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An excerpt from ‘All The World’s A Stage: A Personal Branding Story’, by Ambi Parameswaran.

‘We spoke about executive presence and executive voice. But digital technology is changing the way we work. Many companies are offering their employees the flexibility to work from home or, in fact, from anywhere. And this trend grew exponentially during the pandemic. Where does all this presence and voice go in that scenario?’ Shankar had a great poser for the three of us.

Kunal decided to chime in with his additional query, ‘Well, many financial institutions too are examining how to make work more modular, so that people can have greater work-life flexibility. What Shankar is asking is quite pertinent. I know a company that has been having even board meetings where directors join virtually from several countries. I am also wondering if there is a need to relook at all the executive presence and executive voice gyan we discussed a few minutes ago.’

‘Virtual meetings are definitely becoming more and more common, but that does not mean that we need to throw out what we know about building personal brands through executive presence and voice,’ Rita said.

I knew that this was a new domain and we all knew very little about how this would shape up in the years to come. There were many contradictory thoughts going through my mind. But I decided to wade in with a question. ‘Well, Shankar, what are the key principles of executive presence and executive voice?’

‘We just went over that. Make sure you look smart and speak well. And be consistent. Shankar repeated what we had discussed earlier. He, however, followed it up with a question. ‘But when doing a virtual meeting, you are reduced to a little box, and sometimes it’s just audio. All your executive presence is nothing in a small box, no?’ Shankar asked.

‘Shankar, even in a small window you can appear like a ghost or a smart executive. I know some managers hold meetings with a brightly lit window right behind them. If they only flipped directions and faced the light, they would look much better and not ghost-like. Or look at the way you dress for a virtual meeting. Some executives are dressed in t-shirts when the rest of the attendees are formally dressed,’ I replied.

Rita jumped in with her suggestions on what works in virtual meetings. ‘I read somewhere that there are a few key principles of running a good virtual meeting. And those will help you build your executive presence.’

‘What are those principles, Rita?’ Shankar was now curious. Clearly, he was getting ready to implement some of these best practices for his virtual meetings.

‘Some of the principles are simple. When doing a virtual meeting always face the light. Don’t have the brightest light in the room behind you. And just because it is a virtual meeting that you are attending from home, you cannot dress inappropriately. Always dress right. Ensure that you find a place in your home that is tidy and will not distract the other attendees. As far as possible, find a room that is quiet or keep putting yourself on mute when you’re not talking. Background household noise can’t be helped but can be disturbing. Even if you’re in your office, you’ll be surprised how bothersome white noise can be in virtual meetings. Then there is the nostril problem,’ Rita stopped for effect.

‘What nostril problem are you talking about? Are you once again making fun of my big nose?’ Kunal asked with a half-smile.

‘No, not your nose, silly. I have attended meetings where the attendee is showing off his nasal hair. The simple rule is to ensure that the camera of your laptop or your webcam is at eye level,’ Rita added.

‘Wow, Rita, you are the expert,’ I complimented her on the simple hacks she had suggested. ‘In addition to these key things, I think you must also ensure that you test the system and the bandwidth so that you don’t end up freezing all the time. I always have a backup network to go to and keep doing speed tests to ensure that my internet speed is good.’

‘Everything you’re saying makes sense. But how can everyone ensure all of the above? Many people live in small apartments. How can they fulfil these conditions?’ Shankar wanted to know.

‘Shankar, if people are going to attend meetings from home, then they have to find a corner that is well lit and quiet. And investing in a good internet connection and a backup internet dongle aren’t big asks,’ Rita fired back.

‘I think all that we discussed about executive presence and executive voice applies to virtual meetings too. You need to arrive in time and should be able to join the meeting without any technical glitches. You should have done your homework and not be distracted or looking at your mobile phone when the meeting is in progress. Mute your mic when not speaking. Minimise body movements so it does
not distract the others. Pay attention and participate. In fact, virtual meetings give us an opportunity to put up our hands or send questions and comments in the chat box. All these can help improve the quality of meetings and our personal effectiveness,’ I added.

‘I get it now. Some of these are simple things but we may not pay attention to them,’ Shankar was nodding in agreement. ‘Yes, Shankar. In fact, going forward for a company like yours, that deals with global customers, virtual meetings may be a blessing. And if you run them well, they can improve your effectiveness,’ Rita said.

‘Absolutely, Rita. I think the virtual world is rapidly changing the way we do business. And those of us who understand these new rules of the game can get ahead of the pack,’ Kunal added. Kunal had been doing virtual meeting with global investors.

‘One thing that you have to agree on is that these virtual meetings are a damn sight better than those boring teleconferences we used to have earlier,’ I added.

‘Oh yes! Some of these routine telecalls in my previous job were a waste of time. They used to run for hours and we used to put the call on speakerphone and get on with our work. Only to say “great initiative” or “good point” every fifteen minutes,’ Kunal laughed as he said that.

‘You know that a lot of what we discussed here may sound basic, but you will be surprised to know how often these simple rules are violated or even forgotten. I often spend time coaching executives on the norms of digital meetings,’ Rita explained.

‘I think well-run virtual meetings can be a big help. They can save some valuable resources. And from what you guys are saying, the rules we discussed earlier for personal branding and executive presence are applicable to the virtual world too, right?’ Shankar seemed to have seen the light. Shankar’s next question was something I had expected much earlier. ‘Guys, you have been schooling me about personal branding, but I think we are missing out on one important area—digital and social media. Aren’t those essential for personal branding in this day and age? I’m hoping to hear a no, because I hate social media of any kind,’ Shankar said. And we had another topic to unravel.

