“Your Brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Developing your personal brand is essential because it can open many business opportunities. It can lead to better clients, recognition in your industry and more money. Customers trust people more than corporations and that’s why you should focus on building your personal brand.
Check out 8 great strategies that successful people never told you about personal branding:
1. They Own Their Name Online
When you start becoming successful you will face people who will be jealous of your accomplishments. Some of them might write inaccurate things about you in an attempt to bring you down.
Your name is your reputation and you should grab your own domain name immediately, whether you plan to use it or not. You should never risk letting someone getting your domain name and hurt your reputation! Never!
You can buy domain names economically from sites like namecheap for just 10$. It’s very important to buy a .com domain name because this is the default ending almost everybody knows.
If you have a very common name like Garry Jones and you can’t find a garryjones.com domain you could buy the inverted version: JonesGarry.com or you could buy a domain adding your profession in the link.
For instance, if you are a personal trainer you could buy the domain Garryjonesfitness.comAdvertising
A great example of a successful man who owns his online name is Neil Patel.
2. They Help Other People a Lot
The best strategy you can use if you want to grow your personal brand is to genuinely help people. Those who are successful in personal branding like to help others without any selfish motives.
This not only makes them feel great but their generosity returns back from multiple sources. You should try to help people even if there is nothing in there for you.
Most people remember who helped them and they will stand by your side in the future if you ever need them. Sure, many people are selfish, care only about themselves and they won’t help you even if you help them.
But some of them will appreciate your generosity and will eventually return it back either by helping you in something else or by talking to other people about how great you are.
This creates buzz around your name which is essential for your brand’s growth.
3. They Give Importance in Social Media
Twitter is a good network in connecting people especially if you can intrigue users with your mentions. But you shouldn’t stay only in twitter. Build profiles in Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Stumbleupon and Instagram.
Set up your profile in every social media and be sure to link to each other. After registering you don’t have to develop one hundred social media accounts simultaneously. Focusing on too many things is a recipe for failure.Advertising
Pick 1-2 social media that you prefer depending on your niche and focus on them. Having profiles on the other social media won’t harm you at all and it will help to dominate the search results with your name.
Bow you might be thinking that managing a lot of social media profiles can be a exhausting and time-consuming. That’s why you could use a tool like HootSuite that helps you schedule your tweets, facebook posts etc and check your updates in all your profiles simultaneously.
4. They Use Smiling Photos in Their Social Media Profiles
Smiling costs nothing, it’s easy to implement and creates an emotional connection with your audience. People buy from people that they know and trust.Smiling can make you look more friendly and speed up the emotional connection between you and your fans, readers or potential customers.
Have you ever thought why being around children who smile makes you smile too? Because smile is contagious and this applies even to strangers.
A research from British researchers has found that smiling can be as stimulating as 2000 chocolate bars or 25.000$ in cash. That’s how powerful a simple smile is.
5. They Are Living Their Brands
Your brand is more than just what you say about yourself. It’s a symbol, a feeling, sound, tonality and much more. It’s the emotion you create to your customers.
People who have built successful personal brands are the ones who totally believe in what they teach. They not only talk the talk but also walk the walk showing the example to their followers. Your fans can sense when you are inauthentic and in the first hint of fraud they will walk away.
6. They Leverage Content Marketing
Nowadays, in an age of technology and internet expansion it is essential to create and distribute your knowledge and expertise online. Internet is one of the best ways to build your brand and gain publicity. Of course, you should care about helping people (look number 2) and providing useful advice.Advertising
If you do this you will be considered trustworthy and you will start building an audience. This audience will help in spreading your content and boost your brand’s growth.
A good idea is to start your own blog, which you must have done already (look number 1) and update it at least 2-3 times per week. However writing content only for your blog when you are new and nobody knows you is like talking in an empty classroom. That’s why you should try guest blogging to build your reputation and gain traffic from bigger blogs.
7. They Use Guest Blogging to Build Their Brand
Jon Morrow from Boostblogtraffic has said that the only thing he would focus on to build his personal brand if he was starting from the scratch is guest blogging. Guest blogging is one of the best ways to gain exposure to new audiences that you couldn’t reach normally.
It also improves your brand recognition and makes your name more trustworthy. According to Jon, it’s also a great way to gain experience as a writer and improve your writing skills.
