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8 Secrets People Good At Personal Branding Never Told You

8 Secrets People Good At Personal Branding Never Told You

“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.com

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Conclusion

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

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Damian "Pros" Prosalendis

Entrepreneur, Business Owner

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Last Updated on December 5, 2018

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

How to Lead a Team More Effectively and Be a True Leader at Work

Being an efficient manager and a charismatic boss at the same time can seem like an impossible task. Is there a way to deliver the desired results for your business while remaining liked and respected by your staff?

We all know bad examples of team leaders who seem to fail at one aspect or the other, or even at both. But we’ve also heard of awesome managers who seem to juggle both things well enough.

How do they do it?

By sticking to few proven ways that let them maintain a positive karma score while remaining efficient. In this article, we’ll guide you through 11 smart management tips on how to lead a team and become something more than a boss – a leader.

1. Find a Management Strategy and Stick to It

There’s nothing worse than a boss that keeps changing his or her opinions and assignments depending on their mood or a book they read this week. Chaotic decisions increase the insecurity and frustration of your team, so you better find your strategy and stick to it.

If you do find some new methods you want your staff to follow, make sure they don’t contradict the general direction you are taking. Otherwise, you risk making your team take one step forward and two steps back.

2. Set Goals​ and Track Progress in Reaching Them

Set individual and collective goals​ for your team and track the progress in reaching them. This might sound obvious at first, but too often we find ourselves stuck between daily customer requests and monthly reports, and the bigger goal or vision seems to fade away.

According to Elon Musk (and many other successful CEOs around the Globe), it’s crucial to have a clear and motivating aim to where the company is heading. His aim for the space transportation company SpaceX is “to make humankind a multi-planetary species”.[1] That’s a huge goal but the company is slowly moving closer to it by reaching smaller steps and milestones, like launching self-landing rockets. This is also a very inspiring and meaningful goal that helps employees endure the company’s extremely high expectations and 60 to 70-hour work weeks.[2]

Even if your goals are not as grand, setting and reaching milestones will give you a clear insight into the team’s overall efficiency and daily progress. With time, you will be able to see the weak spots and improve your results.​

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3. Demand Learning from Your Team

CEO of print on demand startup Printful, Davis Siksnans, believes that:[3]

“The key for a company going through rapid growth is to empower your employees’ self-development.”

His company with 500 employees spanning two continents demands a culture of learning and provides all the tools necessary to do it.

Their idea is –  as the company scales, people have to grow in their positions too, which means that they have to be constantly learning. Siksnans says:

“We try to hire people for what they might become, but they need to have that drive.“

Alternatively, you can provide educational courses for your employees or invite informal lecturers to educate and inspire your team. You can also encourage peer-to-peer learning by asking employees to teach their particular experience or skill to co-workers.

4. Invest in a Pleasant Work Environment

Studies show that a well-designed office environment can increase your team’s overall performance by as much as 20%. You’ll be surprised to see that even very small interior tweaks that don’t require major investments can improve your workers’ performance.

Some ideas for a more productive and pleasing work environment:

  • Invest in modern furniture – offer ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and individually arranged workplaces​.
  • Start an in-house library – reading for pleasure just 30 minutes a day is proven to be enough to become more effective at work,[4] improve focus, and deal with problems like depression and anxiety.​
  • Play jazzy office music – rhythmic background music will help workers feel more energetic and enthusiastic while doing everyday tasks.​
  • Set up entertainment or break rooms – being able to relax and have fun at work creates a strong commitment, helps employees relax and clear their minds, and boosts productivity.​
  • Bring in uplifting office decor – it’s been found that art in the workplace can boost productivity,[5] lower stress, and even encourage employees to innovate.​
  • Decorate the office with live plants for freshness and a welcoming feel. Furthermore, plants are found to ensure better air quality and increase workers’ productivity by 15%.[6]

5. Be Kind and Sincere to Your Team

Did you know that 50% of employees quit because they dislike working with their manager?[7] In fact, most times when people leave their jobs they actually leave their managers. Being friendly and sincere may not be enough to be a successful manager, but it’s a big part of it.

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Some ways to show you appreciate and care for your staff:

  • Celebrate the progress and achievements of your employees. And don’t be shy to simply say thanks.​
  • Talk to your employees regularly and really listen to what they have to say. Address their concerns, help them reach their goals and do your best to improve their work and daily life.
  • If you’re having a bad day, don’t pour out your stress and anger on the staff. Instead, try to recharge yourself by appreciating the achievements of your team and setting the next goals.
  • Try not to overload your team with work. Every company has rush periods when it’s okay to have more work than usual. But remember that people cannot work under prolonged pressure and stress.
  • Don’t be selfish – it can be very demotivating to see that the manager only focuses on what you can do for him and doesn’t care about your goals and well-being.​ As the CEO of Xerox Anne M. Mulcahy put it,[8]

    “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled.”