Feature Image Credit: Illustration from the book 

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Sourced from Scroll.in

By Himanshu Bisht

Personal branding is essential for any entrepreneur, but it’s especially important in the world of Web3. With blockchain technology estimated to grow exponentially in the coming years, thought leadership in this space can offer a big advantage to founders and builders.

In my experience helping Web3 entrepreneurs build successful brands and creating my own niche presence, there is one common pattern I have found: People follow people. They don’t follow lifeless company logos and brands. Perhaps this is why more and more founders are spending significant time building their personal brands now.

Personal Branding Myths Busted

Personal branding is often seen as narcissistic and self-indulgent. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Personal branding is one of the most effective marketing tools available, and it’s a key driver of success for entrepreneurs.

A personal brand is not about having millions of followers. It’s about authority, trustworthiness and relatability. It’s about building a genuine fan base that appreciates your content and looks up to you as a thought leader in your space.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of personal branding for entrepreneurs in Web3.

My 5 Steps For Building A Personal Brand As A Web3 Founder

1. Define Your Niche

The first step to building a personal brand as a founder is getting clarity. Be precise about what you’re passionate about and what you want to be known for. This will help you attract the right followers and build a personal brand that is unique and authentic.

Remember, personal branding is a two-way road. Whether you want to talk about DeFi, or you are more excited to talk about cryptocurrency, it is important to choose a topic that you are interested in talking about and is something people want to hear about.

2. Choose Your Social Media Platform

Social media is a powerful tool for personal branding. In fact, most of the Web3 audience is hanging out either on LinkedIn or Twitter (also known as “crypto Twitter”). By being active on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn and Medium, you can reach a wider audience and share your ideas with the world.

3. Create Content That Educates And Entertains

Once you’ve defined your personal brand and chosen your platform, it’s time to start creating content—but not just any content. Make sure your content is engaging, informative and entertaining.

The best personal brands are built on a foundation of great content. If you can consistently produce high-quality content that educates and entertains your audience, you’ll be well on your way to building a personal brand that people know and trust.

4. Attend Web3-Specific Industry Events

Your personal branding journey doesn’t stop at content creation. To really take your personal brand to the next level, get out there and meet people face to face. And what better way to do that than by attending Web3-specific industry events?

By attending events and networking with key players in the space, you’ll not only gain valuable insights, but you’ll also make important connections that can help you further your personal brand.

5. Collaborate With Other Thought Leaders In The Industry

As you start building your personal brand, it can be helpful to collaborate with other thought leaders in the industry. You can do this through guest blogging, co-hosting events or even just engaging in thoughtful debates on social media.

Not only will collaborating with other thought leaders help you further refine your personal brand, but it will also help you reach a wider audience and solidify your position as a thought leader in the space.

Final Thoughts

For Web3 founders, there are big advantages to building a personal brand and providing thought leadership in the space. In fact, these are key factors in attracting the right investors, customers and followers when you are starting something new from scratch.

By following the steps outlined above, you can start building a personal brand that will help you attract your desired audience. So what are you waiting for? Get started today.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By Himanshu Bisht

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Himanshu Bisht is an experienced startup marketing expert. He helps entrepreneurs build impactful companies & powerful personal brands. Read Himanshu Bisht’s full executive profile here

Sourced from Forbes

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Business growth expert Shanee Moret shares how you can grow and monetize your personal brand without spending all day on social media.

Shanee Moret never wanted to build a personal brand, she was forced to. While her daughter was in the hospital she was given an ultimatum by her manager, get back to work or you’re fired. As you can imagine, she chose the latter.

To support herself she offered copywriting services but she ran into another problem, she absolutely hated cold calling. The solution? Start creating content on LinkedIn to attract inbound leads. She gave herself 30 days to make it work and by all accounts it certainly has. Today Shanee has well over one million followers on LinkedIn and helps other entrepreneurs build their brand and revenue as the founder of Growth Academy.

Shanee sat down to talk with me about how she built and monetized her brand – and how you can do the same – during the latest episode of the Launch Your Business podcast.

Here are a few of my favourite takeaways.

How to Tell Your Story

We all have a personal brand. Personal branding just allows you to have more control over the narrative. The best way to get started is by learning how to tell your story. But, your story shouldn’t just be about you, it should reflect how you’re uniquely suited to help your target audience.

As Shanee states “It’s all about understanding who you want to attract and understanding what they’re struggling with. From there you can determine how you could leverage your own story to attract those people.”

One framework I recommend for this is Donald Miller’s Storybrand. In short, you position your audience as the star of the story, then talk about how you’ll help them find success and avoid failure based on your own experiences.

Shanee also speaks to why it’s important to be vulnerable and authentic. And look, I know those are both overused buzzwords, but she shared the impact it has on her business and how it can help you as well.

“I’m speaking to them emotionally, I’m using my own experiences. But because they resonate with it they’re going to be attracted to what I’m saying. It’s going to spark their curiosity. It’s going to make them come back to the content, engage and increase the chances of them becoming a client”

Need more help telling your story? Ask your friends and family what stands out to them about you. We often overlook the most interesting parts of our own story because we’re too close to it.

Getting Over the Apprehension of Building a Personal Brand

One issue you may have with building your personal brand is, well, not wanting to share personal information. If that’s the case, Shanee has good news for you. “You don’t have to share your personal life to build a personal brand. Look at Gary Vaynerchuk, he barely shares anything about his personal life but he’s visible.”

So while you don’t have to share what you ate for breakfast, you do have to be visible. You can do this through text-based content, images or video. I realize I may have lost you at the video part and I can understand any apprehension you may have about it. When I first started creating videos I somehow looked angry and scared at the same time.

