The Best Ways To Strengthen Your Personal Brand in 2019

Branding yourself refers to developing a professional identity that aligns with your values. You should always start a personal branding statement with your vales, so ensure you define them. This will help you to become a thought leader in your field, and tell people what you stand for. However, you don’t just have to be an entrepreneur to focus on your branding. You could be a musician, actor, influencer, or somebody else. Strengthening your brand will help you to get better results.


There are many examples out there of people who have built a great personal brand. It isn’t the easiest or the quickest thing to do, but with determination and a great strategy, you can build your ideal personal brand and get the results that you want. You could be somebody who people need to relate to to do business with, such as a real estate agent, life coach, or personal trainer. Maybe you literally are your business, such as an actor or musician, so you need to have a strong image. Whatever and whoever you are, you can use the advice below to strengthen your personal brand in 2019.

 

Start With Self Reflection And Know What Makes You Different

First of all, you should start with a little self reflection. Know your values, who you’d like to portray yourself as, and your USP (unique selling proposition). What makes you different, and why should your audience work with you rather than with your competition? You need to have a solid idea of who you are and be prepared to show this.

 

Outsource

Outsourcing parts of your business will help you to provide a better service to your audience, as well as have more time on your hands to strengthen your personal brand. Some things are worth spending money on when you want to save time and work towards your goal. For instance, managed IT services could ensure that everything continues to work smoothly online no matter what. You can find detailed information here to see if you need these services. Bear in mind that there are other things you can outsource, such as a virtual assistant to take care of simple admin tasks for you.

 

Define Your Audience

So you know who you are, but do you know who your audience is? You must define your audience if you’re going to strengthen your personal brand. You’ll need to know what resonates with them, what sort of content and information they want to see, and so on. See if you can create profiles defining certain members of your audience, and don’t forget to pay attention to the content they like the most by looking at your analytics.

 

Share Content That Resonates With Your Image And Audience

Whenever you share content, whether it’s your own or it belongs to somebody else, make sure it suits your personal brand perfectly. Does it align with what you’re trying to achieve and who you’re trying to be?

 

Have Professional Pictures Taken

Professional pictures can do you the world of good. They aren’t there just to make you look your best, they help people to take you seriously. Make sure you convey the personality that you want to get across in these pictures!

Stress-Busting Tips for Small Business Owners

 

Running a small business is amazing. It’s your chance to work flexibly, to make money doing something that you love, to do things your way and to grow something from nothing. It can make you a good income, give you a legacy to leave behind and provide your family with financial certainty, both now and in the future. It can also be great fun and a fantastic experience. While running your own business, you’ll learn much more than you ever would working for someone else. You’ll develop skills that you’d never have imagined you needed and meet countless interesting people. It’s great. But, it’s also tough.

 

In the early days, most small business owners work more than they have ever worked in their lives. They work late, start early and rarely take a day off. Even when they are out of the office, they are checking emails, pitching for work and keeping in touch with the business. They are constantly trying to think of new ways to improve, and facing different challenges that they’ve often got no idea how to deal with. They are stressed out, tired and under enormous pressure to make things work. They worry about failing, about letting people down and about losing money.

 

A little bit of stress is entirely normal, and can even help you to work more productively. But, too much and you can start to wonder if it’s worth it. It can affect your relationships and health, and ruin your enjoyment of this exciting new chapter. So, let’s take a look at some stress-busting tips for small business owners.

 

Delegate

 

A lot of small business owners are absolutely terrible at delegating to others. Their business is their baby. They want to do it all themselves, and they struggle to trust anyone else enough to let them in. But, you don’t have to go it alone. If you can afford to hire staff, do it, and use them! You might also want to consider using freelancers for tasks that you struggle with, or tech firms to help manage the more technical sides of your business, find more information here. This should allow you to take some time off, or at least focus on the elements of your business that you enjoy.

 

Take a Proper Break

 

You need a break. Not just a few hours off here and there, where you are still thinking about work, a real break, where you can do something else, or just get some rest. Make sure you take evenings off when you can, and at least one full day every week. This gives your body the rest it needs and can help your mind to refresh and recharge.

 

Organize Your Time

 

Most of us get stressed out when it feels like we’ve got too much to do in too little time, or when we don’t know where to start. Start making lists and notes on your online calendar, and prioritizing the most critical jobs to give your day purpose and order and make things seem more manageable.

