Category Archives: Nick Nanton

Five Keys to Building and Maintaining a Powerful Online Presence

By Nick NantonNick Nanton

In the past, an online presence was a luxury – but as society’s focus and attention has shifted to the digital arena, it has become an absolute necessity. A carefully crafted website and fully-operational social media profiles can lay the framework for business success, whereas disorder and dysfunction can lead to outright failure.

Cautionary tales of businesses that merely established an Internet-identity abound, but failed to capitalize on their foray into the online market. Your website and social media outlets should serve as the technological extension of your face-to-face efforts. If the goods and services you provide are the award-winning entrée, your digital persona is the host that greets your patrons: and many a dining experience has been ruined by a poor first impression.

The continuously evolving nature of the online world may appear daunting at first glance, but the good news is that today’s technology makes it easier than ever for a business to create and maintain a stout Internet presence. While getting up and running seems simple enough, there’s still a lot of work that goes into creating an appealing and engaging personal brand online. There are five key components to building and maintaining a powerful online presence. How are you doing with each of these?

1) Your website should be branded, interactive and engaging. It’s not enough for a business website today to simply contain a list of information, a description of goods and services and contact information. An effective website must be engaging and compelling, and maintain the viewer’s attention to the point that they want to pick up the phone and find out more. That means understanding your target market enough to “hook” them – and it means creating a site that echoes your expertise and the brand you are creating.

When designing a top-flight company website – or consulting with a third-party that will handle the technical design aspects – you should make sure you’re keenly in-tune with your desired audience and customer-base. Your target market will greatly influence your projected online-branding, from the site’s individualized layout and color scheme to functionality. If there is disparity between your business goals and objectives and what you’re hoping to promote, it will glaringly reflect on your website.

2) Demonstrate value. “Value” is the magic word. If your website, blogs, articles, and social media outlets don’t provide tangible value to your audience, they will be ignored. Use these platforms to share breaking news, analyze recent developments, and provide informational and practical tips to your audience. Update on a regular and consistent basis with new and exciting content that proves beneficial to your online-readership.

3) Leverage email marketing. Social media is one great way to engage your audience – but it only works when they’re online and using social media themselves. Email marketing, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to consistently interact with your customers and your market as long as they are checking their email inbox (And these days, who isn’t?) Remember to focus on providing value in order to keep your readers engaged. However, if email marketing is overused it will be treated as spam. Keep your newsletters and e-updates to a monthly basis to maintain your maximum open-rate and subscriber base.

4) Want subscribers? Toss in a ‘freebie’. Your email marketing campaigns are a great way to stay top-of-mind with your customers and to keep your market aware of what you are offering. But if you don’t have any email addresses to send to, what does it matter? One of the most effective ways to build a targeted email list is by offering free content, such as e-books, special reports, video seminars, and so forth. Simply require that the user give you their email address in order to access the content. Promote these freebies on your website and through social media, and you will see your email list start to grow steadily.

5) Use pictures and video to tell your story. You know the saying – a picture is worth 1,000 words. A video is even more powerful. The simple truth is that pictures and video are far more engaging than pages and pages of text. So embrace it! Create a video introducing yourself and welcoming people to your site. Share pictures and video of your team at work. Post pictures of your latest products. Take advantage of visual media to keep your audience engaged and actively involved in your business.

Your online presence is one of the cornerstones of your business – and it should be treated as such. Guarantee that your body of Internet outlets – from your website to your social media platforms and email lists – are vibrant, highly-functional and continually updated with the latest information that is tailored to your target-audience. These sites do not exist simply as undeveloped advertising boards: they are an integral facet in the 21st Century marketplace and can be the main determinant in a successful outcome or a failing organization.

Nick Nanton, Esq. is an Emmy Award winning Director and Producer and CEO of The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency. As America’s #1 Business Agent and international speaker and consultant, he has refined the area of personal branding, direct media, marketing and PR for business growth. His newly released book StorySelling™ details the persuasive value of story in business and entrepreneurism, and outlines the steps necessary to achieve success in marketing through storytelling and media. For more information, or to have Nick speak at your next event, please visit www.DNAgency.com, email info@DNAgency.com or call 888-364-8101.

The “4 C’s” of Attaining Expert Status: Become a Celebrity Expert to Supercharge Your Brand and Your Profits

By Nick NantonNick Nanton

A local radio station was starting a new kind of late-night talk show, where people could call in to talk candidly – very candidly – about their relationship problems. The station had a problem of its own, however; because they had a comedian booked to host the show, they needed a real doctor on the line to give the callers credible, real-world advice. As you might imagine, it wasn’t easy to find a physician willing to stay up late every weeknight for a small paycheck. As a matter of fact, the only one willing to wasn’t officially a doctor yet, because he was still finishing up medical school. Nevertheless, they signed up Dr. Drew Pinsky, better known now as Dr. Drew, and unwittingly made him an international celebrity expert – all because he co-hosted “Loveline” with comic Adam Carolla on L.A.’s KROQ.

