Achieving With Failure

I came across an interesting project of late called the Failure Club. The project follows a group of NYC dwellers as they set out to do something they thought would be great. It allows people to imagine a dream and try to make it happen even if they don’t have the expertise to fulfill their desire. Participant goals range from a clothing store start-up, a comedian hopeful, a bike build, and a handyman company. The project strikes me as a that perhaps more of us could use something like this. What are your dreams? Maybe getting that dream job, starting a business, or some other adventure. I briefly wanted to cover some things that I gleaned from watching an episode or two.

Make short actionable goals. I think sometimes the failure of a business or goals in our life is that we don’t set some sort of actionable thing and try to achieve it. Great things don’t happen without a plan and sometimes those plans are as far as one step at a time. So if you have the high level goal of becoming a doctor your first step would be going to school. So find the small step that reaches the next step.

Just Do It. A great slogan but a must for everyone. I think the great thing about the Failure Club is that these are people who want to do something about their dream. They are each doing something about it. Whether it is meeting weekly or finding people to help them get there they are taking action.

Support your dream. Sometimes a dream realized needs support. Of course there will be people who doubt but find people who can be honest with you about your dream goals. The goal is to make the dream a reality so you need people who can help you get there and make it happen.

Set a time frame. By setting a date it gives you pressure to do something about it. If you cant achieve your goal by reasonable time frame then at least you tried even if you failed. Will we always fail? No. Might we win? Yes!

So here is to those who go out, try and fail. At least you will have an interesting story to tell. Find out about my dream.

Using An Infographic Resume To Stand Out

Standing out in a day when there are some many people looking for jobs can be difficult. However, there are several ways to standout from the crowd from the competition. One of those ways can be through your resume. If you really want employers to remember you then create a resume that is different from the run of the mill. One such way to achieve this is through an infographic resume. Now not everyone has the ability to design their own but there are several tools to help you achieve a unique resume. Lets look at some tools that you could use to achieve an infographic resume.

Online tools.

The internet is full of great resources to helping you get an infographic resume. Re.Vu,, and Kinzaa each are online tools that are designed to help you get your resume online. It seems to me that company that is leading the way in this since they have seem to be a little further along in the development of the site. Kinzaa looks a little more traditional resume just driven by visual bar graphs and pie charts.

Personally I like the ability to have more control over how it looks and creating something that sticks out. So created mine in Illustrator. This allowed me to have some flexibility over the look and feel. You can view my resume here.

Have you used an infographic resume. How has it helped your career? Are you an employer and would you consider an inforgraphic resume over a traditional text driven resume?

Derek on Vizualize.Me

Schema Image Tag Test Results

Almost a couple of weeks ago I thought I would experiment with photos. The goal was to improve an image in the search results of Google. Although this wasn’t the most scientific approach I still think it was interesting. So the test was to see if tagging an image with schema along with the usual SEO elements of images (i.e. alt tag, title tag, and naming structure) would help and improve the search results. Here is what I have found.

I started off by uploading a picture of me in a new blog post. It’s not as if I am incredibly self centered to perform such a test. After all an over interested desire to search for my name might make me a bit egocentric. I also updated the content of my about page to include the schema tag including a name below. I also add the usual SEO content which you can view the code in the previous blog post. Once I added the content I watched the SERPs daily. I included in my search terms Derek Hanson and in the url space &pws=0 which removes search personalized results. Here are what the results look like.

 Derek Hanson Image Results in Page 2 of Google after Schema Tagging
Derek Hanson Image results in page 1 of Bing after Schema tagging

The image as seen is in the second page of search results. I checked the results nearly daily to see how would end up. I also include in the search terms &pws=0 to remove the personalized results. Within one week the image I tagged with schema was listed in the second page of Google search results. Within the near two week result Google had the image at the top of the second page while Bing shows up in the first page. So it seems that Bing actually appears in the search results quicker than Google.

