Personal Branding Mistake #1: NOT HAVING A BRAND PROMISE

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Believe it or not, most senior professionals don’t have a brand promise. Big opportunity lost.

A personal brand is not a portrait or a tagline (although it may include these). A brand is not a biography or a website (although it may be expressed in these). A brand is a promise you can keep… a benefit to your audience that is understandable, believable, delivers superior value and differentiates you from your peers. Whatever your current branding efforts are intending to do, they are perceived by your audience as making a promise. And if that promise is not what you want to communicate, then you’re in trouble. So consider doing research with your audience to find out what they think: what your brand really is, what people perceive of you as promising. And discover if you’re standing out in the way you want.

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Personal Branding Mistake #2: SOCIAL MEDIA PICTURE MISSING

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People are 11X more likely to look at your LinkedIn profile when you post a picture. Post a good picture that supports your brand promise. 

Many people do not understand the importance of a good portrait on social media professional profiles. In a study conducted by The Ladders, an eye tracking heat map shows that recruiters spend 19% of the total time looking at your picture then your current job position and education. Not as much time is spent on your skills, specialties or older work experiences. Social media profiles are today’s first impressions. Complementing personal branding with a strong photo gives your audience a picture (both literally and physically) of who you are that goes beyond words. A recent study published in Psychological Science discovered that we draw conclusions about people based on a photo in less than a second. Not having a photo causes your audience to question why not. Leaving your audience questioning is not a good move. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #3: LACK OF FOCUS

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Listing too many skills and posting content on your social pages that have no connection to your personal brand may be confusing. Be clear about your brand promise and support it with consistent messaging. 

Social media pages are checked by recruiters 63% of the time. Having irrelevant and unnecessary content on your profile places you at a disadvantageYour profile should focus on content that compliments and supports your brand promise. Include only relevant information that supports your brand story. Make sure your profiles have clear information and imagery that presents you in a favorable light. Consistency is important with personal branding. While it’s perfectly fine to adapt content to a specific platform, one cannot assume that your audience will only be looking at LinkedIn. Keeping your content consistent and focused delivers a strong message to your audience.

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Personal Branding Mistake #4: YOU'VE BECOME A LITTLE LAZY

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As January fades away so does your New Year’s resolution to post. Don’t give up on your personal branding goals! Keep posting and keep engaging your network. 

If you have become a little lazy and figure that you can take a few weeks off from posting and engaging on social media, then you are sadly mistaken. Just because your profile is strong doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work regularly on maintaining its strength. Posting content about relevant information to support your brand story ensures your audience’s continued engagement. Remember to use visuals to spice things up as they are processed 60,000 faster by the brain than text. Be proactive to sustain and grow your brand’s relationship with your social media audience. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #5: YOU'RE NOT PROACTIVE

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Updating and tweaking your branding is not an annual event. It is a continuous process that accounts for shifts in your business and prospect targets. Don’t fall behind competition! 

Social media should never be passive. Updating your profile with captivating content keeps your audience engaged and maintains your brand’s relevance. Regularly posting about current events, news and original content strengthens your brand presence. Posts and shares with your network inspires and facilitates dialogue and engagement. It’s not enough to have a profile and news feed. There are a lot of lurkers out there – people who have an online profile but don’t do anything or engage in any meaningful way. 81% of LinkedIn users belong to at least one group and there are more than 200 conversations happening each minute across LinkedIn groups, so get involved! You have to work it. A proactive approach helps you stay ahead of the curve and your peers. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #6: NOT CHECKING YOUR FEED

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Your have a professional network, now use it! 

Having a social media profile just to have one is unproductive. Why have 500+ LinkedIn connections if you don’t engage them? Posting relevant content opens up new relationships and new opportunities on the web. Providing comments, feedback and insight on network posts is a very effective way to engage with your connections. The stronger your brand’s connection, the more valuable your brand becomes. And, 85% of your visitors feel more connected when you’re following them on social media. In order to reap the benefits of a strong online presence, regularly check your feed and participate. Don’t be viewed as “out of the loop”. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #7: YOU'RE NOT A PURPLE COW

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Are you standing out in the crowd? Do you know where you rank in LinkedIn searches? Do you have a personal brand that sets you apart from competitors?

Cows are boring. They are all look alike and do the same things. Be a purple cow, have a distinctive brand promise and stand out from the crowd. A personal brand that says why you are different and better is key to your success. Capitalize on your brand’s uniqueness by posting interesting, relevant and innovative content that will capture your audience and set your brand apart. Be exceptional - be a purple cow. Don’t be like the rest of your peers. It’s boring, and do you really want to be boring? 