Launch Day & All The Things You Need Sorted Beforehand

Your business launch date is the most crucial time. In fact, it is when you get to see whether your company will sink or swim. Of course, that means you need to have all the essential element sorted before it rolls around. A topic you can find out more about in the post below.


Your goals
The first thing you need to get sorted before you launch your business is what you are aiming to achieve. In fact, you need to be really specific with your goals and exactly how you will get there. Otherwise, even if your launch is a success you may miss opportunities that come your way because you are not focused enough on what matters.

Your premises

Whether it’s your garage, a dorm room, or a fancy office downtown you need to have your business premises sorted before you launch. This is because you will need somewhere to run your company from, as well as to store and even in some cases manufacture your products.

Of course finding the perfect premises can be tough, as you need to balance features like space, and location with the costs involved. Also, remember that it’s not just the lease that you will have pay out for, but the utilities like electricity water and Internet as well, so be sure to factor them into your equations before you decide on suitable premises. Otherwise when it comes to launching you could be caught in a real jam.   

Your product

One of the most essential thing that you need to have sorted before your business launches are your product. In fact, if you are going with the same iteration as when you first came up with the idea you might be making a massive mistake.

The reason for this because even the best ideas need a great deal of refining to make them a marketable product that will sell in the number you require come launch day.

Of course, to make sure that you aren’t going in blind it’s vital that you get throughout consumer product testing done way before your launch date as well. Then you will have the opportunity to change or tweak things that don’t rate well with potential customers. Something that can make all the difference when it comes to the day you launch.  

Your brand identity

Let’s get one thing straight, your brand identity is more than just a logo. It’s about the values that you stand for, your company’s story, and the visual and written themes that permeate your marketing. What this means is that well before launch you need to start bringing together all of these elements to form a cohesive whole.

Of course, if this is something you are struggling with, outsourcing your branding and marketing to an agency can be beneficial. The reason being that they will understand precisely how to mesh all of the disparate elements together to make an effective whole that is ready to go when it comes time to launch.

Being Heard In Any New Job

It can be especially daunting when you are starting a new job, and there is plenty about it that you might find hard to really make the most of. For introverts and others alike, one of the harder elements of starting in a new job is trying to find a way to be heard. If you have often found that this is something you find hard to do, then you are absolutely not alone, and it is something that it worth looking into in some depth in order to make sure that you can overcome this. When you fail to be heard, it often means that you are not going to get what you need from your job and other people, nod slowly this only makes your confidence worse and worse. In this post, we will take a look at some of the things that you might be able to do to ensure that you are properly heard in your new job.



Speak Up Early

 

One thing that you need to try and do and which is bound to help you out a lot is to make a point of speaking up as early as you can. The earlier that you speak up, the more that you will develop your own confidence, even if you are shaky while doing it and you find that you don’t really enjoy it all that much. Speaking up on your first day and trying to be more vocal than perhaps is comfortable for you will help you to stop getting in your own way later on down the line, and it will show others that you are perfectly capable of doing so too. It can be about anything, but make sure that the tone is convivial and friendly, otherwise you might strike the wrong chord with people. However, as long as you say something, you will find it helps greatly.



Get Supported

 

This sort of thing is always easier if you know you have the support of others in some way or another, and that is something that you should seek out as soon as you can as well. There are many kinds of support you might be seeking here, and the more you have, the better, but for one you might want to think about ensuring that you have the support of your friends and family. That means that you have told them about your endeavour, and that they support you and wish you well. That alone is going to help hugely, and make you feel that you can be heard in your new job much more easily than you might have thought. You will also find it powerful to have official legal representation with an employment lawyer like Ogletree Deakins. If you have that, you will feel much more supported.



Build Your Confidence

 

Finally, remember that you can always work on building your confidence, and that as long as you do that, you will find that it is a lot easier to be able to speak up and be heard in your new job. It is often a long process to be able to do this, but as long as you are actively working on your confidence levels, you should find that you are able to do this easily enough, and it will make a huge difference.

The Incredible Benefits of Working From Home

With the rise of cloud based working and the accessibility of the internet, more and more of us are able to earn a decent living without even needing to leave our homes. Whether it’s as a freelancer, a home business owner or a remote worker for a company, there are lots of legitimate and well paid options which are becoming more and more accessible. And for the right kind of person, working from home is the ideal situation- here are just a few benefits.