There’s no denying not much difference between Dr. Drew’s qualifications and those of hundreds of thousands of other doctors throughout America; he’s just the M.D. who happened to make a name for himself on a radio show. This just demonstrates that, if a fourth-year medical school student can become a Celebrity expert, it’s possible for virtually any professional, entrepreneur or business leader to also become one – and, in the process, attract more clients, command higher fees and increase their influence.

In order to stand out, though, you have to step out – and make yourself known to those who don’t already know you, whether it’s on a local, regional, national, or even international scale.

Here are the “4 C’s” that can kick-start your journey to becoming a popular and profitable leader in your field or industry:

#1 – Capitalize on “Public Moments”: A “Public Moment” is one in which you achieve something that can potentially attract the attention of a larger audience. It may not be the greatest feat of your career by any means, it’s just one that happens to draw a crowd.

For example, Dr. Oz, like Dr. Drew, didn’t become a medical superstar on his qualifications alone. When he assisted with the heart transplant operation on the brother of then-Yankees manager Joe Torre, he suddenly found himself with a lot of media attention – and was smart enough to leverage that attention to his advantage, making appearances on CNN and, most critically, Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. Winfrey, impressed with his knowledge and media savvy, then backed him in his own long-running daytime show.

Another prime example of this: Celebrity lawyer Robert Shapiro, who was virtually unknown outside of his field. When he took on the O.J. Simpson murder case in the 1990’s, however, millions watched him on a daily basis and his fame grew and grew. Today, he enjoys a lucrative income as the spokesperson for Legalzoom.com.

#2 – Connect with Powerful Networks: As noted, Dr. Oz became a superstar doctor through Oprah Winfrey – but he wasn’t the only one. So did Dr. Phil McGraw. When Winfrey hired McGraw’s consulting firm to help her fight a lawsuit in Texas, McGraw made every in-the-room moment with Winfrey count – which led to an appearance on her show and then, of course, to his own successful series.

When you’re able to open a door into a powerful and public network and make an impression with the VIPs that are a part of that network, as Dr. Phil did, you’ve found an incredibly effective method to build your celebrity expertstatus.

#3 – Contribute Your Expertise : Sometimes working for free can bring you a huge amount of professional rewards. Just ask the many, many talking heads on cable news networks who lunge for the phone when CNN, MSNBC, Fox or HLN calls. High-priced attorneys such as Alan Dershowitz don’t worry about a fee when they’re called to weigh in on a case on television. That’s because they know that, by continually being treated like a celebrity experton a network, they will continue to be perceived that way by potential clients and the media.

Whether it’s just a local newspaper or radio show, or an interview with CNN, talking to the media is always a great way to cement your expert credentials with the public. Even answering questions related to your field on Facebook or Twitter at no charge can help you show your expertise to your social media followers – and, more importantly, those followers’ friends who may have never heard of you before.

#4 – Create Content: What was the tipping point for Malcolm Gladwell becoming a celebrity expert? It was publishing his first book, The Tipping Point, back in 2000. By authoring a series of similar books about trends in modern business and society, Gladwell went from becoming a relatively unknown journalist to one of the highest-paid speakers today in the world.

When you create content, especially content with cutting-edge ideas and/or easy-to-use advice, you also create credibility for your personal brand. When you take that extra step and package that content in a professional and high-impact way, so much the better. Videos, blogs, articles and even social media posts are all methods that allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and skill in your own forum on your own terms – but nothing beats a book when it comes to really packing the necessary power to make you stand out from your peers.

The above are four of the most effective tools available to create the kind of personal brand that builds both your business and your own personal profile into a magnet for clients, acclaim and success.

Of course, you might ask yourself, “If I just develop my skills and knowledge, won’t I build that kind of brand on my own?” While you should certainly always strive to improve your capabilities, you also have to keep in mind the old philosophical dilemma, “If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?” In other words, you could become the best at what you do – but if nobody knows what you can do, it won’t matter to the outside world.

In contrast, the combination of advanced skills and celebrity expertstatus makes for a powerful one-two punch that can leave your competition reeling. So consider putting the “4 C’s” to work for you; you could “C” some amazing results that will markedly improve your career – and your life – forever.

Nick Nanton, Esq. is an Emmy Award winning Director and Producer and CEO of The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency. As America’s #1 Business Agent and international speaker and consultant, he has refined the area of personal branding, direct media, marketing and PR for business growth. His newly released book StorySelling™ details the persuasive value of story in business and entrepreneurism, and outlines the steps necessary to achieve success in marketing through storytelling and media. For more information, please visit www.DNAgency.com, email info@DNAgency.com or call 888-364-8101.

Tell Your Story – Sell Your Story: 4 Hollywood Plot Lines You Can Use to Build Your Business

By Nick NantonNick Nanton

Do you remember the story of how Sylvester Stallone became a star? He was a young actor down to his last dime. He hocked his wife’s jewelry; he even sold the dog to survive. But then he had an idea for a movie – a great movie. He knew a producing team that liked him and would read it when it was done – so he wrote the screenplay. And they went crazy over it. They offered him over a hundred thousand dollars.