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Personal Branding Mistake #8: YOU'RE NOT ELEVATOR PITCH READY

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When opportunities arise, will you and your personal brand be ready? Knowing what your brand stands for and presenting it effectively is key for the perfect elevator pitch.

You never know when you may meet someone who has the potential to become a client or a meaningful asset to your business. Given this, it is absolutely essential that you’re ready to communicate your brand promise quickly and effectively at any given time. The average attention span of a person is 8.25 seconds, so the first few seconds of your pitch are crucial in capturing their attention. Some of the most meaningful professional interactions occur outside of the office when you least expect it. Know your brand promise inside out and deliver a consistent pitch to friends, family and business people. If you don’t have a clear brand message, then why would you expect anyone to get it? 

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Personal Branding Mistake #9: YOU'RE TOO PERSONAL!

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

New business prospects want to know about YOU, not your kids, your dog and your extended family. Being professional is important, and finding a balance between professional and personal is even more important.

Professionals often struggle with the fine line between personal and professional content for social media. Posting personal information on your professional social media platforms is not a good idea and at times totally inappropriate. Your professional audience wants to know about your brand and its value, not about your new puppy. Keep your content professional, consistent and always supporting your brand promise. While it’s okay to share your opinion, steer clear of topics that could be too controversial, like politics. Being too personal on your professional social media pages may have a negative impact on your branding. Keep professional content separate from personal and you’ll be good to go.

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Personal Branding Mistake #10: SO YOU'VE GOTTEN A BIT SLOPPY?

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Content is important, and keeping it relevant and interesting is key to engaging your network and creating new business opportunities. Post clear content that connects to your personal brand.

The purpose of your brand’s social media platforms is to engage your audience, maintain relevance with your network, and build new relationships and opportunities. The most essential part of your brand’s online presence is content. Valuable content has magnetic power. Create an interesting mix of relevant content to earn audience mindshare and trust. Do not post to post. Your brand’s audience does not want their feed filled with random content. Share clear content with your network that is aligned with your brand and its value. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #11: YOU'RE NOT ENGAGING YOUR STRENGTHS

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Identifying and engaging your strengths is key to your brand promise, and your brand promise is key to your success. Have you considered an executive coach as a first step?

Many people struggle with the identification of their biggest strengths. It’s not easy to determine what makes you different and better than your peers. Without knowing your personal strengths you cannot develop a strong brand promise. It takes a high degree of introspection and honesty to arrive at your strengths. Many professionals need an executive coach to help. One of the biggest benefits of a coach is to provide you with unbiased advice that enables your success. The perspectives they provide and the alternatives they discuss are designed to help you reach your goals. Engaging with an executive coach is a commitment but well worth it. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #12: TOO MANY POSTS

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

You are focusing on quantity not quality posts. One quality lead is worth 100 leads that do not have much hope.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in personal branding is posting too much content. There’s tremendous pressure to be constantly visible in your ever changing social media feed. The volume of posts will depend on the specific platform. LinkedIn for instance is a low volume/high value platform. Twitter is a high volume/low value platform. Our instinct is to just post, post, post. It’s not about the quantity of your posts; it’s about the quality of your posts. Quality content is what makes your brand stand out. Engage your audience and attract new relationships and new opportunities with great content. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #13: BRANDING MEANS GETTING YOUR NAME OUT THERE

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Your personal brand is not just about getting your name out there. It’s about controlling and attaching a brand promise to your name.

Getting your name out is key to personal branding success. However, your name alone means nothing if not clearly attached to your brand promise. What is the point of having professionals know your name if they don’t recognize your value? Get in the habit of attaching your name to your brand promise to win meaningful recognition from your network. Think about the relationship with Nike and “Just Do It” - it's been that way for years with a value in the billions.

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Personal Branding Mistake #14: YOUR BRANDING ISN'T CLEAR

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

If your brand promise isn’t clear and consistent on your social pages, how can you expect your audience to know what you stand for? 

If your brand promise is not consistently presented to your audience, then your brand runs the risk of becoming confusing. It takes 5-7 brand impressions before someone remembers your brand. To build real value, stay on message in all your social platforms. If one social media page does not align with your brand promise then your brand strength will suffer. Your brand made a promise and it is up to you to deliver on that commitment. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #15: WEAK NETWORK

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

You need like-minded people in your social network that can help you achieve your business goals. Say yes to invites and get out there and find them! 