Shanee shared her rocky start as well “For the first one my hands are shaking. People look at me now and say ‘Oh, you’re so comfortable on video’. Yeah. This is like thousands of videos later. This is just a lot of practice and I’m still not the best. I still get nervous even before livestreams and masterclasses but I show up and I do it.”

Despite the challenges, she explains why she keeps showing up “I want the desired result of growth. I want to be able to provide for my daughter, my family at a generational wealth level more than I’m afraid of getting on a video.”

So, what will a personal brand do for you? Once you get clear on that you’ll have all the motivation needed to push through any of the associated challenges.

How to Monetize Your Personal Brand

The number one mistake Shanee’s see people make with their personal brand? They don’t have an offer for their audience. As a result, there’s no journey for their audience to go on once they know, like and trust you.

An offer can be as simple as encouraging people to join your email list, which is exactly what I do on LinkedIn. My weekly newsletter, The Solopreneur’s Shortcut, promises one thought, one time-saver and one tactic to help you grow your business and avoid burnout. It comes out on Friday and all week I tease out highlights of the newsletter content on LinkedIn. I then encourage people to join my email list so they can gain access to more detailed information. You can take a similar approach and then promote offers you charge for once someone joins your email list.

Shanee spoke about how your audience can help you craft that offer, and why it’s the key to monetizing your brand. “I’ve helped people build that offer because your community will reveal certain things and patterns over time that you could craft the perfect offer for them. And I feel like that mindset, that monetization is bad is why some people have big personal brands but they’re still ineffective”

Your personal brand can easily become a revenue generating asset, but that won’t happen until you extend an offer to your audience.

What’s next?

Those were a few key takeaways from my conversation with Dorie. To hear the full conversation and get access to additional resources tune in to this week’s episode of the Launch Your Business podcast.

Launch Your Business is brought to you by ChatterBoss. A company that helps entrepreneurs make money, save time and avoid burnout by providing top notch executive assistants. To learn more and save $50 off your first month visit www.chatterboss.com/launch.

Have questions about launching your business? I’ve partnered with Chatterboss to provide free office hours where you can ask me questions and get them answered live. You can learn more and sign up here.

Feature Image Credit: Nick Nelson

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Sourced from Entrepreneur

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When it comes to personal branding, the right colours have the power to attract clients and opportunities, while the wrong colours can do the exact opposite.

When it comes to personal branding, the right colours have the power to attract clients and opportunities, while the wrong colours can do the exact opposite. So, what’s the secret to choosing brand colours that lead you to the C-suite and closing bigger deals?

The first step in figuring this out is understanding the psychology of colour. Colour has the power to influence human behaviour. It can be utilized to induce a desired mood or emotion in someone and elicit a desired response (Masterclass Staff, 2022).

Colours are broken into several categories, the most common being primary and secondary colours. The primary colours are defined as colours from which all other colours can be created by mixing. The primary colours are:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Yellow

Secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours, with the most common being:

  • Green
  • Orange
  • Purple

The psychology of colour

Each colour can vary in intensity, also known as chroma (think, electric blue vs. navy blue) and its value (lightness or darkness). Here is a quick reference guide:

Red is passionate and energetic. Brands that use red in their branding are trying to communicate excitement, vibrancy and action.

Blue is calming and trustworthy. This is why many financial and healthcare services use blue in their branding.

Yellow is cheerful and optimistic — perfect for brands that want to communicate happiness and positivity.

Green is refreshing and natural, making it an excellent choice for eco-friendly and health-focused brands.

Orange is energetic and playful, often used by brands targeting younger audiences.

Purple is associated with royalty, luxury and mystery. If you want to convey a sense of sophistication and elegance in your branding, purple is the way to go.

Black, white and brown are considered neutral colours, but they also evoke emotions:

  • Black is powerful and mysterious.
  • White is pure, sophisticated and simple.
  • Brown is a mixture of all the primary colours and is natural, earthy and strong.

When it comes to personal branding, you want your brand colours to represent who you are, and authenticity is everything. Choosing your brand’s colour isn’t a game of “hope for the best.” It’s a scientific approach that starts with clarifying what you want to achieve and how you want to be perceived by your ideal audience.

For example, let’s say that you are a take-charge nurse who wants to leverage a personal brand’s power to move into an administrative role. In this case, you may lean towards choosing colours that convey compassion, excellence and leadership.

Let’s use Kaiser Permanente, a non-profit healthcare organization, as an example. The brand’s logo uses a calming blue to represent “loyalty and trust,” while the white brings balance and peace to the logo. When you look at the Kaiser logo, how do you feel? Do you see how this large organization used colour to make the brand feel “human”?

Get clear on how you want to be perceived by others

Now that you have an overview of colour psychology, it’s time to understand how you want others to see and experience you. What are three words you want people to use when they describe you? What colours come to mind when you hear the words fiery, bold and ambitious?

Ask yourself how your industry and/or niche are viewed. Would you expect to see a doctor in private practice using pink and purple in their branding? Another point to consider when thinking about industry standards is: Do you want to disrupt the industry or offer a slightly different approach?

Your primary brand colour is the colour you’ll use most often. It should demand attention. Visually, it is the star of your show and is used in your logo, website, social media and marketing materials. Your secondary brand colours are the colours you’ll use less often in your branding. They can accentuate some aspects of your website or add visual interest.

Related: Understanding the Power of Design and Branding

Consistency is key

Now that you know the psychology behind choosing the right colours for your brand, it’s essential to use your colours consistently. You’ll use your brand colours on your website and marketing materials.

