“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 April 17, 2019
10 Essential Soft Skills That Will Help Advance Your Career
What’s the secret of professional success? Some of it lies in the mastery of your discipline and all the technical skills you have to carry out your job; but a much bigger part lies in the soft skills list you possess.
Soft skills are your people or relationship skills—how well you get along with others and your ability to communicate and collaborate—as well as the personal characteristics you bring to the job, such as optimism, a can-do attitude and the motivation to work hard. These skills are not always easy to point out, but their absence can cause serious problems and negatively affect the whole work atmosphere.
They say that hard skills will help you get the job, but soft skills will help you get along—and get ahead. With that in mind, here’s the top-10 essential soft skills list to help you advance your career.
1. Communication Skills
Communication skills are hands-down the most sought-after soft skill that bosses want, and this one ability covers a lot of ground.
To communicate well, you have to listen carefully, interpret the context of the conversation, express yourself clearly, persuade others of your point of view, check your body language and use an engaging presentation style that won’t intimidate or bore your audience. That’s a big ask!
Your personality traits can influence the way you communicate with others. For instance, some people get straight to the point and center their arguments around facts and logic; others are cooperative and sensitive to how others feel. Both these approaches are equally valuable but there can be misunderstandings if you don’t understand where the other person is coming from.
Taking a comprehensive personality test can help you understand why you communicate the way you do and where your blind spots are. It can also help you understand other communication styles is so you can tailor your communication to the person you’re dealing with.
After all, connecting with your conversation partner is the hallmark of good communication.
Change is an essential part of any business. Companies need employees who are flexible enough to work with new initiatives, open to new ideas, and generally are able to tough it out when things don’t go as planned.
Research has found a link between job performance and flexibility over the long term because there will be times when you have to step outside your routine and rise to fresh challenges that didn’t exist before.
Being flexible doesn’t mean you have to hop into a new task or job role like an expert. Rather, it’s about showing you’re willing to accept new responsibility and learn different things.
Bosses look for people who are prepared to step outside their comfort zones and are open to alternative solutions when their first idea doesn’t work.
3. Being a Team Player
Working on a team can be challenging but learning to do it well can definitely help you get ahead in your career. Employers look for people who can negotiate, cooperate and manage conflicts with other people to achieve a common goal. That includes the ability to build lasting relationships with customers and clients.
What makes a good team player? Essentially, it’s someone who knows the goal and knows her role. Employers look for evidence that you know your strengths, your responsibilities and how you can best contribute to the team, then put those skills into action by sharing ideas and communicating in a respectful manner. That’s the definition of being a good team player.
This is another area where taking a personality test can help you get ahead. When teams work together, each member brings a unique set of skills and qualities to the group. Research has shown that different combinations of personalities affect how teams collaborate and how productive they are.
Knowing who you are, and how you work on a team, can drive new insights and open the door to better teamwork.
4. Positive Mental Attitude
There are plenty of things you can’t change at work, like the people you work with or the fact that the printer is broken again. The one thing you can change is how much you let these things bother you.
Bosses like people who are calm, rational and upbeat—those who diffuse tensions in the workplace, not get all grouchy and go around slamming doors.
Studies show that people who maintain a sunny disposition have better relationships at work, are happier in their jobs and make better decisions than those who whine and complain. Some suggest that a positive mental attitude can also make you live longer—which means it’s beneficial for every area of your life!
It’s not always easy to keep a “glass half full” mentality when work is stressful and the deadlines are piling up. But there are some things you can do to help maintain a positive attitude. Laughing at your unfortunate circumstances keeps the work environment positive, and taking “sanity” breaks can help you keep your cool in high-pressure situations.
Managers look for positive mental attitude in a team member that is ready for a promotion, so it really does pay to keep your cool in challenging situations.
5. A Strong Work Ethic
People with a strong work ethic are committed to the role, persevere when things get tough and are inspired by challenge. These people are ambassadors for the organization, and will always be seen as top talent and ideal candidates.
If you can exhibit this skill, then expect to be seen as a great candidate, eligible for new opportunities and positions throughout your career.
Since a strong work ethic can mean different things to different people, it helps to show specific examples of your exceptional work ethic during a performance appraisal or interview. For instance, you might talk about:
- A time when you persisted in the face of challenges and did not shy away from hard work.
- How you volunteered to help with projects even though these tasks did not form part of your job description.
- The networking, workplace learning and skills betterment you’ve undertaken, which shows ambition and drive (people with a strong work ethic have those qualities in spades).
- How you own your mistakes and never, ever point the finger of blame at others.
