Wednesday, December 27, 2017

5 Personal Branding Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know to Make It Big




From Entrepreneur, Jasmine Sandler shares her recommendations for personal branding for entrepreneurs.  One of the key steps is to develop a marketing plan. To develop your marketing plan, she writes:
As essentially a one-day planning session, think about and answer:
1. Where will you market your personal brand? Online, offline or both? What channels, if applicable?
2. Who is your audience and where do they hang out online? For this, I would strongly suggest making a detailed user profile. Do you target B2B, B2C or both? Age range? Income? Education level? School type? Work history? What type of content do they consume the most? Whom do they patronize and why? What do they spend on related products and services? 
This one is critical, as a personal brand is all about creating a connection with your audience, whether one-to-one or one-to-many, so you need to understand who you want to build a relationship with and why.
3. What is your marketing budget for your personal brand? What is your intended revenue stream? Does it directly tie into your existing business? New business? The more you can closely define your expected revenues and expenses ties to this brand, the more realistic your entrepreneurial success becomes.
4. How, where and when will you become a thought leader and/or influencer in your industry? This is the crux of personal branding for entrepreneurs. It is about knowing the field in which you possess the most experience, information, and passion. How will you penetrate influence through the development and delivery of thought leadership pieces? What will they look like? A comment? A blog post? An article? An ebook? A video? A PR stunt? How often will you contribute and where? Start by making a list of places to which you want to contribute. Know this by researching where your audience is, and what matters to them.
Read the full story at 5 Personal Branding Tips Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know to Make It Big

Sunday, November 12, 2017

7 Steps to Building a Personal Brand to Support Your Business




From Entrepreneur, Jayson Demers discusses the benefits of combining a corporate brand with a person brand to help the business. Jayson writes:

So, how can you create a personal brand that can support and complement your corporate brand? Seven ways:

1. Identify your key players.

First, you need to decide what people within your organization are the best candidates for personal brands. There’s no necessary rubric for evaluation here, but generally, more experienced people (and those with pre-existing social media followings) are easier to build up.
Many businesses start by designating their CEO, founders, and/or their most experienced account managers, but you can choose anyone with a realm of expertise that will be of interest to your target demographics. You’ll also want to choose people who have a few extra hours a week to manage the development of their own personal brands.

2. Designate expertise and optimize your profiles.

Next, you’ll need to lay the foundation for your growth by claiming and optimizing the social media profiles of each personal brand you choose to develop. The social media platforms will depend on your business and its target audience; generally, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are core necessities, and Instagram is nice to have.
You may also want to separate out the true “personal” social accounts from your personal brand accounts. Either way, you’ll need to optimize your personal brand accounts with professional headshots, wording that reflects each personal brand’s expertise and, of course, links or other ties back to your corporate brand.

3. Create and promote content.

If you want to take personal branding seriously, you can create a professional, separate blog for each of your individual profiles. Otherwise, it’s fine to use your corporate blog with individual author profiles for each of your personal brands.
Take the time to create high-quality content for each personal brand, relevant to that person's respective areas of expertise. Next, make sure to promote that content across the person's social channels. And, while you’re at it, syndicate your core “corporate” content through each of your personal brands.

4. Get involved in groups and conversations.

If you want to grow your personal brand’s visibility, you need to do more than simply write and promote content. You need to get involved with other individuals, so they can see and appreciate your content. The best ways to do this include getting involved with groups, which you can easily find on LinkedIn, or by engaging in conversations, which are easy to find on open public platforms like Twitter.
Look for topics relevant to your area and expertise and get involved with comments, answers to questions and even some questions of your own. It’s a good way to build your presence and reputation at once.
Read the full story at 7 Steps to Building a Personal Brand to Support Your Business

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Why Personal Branding Must Be Your First Focus



From Entrepreneur, Mike Wood discusses what is personal branding and why it is important.  Mike writes:

What exactly is personal branding?

Understanding the ins and outs of personal branding is obviously the first step in the right direction. The concept can be simply defined as the method of marketing yourself and your career to improve relationships with managers, colleagues and clients. Turning yourself into a brand helps you manage how you’re viewed and how much trust you can establish in your career. It involves creating a distinct voice, image and ethical standard.
But, it’s also something that takes consistent work over the course of your career. That is to say, you can’t write a particularly excellent blog post one time and expect that to carry you through the rest of your life. On top of that, just generally having a social media presence is no longer enough to qualify as a personal brand.

Building trust with those around you.