Another area where your brand colours should be consistent is in your attire. So many leaders and entrepreneurs miss the mark by displaying brand presence in the way they dress. If you’re planning on doing any public speaking, attending events or networking, wear your brand colours! By showing up “on brand,” you will stand out in a crowd and make yourself unforgettable.

If advancing in your career is your goal, consider using your brand colours in your email signature, across social media and any other place you show up. To remain consistent, you also need to know the hex codes of your brand’s colour.

What is a hex code?

A hex code is a six-digit combination of numbers and letters to specify a colour. Hex codes start with a pound sign (#) and are followed by six characters, three numbers and three letters. For example, the hex code for electric blue is #00FFFF.

Hex codes are essential for personal branding, because they ensure that your brand colours are consistent across all platforms. When you use hex codes, you can be confident that the blue in your logo will match the blue on your website, and the green in your social media posts will match the green in your email signature.

A best practice is to create a guide that outlines your brand standards, including your colour palette, words that describe your brand, etc. This document is known as a brand guide, and it can also include logos, fonts and even the filters you use on social media. As your brand grows, everyone on your team will know the standards, and they can easily maintain the same level of consistency.

Colour is an essential tool that should not be overlooked for personal branding. By understanding the psychology of colour and choosing colours that align with your goals and values, you can create a strong and recognizable personal brand.

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Sourced from Entrepreneur

By John Hall

Chris Ducker once famously said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” During life, you’ll undoubtedly come across different types of leaders.

The cliché of the angry boot camp drill sergeant certainly represents one form of leadership, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have business leaders who get results from their employees by displaying empathy and understanding.

Such interactions go a long way in establishing your personal brand with those you interact with on a daily basis. But for those looking to establish themselves as an authority in their niche, personal branding goes for even greater reach.

Why Building A Strong Personal Brand Matters

Your personal brand is what you project to the world. It’s how others see you, and how they will ultimately talk about you. For highly visible leaders, your personal brand will likely have a major influence on whether someone decides to do business with you.

Many like to think that they do business with people, rather than a faceless company. A leader with a strong personal brand can essentially become the face of the company to customers and prospects. Unlike a company, a person is someone we can become attached to and more easily identify with.

These results are readily apparent through social media. On average, brand messages shared by employees have a 561 percent greater reach than if those same messages are shared through branded channels. This content also receives eight times as much engagement.

If regular employees can have that type of impact just by sharing brand content, it’s well worth considering how much reach a leader can have when they share their original insights. That reach and engagement is what will allow you to grow your business and establish yourself as a genuine authority in your niche.

Be Consistent In Your Efforts To Build A Personal Brand

Northeastern University recommends, “Before you start crafting your personal brand, you also need to determine who you’re trying to reach. Is it other industry thought leaders? An individual at a particular company? Recruiters? The sooner you define the audience, the easier it will be to craft your story, because you’ll better understand the type of story you need to tell (and where you need to tell it).”

While it’s true that many business leaders have built their personal brand through blog content, this isn’t the be-all end-all of brand building. Public speaking, or simply sharing your insights on social media, can also help you establish credibility in your niche.

What matters more than your preferred platform is establishing consistency in how you present your knowledge and insights. For example, using a tool like Boosted lets you easily customize video templates with your own font, logo, music and more to help you create a consistent look each time you post content to social media.

A distinct visual style will clue viewers in that they are looking at your content, and not anyone else’s. When someone is scrolling through their feed, they’ll immediately recognize your content.

Consistency also means that you will regularly devote time to your personal branding efforts. A flurry of posts at the beginning of your branding initiative won’t do you much good if you quit writing and posting after three months. A strong personal brand requires ongoing effort and maintenance.

Share Content That Truly Builds Your Brand

The type of content you share as you build your personal brand goes a long way in defining how others perceive you. It’s one thing to have a quick wit — but if you’re all witticisms without any actual meaningful insight for your industry, it will be easy for others in your niche to ignore you.

On the other hand, sharing case studies, insights from your business and personal experiences, client success stories and other value-driven content will help you establish a brand that people actively want to engage with.

To find the right focus for strengthening your personal brand, executive coach and speaker May Busch recommends asking trusted people to tell you the words that they associate with you to identify the gap between your current reputation and what you want your personal brand to be.

She explains, “Once you’ve identified the gap between perception and reality, choose the aspect that will make the biggest difference in changing perceptions. What will give the biggest boost to your personal brand? What’s the one thing that will make the other parts of the gap easier to close? That’s what you want to work on first.”

Whether interacting with someone on social media or writing a new blog post, always consider how it will help you cultivate your desired persona and provide actual value to your intended audience. This will help you become more than just another personality — you’ll be an authority.

Building A Personal Brand That Delivers

The personal brand you cultivate will greatly influence how others perceive you (and your company) long before they do business with you. You must take ownership of your personal brand so that you can direct the conversation.

By staying true to yourself and being proactive in sharing your unique message, business prospects, industry leaders and others will come to know who you are and what you stand for. They’ll view you as a reliable, trustworthy source, as someone who provides meaningful insights.

With a strong personal brand, the results you’re looking for in your career are sure to follow.

Feature Image Credit: getty

By John Hall

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

John Hall is the co-founder and president of Calendar, a scheduling and time management app. He’s also the strategic adviser for Relevance, a company that helps brands differentiate themselves and lead their industry online. You can book him as a keynote speaker here and you can check out his best-selling book “Top of Mind.” Sign up for Calendar here.

Sourced from Forbes

By Simone Sloan

Everyone needs a personal brand. Taking control of your public image is no longer optional.

The information age demands that we share an authentic image of ourselves, and failure to manage personal branding can lead to misinformation about you or your company.

Here are five things to consider when optimizing your personal brand.

Define your brand.