8. They Build Relationships With Influencers
Networking is one of the most important aspects of personal branding. You should constantly try to come in contact with influencers and well-known people in your niche. However you should be careful and don’t become annoying. Influencers are extremely busy and helping someone they don’t know isn’t in their priority list.
They constantly receive a ton of pitches from people like you who want exposure and advice. In my experience, if you want to build relationships with them you should:
1. Have high quality content that offers value to people.
Without that you will never get the influencers share your work.Advertising
2. Help the influencers.
If you are wondering about how you can help the influencers I have some ideas for you:
- Point out broken links. You can do that with the Check My Links Google Chrome extension.
- Check out their blog and find something like a bug, a problem in navigation or something that needs improvement. Some weeks ago I messaged an influencer in the fitness niche and told him that his mailing list button didn’t work. Some days after, he linked to my content without even asking him. Most readers don’t really care to point out something like that because they are bored to contact the influencers. Taking the time to help and give them value can separate you from the rest who just want to take without giving.
3.Leave insightful comments on their blogs and share their best work in your social media profiles daily so you can get into their radars.
4. Link to their articles from your blog. Of course you should not overdo it and link only if they have written something relevant which is also extremely useful.
5. Interact with them on social media. For instance, if they ask a question take some time to answer and tell them your opinion.
You should have in mind that building your personal brand takes time. How much? It takes as long as it takes. It’s a continuous process and not an one-night-stand.
Though overnight success doesn’t exist, investing to your personal branding and reputation is one of the best investments you could ever make.
Do you have any other ideas that can help in building your personal brand? I would love to hear your opinions or even your personal branding stories in the comments below.
Featured photo credit: Steve Jurvetson via flickr.com
Last Updated on February 20, 2019
The Most Critical Career Advice that Helps You Climb the Career Ladder
You’ve got about three years in your current gig, and you love it. But you are reminded every now and then that there is greener grass somewhere. You would like for it to be here. But you’re willing to go elsewhere.
Regardless of whether you stay or go, you want more. How do you advance and skyrocket your earning potential? Where do you go to seek career advice?
In preparing for this article, I started hearing myself giving little tidbits of advice to my former students and new professionals. It occurred to me that these gems of wisdom are applicable to almost any career setting, and are especially impactful when you want to advance.
Then I recalled various bits of career advice I had been given over the years. And these have definitely resonated with me over the years as I’ve changed jobs multiple times.
Let’s get started.
1. Be Diplomatic
I shared this with a student leader at a large urban institution back in 2003. She was a very bold and outspoken young woman who wanted to be heard and make a difference.
On occasion, these desires made her difficult to work with. Olivia Edwardson wrote this about diplomacy in the workplace,
“To be diplomatic, you need to understand and define your expectations clearly. What is it that you need, and what needs to be done in order to achieve this goal? At the same time, you must consider everyone else’s perspective: some tasks require different levels of help, and finding a balance between what everyone wants is crucial.”
How does this apply to you boosting your earning potential? In considering others’ perspective and finding balance, you show your managers that you are a team player and willing to work with others.
This insures that you are adding value to the company on a regular basis.
2. Embrace the Shades of Gray
I’m not talking the best selling novel here; I mean dealing with ambiguity.
In my first senior management position, my entire staff was also brand new and we were learning institutional culture day by day.
Through this process, I had to model to my team the importance of being in the middle and not always making decisions from an all-or-nothing perspective. The plan isn’t always going to go from A to Z in alphabetical order.
Melanie Allen has said,
“the best leaders are those that rise to the challenge of ambiguity and respond with confidence and adaptability.”
This means not being in control all the time, and learning to deal with uncertainty. It also requires that you be present, in the moment, so you can roll with the punches.
Getting comfortable with shades of gray can impact your earning potential in demonstrating your flexibility and willingness to accept change.
In trying times at corporations, managers and supervisors want leaders who are not stuck in their ways. Advancement comes to those who can go with the flow.
3. Keep Your Resume Updated (And Your Skills Fresh)
When was the last time you updated your resume? When you started job searching? After accepting a new job? Or every time you learned a new skill or took on a new project?
Prior to landing in my current position at a community college, I changed jobs every two years or so. That’s the topic of another article, but suffice to say that I got comfortable making updates and changes to that document.
When I switched to a Strengths-Focused resume in 1999, that changed everything for me. I learned how to represent my skills and achievements in my resume rather than just listing a bunch of “stuff” that I’d performed in my various jobs.
I push my agenda of a strengths-focused resume to about every career-changer with whom I interact, and for good reason.
