May 18, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Passover and Building the Personal Brand of UnGarbled-Tech

Recently with my new startups, my attorney and I hired a new marketing company. After hours of grueling phone calls, the end result was my “personal branding and message wasn’t clear.” It was a little humiliating to be lumped in with companies I see everywhere—wonderful websites of terrible companies, and incredible Facebook pages of restaurants who can barely make a proper meal. It was clear I had work to do to develop a better personal brand.

Concurrently, over Passover, I am hired to train, teach, give tech support and run activities for the guests of the Gross Schechter Passover Program in Somerset, New Jersey. My engineer and I decided since I am teaching Facebook, YouTube live and Instagram Periscope, the best place to practice personal branding would be my own tech classes and activities. It was a win-win, great for marketing the Passover program and what I do during Pesach.

Some of the activities we planned were Alexa setup, Chromecasters, drone shows, 3D printing, Waze, WhatsApp and live Twitter feeds during a barbecue night. We also provided one-on-one tech time with guests, charging stations and did some fun mad scientist experiments. Most of the guests are not aware that I own an MSP and software startup, and I relish the role as a listener (and I recommend this to my colleagues!); I learn more from being asked questions from regular guests including teens than I ever learn from any Google or Facebook post.

When I was asked what I do over Pesach I explained the above. Comments included, “Well that’s a sweet gig, you must have your whole day free,” when in reality, I explained, “I am off the grid and can barely answer my smartphone.”

Another client said, “My husband loves Facebook; he could teach like you.” What they don’t know is I have to schlep tons of hardware and three engineers to set up to teach. With technologies changing so quickly, much of what I teach I have to learn or relearn weeks before. And, after teaching I am ready to crash for the day.

If you’re a reader of my column, you’ve likely realized that technology is not only my profession but it’s also my passion. There is nothing more rewarding than getting that a-ha moment from a user or a Passover guest. This works great with the segue into personal branding. The marketing team had me read an amazing book called “Crushing It.” Since I am a skeptic, I am not a big fan of people posting all day long on social media about nonsense, but the book talks a lot about original content, being authentic and using all social media at your disposal. The part that I related to most was a lot of the “personal branding” folks the author talked about started with a smartphone and learned along the way doing vlogging and videos. The key to it all is being passionate and engaged by your subject.

This idea the author of “Crushing It” talks about is that one who does personal branding on social media has to do this because they love it and the revenue has to come second. My life is such that I have made a modest living doing what I love; many times my company and I have been able to help non-profits, people with disabilities and others who need our help IT wise, because this is something we are passionate about as well. Not all success can be focused on money; we can consider success the time we get to spend helping others.

So, over Pesach, from the time we set up to the last day of the event, I filmed Facebook live or Periscope at all the events. What is amazing is the advances in social media of everyone, not just me. Senior citizens are becoming much more technical and many have become avid users of social media. Just three years ago when I started this gig over Passover, I was teaching seniors how to open a Facebook page and how to answer email. I even had a class on how to open a Gmail account for the first time.

This year besides the Passover program being full of IT backend jobs we had to do for live filming, we were able to provide some fun extras. The guests took selfies at a booth which then were broadcasted on the dining room wall using Twitterfall, something that I had never used before. Some guests and many seniors wanted more instruction on how to use Alexa, which is something else I am not too familiar with.

My take on the “personal branding” world: I am not impressed when someone constantly reposts some article that someone else wrote. When I see someone doing this over and over all day, it screams to me that this person has too much time on their hands or thinks too highly of themselves. After all, people can get their own news without being recommended it from friends.

On my end, I am going to do my best to break off with sharing items from the web or online newspapers and focus more on doing my own interviews and sharing the technologies that I am discovering or using with our new startup.

I admit I have difficulty doing any type of self-promotion. What I am learning from “Crushing It” and watching real YouTubers and Instagrammers is the people who are successful are experts at what they post, and you can see they are truly passionate about what they share.

This is a lot of work and I have already learned a lot from my nephew Zalman Weisman, who did the first client video testimonials for my company. One hour of video takes 20 hours of editing.

The best part of Passover was getting technology feedback from people at the program and hearing how they interact with it. One of the owner’s fathers said the following: “We are older now and can’t take a chance getting lost; that why Waze is critical to our daily travel.” Another quote was, “I have never kept up with my family all over the world and now I can make a call or video chat with WhatsApp and it’s all free.”

So if you have a senior in your life who is not yet active with technology, instead of counting them out, take the time to go over and show them how to use the great, vital tools that will enhance their lives as they age. (But think before you buy a state-of-the-art smartphone they can’t see. Be sure and go for the largest iPhone or Droid.)

Stay tuned. UnGarbled-Tech is taking the leap off the pages and will be doing some live interviews following my UnGarbled-Tech column. My goal is to use a standard smartphone and simple free editing software so my readers can do the same for the beginning.

Come join me on my “personal branding” journey.

By Shneur Garb

Shneur Garb is the CEO of 1to1chromebooks.com and The Garb I.T. Consulting Group LLC. Questions can be sent to [email protected].

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