 

It’s great for introvert personalities

If you’re reading this blog, chances are, you’re an introvert personality. And as we all know, the workplace doesn’t always favour our personality type. It’s usually the loud voices that are heard at work, the big personalities that get chosen for promotions- even making friends can be difficult when you’re naturally a bit of a lone wolf. Most workplaces will have a team/ community environment which doesn’t always work well for introverted people. Working by yourself, from home however might suit you to a tee. Even if you’re working for a company as a remote worker (rather than being your own boss) and you still have to communicate with a team, it will often be done via email and online chat services making it much easier. In life, we’re encouraged to be more outgoing, speak up for ourselves more and be more sociable. But some of us just aren’t like that naturally, so why should we change? Instead, choose a work environment that suits your personality and you’ll be far happier.

 

It can be useful for mental health issues

If you have a mental health issue, getting out to work every day can be a struggle. It could be something like agoraphobia which prevents you leaving the house at all, or it could be anxiety or depression where you have good and bad days. You might have an understanding boss, but missing days every week or month is never going to be sustainable long term. However, if you work from home it can make life much easier. You don’t have to worry about driving to work or sitting on a cramped train which can set off your anxiety. You don’t have to worry about speaking to colleagues, you don’t even need to get out of bed if you’re having a really bad day, you can simply grab your laptop and work from there. Because working from home gives you flexibility, if you’ve had a bad morning you always have chance to catch up in the afternoon. Whereas in a traditional job role, you have to turn up during your set hours and get your tasks done. If you have a mental health condition that makes it impossible to guarantee if you’ll be able to get up and leave the house for work each day, working from home instead is a good option. Just the fact of not having a job and having time on your hands can often exacerbate mental health problems, and so by having something you can do without putting additional stress on yourself could well help your mindset and condition.

 

You can still work if you’re physically disabled

Another reason you might struggle to get to work each day is due to a physical disability. Even if you’re very independent, being able to arrive at work on time when you’re limited with your movements can be tricky. You might need the help of another person to be able to even make it out of the door at all. You could well manage a desk job, but just getting to and from the workplace is the difficult part. In this instance, working from home is the ideal solution. Workplaces these days have to accommodate to those with disabilities, from making their entrances accessible to supporting you when needed, there’s even in office dispensing in some workplaces so it’s easy to get your medication. However, working from home could be the simplest and preferred option when you have a disability that limits you. You have your comforts around you and any aids and adaptations you need to manage your condition. You might have a particular type of seat you need to use, or you might have home help nursing come in to assist you each day which needs to be done while you’re at home. Either way, you can still earn money and move forward in your career without having to attend a traditional workplace.

 

It’s flexible

Flexibility in work is so important for some of us. If you have childcare commitments for example, you can’t always guarantee that you’re going to be available and able to work at set times- as most jobs will require. However, when you’re given your daily workload and can manage it as you see fit, you can still get things done around school runs, taking care of your kids when they’re unwell and attending things like sports days and parents evenings. The same is true if you’re caring for an elderly or disabled relative- you might have time in the day to work but your first priority has to be them. A flexible job really can enable you to do both. Even if you don’t have other commitments or mental or physical health issues, flexibility in your work is always going to be a bonus. It prevents you from feeling like you’re stuck in the rat race- being forced to clock in, work, eat and clock out at specific times. You get to manage your own workload and work in a way that suits your own personal energy spikes. You get a better work/ life balance- if you want to have a morning off to run errands instead of being stuck doing them on a busy saturday then you can- you just have to make the time up later on.



Where did the world’s wealthiest graduates study?

While there are many famous examples of business leaders and entrepreneurs who hit the big time despite dropping out or not gaining any higher education at all, most of the world’s mega wealthy attained a degree of some sort. Now, thanks to this interesting data visualization from findcourses.co.uk we can see which colleges and nations produced the world’s wealthiest graduates, as featured in the Forbes billionaire index.

Leaving home to earn a degree is a bold and often expensive choice. With such an undertaking, many prospective students understandably have one eye on what the future holds for them once they leave college. Where they will work, what their role will be and how much they might earn after graduation are all big factors when choosing a study destination. But what better way to get inspired and guide your decision than discovering which colleges produced the most billionaires?

The encouraging news is that a diverse range of colleges churn out alumni who go on to amass huge fortunes. While some institutions tend to have a knack for this, the findings show that you don’t necessarily need to study at an Ivy League college to become a billionaire.

