5 Easy Personal Branding Techniques for Beginners

Image reference: https://www.pexels.com/photo/turned-on-gray-laptop-computer-1449081/

Like it or not, we live in a world where the cleverest marketing strategy attracts the best customers whether your product/service is the best or not. Popular brands are powerful, and, in the end, they get to take the bigger slice of pie.  

Similarly, in the world of business, a well-developed personal brand matters more than the level of quality one is able to deliver. The personal brand defines your work experience, your capacity to solve problems in your field of work and talks about how you communicate with customers. 

While it sounds a bit far-fetched, there are studies that show people who managed to put together great personal brands tend to get the best projects and earn more than the average Joe. And this doesn’t happen because they are smarter or more knowledgeable. It happens because they understood the power of branding and learned how to apply it in their professional life.  

Still, the concept of personal branding is a work in progress. As a result, it’s difficult to find high-quality and actionable advice that fits your particular situation. This is why we put together a guide with some of the most efficient personal branding techniques that are easy to understand and apply.

#1: Surround Yourself with the Right People

There is a quote usually attributed to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, that says “you are the average of the five people you spend most of your time with”. 

While the quote is highly debatable, there are some truths to it. Basically, what the author is trying to convey, is that we are influenced by the people with which we get in contact on a daily basis. However, we are also influenced by the people we follow on social media, by the books we read, and videos we watch.

So, take the quote and transform it according to your needs. If you have the possibility, get in touch with specialists in your field and establish a connection. They can be your co-workers, your managers, or even people you met at a conference. You don’t have to be friends with them or even spend every single day talking; you just need a way to communicate your thoughts and get feedback.

Furthermore, make sure your social media feed is loaded with publications and posts from authority content creators in your field. People love getting messages, shares, and comments on their posts, so it will be easier to find a connection.

The idea is that you absorb the information and type of behavior you see every day. So, to become a highly regarded professional with a strong personal brand, you should surround yourself with people who are already established as such. 

#2: Continuously Improve Your Skills

The fuel that drives a strong brand is represented by your willingness to improve yourself. Just like a product or service grows by implementing customer feedback (positive and negative), you also need to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Furthermore, a professional who is open to the idea of improvement sends a strong message to their clients or employers. It shows you are ready to grow without someone pushing you from behind.

The good news is that you have a plethora of resources and materials at your disposal. For instance, if you want to improve your business management skills, you can take a leadership and management course online or you can buy the book that’s most recommended by specialists in the area. The same goes for every new skill you want to master.

In the end, in an ever-changing business environment, it’s important to upgrade your knowledge and set of skills.

#3: Find Your Uniqueness

Your uniqueness is your very own advantage in building a strong personal brand! It’s the element that attracts the right type of customers and the force that gets you where you want to be. 

So, if you’re not sure what makes your brand unique, have a look at your activity. Read the feedback you received from clients or analyze behavior reports received for annual evaluations at work. 

You don’t need something that’s Earth-shattering and paradigm-changing! You only need to identify that element that makes people remark you as a professional. It can be anything from “high-quality work at a fast pace” to “unlimited access to high-end resources”.

#4: Find your True Voice

Unless you’re a Steve Jobs type of person, it can be extremely difficult to find your voice from the very beginning. But that’s normal; we are not all geniuses and we don’t have to be.

So, when you first start, your personal brand will be a mixture of elements you learn from the people you admire and follow (see point #1). But, as you learn and grow, your voice has to change. You need to be on a quest for authenticity so, in the end, you’ll get to identify your uniqueness. 

The voice of your brand must represent your true aspirations and opinions in life. Also, make sure to stay true to your brand, even when the times aren’t as favorable. This shows integrity, a quality that’s highly valued in today’s business environment.

#5: Create a Toolkit for your Brand

The main purpose of a strong personal brand is visibility. You invest time, money, and energy in a wide range of activities to make sure the right clients or employers take notice. However, some tools are more effective than others when it comes to creating the right type of visibility.

To this aspect, we created a short list with the tools that are bound to produce the most positive impact:

Your Website 

In today’s day and age, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, make sure your site or page (it can also be a LinkedIn profile) is up to date and running. Also, include information about things such as:
• Professional achievements
• Projects you are passionate about
• Awards and nominations
• Affiliations with interesting people and projects
• Certifications & Academic degrees
• Publications and participation to conferences

Social Media Presence

Yes, a web page and a social media profile are two different things. And you need both to increase your visibility!