For help with building a strong work ethic, check out these tips: How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic
6. Public Speaking
Who’s terrified of public speaking? Pretty much everyone, since public speaking is America’s number one fear, ahead of death at number five and loneliness at number seven.
Yet, according to Warren Buffett, mastering this one skill you could increase your personal value by 50 percent. That’s huge!
If you’re not natural at public speaking, you’re in good company. Buffett had to work hard to overcome his stage fright and once dropped out of a public-speaking course before it started—because he was afraid of public speaking! He eventually realized that he needed to build up his confidence by just doing it; over and over in front of small groups.
For a more structured approach, Toastmasters International teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a variety of pathways. Membership of this non-profit looks good on your resume but the real payoff will come when you can put your newfound skills to use on the job or in the interview room.
Or, you can check out this advice: The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience
From a manager’s point of view, the two integrity skills that will set you apart are:
- Always doing what you say you will do
- Owning an error instead of minimizing or hiding it
…even when no one is around to check up on you.
There are lots of people who have climbed the ladder without scruples, but they are not the people who others trust, respect and support when promotion time comes around.
Behaving with integrity is a safe and consistent way to enhance your reputation and achieve your professional goals.
8. Managing Your Time
Phone calls, texts, Slack pings, meetings, huddles, side projects, multitasking—we are busier today than any generation before us. There’s no denying the workplace is an incredibly distracting place to be.
A lot of us have traded effectiveness for busyness which we wear as a badge of honor, both as a proxy for productivity and to show our value to the company. But what bosses want, what they really, really want, is someone who actually gets stuff done on time.
Time management is not merely the art of being on time, but of managing your time so you focus on the projects that really matter and add value to the business. This means prioritizing well, sticking to schedules, delegating, and not getting distracted by tasks that are easier to perform or less important. It means planning ahead and learning when it’s appropriate to say no.
Time management can be a tough skill to maintain, but not a difficult one to pick up. Monitor your actions for a few days—how long do your tasks take to finish? What’s interrupting you? What causes you to lose focus? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can set a schedule for yourself to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and this valuable asset is never wasted.
These 20 Quick Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity are also great to try.
In any workplace, you typically will find people with the following conflict styles:
- Passive: Those who go out of their way to avoid conflict.
- Passive-aggressive: Those who express their negative feelings through actions rather than words.
- Aggressive: Those who respond to conflict in a hostile and rude manner. These people get their opinion heard but they won’t make any friends in the process.
- Assertive: People who stick up for their rights while still respecting the rights of others.
Managers look for assertiveness above all other styles because it allows decisions to be made without conflict or alienating people.
How do you use this information for yourself?
It starts with understanding your personality so you can anticipate how you will react when conflict arises and address your own shortcomings. Then, you can start influencing the team for top results, and securing your own career advancement in the process.
Learn how to be assertive and gain respect:
10. Creative Thinking
LinkedIn recently analyzed over 50,000 skills that employers search for when looking for candidates to find out what skills are currently in demand. Taking the number-one slot on the 2019 soft skills list was creativity: the ability to solve problems and think outside the box.
Creativity is about bringing fresh, and sometimes unorthodox, ideas to the table. This helps companies to innovate, and companies that do not innovate will not survive very long.
How do you showcase your creative thinking skills? The golden rule is to participate.
Be brave and share your ideas during group brainstorming sessions. Volunteer to run a society, networking event or recruitment drive. Ask “what if” questions: “What if we add this information to the client welcome pack?” “What if we eliminate step 3 from the process?”
These activities demonstrate that you’re prepared to go beyond “business as usual” towards creative problem solving—an ability that will serve you every day, all throughout your career.
You can learn to unleash your creativity power:
The good news? Every item on this soft skills list can be learned. Although you may feel lacking in certain areas, taking an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to focus in on the areas that you’ll benefit from developing.
So take an inventory of your personality, skills, and talents. This will give you a baseline for your communication style, attitude to change, conscientiousness and more. You can then identify your weak areas and develop strategies for improving your team-building, assertiveness and conflict skills.
The better news? The effort is worth it. Developing your soft skills opens the door to a new job or a promotion, and helps you succeed once you get there.
More Articles to Help Advance Your Career
- 17 Work Related Skills to Equip Yourself with for a Successful Career
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- Master These 15 Skills for Success to Get Ahead in Your Career
- How to Be Productive at Work: 9 Ground Rules
Featured photo credit: Rachael Gorjestani via unsplash.com
|||^||The New York Times: A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health|
|||^||Inc: Warren Buffett Was ‘Terrified’ of Public Speaking and Took 3 Steps to Conquer His Fear|
|||^||Linkedin: The Skills Companies Need Most in 2019 – And How to Learn Them|