Some key takeaways: the US is also home to seven of the ten top colleges per billionaire grad. Harvard, as some might expect, comes out on top for the most billionaires educated, with Ivy League schools like Columbia, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania appearing in the top ten alongside three other American schools, two Chinese schools, and a school in France.

Looking at the top 100 in its entirety, we can see more variety in the nations that are represented. Schools in China, Russia, Germany, and India all appear frequently. However, when we look at the average net worth by college, the US comes out on top again. This is mainly down to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and current richest person in the world, attending Princeton and graduating with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science in 1986.

If there’s one key thing to consider from these findings, it’s that while where you study is important; your choice of college or country will not necessarily determine your future success. Wherever and however your education occurs, the future is in your own hands!

5 Things You Absolutely Need To Know About Running An Online Business

To run a successful online business can be a complicated task, and each different company will be faced with its own specific challenges. However, there are some things that every online business need to get right to thrive. A topic you can find out more about in the post below.

Your product

First of all, the online stuff like your website is essential, as you will see below, but so is the product that you will be selling. Of course, by product, we mean any physical or virtual item or service that you will provide for your customer in exchange for payment.

It’s also worth noting that there are some specific advantages of choosing an industry where you can offer a virtual product or service over a real life one. This mainly being the immediate access your customers can get to the product, and the removal of the need to use logistics and delivery services to fulfill your orders. Both things that can keep your overheads very low and help your business to thrive.

The keystone is your website

In architecture, the keystone is the middle stone in a bridge structure that keeps everything else in place. That is why it is such a good metaphor for your website when you are running an online business. After all, if your website isn’t right then all the other things around it won’t be able to work as effectively for the success of your company.

With that in mind, there are several things you need to consider when designing and building your site. The first is whether to go for a cheaper drag and drop option or to choose something custom made. The advantage of the latter being that will allow greater customization of features both at the front and back end, as well as more flexibility. Of course for this extra functionality, you will inevitably pay more.

You also need to consider both the aesthetics of the site, as well as how users experience it. After all, there no point having a lot of high power tech behind the scenes if the customer-facing part isn’t clear and easy to read and use.

Finally, when your business is working solely online, it’s also crucial that you choose your hosting company with great care. Otherwise, you could end up without more downtime than you bargained for, and this could seriously affect the ability of your business to thrive online.

Getting people to visit your site

Once you have your site sorted it’s time to attract as many people to it as possible. The reason being that then they will engage with your content and marketing message, as well as hopefully buy the product that you are offering there. Of course, the primary way of doing this is to use SEO tactics to increase the amount of traffic that visits your website.

Now, many people think that SEO is simple because all you need to do is get your business’s result on the first page of the search engine results. However, just because the theory behind it is simple it’s doesn’t mean the task and the work involved is. In fact, SEO is a complex, ever-changing process and many business owners decide to hire a specialist like SEOEXPLODE to help them. Something that can make this part science, part art subject a lot easier to get right.

Of course, if you do want to have a go at this yourself, then you need to cover the two different type of SEO, onsite and offsite. Onsite is all about what you can do on your business website to make it easier for search engine bot to find you.

One way of doing this is to include tags on the pages and content that you produce. In fact, by doing this, you can make it much easier for search engines to index your websites, especially if you include a geotag which is something that the last update from Google is currently prioritizing.

Alternatively, when it comes to offsite SEO, they key thing to focus on is backlinks. These are hyperlinks from other websites to yours, something that can also help to strengthen your search engine rank.

Be warned though, the bots that index websites are seriously sophisticated pieces of kit and that means if you have a backlink from a non-reputable webpage, they will be able to tell and will demote your accordingly! It’s no wonder people choose to get professional assistance to help them with such tasks is it?

Choosing the right merchant

Next, when running an online business, you need to carefully consider how you will set up your shop on your website, and how you will take payments. After all, no customer wants to have to spend 15 minutes on the open giving you their credit card details.



In fact, many consumers have become so used to instant purchase and payment options that if these aren’t available they can navigate away and you will lose your sale. To that end,  it may be the best choice to pick a service like Apple Pay or Paypal that hold the customer’s card details and allow fast payment without having to enter all of their information. Of course, the additional layer of security that such service provided because the individual vendor sites never get the financial information of the customer can be really beneficial as well.