Trust isn’t something that flourishes naturally on a wide scale. It’s something you have to cultivate, and the best way to do that is with a unique personal brand. When it comes to who consumers trust the most, it’s almost always individuals. Corporate branding may technically be more visible, but it’s almost universally seen as less trustworthy. In fact, brand messages are shared 24 times more often if the originator of the message is an individual.
Clearly, you can use your personal brand to build trust as long as that brand reads as authentic and sincere.
Mike also provides guidance for finding a niche and becoming a thought leader.  Read the full story at Why Personal Branding Must Be Your First Focus

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How to Create a Standout Personal Brand




From Entrepreneur, Kelsey Humphreys describes how to create a personal brand that stands out by exploring the success of Charlamagne Tha God, host of The Breakfast Club. Some of my favorite advice is:  

Take risks.

It’s worth noting that his bold style has indeed gotten him fired multiple times. But, Charlamagne has repeatedly said that he is “for the people” not “for the industry” -- meaning while he is a fan of many hip-hop celebrities, he’s not going to pander to them in any way. This is a risky move, since The Breakfast Club obviously wants to maintain its celebrity interviews. The risk continues to pay off, however, because “the people” love Charlamagne.
Now with his brand new book, Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It, Charlamagne is taking a bit of a risk again, choosing such a provocative title. But the bottom line for him comes down to honest, even when it’s risky.
As he told The New York Times recently, “Honesty is a foundation, and it’s usually a solid foundation. Even if I do get in trouble for what I said, it’s something that I can stand on.”

Stay hungry.

Charlemagne decided back in his intern days that he wanted to be a star jock, not content to stay in South Carolina forever. He put in the hustle, and he also worked to stay relevant and innovative. For example, he started recording his radio shows on video back when YouTube was still relatively new. Now part of his fame is due to the viral videos that have come out of provocative Breakfast Club conversations. He was also an early adopter on social media, now with over 1.8 million followers on Twitter alone.
If you want to go far, work to prove yourself and then make meaningful connections, he advises. “Every opportunity I've ever gotten is because of somebody I've met, a new connection I've made . . . showing love, meeting people, shaking hands.” he shared. “I have no problem asking somebody what they do, what they're into, how did they get there, how can I be involved? If it's something I want to be involved in . . . being annoying. You gotta have a DJ Khaled level of annoyance.” His willingness to ask questions and show his hunger brings me to my next point.

Stay grounded.

You probably cannot find an interview with Charlamagne where he doesn’t mention his upbringing on the dirt-road town of Monck’s Corner, S.C. He is big on supporting his home state and goes back to his high school regularly for charity events. This is a man who will never forget where he came from. He takes manners seriously, a lesson learned from his grandmother, and true to form, he shook every hand in the room when he walked in for our interview.
Charlamagne is also big on listening and observing, another common trait of the massively successful people I interview on The Pursuit. He is also well read and deeply spiritual. He explained that in order to have such real moments live on the radio, you have to stay present, open and receptive. For such a brash personality, he’s very willing to get vulnerable. He explained, “I don't mind having that experience with the listeners, like I don't mind that confusion. I don't mind [saying ‘I don’t know.’]”
Even if you’ve fallen on hard times -- like Charlamagne did in his early years, serving some jail time and then working whatever odd jobs he could -- don’t let the negativity in.
Read the full story at How to Create a Standout Personal Brand 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand



On LinkedIn, Shama Hyder shares her terrific recommendations on how to build an awesome personal brand.  Shama writes:
Here are seven ways to start building an awesome personal brand.

Start thinking of yourself as a brand

What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name? Is there a certain subject matter in which you want to be perceived as an expert or are there general qualities you want linked to your brand? Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand. This doesn't mean you can’t be human. On the contrary, as Michael Simmons writes, authenticity is key in the digital age. A strong personal brand can yield tremendous ROI whether you are working with an organization or leading one. Here are some examples of individuals who have built up authentic and powerful personal brands: Michael Port, John Bates, Mike Michalowicz, Dave Kerpen, David Meerman Scott, John Jantsch, Dave Carroll, and Barry Moltz.

Audit your online presence 
You can’t mold perception without first understanding the current status. In other words, Google yourself and setup alerts for your name on a regular basis. Have a fairly common name? Consider using your middle initial or middle name to differentiate. Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.