Whenever you are having doubts about your kind attitude, remember – satisfied employees are productive employees which lead to satisfied customers and eventually – success for your company.

6. Offer Flexible Work Hours

The traditional Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job is beginning to slip away. Increasingly more people are working remotely or having flexible work hours, and we can expect this trend to continue. To adapt to these changing habits and remain competitive in the labor market, more employers are offering the chance to choose your own work hours, work from home or even from another city or country.

Offering flexible hours is a powerful way to inspire your existing staff and give them intrinsic motivation. Why not let your employees choose their preferred working hours while keeping the 8-hour day? For example, night owls are unhappy and unproductive if they have to come to work before 10 AM, while others might prefer to start at 7 and finish earlier.

You can go even farther and hire remote workers – this way you’ll be able to recruit from a global talent pool and even save money on office expenses like desks, stationery, electricity, etc.[9]

7. Track Your Team’s Productive Time

Not monitoring your employees’ progress and efficiency can result in poor performance and slacking. Instead of letting things go with the flow, you should consider installing time-tracking software on your employees’ computers and see who’s doing great and who might need a productivity boost.

But don’t get it wrong – there’s no need to become big brother and watch every step your employees take. If you use the time-tracker as a spying tool, you will only see increasing suspicion and insecurity around you, and your employees’ happiness levels will drop.

On the contrary, choose software that allows employees to mark private time that won’t be tracked. In addition, consider these time-management tactics:

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  • Allow flexible work hours. (see Tip No 6)
  • Encourage breaks – studies show that employees who take regular breaks are more productive than those who don’t.[10]
  • Enable remote work to show your employees that you trust them and that they can work from home or even from another country (if they can maintain sufficient productivity).
  • Consider offering bonuses to your most productive employees (those who show productivity levels above 90 or 95%).

8. Use Only Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism means offering valid and rational opinions about the work of others, involving both positive comments and remarks about what should be improved. Constructive criticism is usually expressed in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one.

When you evaluate your team’s work, give them feedback that’s helpful, specific, and sincere. Don’t be shy to praise, but also be direct and even strict when necessary.

9. Don’t Give Special Treatment to Yourself

The boss’s actions are – directly or indirectly – observed by your team. This means that your employees look up to you and often mimic your attitude towards your work and the company – especially if your actions don’t show commitment. Nobody wants to work for a leader who doesn’t go all in or inspire motivation.

What you should do is lead by example. If you expect your employees to arrive at work on time and work 8 hours, do the same yourself. If you want them to show initiative, show it yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Jeff Weiner is the CEO of LinkedIn – a company of 3,000 employees that consistently ranks as one of the best workplaces with a 92 percent employee-approval rating.[11] Weiner’s workdays are reported to be equally long or even longer than those of his employees, allowing him to stay “extremely credible as a leader.”

10. Empower Your Employees

Here’s a common mistake many managers make:

They don’t motivate their staff and assume they simply love to work for their company.​ Such belief can result in painful losses for the company – especially these days when many companies are in desperate need of a reliable workforce.

Instead of directly thinking about bonuses and perks, consider intrinsic motivation. For example, enable flat organization in your team and listen to your employees’ ideas when they come up with opinions and suggestions. Your company might actually benefit a great deal from the feedback, and the unique ideas employees come up with.

You can also start an initiative where employees can freely share or pitch their business ideas to you or the founders of the company. If the idea is accepted by the management, the project can be developed, and the employee can have equity options.

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If people feel they have an impact in the company, they become more motivated, engaged and interested in the company’s growth.

11. Nurture Your Company Culture

Company culture is the personality of a company that defines the overall work environment and relationships between teammates. It also includes company mission, values, ethics, and goals.

Some examples of company cultures are the Horizontal corporate culture (collaborative and equal; popular among startups and free-spirited businesses) and Conventional corporate culture (a more risk-averse and hierarchy-based approach common in traditional companies).

However, you don’t have to stick to pre-existing boxes when creating your corporate culture. You might think of your team as a family, a sports team, or even a hippie camp if it fits your business and purpose. But keep in mind that by the time a company’s size reaches 20 employees, the company culture is set,[12] and any changes will need to be implemented in smaller teams.

Whichever personality you choose for your company, make sure to live by it and nurture it. Some things that might help:

Team building events, relevant books in your office library and proper on-boarding for the new employees to get everyone on the same page from the very beginning.

Be a Leader, Not a Boss

Using the words of Printful’s CEO Davis Siksnans, the ultimate goal is to “Hire great people who don’t have to be managed.”

However, when you do need to demonstrate some initiative and control, act as a leader rather than as a boss.

In other words, don’t be afraid to show the personality behind your role. And keep these 11 tips close to your heart.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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