“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 September 18, 2018
17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team
Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?
Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.
Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.
After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?
Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:
1. Show your appreciation
In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.
The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.
Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.
2. Communicate effectively
Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.
Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.
3. Be open to dialogue
Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.
New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.
In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.
For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.
4. Provide constructive criticism
Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.
So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.
Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.
Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.
Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.
5. Conduct one-on-ones
Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?
While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.
Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.
More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.
6. Build training programs
In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.
From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.
While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.
7. Offer growth opportunities
Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.
Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.
Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.
8. Reward them
Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.
If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.
Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.
9. Encourage team outings
Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.
From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!
10. Involve them
Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.
Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.
11. Set meaningful goals
In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.
Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.
12. Empower them
You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.
Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.
Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.
13. Deal with conflict
A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.
How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.
As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.
14. Implement a flexible work culture
Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.
Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.
It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.
15. Host engaging activities
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?
From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.
16. Maintain a positive work space
Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.
Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.
These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.
17. Avoid discrimination
Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.
In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.
The bottom line
Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.
It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.
This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com