Secure a personal website

Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank for your name on the search engines. It doesn’t need to be robust. It can be a simple two to three page site with your resume, link to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website with time.
Read the full story at 7 Things You Can Do To Build An Awesome Personal Brand 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Define Your Personal Brand With These 3 Questions




From Career Sherpa, Hannah Morgan provides outstanding guidance on how to define your personal brand.  Answering the three key questions helps you define your brand and what you want to be known for.  Hannah writes:

What Problem Do You Solve?
Every business has a problem that needs fixing. This is why companies hire new people. It is also the reason companies buy services. When you understand this simple rule, it will help you convey your message.
Businesses want to hire people that will increase profits, decrease time or labor or improve efficiency. No one is going to hire you based only on your degree or an impressive list of past employers.
The problems companies face come in all shapes and sizes. But to get you started thinking about the problem you solve, think about times when you have come up with an innovative solution. You may be known as the original thinker of the group. Every company needs an out-of-the-box mind.
Perhaps you implemented solutions that saved time. Your new process may have reduced hours worked on a project or enabled a new product to reach the market faster. Time is money, so if you possess the knack for saving time, your skills are in demand.
Making something easier, whether ordering a product, speaking to a customer service representative or streamlining an internal process, is a skill most everyone appreciates. If you’ve ever removed red tape or automated tedious work, you’ve made some people very happy.
Write down the top problems you’ve enjoyed solving.
How Do You Meet or Exceed Expectations?
The work you’ve done in the past is indicative of the work you will do in the future. If you have met or exceeded expectations, that says a lot about you. But you’ll need to be specific.
Have you made it easier to get projects completed? Have you made it less risky to do business with your employer? Do customers love to refer new business to your company? If you serve internal customers, in other words, other departments within your company, you are measured the same way.
Start asking yourself how you made it easier for departments to interact with you. Have you anticipated potential problems and proactively put measures in place? Do you listen to what your internal customers are asking for?
Identify the situations when you’ve improved how customers interact with you, your team or the company, and you’re one step closer to pinning down why people like working with you.
Write down the examples of times you’ve met or exceeded expectations.

How Do You Make A Difference In the World?

Personality goes a long way to differentiate you from the competition. Think about what people have said about why they enjoy working with you.
It could be due to your management style or how you communicate. Or maybe you’ve been recognized as the person who gives 110 percent to get things done. Is it possible that people come to you because you put them at ease and they trust you will provide the best solution?
Take note of the positive feedback you’ve received and look for recurring patterns. You shouldn’t take this for granted or be humble. Your unique way of getting things done makes a difference in the world. Capture this feedback and use it to market yourself.
Read the full story at Define Your Personal Brand with these 3 Quesions and sign up for the Career Sherpa newsletter for great career advice.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

8 Reasons a Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful




From Entrepreneur, Matt Sweetwood shares 8 reasons that a powerful personal brand is a key element of success.  Matt writes:

Here are the eight reasons why I tell people you must have a top-notch personal brand if you want to be successful today:

1Opportunity finds you.

When your personal brand is attractive, customers, clients, vendors, press and even companies looking to hire, will find you and reach out to you. I am the CEO of a new social media platform, and I had them contact me for the job. I didn’t even know the position was available. I have gotten media appearances, writing opportunities and speaking engagements because I get noticed and folks reach out to me.
2Online networking power.
When you have a compelling personal brand, people find you interesting and desirable, so they are willing to connect with you. I get dozens of new Linkedin and Twitter connections every day. People look at my profiles, follow me and want to know more about me.

3. In-person networking power.

When I'm at a networking event and I engage others, I have many aspects of my brand to share. It makes me more interesting than the guy who walks up to you and says, “Hi, My name is Joe, and I sell insurance.” I have many facets to my brand, both professional and personal. That makes people want to connect with me and do business with me. I can demonstrate proficiency and have the online assets to back them up on many topics like photography, entrepreneurship, my Man-Up Project and fatherhood, blogging, speaking, social media, men’s health, non-profit work and more.
4. Build your business.
When I had to reinvent and rebuild my photography business in 2007, which was failing because of the rapid decline of film, it was my powerful personal brand that drove much of our success. Customers, clients and vendors are more likely to do businesses with a company when the leader has a killer personal brand. Good examples are Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Fred Smith, Warren Buffet and even Donald Trump -- whose personal brand may be bigger than his business. Where would their companies be without their personal brands shining on their company brands?

5. Get hired.

According to SHRM, 84 percent of hiring managers use social media to hire -- 96 percent use Linkedin, and 53 percent use Twitter. Many companies post jobs on Twitter before anywhere else. But the most revealing statistic is that 66 percent of hiring managers use Facebook to hire. They are doing that because they are trying to find out more about you than just what’s on your resume. They want to know you as a person and understand whether you are going to fit into their corporate culture.
It’s a logical approach for selecting the best candidates. Candidate A has an impressive resume. Candidate B has a similarly impressive resume, but their strong personal brand shows that they have a blog with articles on topics relevant to the company’s business. They tweet about news and ideas from the industry. They do yoga, run half-marathons, and they volunteer for charity. Who do you think is getting the interview and the job?

Read the full story at 8 Reasons a Powerful Personal Brand Will Make You Successful