Something I also noticed was LinkedIn images were well indexed in search results. Better than images in Twitter or Facebook. If you look at the code you will notice that there are similar schema tags for profile images as well as the content. Makes me wonder about the tag because it doens’t fit the standard. Perhaps it’s because the standard is fairly new.

span id="name" class="n fn"
span class="given-name">Derek /span

span class="family-name">Hanson /span

The results perhaps are a bit unscientific but still interesting. Perhaps more tests are in order. If you’ve started using schema tags let me know how you use them. I would be interested in seeing what the results are.

Schema Tagging For Profile Pic

Ever heard of Schema? The definition is:

A representation of a plan or theory in the form of an outline or model

As such Google, Bing, and Yahoo have put together a site called to help develop a microformat standard. I thought I would give my hand a try to help get more pictures of myself on the web. Part of my test here is to see if this information at all effects listings in search results. Specifically pictures.

Derek Hanson
Derek Hanson At Bobby Flay Restaurant
This was from my visit to New York City for my anniversary.

Here is the markup for based off of

< div itemscope itemtype="">
span itemprop="name">Derek Hanson

What will be interesting to see is how this effects organic ranking factors for search results. Microdata has been around for a while but what makes interesting is that mobile devices access this data. A lot of buzz has come out about publishers using this for the author tag. Makes since if you are PR person or a blogger. But there is so much more from using for your resume to product description.

You can learn more about the markup from

Ideas to Help You Stand Out to Employers

Recently, I have had more hope of getting job in recent months. I’ve put a lot of thought into creating a personal brand that helps me stand out from the rest of my competition. Here are some things that might help you get the upper hand on your competition. I can’t say that everything will work but I think that marketing yourself is the first step to getting noticed.

  • Buy a domain with your name in it. Preferrably with your first and last name. This can have, .net, or .org. If your not sure how to do it you could also get a blog through soemthing like,, or Each are respected blogging sites.
  • Create a Social Presence. This is a great way to show up if your potential employer is looking for you. It doesn’t have to look like Twitter or Facebook but somewhere your peers and potential employers might see you. Twitter and Facebook though are highly indexed and are easy to show up in search results.
  • Brand Yourself. Treat yourself as a brand and get things like a logo, business cards, stationary, and other products that will help you stand out. Pick up social profiles so that your name appears for more search results. Namechk has a large list of social profiles with a search query which will tell you if your name is taken or not.
  • If you are out of work find a nonprofit you can work for that will help you continue your experience. Nonprofits need help and are often open to having someone help out. Keeping active will help you not fall completely behind in the business world. I personally have volunteered for things like the Portland Social Media Club and a nonprofit as well.
  • Networking. It is all in who you know. The more people the better. Go to things that you can connect with other business people. You will never know who you might meet that ends up being your new boss or helped you get an interview. Use Meetup to find people and interest groups that you can relate to.
  • Learn. Learning is an essential part to keeping your skill current. Even if you are employed learning will help step forward in your career. The problem is your family, coworkers, boss, and friends may not be on board with the time it takes to learn. So carve out time that will help continue your skill training.

What things are you finding helpful in making you stand out to employers? Have you had any success that you would like to share.

Personal Growth for 2011

The year 2010 really looked nothing like Space Odyssey 2010. Instead of fantastic missions to Jupiter the real odyssey was social media. More people stared into the great oblivion of Smallville or Facebook status updates than anything else. I perhaps were one of those men who stare at Facebook statuses and yet I want to be more successful than others. What does it take to be just a little better than the next guy.

It takes focus. Focus on things that matter that actually get you somewhere and that a geo location service won’t let you tweet. What do I do? Try to emulate someone. Really follow someone’s thinking and leadership even from afar. Then start modeling your life a little like theirs without being creepy. Then get out there a work at it hard. So for the strategy here are my goals.
1) Write more frequently. I am not an excellent writer but I hope to improve that and perhaps one day I will be at least decent.
2) Continued education. Spanish, javascript, more Adobe products, search engine marketing, and analytics.
3) Foster professional and personal relationships.
4) Start yet another blog that has been lingering in the recesses of my brain.

Really, if the world ends in 2012 most of this won’t matter. How are you improving yourself this year. What goals are you setting to improve who you are?

301 My Person

The last few months I have embarked on a new adventure in entrepreneurship.   I started a business called Emprise Media an internet marketing firm for small business.   But this post isn’t about my adventures in startups but to say where I planning to go in 2011.

