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Brand Management Market & Economy News Personal Brand

Personal Branding Tips to Improve Your Career

Personal branding is essentially the intentional action of promoting perception about you. Just like in a business, you need to have a reputable and recognizable personal brand if you are to grow to the very top in your career. A powerful personal brand will set you apart from your competition and increase your credibility immensely. The personal branding process requires you to define your unique value proposition and build credibility from your distinctive features. You are perhaps wondering how you can create a personal brand to achieve your career goals. Well, here are some tips that will help:

Know who you are

The first step in building a powerful personal brand is doing an audit on yourself. Reflect on your professional and personal identity. Look at yourself introspectively and come up with a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Know the areas that you excel in, your motivations, the characteristics that you often get complimented on, the roles that seem to drain your energy, and the tasks you tend to need some help with to complete.

To get an accurate view of yourself, you can ask your friends, family, and colleagues to describe you. After understanding the various facets of your personality and expertise, find ways to brand them. Your unique characteristics will help you carve a niche for yourself in your career. Some people find it hard to create a niche because they are afraid of missing out on opportunities. They feel like they are limiting themselves. That is far from the truth.

The narrower your focus and area of specialization is, the more likely you are to differentiate yourself from others and build a career path for yourself.

Having a confused personal brand identity is one of the most common pitfalls of establishing a winning online presence. Have you ever felt that some people are not genuine or come across as weird when trying to promote themselves on Linkedin, trying too hard to look professional or cool? Well, that is the result of a poorly conceptualized and managed personal brand.

Our personal brand audit is a brilliant tool to understand how people see and feel about your online presence.

Have an elevator pitch

An elevator pitch communicates the most crucial aspect of you and your services within a short time. Most people working on building a personal brand make the mistake of forgetting to create an elevator pitch. See, personal branding is all about how you present yourself to the world. It is imperative to create a powerful image of yourself and your work every time. If you do not have an elevator pitch, take the time to create one that describes your story.

You will use it to introduce yourself when you meet people, whether at informal parties or networking events. The elevator pitch will express what you do and who you are. It will also give the direction of your career. Ensure that it is short and captivating. Try not to exaggerate or over glorify yourself. Just be your true self since that makes it easier to connect with people and influence them.

Define your target audience

Your personal brand is all about what others think of you. Ergo, you have to know who you are trying to reach. When you know your target audience, you will create a brand that is appealing to them. For instance, if you have a career in digital marketing, your brand and unique value proposition need to be appealing to recruiters and companies within your industry.

You will focus on building skills suitable for the marketing field. Determining your target audience makes it easy to build a brand that resonates with them. Some people make the mistake of targeting an audience that is too wide. To be an authority and leader in your career, it is best if you choose a niche within your industry. You will advance your career faster when you have a specific focus and target audience.

Increase your online visibility

As a professional, an integral part of your personal brand is having an online presence. It should be easy for people to find you online. Growing your online presence will increase your brand recognition.

Your target audience will think of you as a credible person when they can type your name on a search engine and find you and your portfolio. It is not enough for them to locate you. The information about you needs to be positive and detailed. Any negative things about you could tarnish your personal brand. You can do a personal audit to see what people think about you. It will help answer the question “what is my personal brand?”

Now, remember to always be cautious with what you share. To bolster your online visibility, you could create a website that has a portfolio of your work.

Be active on social media platforms like LinkedIn, which will help you connect with other professionals. Your social media profile should align with your career goals. You don’t want to share things that you wouldn’t want your brand to be associated with. You could also start a podcast that relates to your industry to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. That goes a long way in building your personal brand.  

Network

To build a reputable personal brand, you will need to gain recognition and exposure. Networking is an excellent way to gain credibility and form meaningful connections. Networking effectively will build your personal brand and advance your career. You should know that 85% of job vacancies are filled through networking. That should help you appreciate the power of networking. If you are looking for a job that will advance your career, you have better chances with networking than with the traditional recruiting process. You can use LinkedIn or try to attend networking events that are relevant to your industry.

Take advantage of professional recommendations

Ask your colleagues and employers to give you recommendations. That is one of the easiest ways to build your personal brand. In the same manner that brands utilize customers testimonials and reviews to advance their brand image, you can use recommendations to grow your personal brand. Find people you have worked with in the past or are currently working with and ask them to advocate for you. These people know your strengths and weaknesses well, and people will most likely trust them when they vouch for you.

Wrap up

The bottom line is to be consistent by creating a brand that is true to you. When your brand is authentic, it will be easy to maintain your values both offline and online. Consistency will increase the efficiency of your personal branding.

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Brand Management Business Concept

What Makes New Companies Successful, and Why Other Businesses Fail? 1M Data Points From 100 Audits Reveal Clear Insights.

Decoding what makes new companies successful

What makes a new business successful, and why most businesses fail? What separates the 10% of thriving businesses from the 90% that are destined to close in a few years? These are questions that most new business owners ask.

Having millions of market research data in our databases, we decided to connect the dots and decode what branding and business concept qualities successful companies have, and what are the common traits of businesses that fail.

What can we learn from this analysis?

The research is focused on revealing the following two insights:

  • What sets of qualities winning businesses have?
  • What sets of shortcomings losing businesses struggle with?

Where is the data coming from?

