challenges!