You’re in control of shaping your brand. Ideally, you want to define yourself publicly in a way that’s true to your real self.

Start with a personal mantra – a positive statement that motivates and inspires you to be your best self. My personal mantra, which I also use for my business, is “voice, power, and confidence.” This mantra manifests itself in my leadership style and the approach I take with clients.

Identifying your mantra requires a lot of self-reflection in order to identify strengths, areas to develop, and places where you get derailed. This process allows you to leverage, develop, or stop specific characteristics, skills, and/or behaviours.

Next, define your personal brand values. Think of your values as one of your personal brand’s foundational elements. It is paramount to get clear on what you believe, what drives your decision making, and how you choose to show up.

We all have stated values. These are the things we say we do and don’t believe. We also have aspirational values, or what we aspire to believe, and demonstrated values, which is how we actually show up. It’s useful to reflect on the ways you’re showing up with integrity to your personal brand even when no one is watching. This tells others what you truly believe.

Reality check your brand.

Obtaining a reality check is essential for building or optimizing your personal brand. We all operate from a lens derived from our experiences and beliefs. Stepping outside of ourselves is required to get an objective sense of who we are. During this process, you take inventory of your likes, character strengths, values, motivators, and the way you communicate who you are to others. These form the baseline of your personal brand.

The next step is to validate your judgments through feedback from others. This lets you see how close your self-assessment is to how others are experiencing you. Take the time to listen and receive constructive feedback about yourself. 360s are a popular workplace tool that provides valuable information for self-improvement. Ask for feedback from people in your life such as family, friends, and colleagues.

Personality assessment tools such as Myers Briggs, DISC, and Emotional Intelligence can provide additional information to gain a better understanding of both your drivers and triggers. The more you know about yourself, the better. The feedback you receive will help you discover gaps and other information crucial to forge a future vision for your brand.

Define your brand promise.

Your personal brand promise is the expected experience others will have of you. Showing up consistently demonstrates to others that they can trust and rely on that promise. It takes commitment and consistency. My brand promise is that you will gain the tools you need to become more energized and mobilized to achieve your results.

If you promise to be prompt for meetings and in communication, then you should be on time for meetings and follow up with a meeting recap. Your brand promise is communicated both verbally and nonverbally, and you must be mindful of your nonverbal communication. Do you make eye contact? Are you more prone to frowns or smiles, interested nods or bored yawns?

Dress for success, even if you work from home. Your appearance creates your first impression and can set the stage for how others experience you.

Moving from brand planning to brand activation.

The key objective for you during brand activation is to be seen and heard consistently. You want to stand out in a positive way. Part of activation is crafting and communicating your value proposition, which conveys your value and the benefits of working with you.

Identify what makes you unique. I call this your superpower: the thing(s) you’re able to do that come easily. My superpowers are listening actively and reflectively.

Be bold with your brand or you may have difficulty escaping obscurity. The purpose of your brand is to engage, be relevant, and stay top-of-mind for your audience. As you activate your brand, you’ll find more opportunities to obtain feedback, learn, change, and build a stronger brand.

Refining your brand is not a finite, stagnant activity you engage in for a brief period every couple of years. Markets, people, and companies change. It is important to re-evaluate your brand frequently to stay current and known.

After each client engagement, I survey them to obtain feedback. Then I evaluate the experience and ask how I can improve my service. Every six months I check in on my brand messaging, services, and my presence to ensure they are still relevant and aligned.

Build rapport with others.

Part of personal branding requires building a rapport. It allows you to develop a cross-promotion between your personal and professional life that will lead to opportunities from potential employers, employees, advocates, and customers.

Authenticity is key.

People are drawn to authenticity, and it’s not an easy thing to fake. Show your true authenticity through honesty and consistency.

Use your three C’s. Clarity, consistency, and constancy.

Ensure your message is clear and consistent across all mediums, and shared constantly.

You are the CEO of your personal brand. Determine your objectives and align your actions and communications to those objectives. Be creative and original while remaining clear and consistent. Own your narrative. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself – you need to remind people of your value. Your personal brand is working for you when others see and hear you.

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Simone Sloan

Simone Sloan is the founder of Your Choice Coach, an executive coaching and diversity and inclusion consulting firm. She applies expertise in business strategy, executive coaching, and emotional intelligence to help organizations align activities with strategy and become more human to realize results. To learn how emotional intelligence can help your teams, leadership style, or business, contact her. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website

Sourced from Forbes

Ellevate Network is a community of professional women committed to helping each other succeed. We use the power of community to help you take the next step in your career.

This woman was influencing me across social media platforms for the best part of a decade. She once influenced me to buy a Fitbit that I never used. I watched her relationship form and marriage crumble and was influenced to feel a great deal of sympathy for her. I saw her decorate her house in meticulous detail, reminding me that I too wanted to one day buy a property, and influencing me to feel shameful about the fact I can’t (and to also make a mental note that I need a Smeg fridge).
Then she posted a video like many others have – women in particular – about “influencer” being a shameful word and that she didn’t want to associate with it. What a curious thing to say, I thought, when I couldn’t think of a better word to describe her. 

You’ve probably seen crotchety British Gen Xers on social media say a variant of “everyone’s an influencer now”. What they really mean is that everyone is too online and has a personal brand, always pushing something, whether it’s their opinions or their work; a persona that’s only loosely related to the person you know or suspect them to be in real life. But it’s also true that “influencer” is now a sweeping term that is used to mean anything from “aspirational career path to riches”  to “talentless internet shill for brands”, depending on how old or how online (or not) the individual using it is.