We recommend selecting the channel that is most likely to get your post in front of possible customers (LinkedIn, a blogging platform, or another professional network). It’s important to stay active and develop an authentic style that speaks about your level of professionalism and dedication.

Speaking Engagements

Should you ever have the opportunity to participate as a guest speaker at a conference, make sure to RSVP yes! This type of events gather all sorts of people from your field of interest and are an amazing opportunity to increase brand visibility.

An Emailing List

While most commercial brands would kill for a well-developed emailing list, many personal brands seem to ignore the opportunity of building one. Studies show that email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to increase brand visibility, and this applies to personal brands as well.

Sure, you have to be delicate with the process and avoid becoming a nuisance, but it helps to stay on your clients’ mind. This way, when they need the services you offer, you’ll be the first to call.

Written Materials

A book, articles in an authority publication (online or offline), a PDF you send with newsletters, any type of written materials can improve brand visibility. Even more, if you are a published author in your field of activity, it strengthens your position in the eyes of customers.

Wrap Up

In the end, it’s important to get involved and be present in your field of interest. It may take some time, but every step you take is a brick for your professional future. A strong personal brand can’t be built overnight and it has its own challenges, but with the right tools and inspiration, you will succeed

Oli Kang

Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au

https://www.courses.com.au
https://www.linkedin.com/company/courses-com-au
https://www.facebook.com/courses.com.au

Happy New Year 2019

We are excited to step into 2019, which will be an exciting year for all of our customers. Hitsteps is working toward integration with a session replay recording service Reactflow which is currently under development and we at Hitsteps are monitoring the development and providing help wherever necessary.

Additionally we are working toward integration with iOS Numeric app which allows you to view your dashboard statistics on your mobile phone and Apple Watch.

Hitsteps growth did not stop in 2018 and there is no sign of slow downs! we are looking forward to 2019 and upcoming partnerships and integrations.

Wish you a happy new year from everyone at Hitsteps

How to Thoroughly Audit Your Internet Presence

The internet has become the center of our modern world. It’s where we get all of our information, and it’s where most of us communicate with one another. As a result, it’s imperative that your business have a strong online presence. This means maintaining profiles on all relevant social media platforms, as well as employing a strong SEO and content marketing strategy.

But while it’s important to develop a strong internet presence, it’s equally as important to monitor and maintain it. And part of this process involves performing an audit of your online presence to make sure you’re saying everything you want to say about your brand, make sure there’s nothing out there misrepresenting you, and also to check to see if it’s time to update your marketing strategy.

However, this is another case where the why is much easier to understand than the how. You may recognize the need to audit your online presence, but you might not be sure of exactly how to do it, so here are three things every online audit should include.

Check for Negativity

The first thing you’ll want to do when auditing your online presence is to check to make sure no one is saying anything bad about you. Start by simply performing a Google search of your company name. Check the first page of results, but also dig into some of the stuff that comes up on the other pages. You never know if there is a blogger out there who has an ax to grind, and it’s better to identify these issues before they become more serious than they need to be.

If you do find something, there are a few things you could do, such as:

  • Nothing: If there is something out there that is obviously false, or that stands no chance of becoming more mainstream, then it might be best to just leave things as they are, especially if you had to wait until page nine on Google to find something negative. Sometimes drawing attention to these things can be worse.
  • Reach out to whoever posted the negative content: Sometimes a quick email responding to whatever claims this person is making, and also asking them to take down their post, can be enough to bury whatever negativity is out there.
  • Use SEO to bury it: If whatever negative thing is written about you is too big to bury and you can’t get people to take it down, then you may need to get more aggressive. You can hire a reputation management company to help you bury these bad search results further down in Google, for we all know how often people look past the first page of search results.

You’ll also want to spend some time combing through review sites. If your business is on Yelp or Trip Advisor, make sure there aren’t any really negative comments out there. And if you find something, address it. You may not be able to win back a customer with a bad attitude, but you will provide some context to the comment that may soften its significance when future users stumble upon it.