And he said, “Fine…as long as I play the lead.”

The producers looked at him like he was nuts. He was a nobody.

Stallone, who wasn’t quite sure where his next meal was coming from, wouldn’t budge.

After months, the producers finally backed down. They decided they could make the movie for a low enough budget that they could at least make their money back. They made the deal – Stallone starred in the movie – and the film’s success took the world by storm.

Now do you remember the rest of the story? The above story is almost completely fabricated.

When the first “Rocky” film was released way back in 1976, the saga of Stallone’s career difficulties was a major part of the movie’s publicity campaign. Rocky, the underdog boxer was seen as an amazing parallel to Stallone’s actual life.

For that story to work, however, it had to resonate with the audience – which it did, big time. And nobody questioned it – until thirty years later, when Gabe Sumner, then marketing director of United Artists, spilled the beans. As Sumner said of the effort, “The press …they ate up the idea that this actor loved his work so much…It all became part of the underdog fabric that brought people in. Period. They just totally bought into it.”[1] (Italics are ours.)

Now – wouldn’t it be great to have people buy into your business with the same level of enthusiasm? Without you having to make up a story?

It can be done.

StorySelling: Finding the Plot for Your Business Success

The currency of the marketplace is storytelling – the best companies are tweeting, posting, and hashtagging their brands and building their business in the process. These are the four StorySelling plotlines the Italian Stallion’s handlers keyed into that made his publicity campaign a champ – and how you can make them work for you.

StorySelling Plot #1 – Overcoming the Monster: In Stallone’s StorySelling scenario, the monster he overcame in was Hollywood itself – the massive entertainment industry was not going to let a virtual unknown star in a film and damage its box office fortunes.

How you can use it: There are plenty of “monsters” that your potential clients and customers want to see destroyed – it’s just a matter of identifying the ones that fit into your profession or life story. Perhaps you took on the establishment in some significant way to come out on top. Or you’re a financial advisor who saw what the crash of 2008 (another “monster”) did to innocent people – and you set out to build an investment strategy that safeguards against that happening. There are many ways this plotline will pay off for your business.

StorySelling Plot #2 – Rags to Riches:The publicity machine portrayed Stallone as being so broke that he had to sell his dog! Not only that, but he was also portrayed as rejecting a six figure payday to hang on to his dream – which made his success story all the more sweet to the audience.

How you can use it: This is perhaps the easiest plot to translate to StorySelling. Most entrepreneurs started with virtually nothing and built their businesses from scratch – and they have plenty of stories to illustrate that point. Even if you come from well-off circumstances, you probably still have stories of the difficulties in beginning your business. For example, the branded film, “Car Men,” spotlighted car dealer Tracy Myers, whose dad owned his car lot before him. If you think there’s not much of a Rags-to-Riches quality to that, you’re wrong – because his dad made him start at the bottom, washing cars, and work his way up.

StorySelling Plot #3 – The Quest: Stallone’s quest was obvious – he not only wanted to sell his screenplay, he wanted to star in the movie as well.

How you can use it: If you had to search for the perfect location or the most powerful product or service to sell, or even just to be the best at what you do, that could be your version of The Quest. When anyone is in pursuit of a dream, and is willing to face all kinds of hardship to reach that goal, we identify with that person and want a happy ending. That creates a desire in consumers to buy this wonderful “something.”

StorySelling Plot #4 – Rebirth: The Stallone StorySelling effort pictured him as completely “dead” career-wise. When the movie went on to become an Oscar-winner, you could definitely say Stallone was reborn.

How you can use it: Rebirth is an amazing StorySelling plot if you’ve gone through tough times and made it back to success. During the 2012 SuperBowl, when Clint Eastwood walked down a dark alley to sell the comeback of Chrysler, it created a powerful moment. And it’s not the first time Chrysler pulled off the Rebirth trick to great effect – way back in the 1980’s, then-CEO Lee Iacocca promoted the brand in commercials after the car company came back from bankruptcy.

All four of these plots share an important attribute that makes them effective in StorySelling: they are all about overcoming obstacles to achieve a rewarding conclusion. Building your business through StorySelling is not only a powerful tool – it’s genuine. When you’re honest about your struggles, your audience relates – and when you triumph over them, your audience stands up and cheers…

…just like at the end of (what else?)…a Rocky movie!

Nick Nanton is an Emmy Award winning Director and Producer and CEO of The Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency. As America’s #1 Business Agent and international speaker and consultant, he has refined the area of personal branding, direct media, marketing and PR for business growth. His newly released book StorySelling™ details the persuasive value of story in business and entrepreneurism, and outlines the steps necessary to achieve success in marketing through storytelling and media. For more information, please visit www.DNAgency.com, email info@DNAgency.com or call 888-364-8101.


[1] Alex Ben Block, “The Untold Story: ‘Rocky’ Underdog Origin a Studio Myth,” Hollywood Today, December 20th, 2006