“‘Influencer’ is a weird term in that it both works perfectly – in that the direct connection online celebrities and creators have with their audience makes them more influential and able to affect the likelihood of purchases – and is also essentially so broad as to be meaningless,” tech journalist and author Chris Stokel-Walker tells me. Does it mean your sister who recently signed up to an MLM business flogging essential oil blends, or your Dad sharing anti-vax memes with all his Facebook friends? The way people use the word colloquially now, who can say?

I suspect much of this amorphousness is down to the power of the word “influencer” in the first place. It says “I can make you do what I want”. It has clout and energy. You can also “influence” anyone in any manner of ways – emotionally, psychologically. In 2019, the year the Mirriam-Webster Dictionary added “influencer” to its lexicon, its editor-at-large Peter Sokolowski explained to AdWeek that “all of us are consumers, even if all we are consuming is information”.

We’re not just being sold influencers’ ads – we willingly sell our attention and engagement in increasingly obtuse but intense ways. As Stokel-Walker points out: “In the dictionary definition of the term, people who have clout with their audience are influencers – in that they can influence people to do things, or to buy products if they choose.” It’s little wonder we throw the word around so carelessly.

Influencing has existed as a concept for as long as Western capitalist culture. Influencing is the reason the advertising industry exists; it birthed seismic tomes like Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends And Influence People. The valorisation of influence in American culture is the bedrock of the entrepreneurialism that all young people seemingly now have to partake in.

At the end of 2011, an updated version of Carnegie’s book was published: How to Win Friends And Influence People in the Digital Age. The following year Emily Hund, a social media and influencer researcher then working in the magazine and publishing industry, watched the blogging phenomenon begin. It was an exciting time, Hund recalls, when names like Susie Bubble and Fashion Toast were launching incredibly successful careers off their influence.

“No one planned to create this industry,” explains Hund. “It happened by accident. People fell backward into it, because of this perfect storm of events; of the advent of these different technological platforms; and the crumbling of legacy media and creative industries, where there were a lot of people who were trained in or interested in creative jobs who weren’t getting traditional jobs. There was this glut of people who were turning to the internet at a time when the internet was gonna save everybody.”

In the early 2010s, people were referred to by the platform they were famous on: YouTubers, Viners, YouNow stars. “You saw the rise of this new group who were true multi-platform creators and there needed to be an agnostic term for them,” New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz says. That term couldn’t be ‘creators’, because that word was synonymous with YouTubers. “This was also when brands really came into the picture and did bigger brand deals. ‘Influencer’ was the word that the marketing industry applied to creators, and people started using it.”

For years, Lorenz battled to even use the word “influencer” in her day-to-day work as a reporter for one of the most respected publications in the world. “I’ve had literally hours of arguments and conversations with editors at literally every place I’ve ever worked,” she says, “to try to describe people accurately and in a way that will be accessible to all audiences, and that old people and young people will both understand who you’re talking about.”

As Lorenz points out, these arguments about language happen with any emerging journalistic beat, but the reluctance to name influencers speaks to the fact that the industry felt both terrifyingly new and yet evolving and changing at an exponential rate.

A shift occurred in 2017 and 2018, when “influencer” took on a new negative connotation. Hund ties this to a wave of new influencers following what had previously been financially successful for their predecessors and ushering in repetitive content and trends – all of which was obvious to audiences. Think millennial pink, brunches and girlbossery but also spon con.

“People started to sense that the influencer class maybe was losing their edginess that maybe they had in the very beginning – and then also it started to become more clear that people that influencers were selling something,” says Hund.

Similarly, Lorenz notes that most people weren’t paying attention to the influencing industry until around 2017, and associate “influencer” with the creators from that era: female, hyper-curated, millennial. “There’s a charge that comes with the word influencer and a lot of it is sexism,” she says. “Someone will say ‘I’m not an influencer’, but if you ask them what an influencer is, they’ll say it’s a beautiful young woman that they see as vapid and shouldn’t be building their brand and doing sponsored content.”

At exactly the same time, “influencer” became an aspirational word to Gen Z. The youngest creators self-identify as influencers, and for the wannabes or future influencers, the word translates to the lifestyle and income of mid-to-top-tier creators.

Whether a slur or dream career, the word now reflects how the majority of us present and graft online. I always feel an uncanny jolt whenever I see people tagging brands in their Instagram stories of items they’ve bought themselves – as if that either makes them appear as an influencer or as if they assume that’s how friends and colleagues engage with their “content”.

“Everyone is sort of adopting this mindset of the advertising industry or the media industry logics that have existed for a long time,” explains Hund. “Now, they’re kind of being applied to the individual, where it’s like, ‘OK, now my M.O. is to influence.’”

We’re all using influencer tactics, from the celebrity actresses turned cookery range floggers (acting like influencers but not technically influencers, according to Lorenz) to you sharing other people’s work in the hope of one day getting reciprocal shares on your own.

So do we need new words to name the actual influencers? What actually is an influencer? “My feeling is that influencers – and creators – are a subset of entrepreneurs,” says Lorenz, adding that what is important is that we have a term at all so that people can recognise and understand the industry. To say we’re all influencers makes it difficult to talk about or critique influencer behaviour and the ways in which they sell and or behave as an extension of the brands they make deals with.

When I ask Stokel-Walker, he says, “There needs to be a term for digital-first – and largely digital-only – ‘influencers’, for whom the stakes are higher if they misstep and therefore are more likely to follow the rules around disclosure and more carefully protect their online brand, versus the traditional celebrities who get bunged a few quid every few months to plug a product online and are doing it as a bolt-on to their income, so aren’t necessarily as careful about how they do it.”

The issue with making language more specific is that it would show the problem with the latter: “What we think of as a more authentic way of marketing products isn’t authentic when you’re not that bothered if your Instagram audience turns away from you, because you’ve still got your TV presenting gigs.”