Confirm Consistency

Your online presence is really important for promoting your brand, and one of the most important things when it comes to branding of any kind is consistency. This is because you never know when someone will come into contact with your brand, but you want to make sure that they receive the right message whenever they do.

As a result, a big part of your audit should be making sure that all your messaging is consistent. Take a look at each piece of content on all different channels and ask yourself what these things are saying about your company. But before doing this, make sure you’re clear about what it is you want to say. Then, compare this with what’s out there, and anything that’s off message should be deleted or changed to more accurately reflect the brand message you’re trying to convey.

Study the Numbers

Another thing you should do while auditing your online presence is to figure out what kind of return you’re getting from these efforts. But before doing this, figure out what it is you want to get from each channel. For example, are you looking to convert people into customers? Or do you want people to sign up for your newsletter? Or are you just looking for engagement?

This matters because it will help you identify where your efforts are paying off and where they are not. For example, if you’re spending money on Facebook ads hoping to drive sales, but this isn’t happening, then it’s time to rethink your strategy, or maybe even to drop Facebook advertising from your mix.

Overall, when it comes to digital marketing, quality is always more important than quantity. It may seem smart to be involved on all platforms, but doing so also exposes you to risk; there will always be irrational people. As a result, you need to be sure that this risk is worth it, and an audit of your internet presence will help you figure out if this is the case.

Evaluate Frequently

It’s important to stop and do a full audit at least once if not two or three times a year. But this shouldn’t be the only time you stop to look at your internet presence. Evaluation should be built into your approach, as this will help you identify more quickly when something isn’t working, allowing you to adapt and keep moving without having to deal with unnecessary setbacks.

About the Author: Kevin’s current focus is running Broadband Search, as well as being the owner and founder of several other business. His business ventures have helped make Kevin an expert in digital marketing, and he likes to share his expertise with other business owners whenever he can.

Tracking online visitors update from Hitsteps

This update involve all of our customers. According to this update, you will see different number of active online visitors (probably lower) and higher number of idle visitors.

Hitsteps tracking engine developed back in 2013. In that time, Hitsteps web analytics competitors such as Clicky, Woopra, W3Counter or HiStats were detecting live online users using rough analysis.

Some such as W3Counter were just looking at last 10 minutes unique visitor page views and using it as live user counter. It served the purpose at that time and Hitsteps utilised this method.

As time goes by, we added a ping method to our analytics which ping your visitors every few seconds to ensure visitor remain online. We were then shifted from old method to a hybrid method of calculating between Active and Idle online visitors.

As of today, Hitsteps is using a completely revamped method to calculate online visitors. Hitsteps now look at your visitors activity, tab focus and other information to determine if visitor is online, idle or offline.

Now, if your visitor do not interact with your website (scrolling, moving mouse, clicking, …) or focus out from your website (opening another page in another tab, clicking on another window or minimising browser window), we will immediately mark this visitor as Idle.

Likewise, If browser window get focus, mouse movement or scroll, we will mark this visitor as Active online.

We believe this change is necessary in order to show accurate online active and online idle visitors. however it will cause our numbers to differ from previous version of Hitsteps Analytics and perhaps all other web analytics out there who are using old methods to detect online visitors.

Crypto Black Friday

Hitsteps is participating with CoinGate for Black Friday Promotion. You can purchase your licenses from November 30 to December 2 by choosing CoinGate as payment processor and enrol to be selected a Winner. Cost of license must be more than $50 which we recommend you to purchase licenses as yearly to be able have more chance to be selected as a winner.

Tracking behaviour update from Hitsteps

This update involve all links that point to a javascript function. Do not get concerned if you see a small reduction in your pageviews.

Hitsteps previously count clicks on <a> links with href=’javascript:…’ as a pageview. however, these javascript functions are mainly used to run a dynamic function on the page such as adding items to shopping cart.

It is necessary for us to release this update to avoid higher than usual pageviews on websites which are using javascript:void(0); method a lot. As a side effect of this update, if your website use <a href=’javascript:..’.> method, you might notice a small reduction in number of your pageviews.

This update has been published to our mainstream tracker script and will be rolling out to all of our customers within next few days.

