Business Goal-Setting: Building Your Personal Brand in 2018
This is a guest post written by Cassandra Gaddis. Want to contribute? Check out the 2018 publishing calendar.
2017 flew by and 2018 is already soaring into a new month! Every day we are encouraged to either plan our time or let it plan us.
With the new year came new intentions and goals for 2018. To me, the first month is always a trial month in which we see how these intentions and goals start to sync with our routines and mindsets.
January also may have hinted at various “areas of opportunities” for us to explore so that those set intentions and goals can truly come to life throughout the rest of 2018.
The good thing is that we have all the time we need!
You read that right. We have all the time we need. There is no shortage. It’s exactly as much as is needed and the adventure is in the planning.
I want to help guide you in how to goal-set your intentions around building your thought leadership for 2018.
First let’s think of your main goal with your personal brand. Jot down the one(s) that most resonates with you:
I want to establish/grow my personal brand so that I’m known as a professional and can grow my network
I want to establish/grow my personal brand so that my coaching business has a “face”
I want to establish/grow my personal brand to get speaking opportunities
I want to establish/grow my personal brand for an upcoming book launch or product campaign
I want to establish/grow my personal brand to build a stronger relationship with my audience
I want to establish/grow my personal brand for new career opportunities and partnerships
I want to establish/grow my personal brand because I heard it’s what I should be doing
I want to establish/grow my personal brand so that I’m known for my thought leadership in my area of brilliance
I want to establish/grow my personal brand so I can build a following on social media and an email list
I want to establish/grow my personal brand _____________(fill in your other reasons here)
You may have a couple of ideas as to why you want to establish or grow your personal brand in 2018… Once you identify what are the driving reasons (from the above or additional reasons you may have) we can move from goal setting to working on your personal marketing system.
Here are my seven tips for coaches on planning their thought leadership in 2018!
1. Make sure you are consistent across all your social media platforms, websites and print materials
Is your social media handle spelled the same across all your platforms? This helps your content to be easy to find and feel cohesive.
Is your social information available on your email signature and print materials? This helps people connect to you at every interaction with your brand.
Do you have your social media handle available on every platform? My favourite tool to save time and answer this question is knowem.com. Go there, plug in the handle you want to check and it will show you across all platforms if it’s available or already taken. Hopefully if it’s taken it means you have it already!
2. Have a central hub for all your social media content, blogs and resources
This could be either a business or personal website (it all depends on what feels best for you and your coaching business).
If you are a new coach that is still getting things set up or in a brand transition to re-establish your business, while you work on getting the main website situated you could use a *free one-page website through about.me or brand.me (it’s free however there are paid options available too)
3. Think of the top things you want to share through your blogs, social posts, videos or audio content
Jot down answers to the following questions:
What is your overarching message?
How do you want to empower potential, current and past clients?
What are you an expert on?
Once you have three to five main themes from the above questions, pull up a calendar with the rest of 2018 on it. One of those at-a-glance monthly or yearly calendars works great for this.
Now using the main themes, your overarching message and the empowerment you want to be for others look at the upcoming months, seasons and holidays.
With your ideal client in mind, think about what they are experiencing/feeling/doing/wanting during each part of the year.
What kind of content messaging would be best?
What type of content would they most resonate with?
You are now building the frameworks of your content for the year! Do this process until you feel you have a good content spread for the upcoming months. I hope this brings you enlightenment and that you feel the ease of being in the creative flow!
4. Have the frameworks of the content mix that will best serve your ideal client
Yay! Now, let’s have you think of where your clients are most online. This will help you know where to best interact with them.
What newspapers, magazines or digital subscriptions does your ideal client read?
What websites do they go to for information or inspiration?
What are their favorite stores?
What are their hobbies?
What social platforms do they love? Why do they go there? (Knowing what platforms and then their “why” for being there will help you be aligned to their interests and best relate to their wants)
Once you’ve thought about these, make a list of:
Your top one or two social media platforms to concentrate on
The best platforms to share your blogs, video and audio content through
What magazines, websites and organizations can you partner with to reach them? Which of these can you guest blog for or create some other type of synergistic relationship with?
5. Do you have a business card?
I feel like we are split on this as technology increases. Some people rather not have business cards, while those who do sometimes either run out of them at an event or forget them at home. Either way- I got you covered!
If you have business cards: Take a picture of your business card (make sure to take a picture of the back too if there is information there). If you only have a front photo, you are set. If you have a back of your card, use a photo app to stitch both sides together in one picture.
If you do not have business cards: Use a program like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or an online tool like Canva to create a business card design (one of my FAVES for *free image creation. Some of their upgrades have a fee associated but you can find tons of tools there to create free stuff.)
Now, either way you have a digital image of your contact information and can easily text or email this to others you meet, regardless if it was a networking event or not.
6. Take it one step at a time
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you create a content strategy and calendar? One item at a time. You’ve got this! Now, take out that handy-dandy calendar again. Let’s look at what your focus will be week-by-week and month-by-month.
Looking at what you answered in step three, what can you be doing in your coaching business and content to be ready for your ideal client’s monthly needs, thoughts and stressors? Jot down the ideas that come to mind and after they are all down on paper, then go back and see what is the main focus for each month. Now each of those can be broken down into specific action items. Make sure to add due dates and the name of the person on your support team who will be responsible for each.
Repeat the above activity when looking at:
What business offerings you focus for the month
What freebie resources you can gift that month
What content would best serve your ideal client during that time of the month
You should now have an actionable framework for what you will offer, according to what your ideal client will want most and that is relevant to how you can serve them, right where they are!
7. Connect with clients on- and offline
Let’s revisit step four where we explored where your ideal client is hanging out both on- and offline. Find three to five groups online where they frequent and two to three in-person groups they visit.
The question is not how will you introduce your business to them there, it’s how can you connect with them on a personal level in those environments and offer great value. In turn, they will ask YOU about your business!
In-person opportunities to connect:
Local Chambers of Commerce
Online opportunities to connect:
We have covered my seven tips for coaches to craft your thought leadership in 2018. Each tip has several potential action items. Go through all seven tips and pick one to take action on. To develop your thought leadership continuously ask yourself, “What is the next best thing for my personal brand?”
You’ve got this!
About Cassandra (Caz) Gaddis
Caz Gaddis is a social media strategist + video producer that loves personal branding and self-development. Founder of SelfCrafted Media | Podcaster | M.Com. Graduating Fall 2016! Connect with Caz on Twitter or email her at Caz@SelfCraftedMedia.com
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- How Content Marketing Will Skyrocket Your Coaching Business
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