Personal Branding – A Vital Element of Your Online Business

Personal branding is without doubt one of the most important components in your online business. Without it, you’ll simply be another little boat lost in the vast ocean of would-be entrepreneurs! So let’s look at personal branding and what it means to you today.

You need to brand yourself properly- if you want to stand out from the crowd, you’re going to have to set yourself apart from the others. You’ll need to differentiate yourself from your competition and to do this, you’re going to have to take some steps to change the way you go about things.

Ok, first off, you need to ask yourself some pretty searching questions. You want people to notice you but why should people listen to you? What makes YOU so special? What have you got to offer them? There are some simple steps you can take to ensure you head in the right direction and get where you want to be!

Take charge of yourself – make sure you understand both your strengths and weaknesses. You need to be totally honest with yourself. Make a list of points – what do you love, what are you good at? What exactly do you want to achieve? You just need to get yourself “out there”, to be seen and to get your name recognised. Don’t always wait until everything has been perfected, sometimes you just need to take the bull by the horns and put out what you’ve got so far, warts and all. In this way too, you can keep your content fresh, without re-working or re-hashing it. If you feel you must, you can always tweak and perfect as you go along. It’s part of the learning curve.

Personal branding builds your online presence – this is undoubtedly true. How you come across to people is often a deciding factor as to whether they will listen and digest what you have to offer or whether they just click off your page/video/article. You only have one opportunity to make that first impression, so make sure it’s the one you want!

Don’t forget that body language is vital when you’re dealing with people, either face to face or via a webcam. Personal meetings are often easier, as the direct contact helps but you’re still able to inject your personality through your videos if you remember a couple of simple rules:

· Be yourself! Don’t try to be someone or something you’re not

· Keep your eyes focused on the camera at all times. Eye contact is essential to engage your audience

· Smile! If there’s only one thing you remember and only one thing you feel confident about doing, make sure it’s to smile. A friendly, welcoming and open face will open more doors for you than a dull, listless face

· Make sure your arms aren’t folded across your body. This is a defensive gesture and sends out the wrong signals to those around you. No matter how nervous or shy you may be feeling, let your arms relax but feel free to use your hands – gesticulate and emphasise with your hands to bring points home

There is far more to personal branding than meets the eye and any would-be online marketer should be working on improving his or her branding to ensure they stand out amongst the vast competition.

12 Secrets For the Busy Home Schooler

Life is busy. We rush from here to there. We rush through our lesson plans. We rush to finish another project with the kids. We rush to make cookies. We rush to church and special events. We have to pay the bills and buy the groceries and clean the house and make the meals that nobody wants to eat.

And oh yeah, don’t forget you are a full-time teacher. You have to plan the lessons, prepare to teach, and sit down with each child while the others run amok. Then the toddler makes a mess all over the floor while you were doing spelling with your first grader, and everything must be put on hold while you solve the problem.

We give and give until there is nothing left of ourselves, until we are empty. We handle the chores, cook the meals, teach the lessons, drive everyone to their special piano lessons and soccer practice, rush home to make dinner, tuck the kids into bed, and then drag them out of bed in the morning to start it all over again.

Yet we chose to home school because we value a family where community and creativity our nurtured, where there is joy and warmth and rest, where you are not running from one event to the next. Hidden in our hearts, a small spark, a little wish for something deeper, something more eternal, waits to blossom.

We cannot change anyone. We can only change ourselves. To move our families in the right direction, we must first move ourselves in that direction and trust that they will follow. These twelve life principles are lessons I have learned and forgotten and then reapplied to my life many times over.

1. Get up while the house is still quiet. Get your breakfast. Get your shower. Have a moment to drink your coffee and plan your day. You are worth the extra effort to take care of yourself before you start to serve others. If you let them wake you, you will be 10 steps behind the rest of the day. And you will be too tired and grumpy to tackle the day’s challenges.

If the children wake up before you are ready, send them back to bed. As a home schooling family, you can set your own schedule. Let them read in bed for half an hour or play quietly until you are ready.

2. Ignore criticisms and unwelcome advice. Busy bodies everywhere have their opinions about what you should or should not be doing. I’d like to say they mean well, but I’m really not so sure about that. Most of them just want to feel better about their own selves by tearing someone else down, and very few actually know what they are talking about.

3. Keep a journal. Write your thoughts and contemplate yourself. Take the time to recognize your emotional state. Emotions are often warning messages, helping you know when to rest and when something is not healthy. Take the time to ask yourself who you really are. Knowing and finding yourself are integral for good parenting.

4. Explore your own creative aspects. We have arts and crafts for the kids, music lessons for the kids, and writing essays for the kids. If developing the arts is so important for your kids, is it not just as important for you? You want your kids to be well-rounded, right? So don’t be a hypocrite, and you will find your kids being more willing to jump into their lessons, following your example.

5. Never stop learning. Try new things. Check out books from the library to explore a new hobby and study something you’ve always wanted to know. Your brain is a powerful tool. Whatever style of home schooling you may have, you can always unschool yourself.

6. Eat lunch. And have a snack. At the end of the day, I find that I snap more. Why? I don’t feel hungry, but once I’ve eaten dinner my mood improves. We are finite people. Only God is infinite, and we are dependent on water, food, and God to nourish our lives. So don’t be a martyr and eat something.

7. Insist on an afternoon break. Children need downtime in order to have unscheduled, undirected play. No matter how old your children are, it is good for them and you that everyone gets quiet time alone. Send them to their rooms to read or outside to play, but enforce the rule that you are not to be disturbed during this time.

8. Find time to exercise. Just as it is not your wish for your children to be unhealthy, it is not God’s wish for you either. He cherishes you just as you cherish your children. Parental duties and home schooling should never get in the way of this. Keep it fun, and find a routine that fits into your schedule. Maybe fit it in during your morning quiet hour or during the afternoon break. Or get workout videos that the kids can do with you.

9. Take quiet walks frequently. Not for the purpose of exercise. Not for some goal. Just for the chance to meander and to be quiet. To have solitude. To explore. Adults are goal-oriented. Everything we do has a purpose, whether it is to cook dinner, buy groceries, pay the bills, diet, or get some exercise. We are always striving. Sometimes, we just need to put that aside. So trade favors with your spouse, and take a little time each week.

10. Find time to play. Be a kid again. Children are experience-oriented. They do stuff for the simple joy of being. Growing up has made us lose that eternal quality of just being. Sometimes, we just need to enjoy the experience.

11. Never let life become a competition. We compete to be the best mom, to be the best dresser, the best decorator, the best friend, the most organized, the best scrapbooker, the most creative, the most athletic, the most beautiful. But when I stop to contemplate this, I realize that my value really has no bearing on anyone else. Parents celebrate their child’s first steps, however wobbly those steps may be. In the same way, we should celebrate our own wobbly attempts to grow.

12. Learn to say “No.” Sometimes, one more activity, one more responsibility, or one more event is just one too many. Instead, choose to say “Yes” to being home, to spending time with family, or to enjoying a dinner around the table.

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