In our research, we were looking for general business characteristics that can be applied in most industries and sectors. The basis of the analysis is the market research data set we collected from 100 business concept audits from 5 different industries. This is over 1,000,000 data points in total.

The companies are:

  • 20 hotels and resorts
  • 20 tech startups
  • 20 non-tech startups
  • 20 e-commerce stores
  • 20 professional service (b2b) companies

Why companies purchase business concept audits with Brand Auditor? There are a number of reasons. In most cases, companies want to validate their business model and pricing. Other use cases include:

  • Already established companies want to fine-tune their business model
  • Unsuccessful businesses looking for insight to troubleshoot their business model
  • Angel investors requesting verified market feedback insights as a supporting document

All audits by Brand Auditor are based on targeted market research feedback.

Why this research is important?

A successful business is the dream of new entrepreneurs and people who desire to leave their full-time careers to start their own ventures. The sad reality is that over 90% of new businesses fail. 10% of startups fail within the first year. Across all industries, startup failure rates seem to be close to the same. Failure is most common for startups during years two through five, with 70% falling into this category.

According to Embroker.com, the most common why startups fail is due to misreading market demand — this is found in 42% of cases. Our brand and business concept audits to confirm the same.

Most businesses only seek help when their performance is in a critical state

Over 70% of clients requesting a Business Concept Audit are already on the verge of going out of business. Not surprisingly, over 80% of those who request us to audit their business concepts are getting negative feedback from their target customers. They launched their business without validation or any representative market research.

Other major reasons for startup failures (at least 10% or above) are pricing/cost issues, user-unfriendly products, poor marketing, and product mistiming.

The 30% of Business Concept Audit clients are using the audit as a proof of concept. Their intention is to understand what aspects of their business will be attractive or questionable for their future customers – so they can get back to the drawing board to address any issues before entering the market.

The purpose of this analysis is to draw connections between various business characteristics and the likelihood of sustainable business success. These insights will help new entrepreneurs tremendously to focus on developing those aspects of their businesses that matter.

man using macbook
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Key findings about successful businesses:

Observing what qualities successful startups have in common, connecting the dots to understand the importance and connection between each.

1, Great product-market fit

Product/market fit, or written as product-market fit, is the degree to which a product satisfies existing market demand. Product/market fit has been identified as a first step to building a successful business in which the company meets early adopters, gathers feedback, and gauges interest in its product.

87% of companies with successful business results scored 7 out of 10, or higher in their perceived product-market fit.

2, A winner business concept

A business concept is a full, well-thought-out construct of all of the key items required to build a profitable business, including overall offering, specific products/services (at least to start out), who would pay for that product/service, how the product would be delivered to the target audiences, and why the concept is unique enough to succeed.

79% of companies with successful business results scored 8 out of 10, or higher in perceived business concept qualities.

3, Clarity in brand positioning

A positioning statement clearly defines your brand’s position – that is, the “space” in your audience’s consciousness that you want to establish as belonging solely to your brand. Positioning is about differentiating your brand from your competitors, so the language that describes your positioning is very important.

83% of companies with successful business results scored 7 out of 10, or higher in their positioning.

4, Earned credibility and demonstrated expertise

You know how important it is for any business to proactively demonstrate its expertise. It makes a real difference when the marketplace you want to serve sees you as an expert – in an area that demonstrates an understanding of the market and solves a problem that the market has.

76% of companies with successful business results scored 6 out of 10, or higher in their perceived credibility.

worried young woman covering face with hand
Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

Key similarities of failing businesses

Observing what failure startups have in common –  connecting the dots to understand the importance and connection between each.

1, No market demand – proper market research was never done

Market demand is an important economic marker. Demand reflects the competitiveness of a marketplace, a consumer’s willingness to buy certain products and the ability of a company to leverage itself in a competitive landscape. If market demand is low, it signals to a company that they should terminate a product or service, or restructure it so that it is more appealing to consumers.

59% of companies with poor business results scored 4 out of 10, or lower in their perceived product-market fit.

2, Unattractive business concept, wrong packaging, and pricing issues

An idea that may seem outwardly absurd may not necessarily count as a bad business idea. Bad business ideas are typically ill-thought and under-developed; which makes them highly likely to fail in the business world.

There are a number of forces at play that can contribute to the failure of a particular business concept. These include lack of available resources, lack of demand for the product/service, poor marketing/positioning, and a number of other factors

68% of companies with poor business results scored 5 out of 10, or lower in their perceived business concept.

3, Unclear positioning and mixed marketing messages

Failure to correctly position a brand will leave your potential clients and customers confused. They will compare it with wrong alternatives, misunderstand unique differentiators and your brand values. There are four common causes of wrong positioning, which are:

  • Under positioning: here the customer’s have a blurred and unclear idea of the brand
  • Over positioning: the customer’s have too limited awareness of the brand
  • Confused positioning: when the customer’s have confused opinion of the brand
  • Double positioning: it happens when customers do not accept the claims of the brand

72% of companies with poor business results scored 4 out of 10, or lower in their positioning.

4, Failure to demonstrate the related skills and expertise

Misuse of facts, shallow content that lacks and scientific or logical substance – it is easy to the red flags when someone does not know what he is talking about. Same with business marketing communications. People are not stupid, the notice if claims and theories do not add up, and will undermine the credibility of the company.

55% of companies with poor business results scored 4 out of 10, or lower in their perceived demonstration of expertise.