How to use your personal brand statement to create SMART goals

Personal brand statement goal setting -Oscar WIlde QuoteOne of my first days in college, my health professor asked us to write down all our lofty goals, and just save them somewhere. He said that if we had written them down we might direct forces within our beings to achieving those goals whether directly or indirectly.

I tried that, and as far as I can tell, I am a long ways from getting a cherry red jeep, or taking a hot air balloon ride across the Serengeti.

So I switched the idea of writing all my lofty goals, and narrowed them to just 3 simple goals that I hope I can achieve within the next 5 years. I can’t tell much else beyond that, and 5 years is long enough to make me feel like I have time, but short enough that I can break down into chunks of what I want to accomplish this year, and the next.

What does this have to do with personal brand statements?

Well if you really think about it, personal brand statement is a vision of how people should see you. So using it as part of your goal setting will help you refine what professional goals you should set yourself in the interim to make that personal brand statement happen.

So how do we use personal brand statements to create SMART goals?

SMART goals by the way are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time specific. So let’s start with a personal brand statement I recently wrote on creating your personal brand statement, and work off that to create a SMART goal.

“I want to help people find and leverage their uniqueness to achieve success in their career or business.”

Make the personal statement goal Specific

So breaking this down, how do I want to help people? Off the bat we can start with tools that I can use to achieve this vision: Blogging, creating and maintaining an e-mail list, joining LinkedIn groups that talk about personal branding, guest posting on related blogs. All these activities are centered on setting myself up as a resource for people to learn about personal branding.

Make the personal statement goal Measurable

How will I measure and track my progress towards achieving this goal? Tracking your progress can be inspirational and help you stay motivated and on-track. Just the other day I had a sign-up to my mailing list; this is how I am choosing to measure my success because I can get actual numbers on how I am doing.

Make the personal statement goal Attainable

It would be fun to say I want to be featured on talk shows, write a book and become famous for personal branding, but that is too lofty for me to achieve within the time I am setting for myself. So instead, I am focusing on making the goal attainable by looking at factors and activities I can control. I can start by promoting the blog, and writing darn good posts. I can research and read all that is out there to become an authority on the subject matter, I can seek out people in my profession to build connections with, these are all within my sphere of control, and fame is not.

Make the personal statement goal Realistic

I’m a big dreamer and optimist. I really think there’s nothing you can’t achieve with focus, time and passion. So for me making it realistic understands the constraints I am working under, namely I do not have a lot of money and time to throw into it, so focusing on what I can do is more of a priority. To that end, I can probably set apart an hour every other day to work on writing blog posts or promoting them before or after I get work done.

Make the personal statement goal Timely

At this point, you can take all the ideas you have and break them into chunks. Overall, say you want to achieve your vision in 5 years’ time, what can you overarching goal can you make each year that will help you get and stay on track?

Break down each of the ideas into phases, and then further down into quarters of the year. I did this by creating Evernote notebooks around each phase so that if I get ideas or see things I would like to carry out at a later stage I can put them into the respective notebook, and come back to them when I get to that phase. In case you were wondering, I’m at Phase 1.

That’s it; you’ve turned your personal brand statement into SMART goals. High-five me in the comments if you’re on board with this plan!

Daisy Quaker is a freelance internet marketing consultant, specializing in social media strategy, content marketing, e-mail marketing and internet marketing strategy. In her spare time she writes a personal style blog. Find her on <Twitter and Google+ and tell her what strategies work for your business.

Why you should start building your brand now

I like to take morning jogs, nothing too ambitious just 30 or so minutes will do. Most times I listen to music, and occasionally, I listen to podcasts. Today I’m glad I chose to listen to this Ted Talk by Dr. Meg Jay.

Don’t let the title fool you, I think the message here is just as relevant whether you are in your 20s, 30s, or 40s. The idea that we have all this time to do all these things we want to do keeps us from pursuing what we really want to do with our lives.

My big scary goal: By the end of this year I want to get moving on making this blog a priority not a choice, and actively pursuing opportunities to grow its audience.

Here is the speech. Play it over your lunch hour, drive home, or whatever down time you have today, it’s well worth it.

Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20

Creating your personal brand statement –An exercise

Complete this sentence. Writing exercises are ­_____________. I hope you answered fun, because we are about to jump into a personal branding writing exercise: Creating your personal brand statement.

Personal brand statement -Writing exercise -Daisy QuakerSay it with me, “Yaaay!”

Why you need a personal brand statement

A personal brand statement is a clear statement of who you are, what you do and why you do it. It can give you direction, focus and a way to set yourself apart, and it helps the world figure out what you’ve set out to do.