Your delivery methods


Finally, while we have already discussed the possibility of delivery in virtual product or service, if you choose not to go for this option, you will need to work out how you will fulfill your order to your customers.

Of course, larger online businesses like Amazon run and manage their own logistics divisions to ensure their products are delivered quickly. They are even trialing automated robots and drones for this job as we speak.

However, smaller online businesses do not always have the resources to be able to do this, meaning that will need to team up with a more prominent player such as UPS, Hermes, or even Amazon themselves to ensure the orders are fulfilled promptly. This being essential if they are to thrive when running a business online.

Creating The Best Products For Your Audience

Creating the best quality products for your fans is one of the biggest challenges of owning a successful business. As a business owner it is incredibly important for you to make the best quality products you can in order to protect your reputation and make sure that you are treating your customers how they should be treated. Today we are taking a look into how you should approach making the best products for your customers.

Take time with the concept

When you are thinking of developing a new product it is important for you to take the time to really explore the concept in the right way. When we come to making a product for our audience we need to take time and deeply delve into the concept before we set off with production. Make sure that any idea you have will work and that you are creating the product for the right reasons.

Make sure it makes sense

It is tempting when we see amazing products on sale in the world to jump on the bandwagon and make our own version of it, but before you do this you need to ensure that your new product makes sense. If you sell car accessories and you decide to suddenly make a unicorn coffee mug because they are popular; this doesn’t fit with your branding and it will confuse your customers. Stick to your niche at all times even when you want to create something trendy.

Test, test, test

The most important thing you can do with any product is test it, test It again, and then test it once more just to be sure. Testing your products for chemical issues, dangers and other factors is crucial and you need to do this in order to ensure that your product is the best it can be. The last thing you want is to launch a product and then immediately see a bunch of complaints.

Ask a focus group

If you are in doubt over the popularity of a new product in your company, a great idea would be to ask a focus group to give their opinion. A focus group will usually consist of a mix of different people and this will allow you to assess how different demographics will perceive your product. It will allow you to change and improve if needed and will give you a lot of useful ideas

Create amazing packaging

When creating a product which needs to wow an audience, bespoke packaging is the best way to go. The packaging you choose for your product is so important because it is the first thing anyone will see of your products and as a result it gives the first impression. Make sure you take the time and effort to nail your packaging and this will make all the difference when it comes to selling your products. Be aware to also be brave and think outside the box when creating packaging which will stand out from the crowd.

The Top 4 Traits Shared by All Successful Entrepreneurs

Although we may identify ourselves as strictly introvert or extrovert, it’s seldom that black and white. For most of us, there is some crossover, a kind of “ambiversion”. This is especially true of entrepreneurs who often share certain core characteristics that contribute to their success.

According to the Small Business Association, only 30% of new businesses manage to survive after two years in operation.

So, what’s the secret to entrepreneurial success? Let’s find out!

4 Key Personality Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, these 4 characteristics help drive success in business.

Optimism

An entrepreneur believes that even if they have not yet reached the pinnacle of success, they are on their way there. Be the eternal optimist. You should have hope, believe in your decisions, and take appropriate action. Even when you suffer a major setback, you should be able to overcome it. When everyone in the company is discouraged after a letdown, you have to bring them together and encourage them to focus on the end goal. After all, failing doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It means you made a mistake. Learning from our missteps only makes us stronger.

Emotional Intelligence

Successful entrepreneurs display emotional intelligence. They know how to interact with people using both verbal and non-verbal communication. You should be able to form strong relational connections, avoid emotional minefields, and stay cool under pressure. Instead of acting erratically or irrationally, you maintain focus and build a strong interpersonal network with the community and within your own company.

Self-Reliance

As an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared for the unknown. You start your business with your vision and plan in mind, but you have to make provisions for the hurdles along the way. You have to be self-reliant. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the business succeeds at all costs. Even though there’s uncertainty at every turn, you have to believe in yourself and stay on task.

Lifelong Learning

Successful entrepreneurs are eager to learn and view failure as a stepping stone to success. You have to commit to lifelong learning. Whether you listen to podcasts, watch the daily news, read industry magazines, or take a few fast-track classes, being a lifelong learner is key to entrepreneurial success.

Conclusion

Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, mastering these traits can help make you a better entrepreneur. Uncertainty is something we face every day, but as long as you have confidence in your abilities, you can overcome any obstacle that comes your way.