This type of document has never failed to get me interviews.
But getting back to how often you should update your resume…
Any time you develop a skill, create a program, or make a major change at your current place of employment.
In my current position, I’ve learned the basics of public relations, web design, communications and marketing, and branding all from the assignments and projects delegated to me.
Based on these new skills, I taught myself to use WordPress and other online tools because of the added value I bring to the organization now that I know these skills.
Walter Yate from Career Cast says of your resume,
“You can start to change the trajectory of your life as soon as you take control of your career, with the careful development of the tools and skills of the new career management; and that all starts with owning a resume that gets results.
A resume is the foundation of your brand and is your primary marketing tool. When your resume works the doors of opportunity open for you, when it doesn’t they don’t. Keep your resume current at all times because you never know when you will need it, for that next promotion or a new job.”
Well, I couldn’t have said that better myself.
4. Never Turn down More Responsibility
Wait, doesn’t this advice fly in the face of the whole work/life balance thing?
Yes and no.
Let’s first ask why you are being offered the additional responsibility.
Is it because someone left the organization and the work needs to be spread out amongst the team?
Is it because you did an incredible job on the previous assignment and your supervisor trusts you and recognizes your added value?
Is it because you’re being groomed for a promotion and your supervisor is running a little experiment with you?
It could be any or all or none of these. Your attitude and response will mean everything in this situation.
Accept the additional work with grace and style, and learn as much as you can. Then two or three weeks later you can bring up the new tasks with your supervisor and explore why the work was given to you.
Business Insider says,
“Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to take on more responsibility is a great way to grow personally and professionally.”
Talk to your boss, be proactive, and make the new work fun.
Approaching the new work with a negative attitude and a “woe is me” is just a sign to your boss that you aren’t up to the challenge. And then that added value you just landed is gone. And you aren’t being a team player.
5. Add Value to Your Organization
By making yourself indispensable to your organization and demonstrating to your supervisor how you contribute, you should find yourself climbing the ladder at your current place of employment or getting the reference needed to secure that ideal job at the new firm.
But what exactly does it mean to “Add Value?”
Simply speaking, adding value is making a product more appealing to its customers. Making it better, showing how innovative and multifaceted it is, things like that.
Now you’re going to figure that out about YOU.
Chrissy Scivicque of Eat Your Career identified six ways that an employee can add value to an organization:
- Save money
- Make money
- Improve efficiency of a process or procedure
- Improve quality of a product or service
- Fix an existing problem
- Prevent a future problem
These themes are pretty simple: if you can handle money, problems, and processes well, then you can add value to your employer. So start approaching your day to day tasks in those terms.
Do you produce a fundraising event every year? Determine how you can raise more money while spending less on the event.
Do you have a brave idea on how you can make that annual job fair run more efficiently? Draft your idea and present it to your supervisor.
Has your team leader consistently asked you and your peers to think more critically on the problem of staff turnover? Do some research and propose a couple solutions.
Keep in mind that to prove you are adding value, you actually have to do the work. You have to be proactive, innovative, and have the organization’s best interests in mind.
I thought it would be fun to get some additional pieces of advice from some actual managers out there…so I polled some of my colleagues around the country, both from higher education and the private sector. Here’s what they shared with me on how to advance your career:
“Put together data or examples to show the value the said employee has brought to the department. Don’t wait until annual review time – it’s generally too late!”
“Never be afraid to speak up during staff meetings or personal 1:1 sessions with supervisors. Pointing out carefully considered ideas and being willing to take on new responsibilities with various staff members shows flexibility, professionalism, and motivation.”
“They have to demonstrate that they are all-in on the values of the company. This can be tricky in environments where employee and supervisor are of different generations. At 25, I may think I’m working hard, but my 60-year-old boss might think I’m just doing what’s expected.”
“Do what you do well and be fully present at all times.”
“Bottom line is the key. If you are increasing income, you deserve to share in it.”
What was the best piece of career advice you’ve received, and how did it impact your earning potential?
Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com
|||^||Olivia Edwardson: The Benefits of Diplomacy in the Workplace|
|||^||Melanie Allen: Dealing with ambiguity and developing resilience|
|||^||Career Cast: When Should You Update Your Resume?|
|||^||Business Insider: 5 Ways To Take On More Responsibility At Work|
|||^||Eat Your Career: 6 Ways to Add Value to Your Organization & Advance Your Career|