How integrate NANO cryptocurrency payment gateway via Brainblocks to your website?

nano logo

 

Hitsteps accepted Nano cryptocurrency (formerly known as Raiblocks) as a way of payment for it’s services since early January 2018, we are excited about cryptocurrency as whole and specially about Nano cryptocurrency. We were using RaiPay.io as our payment processor gateway however they’ve gone offline and shutdown their service.

So we moved to BrainBlocks. At time of writing this article, brainblocks.io homepage provide a simple and efficient guide on how to create an “inline” nano payment button. however there is no guide on how to create a “hosted” payment gateway page while they DO offer this service as it can be seen in their woocommerce plugin. We are happy with their transaction processing time and their service, so we decided to provide this simple guide to encourage more merchants to accept Nano.

Brainblocks team provided a simple way for Shopify shop owners to accept nano as well as a WordPress plugin for those who use WooCommerce.

In this article, we will focus on how to create a “hosted” nano cryptocurrency payment gateway. We will use PHP for this example, but you can use it with all other languages.

You need to build your URL path to redirect user to brainblocks payment gateway page.

Section A: Opening BrainBlocks Hosted payment gateway page

Your nano wallet address as:
$destination = "xrb_.............";

USD or other currency amount to be paid by user:
$total = "99.99";

Currency that you are using for total amount above:
$currency = "usd";

At time of writing, brainblocks accept aud, brl, cad, chf, clp, cny, czk, dkk, eur, gbp, hkd, huf, idr, ils, inr, jpy, krw, mxn, myr, nok, nzd, php, pkr, pln, rub, sek, sgd, thb, try, usd, twd, zar currencies for price conversion.

Return URL after a successful payment: (order_id parameter is optional, it help you to pin point to exact order generated from your service)
$returnurl = "http://website.url/thankyoupage.php?order_id=xxx";

Return URL after a failed payment: (order_id parameter is optional)
$errorurl = "http://website.url/payagain.php?order_id=xxx";

and then build your brainblock url using variables defined above:
$brainblocks_url = 'https://brainblocks.io/checkout?payment.destination='
 . $destination . '&payment.currency=' . strtolower($currency) .
'&payment.amount=' . $total . '&urls.return=' . urlencode($returnurl) .
'&urls.cancel=' . urlencode($errorurl);

and then you redirect your visitor to this generated URL:
header(“Location: “.$brainblocks_url);

Section B: Verifying payment after it’s paid by customer

In example above, we used success return URL to be thankyou.php, so this instruction is regarding thankyou.php file.

BrainBlocks redirect user to your thankyou page with parameters you’ve provided and add an extra parameter named “token”. This token parameter will be returned as GET (on URL) however there is possibility that it get returned as POST as well. so you need to check for POST if GET token is empty.

In thankyou page, we validate Payment using Token code that is provided by brainblocks as json:
$brainblocks_data=(array) json_decode(
file_get_contents("https://brainblocks.io/api/session/".
$_GET['token']."/verify"),true);

now, we check to make sure full amount is paid by customer:
if ($brainblocks_data['fulfilled']){
//payment is successful and you can go on with processing the order
}else{
//payment has been failed or not full amount has been paid
}

This section B instruction can be used together with brainblocks’s inline payment button guide as well.

Why Your Marketing Strategy Needs an Update

There are so many things marketers can do that sometimes they lose focus on the overall strategy. Is the approach you have chosen aligned with the goals of your organisation? Are the tactics still relevant? Is your strategy outdated? So, what are the warning signs that you need up update your marketing strategy?

Just plain old

If your strategy is older than two or three years, it’s probably time to update it. With so many updates, technology, platforms and new processes, you need to consistently account for change. Marketing is always developing and at a rapid pace. Anything over three years old can be falling behind. Content marketing, programmatic buying and customer analytics are just a few new tactics you could consider. Try to go over your strategy every twelve months. You don’t have to give it an overhaul, just adapt and update.  Sometimes it helps to make personal improvements, online courses are a great way to keep up to date with industry trends.

Preferences change

There is a stronger focus on health in 2018 compared to ten years ago. The same people are searching for nutritional recipes over junk food recipes.  If your audience is changing, then you must change with them.  If your strategy doesn’t account for change, your audience will go elsewhere.

How do you know if preference has changed? Simply listen to your audience. Surveys, keyword research and trends a just a few ways you can gauge change. Marketers will often forget to listen because they are so focused on what they are going to say. Address changes in your audience.