Interestingly, the drive to re-define these terms is coming from influencers themselves. In a recent bid to legitimise their jobs and standardise practices and rates, they hope to unionise. “They’re upfront, saying ‘we create our own content, but we’re here to work with brands and do it in a professional way’,” says Hund, “They’re trying to really clean up the field and normalise it.”

If our favourite influencers – the ones who’ve influenced us the most – insist they don’t really relate to the dirty word, this is a chance for them to reclaim it. Or, at least, use their social currency to become someone new.

Feature Image Credit: Owain Anderson 

By Hannah Ewens

[email protected] Features Editor at VICE UK. Author of ‘Fangirls: Scenes From Modern Music Culture’.

Sourced from VICE

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This is really all you need, check it out!

A podcast is one of the best ways that people can share their ideas, experiences, and views on a particular topic.

But many will wonder: What is a podcast? Here we go: It is about preparing content in audio format and it is posted on the open Internet or within certain platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Ivoox, SoundCloud, among the most popular, so that the rest can listen to it. of people.

The word ” podcast ” comes from merging two words in English: “pod” (referring to a portable audio player) and ” broadcast ” (transmission or broadcast).

Make your voice heard

Sometimes the excuse for not starting our own podcast is that we have no experience or that we are not star experts in the field where we want to start; However, the idea of making our own podcast is that we reach our target audience, who may be interested in our ideas, and that we help them solve their most common problems.

For example, if you are a health professional, you can start sharing experiences and tips that help people control their weight, take care of their physical condition or tips to improve their well-being in general. You can do it using your own knowledge or you can have other guests, colleagues and specialists to help you develop the topic.

An important clarification: You don’t have to be a star to podcast. In fact, it is exactly the other way around. You will be recognized for your ideas as your audience begins to listen to you and grow with you, and become interested in your content.

The importance of personal branding

Another advantage of doing a podcast is that you will be aligning it with your personal branding strategy. As I always share, it is about reaching to develop it in the medium and long term, because it pays off to the extent that you can grow and share your ideas with an audience that will become faithful to your content; In the case of your audio content, they will not only listen to you or share and comment, but they can also subscribe to listen to your new episodes.

On another level, brands and products could be interested in what you share, generating income from your project.

4 simple steps to start your first podcast

Here are the basics you need to keep in mind when thinking about having your own podcast, in these 4 easy steps:

1. Define a topic and format: One of the most important things when starting a podcast is that you define what you want to talk about. Pick a topic that you are proficient and that you think will be useful to your audience. The most common formats are podcast with specific weekly topics, podcast with interviews, podcast with guests, or podcast with book and movie reviews related to your main topic. Although there are an infinity of themes. The duration is variable, from 5 or 10 minutes to programs of an hour or more. There is an audience for all tastes.

2. Define a publication schedule : It is important that you define the frequency in which you are going to launch each new episode. Will it be a weekly, biweekly or monthly podcast? Once you have established it, you should plan and research the topics that you are going to cover in each episode. Take the time to find sources, interviewees, or ideas that you want to implement in each episode.

When you feel ready, grab your phone (or hire a professional studio) and record your first episode. If you have the ability to edit audio, you can incorporate resources such as music, sound effects, pre-recorded voices and a large number of artistic elements that will give more body and appeal to your content. How to record? Many do it directly with the voice recorder built into the cell phone; others add an external microphone, and even get a more professional one and record on their computer.

3. Define the platforms where to post: It is undeniable that to have reach you will need to have a Spotify account for Podcasters. There are also other platforms in Spanish, as I mentioned above. And I suggest that you do not rule out local platforms and in your language, since the more you have a presence, the more viral your content could become, encompassing niche audiences and other broader ones, always depending on the topics you address.

4. Make it recurring and share it on your social networks: Now it’s time to share your podcast with the world. The first place where you should start sharing your episodes on all your social networks. If you have interviews, mention them with @ so they also help you spread the word. And remember to mention this new tactic of your Personal Brand in any other communication, for example, with a direct link on your website, or by recording yourself on video while you prepare the podcast and upload it to your YouTube channel. In other words, you do what is called “transmedia”, you take advantage of the synergy between one medium and the others. In a podcast your primary audience will be the people who already follow and know you, then new followers will come. Here the key is in the constancy, in how frequently you publish and generate loyalty and recommendations from your followers.

A help for you: The best platforms to share your podcast

Once you have your first episode recorded and edited (which you can do directly from your phone with applications such as Mobile Podcaster or Dolby On, or in a professional studio) you must share it.

One of the best ways to quickly and professionally share your podcast across multiple platforms is through Anchor.fm. This website is one of the best options to upload your episodes on several other platforms at the same time, without having to do it manually on each of them. In addition, it is an official Spotify website.

Another of the most popular aggregators where you can upload your podcast to be shared automatically on multiple platforms is Spreaker.com. Here you will also have the option to have your podcast automatically uploaded to Google Podcast, iTunes, Deezer, Stitcher, Spotify, and so many more.

My final recommendation is that you cheer up. Record your first episode and then share it with the world. Your ideas and your experiences can help many if you dare to share them. Don’t keep them, amplify them!

Feature Image Credit: Kate Oseen vía Unsplash

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Sourced from Entrepreneur Europe

By Jane Anderson

It’s easy to be distracted by all the things that are expected of a business owner or expert when they are building their personal brand. And doing those things is important. That’s why podcasts are on the rise. Blog creation is growing, with over 70 million new posts appearing each month on WordPress alone. And online courses are thriving, with the global online learning market projected to be $325 billion by 2025.