It’s a big deal for corporations to have personal brands, but it’s also a big deal for you. So you’ve got to carve out a small chunk of time and dedicate it to creating your personal brand statement before you dive into building your personal brand.

So let’s get started in creating your personal brand statement

Who are you and what do you do?

This will help you find your personal brand identity. It’s not enough to say “I am a consultant” or “I am a businessman/woman” what does it really mean?

Remember when you were learning nouns such as teacher, or leader or coach? These are roles that give others a picture of you in a snap! So focus on finding a role that paints a picture, and don’t from being adventurous by using terms like innovator, storyteller, and artist. This might not make it into the product but it will set you on track.

Now, what do you do? I’m not talking about an “I work with companies to blah, blah, blah.” statement. That’s too generic. Make it something specific, clear, but simple. How does your identity + what you do =helping others? Remember simple is powerful. A personal brand statement example for a graphic designer might be: I’m an artist who helps businesses bring their creative visions and ideas into reality. So simple anyone can understand their big idea, ad what’s more they become curious.

Another approach might be to start with a phrase like “I want to help ……”

If you’re starting out, i.e. of building your business, starting your career or looking to move up in your in your field, a good starting point would be to talk about your goal.

“Help” is a keyword in this exercise because it approaches your goal as a service which not only gives the feel-good vibes, but it also attracts others that need the help you offer.

Why do you do it?

Without further ado, what makes you do what you want to do? What is your purpose?

Think about the big picture, the overarching goal, the main thing that drives your focus and just let your creativity and imagination run the show. Sure it might not give you something concrete at first but with refinement you will get a very clear way to explain what you do to others. Once again, avoid big words; keep it simple, honest, ambitious and real.

After some drafts I came up with my personal brand statement:Personal Brand Statement Examples

“I want to help people find and leverage their uniqueness to achieve success in their career or business.”

Now that was fun right?

I feel motivated and purposeful! Writing a personal brand statement is really a motivational activity, it allows you to close your eyes and imagine. Told you writing exercises are fun! Spend some time working on and thinking about your personal brand statement, write it up, print it and put it somewhere you can see the same way a business would hang up their mission and vision. It will help you as you go about building your personal brand.

But we are not done yet.

Once you have figured out your personal brand statements we can get started on creating by-line. I will publish the 2nd part of the personal brand statement exercise –the tagline next week. Look out for that post next week or sign up to the personal branding mailing list to get each post delivered to your e-mail so you can always get your copy of personal brand building tips and advice.

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8 free online tools to use in building your personal brand

I’ve got a dumb question. Ever tried to hit a nail into a wall without a hammer?

Personal Branding Tools -Hammer

Well, when I first moved into my apartment that’s exactly what I did. I wanted to get some pictures up on my depressingly bare walls. A little search got me a box of nails from an earlier project, but no hammer. So what bright idea crossed my mind?

“I have a bunch of heavy books why not just use that?”

Let me tell ya –bad idea.It was hard, it didn’t really work and after several useless attempts I gave up.

Are you using the same the right tools with your personal branding efforts? Books are for reading not hammering nails into walls.That’s what hammers are for.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, a college student for even an employee wanting to move up in the chain, we’ve figured out by now personal branding will get you to that next step. But what tools do you use?

Here are 8 online tools to help develop your personal brand

1. LinkedIn

Get cozy with LinkedIn because it all starts here. No matter how many websites crop up giving you new and fun ways to showcase your skills, you’ve got to start with a completed LinkedIn profile. It is after all one of the websites that comes up highly in search results if someone were to search your name, so you’ve got to dominate your LinkedIn profile.

Here’s a short to-do for LinkedIn:

Create a profile if you haven’t done so already. Tweak your profile to present your current and future opportunities. Find keywords that would describe you and plug them in. Complete all your profile information. Ask people you have worked with for recommendations.

2. LinkedIn Groups

Make this your new hang out. There are LinkedIn groups for just about any career or profession, so find two groups and join them for starters. Don’t go on a join-every-group frenzy because it will be tough to keep up with them all. Just start small and see what you can learn.

Here are some tips before you join:

Search for niche groups like groups that are in your local area and your field, or even worldwide. Check out the groups analytics on the right sidebar halfway down the page. This gives you a snap shot of who is in the group. If it’s an open group you can check out some of their recent discussions to see if they are relevant to you.

Once you are admitted into a group. Wade in slowly first. Get a feel for the group y reading several discussions, then become more active and take part in more discussions or find other groups. By creating these connections when you don’t need them, they will be more useful when you do.

3. Twitter

Some people use Twitter for personal communication with friends. Some people use it for business. If you are in the business of building a brand, I would recommend using it for both. Start by making your posts public so people can see the content you share whether you are connected to them or not. Be yourself, but don’t give too much info (TMI). I’ve seen that happen. Don’t worry too much about the follower numbers, being active enough and engage with the right audience is a lot better than having a bunch of followers who are not even remotely interested in the stuff you produce. So build for the right audience.

