“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
Published on November 12, 2020
5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)
What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.
Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.
Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.
While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.
Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.
1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”
When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).
Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.
In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:
- Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
- Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
- Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.
While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision. That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.
2. There’s a Lack of Diversity
Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.
Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.
Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.
However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”
3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed
Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.
But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.
It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.
4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority
Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.
Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.
5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent
Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office. It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.
For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.
How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment
The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.
If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.
Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.
It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.
If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.
If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?
It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.
More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment
- Signs of a Toxic Workplace and How to Deal with It
- 5 Types of Toxic Employees And How You Can Deal With Them
- 7 Kinds Of Toxic Bosses You Need To Avoid
Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com