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Personal Brand versus Company Brand – developing excellent customer service

Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room, as per Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. It is about your behaviour – how you treat other people, what you say, how congruent it is to your personal values.

In  companies where leaders highly value customer relationships and service as well as their people inspiration and development, leaders develop their leadership brand to better engage with their people and empower them to WOW the customer.

Personal brand development is more important

Personal brand has become more important than company and corporate brand development. Why? Because people that work in a  company are building a  company brand by  how they serve customers, how they communicate and deliver  or exceed the expectations of customers and shareholders. Customers trust people more than companies and they build relationships with people, rather than with companies.

If you have an issue with a  product or service that  you recently bought, whom do you call? The company? No, you call the person who can help you  solve the issue. And who is answering the phone? The company? No – the person. The way  this customer service person will treat you and help to solve your issue, you will make an assumption about the  company brand experience and will develop your judgement about that particular company.

Great leaders inspire their people to serve the customer with excellence

I have been researching what takes  it from a good to a great leadership, and here is what I have discovered: Leaders who develop their personal brand are much more impactful to inspire their people and teams to WOW the customer. They are very clear on what  is their message, what is their purpose and  role and what they want to achieve to exceed.

Employees need clarity from their leader and vision to follow. Personal brand development makes people more impactful and successful in their roles by having better clarity – what are their strengths and talents, how they can best add value and gain personal satisfaction in adding the value to customers, their company, their teams. Therefore, current workshops and coaching sessions for employees and leaders focus on how to develop their personal brand and to become an integral part of Talent or leadership development.  .

Personal brand development is about clarity and adding value

I encourage people to build their personal brand to be able to better serve customers. Developing personal brand means having clarity on what value you are adding to the people around you, to your customers – in the way how you treat them and help them with solutions. Do you deliver a solution or service that exceeds expectations? People and companies with strong brands never start out with the intent to build a great brand for themselves. They build it to better serve others.

How do you help your experts to differentiate themselves in the market?, is one of the questions for you to ask to develop your company business success. For your employees to have clarity on how do they add value – by providing innovative customer solutions, by being visible, accessible and reachable for your customers, by managing the claims in the way that adds value for customer business, by developing innovative solutions and products that improve life for your customers.

When people build their personal brand, their confidence increases tremendously. Their impact in the team and market increases. They have better job satisfaction and engagement. They are much happier with what they do and how they do it. It is a benefit for employees, for customers and for the company.

Developing careers

The journey of personal brand development allows people to not just better serve customers, but also be more clear on their career aspirations – how do they want to progress in their careers based on their passion, talents, strengths, values – to choose the career that is most congruent for them.

We all know the saying that “people join a company, but leave the leader”. Unfortunately not many companies help their team leaders  develop their personal brand to better succeed in people engagement and customer service. In the best companies, they do. That is one of the approaches that the best companies to work for are taking to develop their people, leaders and customer service.

Based on a survey conducted by Glenn Llopis organization in USA, less than 15% of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5% are living it consistently at work – each and every day.   Why?   It can be extremely challenging and it requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness, action and accountability. Because when you develop your personal brand and commit to it, you will  live your personal excellence every day. That is very rewarding, but also challenging.

I believe that personal brand is not so much about self-promotion, but it is rather a commitment to advance yourself by differentiating the way how you are serving others and adding value to others lives. I wish there were   more companies in the market who do so.

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The Success Planner Book

Decide to succeed and use the tools and strategies that will help you! The Success Planner contains impactful tools and valuable strategies to help you have more clarity on what you want to achieve, to live with passion, to achieve your goals and to reach ultimate success.

It will help you to:

  • discover your talents to achieve success more easily
  • define your passion, mission, vision and purpose to live a more fulfilling life
  • unlock what success means for you
  • connect better with your true you and gain extraordinary confidence
  • focus on your true goals and success, achieving them instantly
  • get hugely energized, inspired and empowered while traveling on your success mindset development journey

You can start setting your goals at the beginning of a new calendar year, on your birthday, on the day you make an important decision or at any other time of the year. It really does not matter when you start – the sooner, the better though.

The Success Planner is a fabulous present for anyone whom you care about or for whom you wish all the best.

