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Websites That Successful Entrepreneurs Should Always Visit

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Websites That Successful Entrepreneurs Should Always Visit

There’s a lot to learn when you’re an entrepreneur who is getting your business off the ground. Fortunately, there’s a breadth of websites available to provide useful insights on the various aspects of starting, running, and growing a business. Here are a few in particular that all entrepreneurs should bookmark:

Quora

Quora

    As you run your business, you’re bound to have a host of questions that Google just can’t answer. That’s where Quora comes in. Here you can ask your questions to a community of experts and engage in a dialogue. You’ll see the full names and backgrounds of respondents, so you aren’t left guessing about the credibility of those providing answers. If you’re still in the research phase, Quora has an extensive archive you could peruse. You may discover your potential client-base is asking about the problem you’re about to solve with your business, so you’ll gain customer insights by reading their comments.

    Lynda

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    Lynda

      As you get your business up and running, you’ll probably be taking on a lot of different roles, from putting together pitches for potential clients to writing web content. You likely aren’t well versed in every avenue of running a business, and until you are more established and can build out your team, you can rely on Lynda to help. For a small monthly fee, you can take short courses on an array of business topics, like Understanding Copyright and Excel for Beginners.

      Reddit: Startups

      reddit startups

        For entrepreneurs used to the well-meaning encouragement of friends and family, the bluntness Redditors are known for can be a breath of fresh air. The Startups subreddit is a great place to communicate informally with fellow entrepreneurs, sharing advice and ideas. Use this as a research tool for what people are saying about the industry you’re looking to break into and, once you’re up and running, a place to get insight on possible new products or services. Just make sure you aren’t oversharing your ideas so they get picked up by someone else.

        Internet Speed Assessment Tool

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        HSI speed tool

          It’s rare to have a business now that doesn’t have an online presence. To maintain your site, as well as do any work online, you need to make sure your business has the right amount of Internet speed. HighSpeedInternet provides a valuable interactive tool for finding out exactly how much speed you need with a few short questions about your team’s Internet usage habits. This is a great tool to come back to every few months. By using it, you may find your sluggish connection could use an upgrade or that you’re paying too much for a premium service you don’t really need.

          Startup Lawyer

          startup lawyer

            Unless you went to law school, the legalities of running a business may be something you aren’t too familiar with. Startup Lawyer, written by attorney Ryan Roberts, can help. Posts here focus mainly on legal issues, but occasionally cover other areas of interest to startups, like keeping controlling investors at bay and the importance of buying a good scanner.

            For Entrepreneurs

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            for ent

              You’ve come up with the great idea for your business, but now what? Turn to For Entrepreneurs. You’ll find information on every step of the process, from getting funding to turning your startup into a successful enterprise. David Skok, the author of the blog, calls himself a “five time serial entrepreneur” so who better to learn from than someone who has already done what you’re doing–five times, no less.

              ProBlogger

              problogger

                Publishing blog articles is an effective way to engage with your digital customers and drum up interest in your business. ProBlogger offers advice on how to maintain your company blog without wasting valuable time. Founder Darren Rowse offers insight on how to come up with topics for your blog, draw in readers, keep them engaged, and, ultimately, monetize the work that you do.

                Bplans

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                bplans

                  If you’re just starting out with your business idea, you’ve probably heard about how important developing a well-researched business plan is. Putting something like this together can be daunting, but Bplans can help. This site offers a range of resources to help you conceptualize, write, and format your business plan. You can look at examples from various industries for inspiration and find advice on business planning and strategy from Tim Berry, the founder of Bplan.

                  No matter what stage you’re in with your business, the web is a great resource for helping your business flourish. By using the tools and tips you’ll find on the websites above, you’ll be well on your way down your path to success.

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                  Last Updated on August 25, 2021

                  Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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                  Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

                  As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

                  Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

                  According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

                  “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

                  A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

                  What Is Your Personal Brand?

                  “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

                  Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

                  Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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                  I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

                  A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

                  Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

                  Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

                  Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

                  In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

                  According to Castrillon,[2]

                  “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

                  The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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                  As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

                  In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

                  “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

                  When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

                  The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

                  Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

                  The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

                  5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

                  These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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                  1. Set Your Personal Goals

                  What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

                  2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

                  Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

                  1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
                  2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
                  3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
                  4. What makes you different from others like you?

                  The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

                  3. Write Your Professional Story

                  Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

                  4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

                  Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

                  5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

                  A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

                  The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

                  Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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                  As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

                  Other People’s Stories

                  Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

                  Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

                  Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

                  “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

                  So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

                  Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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