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The Foolproof Guide to Outsourcing, for Entrepreneurs

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The Foolproof Guide to Outsourcing, for Entrepreneurs

This era is the time when entrepreneurship is easier than ever. The increasing flow of enterprising individuals entering the entrepreneurial space has presented more challenges that are vying for attention.

One of the main challenges has been finding ways to make entrepreneurs more productive.

Decades ago, the traditional way to fix this problem was to hire employees. It is still a great solution for medium and large companies. However, most of the new entrepreneurs entering the business sectors are startups.

Most startup companies are bootstrapping or trying to run a lean business. These companies have a staff of less than half a dozen people and have likely held a prior work or personal relationship before going into business together.

Even with a team of six people, day-to-day operations can still be overwhelming for a small business to grow rapidly.

For example, startups are always trying to get mainstream publicity and often hope to get it for free. Would one person be enough to score features from several popular publications in a short period?

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If not, would two people dedicated to public relations be enough? What about customer service, accounting, marketing, or raising capital? Will the company have enough time to address those areas adequately?

Such a business needs a strategy that will maximize their productivity without allocating more time to projects. With companies like AirBnB and Uber, it has been becoming more important to utilize leverage in this economy.

AirBnB owns no real estate, but they created a rental platform that allows them to leverage other people’s property. Uber is another example. They started out with a taxi platform that has enabled them to leverage other people’s time — people who desire to be taxi drivers, providing their own cars.

Moreover, leverage goes farther. All of us know that there are only 24 hours in a day. So, why are not more entrepreneurs coming to the realization that outsourcing can make them more productive?

Perhaps, some entrepreneurs are aware of the benefits of outsourcing. Although, I can only wonder what is stopping them from adding it to their business.

I would presume that the culprit is ignorance. Most people know about outsourcing, but they do not know where to start.

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First, it is important for the entrepreneur to know and plan which areas of their business are better suited to be outsourced to an agency or group of freelancers.

There is no doubt that there are parts of your business that you would prefer not to do, whether it is due a lack of competency or interest.

Why spend days or weeks working on tasks that are simply frustrating for you? Would it not be better to outsource those things to someone who has a track record of delivering superb results?

You have options! You can choose to hire from freelancers’ platforms like Upwork or hire an agency like Infintech Designs.

Second, careful consideration should be given to determine if it would be in the best interest of the business to outsource locally, nationally, or abroad.

Many entrepreneurs may overlook this one because they feel that it is not that important. It varies from business to business.

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If your business is based in the United States and looking to outsource customer support staff, it would be best to hire local, native English speakers. Otherwise, hiring an agency who have foreign English speakers may dissuade customers, due to communication problems.

Lastly, it is pertinent to consider the qualifications of potential freelancers or staffing agencies. This will be your most important step that will make or break your business.

Many startups will often try to find cheap talent to work within their budget. There is nothing wrong with being budget conscious, but it should never be at the expense of quality.

If you want to grow your business as fast as humanly possible, then you need to find a way to multiply your efforts. Some software applications like HootSuite can be helpful for managing your social media. However, software does not solve all of the problems that may inhibit the growth of a business.

Often, entrepreneurs get stuck working in their business rather than on their business. It is this very premise, which determines the speed of growth of a company.

Social media is important, but it can overwhelm you from focusing on other parts of your business.

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Entrepreneurs need to return to the realization that they cannot do it all themselves.

While having a small staff can make things slightly easier, it is best to have them focus on areas that are congruent with their strengths. Anything else of importance should be outsourced to competent professionals.

In an era where competition in the entrepreneurship sphere is high, it is pertinent to maximize productivity by leverage other people’s time.

As an entrepreneur, outsourcing is your most important form of leverage. If you want to grow your business fast or even put your business on auto-pilot, nothing will be more important than outsourcing.

Featured photo credit: Geralt via pixabay.com

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Kallen Diggs

Bestselling Author / Magazine Editor / Syndicated Radio Show Host

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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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