What is the point in having hundreds of connections on social media if they are not aligned with your brand and its value?  76% of LinkedIn members' primary use of the platform is for networking with other professionals. You want a network of like-minded people who share similar knowledge, experience and goals. Maintaining a network of these individuals gives you a great advantage over your peers. Sharing advice, ideas and content with your network benefits both your brand and theirs. Actively pursue these relationships by accepting invitations and initiating meaningful communication. Like-minded connections make social media work for you. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #16: NOT KEEPING IN TOUCH

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

A good social network with lots of dialogue can set you apart from the competition. Reach out to professionals around you and make your personal branding message louder.

Developing and maintaining a strong relationship with your network is good for you and good for your connections. Engaging with your audience is essential to building a sustainable brand. 71% of your viewers who interact with you are likely to recommend you to others. Communicating with your network on a consistent basis strengthens your brand. The most effective form of communication is brand promise driven dialogue. Share your content and provide feedback to others. Make it personal as often as you can. Get ahead of your peers by regularly keeping in touch with your network. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #17: YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH MAKES EYES GLAZE OVER

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

If your elevator pitch is followed by yawns and glazed looks, then it’s time to revitalize your brand. Get creative; revamp your pitch.

Your elevator pitch tells your audience why you are different and better than your peers. You want your elevator pitch to engage them in 30 seconds or less. Excite and inspire your audience about your brand’s value. Having a stiff and arid pitch may achieve the opposite. Tell your story and don’t lecture. Ask yourself, would I be interested in this? If your pitch has been unsuccessful in the past then try something else. Recharge your pitch by thinking outside the box. Run it by your family and friends then bring it to the world. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #18: YOU'RE A LITTLE STIFF

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Professional profiles are important, but your social pages shouldn’t read like resumes. You want to communicate with your audience not confuse them by being overly academic. Be clear and creative. 

Social media profiles are not resumes. Don’t make them look like one or read like one. It’s about your brand promise and your brand story. Experience counts as support for your branding, use it that way and stay away from the resume. Social media is effective because it’s social and interesting. If you do it right and it’s a job you’re looking for, you’ll have plenty of time to show your resume. Having a profile filled with experience, academic accomplishments and recommendations is good if it points to your branding. If not, your connections will not see it as relevant and may not be engaged. Showcase your creativity by presenting your brand in a manner that is socially appropriate and innovative. Spice up your social media platforms with visuals, as 65% of social media audiences are visual learners. Think about it as a party conversation. Would you read someone your resume or would you tell them a story? Bet they would rather hear a story!

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Personal Branding Mistake #19: YOU DON'T HAVE A CLEAR BRAND PROMISE

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

It can be difficult to assess your brand, but it's an important step in building your brand. Once you assess your brand with an outside professional, you can move towards a better brand promise.

Before creating your brand promise you must evaluate your brand. Obtaining an unbiased opinion is key to getting an accurate assessment of your brand. Working with a professional branding expert provides you with the knowledge and feedback needed to create a strong promise that communicates your brand’s value to your audience. If you don’t take control of branding by making a great promise, your audience will continue to brand you in ways you may not want – and to that extent your future will be out of your hands and in the control of others. 

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Personal Branding Mistake #20: YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE YOU WANT YOUR BRAND TO GO

Watermelon Social. Stephan Partners. NYC personal branding agency. NYC social selling agency. George Stephan. Branding. Digital marketing. Social media. Online branding. Social selling. Personal branding and digital marketing. Personal branding and social selling. Personal branding for social media. Personal branding for professionals. Personal branding for professional athletes. Sales team branding. C-suite branding. Leader in personal promise-based branding. Promise-based branding. Brand promise. Social media for business. Building business for your personal brand. Creating professional connections on social media. 100 personal branding mistakes. Best personal branding practices. What is a personal brand? Branding yourself. How to brand yourself on social media. Differentiating yourself on social media. Engaging your audience on social media. Personal branding on LinkedIn. Personal branding on Twitter. Personal branding on Facebook. LinkedIn professional network. Connections on LinkedIn. Expanding your LinkedIn connections. Communicating your brand. Communicating your brand promise.

Once you've defined your brand you’re ready for outreach marketing. But if you don’t know where you want your brand to go, navigating towards your audience may be a bumpy ride. 

Having outreach marketing objectives for your brand is extremely important. Optimize your outreach with goals and a plan designed to connect with the hearts and minds of those you aim to influence. You need to know where your brand is going in order to get there. Define your brand’s target and plan the best route to reach them. It will help expand your reach, your relationships and your opportunities on the web, and beyond.

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