Time management is an often-overlooked key to personal branding success; here are 7 strategies & tips for finding the time to build your personal brand.
A lack of time is no excuse for failing to invest in your future by building your personal brand.
These days, everyone faces the universal challenge of too much to do and not enough time to do it!
Nevertheless, in spite of the universal time crunch, more and more people are managing to build lasting personal brands and assuming an expert, “go to” reputation in their field. This leads to the question, What are they doing different?
Common strategies for personal branding success
Examine the habits of those who are successfully building their personal brands, and you’ll find common strategies based on the following planning and action habits. Use them as a guide to crafting your own action plan for personal branding success:
- Commit. The first step is to commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to build your personal brand–starting with finding the time. No matter how good or bad a writer or marketer you are, if you don’t make finding the time a priority, your ambitions and dreams are unlikely to come true. Time management is what separates brands from intentions.
- Evaluate. The next step is to evaluate how you’re currently spending your time each day, both at the office and at home. Your goal is to identify under-utilized chunks of time that you can reallocate to your personal branding activities. Do this by identifying the times of the day or evening when you are most alert and productive. Evaluation also involves learning how much time it actually takes you to perform personal branding activities, like researching and writing articles or blog posts or preparing comments and guest posts for other blogs.
- Schedule. Goals without schedules are likely to remain wishes. Success comes from making appointments with yourself, at specific times throughout the week, to address personal branding chores. Consistency is the key; your goal is to build the habit of working on personal branding every weekday from 11:30 AM to 12:00 noon–or, whatever other time works for you, your co-workers, and your family. (The more they’re involved, the more they will support your efforts.)
- Review. A little time–as few as 3 to 5 minutes–spent reviewing your goals and progress every night before bed, and every morning upon rising, can multiply your productivity during your scheduled personal branding time. At night, review your accomplishments during the day and your goals for the next day. Upon rising, review your personal branding writing goals for the day. You may be surprised at the difference this makes.
- Act. Failure to follow-up on commitments dooms your plans to failure. As many business planning experts have written, Plan your work, and work your plan! Success requires the discipline to take a long-range view of your personal brand building, even if it means occasionally writing when you don’t feel like writing or putting aside an occasional outing. When you follow through on your commitment, you’re not only moving forward on your current project, you’re also building the habit of consistent action–which makes future actions easier and more productive.
- Track. There are several ways you can track your personal branding success. The first metric involves a simple YES or NO, i.e., Did you take action on your personal brand during your scheduled time each day? A large calendar hanging on the walls of your office can play a big role in motivating you to take action during each scheduled session. Other metrics to pay attention to involve tracking how much you got done during each session. Finally, you’ll want to gauge the success of each article or blog post using appropriate metrics like page visits, comments, downloads, ReTweets, or e-mail sign-ups.
- Improve. Personal branding success is a journey, a process that never ends. As a result, it’s important to track your progress even when there’s no progress, because you missed a scheduled session or didn’t accomplish what you wanted. By noting your setbacks as well as your successes, you’ll be able to take corrective action. As a result, over time, your success rate goes up!
What are you waiting for?
A strong personal brand isn’t going to happen by itself. You’re the only one that can make it happen. (There are no fairy godmothers!) If you’re going to build a strong personal brand, it’s going to happen through your actions.
More important, the sooner you start, the greater your success will be.
Success builds on success! Action builds on action, competence emerges through learning and practicing–i.e., consistency and constantly improving the skills you pick up on the way.
Take a few moments to reflect on what you’re doing today to build your personal brand. Ask yourself, What else could I be doing, or should I be doing, to build my personal brand? Share your concerns, experiences, and questions about time management and building your personal brand as comments, below.
Roger C. Parker is an author, book coach, designer, consultant who works with authors, marketers, & business professionals to achieve success with brand-building books & practical marketing strategy. Visit Roger’s blog for more writing & time management tips or to ask a question.