Danish entrepreneur Morten Lund made millions when he and a few other early investors exited Skype and sold up to eBay to the tune of $2.6 billion. He was forced to declare personal bankruptcy in early 2009, after a newspaper venture turned sour.
Morten doesn't let this get him down and although he lost all his money, he still has what matters to him. Start watching from about 2.30, I hope he will inspire you like he has me.
You might have heard about personal branding, it is a much hyped concept that is all over the web at the moment. How does it affect us normal folks and what can we do to make the most of personal branding? This article will briefly explain what it is, what you should be doing and what you can expect from it.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is how you project yourself to the world, how you create and maintain your image. Your brand is just as much about your profession and career as your background, what type of person you are, your interests and any interesting facts.
Personal branding is essentially very similar to company branding, for example the golden arches of McDonald's or the Apple of, uhm, Apple have become instantly recognizable as part of those companies. This is what you want for yourself, you want to stand out from the crowd and be memorable.
Personal branding is where you and your career are bundled together into one. It’s the way you market and promote the image of yourself. What you do and what you are all about and above all what you can do for others. Compare your personal brand to a rock star’s image, something that needs to be maintained.
All interaction you have with other people make up your personal branding. Having a meeting, making a phone call, sending an email are all activities that demonstrate your brand. Offline and online, you only get a few seconds for a first impression so you will want to get it right.
Do I need a personal brand?
You already have one. What you need is to maintain it and make sure it projects what you want it to by staying consistent continuously improve it. You will want to take control of your brand because you want to be noticed and stand out from the crowd. It will help you to be seen by current and prospective clients, business partners, employers and so forth. You want people to remember who you are and what you do.
Your online brand
First impressions count, also online. It's free and very simple to sign up for online networking sites and they are great tools for promoting your brand. Any typical professional will have a profile with Linkedin or Facebook, some will have lots more than this. As long as you use and maintain your profile in the right manner, you are on to a winner.
Try googling your name and see what happens. Now consider that others (prospective customers for instance) do the same. Are you happy with what they see? If you were a client, you would probably want to see a supplier with a professional profile on Linkedin and possibly other platforms.
We already know that headhunters and HR people are all over LinkedIn like a cheap suit. Guess what, they also cross reference you on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and other sites to see that you are not simply putting on a corporate act. Make sure the brand you project is consistent and well positioned, it will help you to get that raise, promotion or even a new and better job. Just like having 20 recommendations on LinkedIn weighs in your favor, one ‘wrong’ photo can be a complete dealbreaker and leave you regretting ever signing up for that service.
I have long been prolific on LinkedIn and used it as a tool for expanding my network and to do research on people and companies. I have a large and growing network which has supported me when building this site and even coming up with ideas for posts. I set up The Undercover Recruiter to promote myself as well as the blog. Setting up a blog is optional and perhaps not the first step you want to take, although if you have the time it is definitely worth looking into. I promote this blog across a few platforms (mainly LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter) and try to have exactly the same brand on all of them.
Call to action
Make sure you are consistent with everything you communicate to the world. This includes how you speak, your emails, online presence, your resume and even how you dress. Will your prospect customer be surprised or even disappointed when they meet you for the first time? You have to make sure you are one and the same across all channels and you will then come across as genuine and trustworthy. Share information about yourself, tell stories and inspire others. Add some personality to your brand, we all know it’s easier to sell on emotions than facts. When you think you are finished, anyone should be able to locate you online and find out what you do and what makes you special. If this isn’t the case, you need to put some more work in.
You need to be aware of your personal brand and you should ensure that you are projecting the right image of yourself. By being consistent and congruent, online and offline, you will build up your image and people will notice and trust you. As long as this is a positive message, you will improve your chances of having a great career/building your business/making friends/whatever your goal is.
What is your experience of personal branding?
Check out our Personal Branding workshops in the UK and Europe to learn more!
Image credit MR Photography
This article is all about goals, why they are important, how you can set them and finally how to achieve them. First off, what is a goal? Well in this context, a goal is a personal objective. Something you want to achieve within a specific period of time.
All successful people are goal oriented. They know exactly what they want they are working toward the achievement of their goals every single day. They tend to accomplish far more than the average person in all aspects of life.
Goals are flexible and can be used for short term tasks such as booking a holiday or long term goals such as graduating from university. So how do we actually work with goals? There are myriads of ways to do this; I will present the 5 steps I have found working well. Remember that this is an important life skill so pay attention...
1. Decide exactly what you want
The more precise and clear your goals are the easier it will be to know when they are complete. Just like in business, objectives should be specific and measurable. Ensure they are achievable and that are within the realms of reality otherwise you will run the risk of them becoming demotivating. For instance, the chances of me winning a Nobel Prize this year are very slim but me doing my next Toastmasters speech before Christmas could actually happen.
2. Write it down
If you do not write your goals down, they will merely be wishes. Something magical happens when you put pen to paper, your writing etches its way into your subconscious. I have found that writing by hand is more powerful than on a computer, just as with any learning.
3. Make it time bound
Make your goals time bound by setting deadlines and sub deadlines in case you break it down. Give yourself a realistic but aggressive time scales so that your goals challenge you. Goals are here to get things going as we all know that life is not a dress rehearsal.
4. Get it out there
By this I mean put the list of goals up very visible at home or at work, or i you prefer to put images of what you want to achieve up. When we see our goals, we are sending an important message to the brain that activates us, and we then take steps to do what must be done to attain those goals. Tell the world about your goals as well, this will make it very hard for you to pull out If you have ever run a race for charity for instance, you know what I mean.
5. Take action immediately
You have to have momentum going and you should ideally be taking an action every day to bring you one step closer to the achievement of your goal. An example could be if you want to own a brand new Rolls-Royce, take action by ordering a brochure or even book a test drive.
So that was the 5 steps, not exactly rocket science. It sounds easy enough but the trick is to keep things up and move closer to achieving your goals every day. I have found that the more clarity I have on goals the more likely I am to achieve them. Working with goals has worked really well for me, especially when writing them down and seeing them every day. Your subconscious gets to work and sometimes it feels like you attain a goal on autopilot.
So take time to sort out what you want and then place your order... Having said that, if you do not have that clarity already it’s best to put something down now and you see these goals developing over time. Remember that goals aren’t carved in stone and as they are yours, you can change them as often as you like.
What are your experiences?
Image by scottwills