What I plan to do with Derek Live is to rebrand this site to make it a blog on personal branding.   The reason is that I want the internet marketing to fit the business I am working on and the personal branding to fit who I am.  I might talk about marketing but I hope to cover a little more on the personal side of things.  So to keep in touch with the 301, a file often used for redirecting web pages, side of things I wish that redirecting my current persona could be a little easier.    However, I hope to bring something useful to the whole branding community or simply help those trying to get a job.

Wordcamp Portland 2010

Wordcamp Portland 2010 was a great experience. I figured this conference matched some of my goals like becoming more versatile at using WordPress. The reason is that I have found the joy of working on WordPress. To date I have had the opportunity to work on 7 sites that operate off of the CMS. To say, I have found that WordPress is the tool that I have grown to love and use. That being said there were a few things that I learned from Wordcamp Portland that I simply want to share.

The first comes about child themes. I had on many occasions look with jealousy at sites that had custom themes. I would look at the code wondering if the site was hand coded simply to find that they were operating on WordPress. The CSS files had what I like to call a branded css file. Now I know. It is a child theme and you can learn all about it from WordPress on how to build one out. But I will simply cover it.

1) Choose a theme you like. The nice thing with this is that you reduce the amount of time that it takes to hand code something from scratch. Then activate the file.

2) Create a new folder or directory under your themes section. You want to go to your site file transfer and open up the folder under WP-Content > Themes. Here is where you title your custom theme as the folder.

3) Now make a css file with this included.


Theme Name: Your Theme Name
Theme URI: http://www. YourSiteHere .com/
Description: Description of your theme here
Author:  Your Name Here
Template:twentyten  < This tells what theme is based off
Version 1.0 <What Version of the theme>


@import url(‘../themename/style.css’); (This is the theme you are calling.  So whatever theme this is you want where I have put themename to be the title).  For instance if you use Twenty Ten you want the folder to be name twentyten.

The import is the most important aspect.  Without it you will not have it working off of the framework of the pre-existing site work.

4)  Save this under your new folder.  Now go back to your WordPress control panel and activate the theme.

You can make edits in your css file for any or all of the preexisiting file you are calling.  For instance if you want to make an edit to the body tag you can simply do the change in your css file and it will override that one element in the css file calling without editing the whole css file.

The second was about plugins that different users had installed.  I will write about them soon.

Making Reviews Easy for Customers

Making reviews easy for customers is as simple of asking for them and hading them a business card.

I am following up with yesterday’s post on customer reviews. I gave reasons to start asking for reviews but today I want to help you to think about getting reviews. This comes down to you providing the means for people to write a review. If people are 10 times more likely share a bad experience how much more do you need to fight for recommendation on good experiences? I think that our fears are people will then write a negative review. The truth is that they are going to do that any way so why not ask those that haven’t thought about. Here is how you can get those glowing reviews.

Start asking your repeat customers for a review. These are the easiest because they are already committed to your business. You have established rapport with them so leverage that relationship to get the ball running.
Next you should include links from your website to places where people can write a review. Instead of having your recommendations on the site you can use the business listing as a way to show the authenticity of your customers. This will also help people to include a comment about your company.

Then you should include something on promotional material for these sites. Put your website and how to write a review for the company. As you ask for feedback you can hand them your business card and it has a way to remind them of your request. Not everyone will do it but you reducing the barriers to getting yourself recommended. On the rest of your materials you can have a way for people to recognize your business for a job well done.

Finally, don’t sweat the disgruntled people. There are people out there who may not like you but if you are doing a great job then you have really nothing worry about. If you are concerned, simply gauge the level of satisfaction and then ask for that recommendation. I would lean toward attempting to get as much feedback as possible. For people who are not happy it might be your opportunity to shine all the more and resolve the situation. The result could be your greatest customer today.

Local business reviews really are a benefit to any company who utilizes them. The easier you make it for them the more you will get. So start asking and see where it takes you. Do you have ways in which you are using recommendations online? Has utilizing reviews been successful for you? Share your thoughts about gaining customer reviews.