Check it out:

www.TheSuccessPlannerBook.com

How to Set Your Goals Impactfully to Achieve Them Automagically

My call for thoughtfulness and action today is about goal setting and achieving them. How to set your goals impactfully in a way that you can achieve them automagically.

University of Scranton research suggests, that only 8% of people achieve their goals. Why? There are a number of reasons, but most common are the following three:

1. Creating vague goals

I often say – “what gets measured, gets done”.  If you set goals that are too general, like “I want to lose weight”, then it is difficult for you to achieve them. How much do you want to lose? By which time frame? How are you going to achieve this? How will you reward yourself for success?

There is a recent example of a friend who set a vague goal which resulted in an unexpected outcome. She was in a dating relationship with her boyfriend and wanted to have a family. She wrote down in her goals: “By next year in September, there will be 3 of us together.” What she meant was – her partner, herself and their child. What happened next year by September was something different- her partner introduced her to his gay friend…

2. Lacking higher purpose, which leads to lack of focus

You can set goals in any area, but if you do not have a higher purpose as to why achieving this goal is important to you, it is easy to give up when it becomes a bit more difficult.

It happened with me when I first started to write my book two years ago. I did not have this sense of purpose that I have now and I had not unlocked clearly my passion. Since I have completed it last year, my book is in print now!

3. Not knowing what you really want

Mark Twain once said that he could teach anyone how to achieve what they want, but his challenge was – he could not find anyone who would know what they want. In my coaching experience I see that there are many people who do not know what they want to achieve. They often know what they do not want and that is where their focus and energy goes.

I usually set my goals every year and mostly achieve them. There came a period of time a few years ago when I felt a bit confused. I had achieved everything I planned for and I did not have any more goals to set. Nothing came to mind. Nothing felt like – yes, I want to achieve that!  As I am a high achiever by nature, I started to feel really low, as I need targets to achieve constantly.

What is the solution?

I spoke with one of my friends about this issue, and she laughed – “Relax, I never set goals and I don’t achieve much. There are many people who do not know what they want. Be chilled about it!”

“It’s not helpful, is it?”, I thought.

I asked my coach: “What should I do?” My coach helped me by asking really good questions, such as: “What is your passion?”, “What is your overall purpose in life, what do you want to achieve?”, “What have you already achieved and what talents did you apply to achieve them?”, “What’s missing?”

I travelled a journey of unlocking my passion and my purpose. My passion is helping people to succeed. I accomplish this via coaching, inspirational speaking, and leading by example by being an empowering and inspirational leader.

I have expanded my goals more since having more clarity of my passion and purpose, and I am achieving them automagically. As an example – I had said that I will give  at least two inspirational speeches in big international conferences this year. And by setting these goals in the right way, the opportunities presented themselves, magically. As a result, I have done two speeches already and was recently invited as a speaker in the upcoming world congress in Paris.

Paul Meyer has said: “If you are not achieving the success you desire, it’s because your objectives are not clearly defined.” He guides to the SMART principle of setting your goals. It is setting your goals, to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.

There are plenty of approaches for goal setting, but most common or popular are the following three:

  • New Year’s Resolutions– you set them at the beginning of a new year and mostly don’t achieve them, as they are too vague. You keep setting and not achieving them year after year.
  • The Wheel of Life– you set your goals in 8 areas of your life to be complete. Sometimes it is too much for people – they achieve some and do not achieve others. This is not very motivational, is it?
  • SMART principle– it is most popular in organizations. But people do not always achieve all of these goals as they do not feel passionate about all of them.

Having reviewed what works and what does not, I have developed The Success Planner™ goal setting approach, which integrates Passion & Purpose with SMART principle. In a nutshell it is this: focus on your strength and passion, define your purpose, be SMART and watch out for success!

I developed this principle after I have gone through some low moments in my life and that has helped me to get back on the track of success. That has also been useful for many of my coaching clients.

In conclusion: there are a number of reasons why people do not set or achieve their goals. Having travelled my own journey of resolving challenges with goal setting has led me to develop the “How to set your goals impactfully to achieve them automagically” approach. To help more people achieve their goals, I have written a book called “The Success Planner ™”. This book contains impactful tools and valuable strategies to help you to unlock your passion, achieve your goals and reach ultimate success.

Why Passion Matters?

