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5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand & Make More Money

5 Ways to Build your Personal Brand & Make More Money

No matter what type of job or career you’ve chosen, you can always improve your standing and move up the ladder. One of the best ways to increase your worth to the company and become an asset that they will want to keep is to build your personal brand and position yourself as an expert in your field. Here’s eight ways to build your personal brand and make more money.

1. Start an industry blog.

The best way to build your personal brand is to start a blog. When some people think of blogs they think of musings and daily updates. For the best bloggers, that’s not the case. To create a truly engaging blog, you must find a focus that you understand and become an expert in the area so people want to hear what you have to say. By creating a blog within your industry, you already are the expert.

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And you don’t have to do it alone. Find areas where you don’t have a full working knowledge and find guest posts that can help your audience understand every aspect. You can also research these areas yourself and blog about the process. By offering insight into each aspect of your business, you build a blog that is a must stop for industry professionals and position yourself as a leader in the space. Plus, you get the added benefit of learning and expanding your knowledge outside of a classroom by digging in and researching those areas which you aren’t familiar.

And the best part? Industry-leading bloggers can make a nice side income or even make blogging a full time job. Targeted blogs have the best conversion rates and will offer the highest advertising rates for your industry. And even if you don’t post ads, you become a better employee that can do more. When you understand the industry and what’s happening outside of your position, you have a much clearer path to moving up the ladder to a higher paying job with added responsibilities.

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2. Build your social media accounts.

While a blog may be the best way to build your brand, your social media accounts are often the quickest. Position yourself as an expert in your space on Facebook, LinkedIn, & Twitter. Follow, friend, and connect with industry experts and use social media as a way to keep up with all the news within your industry. Twitter is an amazing tool to help you curate the most influential players. LinkedIn insures that you can connect and network with those players. And Facebook offers you a chance to connect to co-workers, bosses, etc. on a more personal level and engage in meaningful discussion.

Build your accounts wisely and ensure you share your blog content consistently. You can quickly position yourself as an industry expert that’s worth the follow.

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3. Network. Join groups outside of work.

All too often, companies and employees are stifled by what they know. The do the same things they’ve always done and expect the same results they’ve always had. And while this can work, if you want to become a true thought leader, you have to get outside the bubble of knowledge that exists in your company and tap into the wealth of knowledge available outside those four walls.

Attend networking events, find meet-up groups, and do coffee with people who perform your job at other companies. Talk shop. Learn what they are doing, what is working, and what doesn’t work for them. Find people who work in completely different industries that have similar problems and see how they are solving them. If you’re the marketing director at a pet shop, for example, find someone who does marketing at an email marketing company and find out how they get clients. You may find something that relates to your business.

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4. Take additional classes or courses.

Learning through experience can work for some, but others need a path. Taking additional courses at the local college or training courses from an association in your market can be incredibly helpful. Often your current employer will pay for these opportunities, making your decision a no-brainer! Learning more can help them, sure, but it helps you the most. By becoming a more well-rounded employee who takes initiative, you will have a better chance at moving up quickly. And when an employer invests in your education, they will be much more likely to ensure you stick around, which can lead to raises and promotions.

5. Attend conferences & trade shows.

And lastly, don’t forget about conferences and trade shows. These are often the one time a year that everyone important in your industry is in one place. And don’t just attend the sessions and the exhibits. Schedule meetings, dinners, coffee, and drinks after the sessions are over. Meet your vendors outside of the confines of the trade-show floor and get down to what products really sell. Soak up as much as you can! I’ve gotten job offers at conferences and made lifelong connections that help me to this day.

Featured photo credit: Cranky Pressman via flickr.com

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Kyle Robbins

Founder, BrandingBeard.com

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Last Updated on March 4, 2019

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

How to Use Credit Cards While Staying Out of Debt

Many people will suggest that the best thing to do with your credit cards during these tough economic times is to cut them up with a pair of scissors. Indeed, if you are already in huge debt, you probably should stop using them and begin a payback strategy immediately. However, if you are not currently in trouble with your credit cards, there are wise ways to use them.

I happen to really love my credit cards so I will share with you my approach to how I use mine without getting into deep financial trouble.

Ever since about 1983 when I got my first Visa card, I continue to charge as many of my purchases as possible on credit. Everything from gas, groceries and monthly payments for services like my cable and home security monitoring are charged on credit. Despite my heavy usage, I have maintained the joy of never paying any interest fees at all on any of my credit cards.

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Here are some tips on how best to use your credit cards without falling into the trap of paying those nasty double-digit interest fees.

Do Not Treat Credit Cards as Your Funding Sources

Too many people treat their credit cards as funding sources for major purchases. Do not do this if you want to stay out of trouble. I use my credit cards as convenient financial instruments so I do not have to carry around much cash. In fact, I hate carrying cash, especially coins. When you buy things on credit, the purchases are clean and you will not get annoying coins back as change.

I do not rely on my Visa, MasterCard or American Express to fund any of my purchases, large or small. This brings me to my golden rule when it comes to whether I will pull out any of my credit cards either at a retail or online store.

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I never purchase anything with my credit cards if I do not have the actual cash on hand in my bank account.

If I really cannot pay for the item or service with cash that I already have at the bank, then I simply will not make the purchase. Remember, my credit cards are not used as funding sources. They are just convenient alternatives to actual cash in my pocket.

Make Sure to Always Pay Off Balances in Full Each Month

The next very important part of my overall strategy is to make absolutely sure that I pay the balances in full each and every month no matter how large they are. This should never be a problem if the cash has been budgeted for my purchases and secured in the bank. I have always paid my full balances each month ever since my very first credit card and this is why I never pay interest charges.

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Using Credit Cards with Rewards

Most of my credit cards are of the “no annual fees” type, including one MasterCard on a separate account I keep at home as a spare in case I lose my wallet or incur any fraudulent charges. However, I do use a main Visa card which does have an annual fee because all purchases on that card reward me with airline frequent flyer points. For me, the annual fee is worth it since I do travel and I get enough points to redeem many free flights.

You have to decide for yourself if you will charge enough purchases on credit each year without paying interest charges to warrant a credit card that rewards you with airline points (or other rewards). In my case, the answer is “yes” but that might not be the case for you.

I occasionally use a MasterCard or American Express card on small purchases just to keep those accounts active. Also, I have been to the odd retailer that accepted only a certain type of credit card, so I find that having one from each major company is quite handy. Aside from my main Visa card which earns the airline points, the rest of my cards are of the “no annual fees” variety.

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So this is how I use my credit cards without getting into any financial trouble with them. This strategy is recommended only if you are not in debt, of course. In fact, it is worth keeping in mind once you’re out of debt so that you can keep your credit cards active and treat them responsibly.

What are your credit card usage strategies? Let me know in the comments — I’d love to hear what methods you use.

Featured photo credit: Artem Bali via unsplash.com

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