Lose sight of the overall picture

Because there are so many marketing tactics, we sometimes lose sight of how they will all work together.  How will social, SEO, SEM and email marketing all work together? To avoid this, you need to start with a business strategy. This will help you determine which marketing efforts will help you get there quickest.

Value over volume

In 2018, it’s no longer enough to just turn up the volume; you must have value there. You must integrate value into your strategy. There is plenty of content and information online but is it of value and quality.  People still value high-quality content.

Your brand doesn’t have a unique knowledge base and point of view. Are you demonstrating knowledge and opinion through blogs, articles, webinars, events and other methods to establish yourself as a leader in your field?  If not, you need to start updating your strategy.

Relocate spending

As your business and market change, are you making sure the allocation of marketing budget changes too? Has one marketing channel shown growth or potential over another? Do you have a room in your budget for innovative new tactics? It may be time to reassess your marketing spend.  If the channels you have been using are no longer getting results, you must change things up.  It’s time to relocate your budget to new channels. You can use eVoice virtual numbers to track marketing channels and see which ones are working the best.  

Final thoughts

If any of the above is describing your business or your marketing strategy, it’s time to step back and reassess your marketing strategy. Start with your business your business goals. Then map out tactics and channels that will help you achieve these goals. If you need more clarity, get some help.

How Your Website Statistics Ultimately Determine the Value of Your Site

Keeping good statistics about your website is an absolute necessity. It helps you recognize trends and identify areas where you are underperforming so that you can make the right decisions to help you grow. Yet keeping good statistics has another purpose: it helps determine the value of your business.


Image: Pixabay

Someday you may want to sell your site or your online business, and having access to quality data on how it is doing will prove to be invaluable later on when the day does come to move on.

Here’s how your statistics impact the value of your business

The 2.5 rule

The general rule of thumb when determining the value of a business is that it is worth 2.5 times its yearly revenue. So, when you go sell the business, or even to just determine what it is worth, you’ll need reliable revenue numbers. If you go to an investor expecting them to take your word about how much the site makes, you can expect to be laughed out of the room. However, if you go with data to back up your claims, that’s a different story.  

Growth projections

A business that is growing is worth more than one that is not. If you can demonstrate to investors that the arrow for your business is pointing up and that it is likely to continue to do so, you are more likely to get a better valuation. And there is nothing like month-by-month data to be able to demonstrate this trend. Plus, if there are months where things didn’t go well, you can more easily explain them away, conveying more clearly the overall health of the business.

Records keeping

Another thing that helps determine the value of a website or online business is its records. Investors want to know that what they are seeing is all there is to see, and they also want to make sure that they are entering a safe venture that won’t run into accounting or legal problems down the road. Having the numbers about how your website performs will help clear up these doubts and encourage investor confidence.

Market Research

One of the best things that comes from website statistics is the insight you can gain about your market. You can learn valuable demographic information about your audience, and you can also learn how they ended up on your site and then what they do once they get there.

This impacts your business’ value in two ways: first, it helps identify potential risks. Maybe you are overly dependent on one group. If this is the case, having a plan in place to diversify your market will show investors you’re serious about risk management, helping add to the company’s value. And second, having this information about the market helps point out areas of focus for the new owners. They will be able to see more clearly how the website will grow, and this will make them more likely to give a higher valuation.

All in all, website statistics play a critical role in determining the value of your site. If you aren’t collecting data now, you’re setting yourself up for a lower valuation and for some potential disappointment down the road.

About the author: Jock is the founder of Digital Exits, a brokerage service that specializes in the buying/selling and appraisal of online businesses. He helps clients get the best deal for their websites and other internet companies, and always advocates for strong data and records management, as it helps secure a higher valuation.

Hitsteps Analytics now accept Bitcoin and altcoins

Growing popularity for cryptocurrencies cannot be denied and while it could be start of transforming to a new currency system, Hitsteps now accept Bitcoin along side PayPal and credit cards. We also support Litecoin, Dash, Ethereum, Basic Attention Token and other digital currencies.

You may purchase your monthly web analytics using our cryptocurrency payment gateway from now on.

Update 13 January 2018: We support RaiBlocks payments effective immediately.