Why passion matters, you might ask. As passion comes from believing you are extraordinarily great at something, being passionate is a sincere way of saying, “by the way, I’m awesome”.  All of our emotions exist for good reason. We feel hunger to ensure we don’t starve. We feel full to ensure we don’t burst. And we feel passion to ensure we concentrate our efforts on things that energize and reward us the most.

Your passion will persuade people to listen to you and follow you. It will persuade people to believe in you. But most importantly, passion will persuade YOU! Passion is an emotion specifically intended to make you go mad and work your behind off at something because your brain believes it is highly valuable and could rock your world. Believe me, that is a feeling worth fighting for.

What we’re passionate about is too important to leave to the mercy of fate. If you haven’t found your passion yet, try to create new things, to lead new trends, and to fuse new combinations. But don’t ever stop looking. In my new book called “The Success Planner” I have collated the questions to help you think through and travel on a journey of discovering your passion if you have not yet done so. It is best to start with unlocking your talents, followed by finding your passion and values.

Make your passion your fuel, not your final destination. Whatever you do, be true to yourself and what is meaningful for you. As an example, using the passion discovery tool that I have described in “The Success Planner”, I have discovered that my passion is helping people to succeed. I gain huge energy, inspiration and satisfaction while noticing how my coaching clients become more inspired, focused, self-aware and successful.

Since my early childhood I have loved observing people and thinking about what they could have done differently to be more engaging or more successful in their relationships. Since I have discovered and now am clear of what I am passionate about in my life, which is – inspiring people, developing their success mindset and empowering people to focus on their passion to succeed in life and business, I am finding more and more opportunities in both everyday life and corporate work to focus on this area. This is highly rewarding and gratifying for me.  And this is why passion really matters!

5 Key Lessons Learned in Social Media Marketing

The world is speedingly becoming digital. To stay on trend one needs to constantly catch up with the newest. Therefore, instead of just having a chilled easy Saturday, I attended a whole day Social Media Marketing class at Westminster Business School yesterday. It was a time worth spent. Here are 5 key lessons learned of many:

1. You need to be digital and social to have your brand out there

Inspiration, innovation, progress, customer engagement – keep up with the speed of the world’s digital development movements! Know your customers, current and target ones, and be there out with and for them. People live their lives with their digital devices now – the first thing someone does when waking up in the morning is checking their e-mails; what someone does while having their morning coffee – is reading thought provoking articles in LinkedIn; on the way to office what someone does is checking out what their friends are doing in Facebook; when leaving the retail shop at the lunch time what someone does is tweeting a comment on their customer experience in Twitter and Instagraming a picure of a newly bought item. Explore your customer behaviours, likes and needs in digital world to better add value and build your professional brand for them.

2. Goals, goals, goals… and be strategic

As in any other area in life, to stay focussed, be impactful and to not get losed in the huge world of digital, you define clearly your goals what you want to achieve in social media. You clarify the purpose – is it for your personal brand develpment, for your customer engagement, for your company brand and talent attraction or any other aspiration? When you are clear on your goals, purpose and your target audience, you can best choose social media platform where to be vocal, visual and adding value for your target audience. You can define your social media strategy in a more targeted and tailored way when you have clarity on your purpose and goals. Being strategic your will make a better impact.

3. Measure to make a better impact

I love KPI’s and analytics and being able to measure how my actions turn into tangible, measurable results! In digital marketing and social media you can measure any activity you do. Best and most insightful tool for digital insights is Google Analytics tool. You can measure almost everything there, even impact of the words you have said in your message and how changing one word makes an impact to the reach and conversion rate. You can measure how many people have received your message, have seen it, have liked it or commented, or found it valuable to share it forward. You can mesure what action your message has initiated and whether that leads to achieving your goals.

4. Devil is in the detail

Learn how to use social media platforms, what features they have and how to best apply them to make an impact. Learning how to better use hashtags in Twitter opens a door with opportunities to reach out to people with common interests or learn what others are sharing about themes you are interested in. Learning that people respond better to pictures or video’s can make your message more impactful. Learning how to improve your pictures with Instagram can make them more enjoyable for your target audience. Learning how to connect and reach out to people across the globe in Linkedin can open you new job, collaboration or business opportunities.

