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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 January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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