4. About.Me

If you are looking for a simple platform to host all your accounts then about.me is a good website to look into. It lets you build your profile in a matter of minutes, and link all your accounts such as LinkedIn, Twitter and your blog in one place. It’s an easy alternative for people who do not want to invest in a blog or personal website I haven’t explored the tool beyond building a basic page, but I’m sure there are links to sharing content on there as well.

5. Google Alerts

Start monitoring what is being said about you online. Set up a Google alert early on so that if someone does mention you’ll know right away and can respond. Google alerts helps by tracking your mentions and sending you e-mail notification. You can set it up to e-mail you as it happened or once a day/week. It’s helpful if you also want to follow trends around a topic that you are invested in since it will limit the amount of links you get to only the best ones in that topic.

6. Social mention

Social mention works like Google Alerts only it alerts out of mentions of your name in blog posts, comments and social media. Basically what others are monitors conversations around your name. Once again, set it up just to alert you. As you start out with building your brand you may not have as many mentions but the only inconvenience really is the 5 minutes it will take to set it up.

7. Namechk

Say you want to use your name across all social media profiles. You can use Namechk to see which accounts will allow you to post under your name and which will not. Claim your name across the major social networks as a tactical advantage, you might not go further than setting up a profile and feeding blog posts into it once in a while, but if it does end up being useful to you it will be under your brand. This is also helpful if you have a name similar to someone else, that way you can look for something unique and then set it up to match across most of the major platform –consistency is one of the pillars of a great brand.

8. Personal domain

Are you going to blog? Or build a name sake website? I’d argue that you should (Check out my post on owning your digital footprint). There are plenty of plenty of tutorials, tools, tips and out there. Block out a weekend and take a gander on WordPress.com, or your own website hosting platform there are plenty of options such as building a website with a service like RebelMouse.

And there you have it 9 tools to use to hammer that nail in building your online brand. If you were wondering what I did with that picture well here it is:

Personal branding tools -Nail to the hammer

Turns out the apartment ledge that runs across the room is pretty handy for frames too. Problem solved! 🙂

So what’s a personal brand?

I am an anomaly. I can stand in front of an audience and present or perform without flinching or butterflies, but give me a room and tell me to network and I want to bolt straight through the door. I don’t have a fear of public speaking, throughout high-school and college I performed alone on stage without a problem. But put me in a one-to-one situation and watch how quickly I lose my cool.

I suck at networking, and I even sucked at virtual networking.

When Twitter came out I hated it. The thought of sharing my thoughts with the world or chatting up a bunch of strangers was not my thing. It’s just a fad, I thought. Boy, was I ever wrong. So I had to start training myself to become more open and more willing to walk up to people virtually and strike a conversation, I’m still not that great at it, but its a work in progress.

Maybe you have it wrong about personal branding, too. If your idea of building a personal brand is boasting about how awesome you are at every opportunity then you are on the wrong track. Building your own brand is a lot more fun than that

What personal branding is (and is not)

What is personal branding

It’s the sharing age and you could be a hot commodity

Who’s going to know how awesome you are if you don’t start showcasing your talent and skills? Building a personal brand in the tech age is all about sharing what you know. With your skills and talent you are a hot commodity to someone seeking help with a project or building a team.

Personal branding is about sharing what you know with the world. Referrals from one job or project to another are great but being found when someone is looking for someone with your skills is even better. It’s not enough to just do an awesome job at your company and ignore LinkedIn, Twitter and other networking tools. You have to spend time on creating your own brand too.

People that share what they know get further a lot faster than those that stay mum. So you’ve got to start thinking about what your skills and passions are and  how you can use technology to leverage them. Creating your brand or building your reputation is super importnat if you are building a business, but it’s also important if you want to stand out in your field.

Share what you know even if its jut becoming an active member of a LinkedIn group, or guest posting in blogs in your field every once in a while.

Personal branding can help you get work or clients

Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to build your own business, starting out on the job market, or working in a company, building a personal brand can help you get the projects you want to get. It can help you get the right kind of attention without having to straight up brag about it

What do you want to be known for?

Remarkable people are those that stand out. If we were to meet today, how would I remember you?

It’s time to get in the business of building you. What your name and work says about you will set you apart in every instance. The more remarkable you are the more likely you are to be remembered, and the more likely you are to succeed. It’s not just about having a skill, It’s about being able to market that skill to people who need it.

What are you good at? what do you want to spend your life doing? how are you going to share how awesome you are at ____________?

Think about it this weekend.