5. Keep learning

Social media and digital marketing technology and options are developing constantly. What was impossible yesterday, is a common feature today. What is new today, will be a history tomorrow. Digital world requires constant curiosity, exploration and focus on development. Learn from your friends, colleagues, from your children and their classmates. Learn from people who are different from you and have different habbits, as they will definitely know something that you may not have discovered yet. Keep learning to be successful!

The Social Media Marketing lesson yesterday has definitely encouraged me to revisit my social media knowledge and strategy. It has generated thoughtfulness for being on track of the digital developments and being out there to add value.

Coaching contributes to success mindset

I believe coaching is enabling individuals and teams to realise their fullest potential for success. That is my experience with coaching – both being coached myself and coaching my coaching clients.

My experience is that through focused coaching individuals or teams are empowered to make an impact for achieving great results that hugely inspires them for further success, collaboration and winning culture. I trust that finding your passion, focusing on what’s important to achieve your aspiration, makes a powerful impact in gaining the highest achievements.

I truly believe that having success mindset is one of the keys to empowering, inspiring and satisfying life. And coaching is a great opportunity to obtain, develop or strengthen your success mindset. You will be amazed what you can achieve having coaching sessions with a coach that empowers your confidence, facilitates you to define your goals and focus on achieving them.

And what do I do to contribute – I empower people to succeed. I do it through coaching people to develop their self awareness, build their leadership or personal brand, facilitating them to find their passion, focus on their goals and make an impact that is meaningful for them. That inspires me and empowers for further achievements. That adds fuel to my success mindset engine. So that I can drive my life roads with passion and inspiration to share it forward. Empower for success.

Top 7 key things that make your personal brand

When you have the clarity on the top 7 key things that makes your personal brand, then you can develop your brand to live your life truthfully under any circumstances that come. And you can also achieve tremendous results by focusing on what you love doing. The starting block or first stepping stone to develop your personal brand is getting to know yourself better, being thoughtful what do you stand for, what is important to you, what you care about and what you love doing.

And here I will share with you the top 7 key things that make your personal brand:

  1. Your Special Talents – your talents, your special traits that help to differentiate you from others and be great at what you do. You are great at what you do when you develop your talents and apply them in the job that you love doing. Therefore first step in building your brand is to identify your talents that you were born with and developed during your life. It is best to develop them in accordance to your values.
  2. Your Values. What you believe and truly value is highly important in your life and work. Your values are evident in the way you do things. Two people with similar talents but different values are likely to develop different careers. Knowing your values can help you to decide how to apply your talents and build a fulfilling career or business.
  3. Your Purpose is linked to what you love doing and do very well. Your purpose is what you are here for on this planet. You define that. Your purpose arises from your talents and values. The purpose is like a horizon – you are aiming to get there, but you will never reach it fully. Sense of purpose is a sense of direction. When your whole being seems to be in a resonanse with what you are doing, you are pursuing your purpose.
  4. Your Vision – when you are aware and have defined your purpose, create your vision to strive for. The vision is like a pathway that guides you in direction of realizing your purpose. It is a planned wise pathway that brings you to the future you have imagined.
  5. Your Mission determines how you are going towards your vision. Your mission describes how you want to live your life. And what you want to do. Once you are clear about your mission, your work will be more meaningful and satisfying.
  6. Your Behaviours – be thoughtful about what behaviours are you expressing to lead you towards your mission and purpose, achieving your goals. Think about what words are you choosing in your language to express your views and influence result. Your behaviours are like your personal brand advertisement messages, they tell people who you are and what value are you adding or can add.
  7. Your Authenticity. If you are true to your talents and values, you have clarity upon your vision and mission and express behaviours that enhances you, that makes you authentic. By being authentic you will naturally attract people – employers, customers and colleagues, who share some of your values and appreciate what you do best.

When you have thought through what makes your brand and what matters to you, when you have clarity of what are your talents, values, vision, purpose, mission, behaviours and how that all builds your authenticity, then it is the time. It is the time to focus on developing your brand in the direction that you want to develop it to achieve your goals. It is the time to position and communicate your brand via the channels and to the audiences that will appreciate your added value. It is the time to start enjoying the exciting opportunities that strong personal brand and relevant branding bring you.