But now, those people who have begun their personal brands, created content, and built engagement and impact are wondering how to take this to the next level. They want to know the next steps to elevate their brand to a world-class personal brand.

Seven Elements Of A World-Class Personal Brand

To become a world-class personal brand, you need to focus your attention on the most important elements.

1. Brand Identity

To become a world-class brand, you must have world-class branding. This means branding that is customized to who you are and what you want to be known for. Of course, this includes logos and a style guide, but it’s also about all the other parts that define the brand’s value across the website and other platforms. This includes your LinkedIn profile, YouTube channels, social media, business cards, photography, signature blocks, podcasts, webcasts and thought leadership.

2. Marketing

World-class brands have a cadence in their communications with their customers and clients. They offer value and tailor their marketing to give their potential leads what they want and need when they want and need it. And they ensure this works across their marketing avenues with search engine optimization, social media, white papers, content and books.

3. Sales

World-class brands also have proposal and sales documents. The best of these — and the most forward-thinking — are digital versions that include video elements to capture interest and share what is possible.

They also have customer management systems to enable them to move their potential leads down the sales funnel. Interestingly, they tend to sell at a premium price point because they are industry leaders.

4. Delivery

The delivery of your services and intellectual property is vital. World-class brands have a superior delivery system. This includes slide decks, virtual experiences and project management delivery systems such as Asana or Monday. Storytelling allows the brand the opportunity to deliver its own message in its own voice. Each of these things makes delivery seamless and effortless for the recipient and, therefore, world-class.

5. Personal Presence

World-class personally branded businesses have leaders with world-class presence. This comes down to things like their appearance, of course, though it’s also more than that.

World-class leaders do have a way of dressing and composing themselves, but it’s not necessarily a three-piece suit. Consider Steve Jobs, who wore a sort of uniform, with his black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers, throughout his tenure at Apple. This gave him presence.

Personal presence goes beyond how you look and dress, however. It’s also that thing that shows the world that you are the leader in the room. Often called gravitas, but so much more than that, it’s what draws people to you.

6. Mindset

Personally branded businesses that are world-class have a leader with a strong mindset. They have their own sense of optimism, enthusiasm and grit that comes from inside themselves, not from external factors that may change day to day. These types of people get a lot done. They know how to move through their work efficiently and productively and they know when it’s better to delegate.

7. Support

Mindset leads directly to support. World-class brands have a strong team around them, and their leaders trust them to contribute to the brand, despite the personal nature of it. Both their network and their inner circle have been carefully crafted to align with the brand values and build on that day by day. And they support their own teams with the implementation of efficient and workable technology.

To truly become a world-class brand, you need to think of it as a five-star hotel. I had always wanted to visit the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. It’s award-winning and widely touted as one of the best hotels in the United States. In 2012, I was able to do just that, and I was impressed with the proactive and helpful staff, the attention to detail, and the experience of great service. And this is exactly what you need to be in order to elevate your personal brand to world-class status.

Each of the elements — brand identity, marketing, sales, delivery, personal presence, mindset and support — is vital to elevating your personal brand. But in each case, you also need to make sure that you’re implementing those elements to a world-class standard with attention to detail, proactivity and extraordinary service.

Feature Image Credit: Getty

By Jane Anderson

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Not everyone knows how to leverage it to build their personal brand and become an authority figure in their industry.

In today’s world everyone is trying to build a personal brand online; however, not everyone succeeds at building their tribe. Those who succeed tend to have a great reputation and are known as an authority figure in their industry. Everyone has a story, but not everyone knows how to leverage it to build their personal brand and become an authority figure in their industry.

Jourdain Bell, co-founder of Beast Media, is helping solve this issue for professional athletes, entrepreneurs, founders and influencers by helping them become authority figures through personal branding and PR. Aside from building brands, Jourdain also works for one of the most active Venture Capital Firms in the world, Alumni Venture Group.

Public Relations is one of the most effective ways to get your story out there and create a solid online reputation. It’s all about getting the right messages to the right platforms with the right audience. Anyone who wants to build their brand needs to develop their story and get it in the media. Jourdain Co-founded Beast Media after working at another Start-Up that focused on building audiences for individuals online. Those who had an online presence and mentions in the media always performed the best when it came to growth and sales. Jourdain says that due to having press, it automatically made people an authority figure in their space.

Developing Your Story

A great story is what builds trust between you and your audience. It builds a connection without ever having to meet someone in person. Your story is not a place for you to make a pitch or try and sell something. This is your chance to truly captivate people and bring your tribe together. There are always 4 tips Jourdain likes to use when creating a story:

  1.  Figure out what your mission is and what lead you to it
  2.  Figure out how to make it emotional
  3. Use case studies/examples in your story
  4.  Invest in a copywriter

Once you have these four things you can start making a list of all the places your audience “hangs out”. From there, you can start to pitch yourself to writers, editors, contributors of platforms and publications that cover unique stories similar to yours. All you need is one person to say yes and then it becomes a snowball effect. It’s a lot easier to get on publications once you have been featured somewhere before.

Well established PR companies can be expensive but if you’re on a budget and know how to create a story you should be able to successfully tell your story in different publications. To learn more about master storytelling we also recommend that you check out this article on Becoming a Master Storyteller With Rob Dyrdek and Lewis Howes

To learn more or connect with Jourdain you can find him on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Jourdain also writes about Start-Ups, VC, Tech, Founders, and Entrepreneurs. His work can be found in The Hustlers Digest, Kivo Daily, Future Sharks, Thrive Global, Awaken The Greatness Within, On Mogul and Disrupt Magazine.

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Sourced from INFLUENCIVE