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Personal Branding for Sales – ignore this at your peril

These 3 questions could change your life …  

  1. How many people know WHAT you do?
  2. Do people understand HOW you do your ‘stuff’?
  3. And how many really know and care WHY you do what you do?

To really change our sales and business results dramatically answer these three questions.

It’s down to each of us to take ownership of this, to identify the right people, make contact, educate them, and give them good memories and a reason to care.

This progression is what builds our reputation and personal brand for sales.

This in turn leads to referrals and inbound enquiries and assists with sales conversion.

What people know us for is the heart of our Personal Brand.

Read on to discover more examples and tips on Personal Branding for Sales

Let’s start by taking stock:

  • What do your customers know you for?    – Have you asked them?
  • What will your referral network say about you?     – Have you educated them?
  • When people search for what you do will they find you?      – Do you show up for your keywords?
  • If people search for your name what will they find?      – What shows up against your name?

The challenging part for us all is to distill our skills, experience and value into a short and memorable proposition!

Your personal brand serves as your best protection against business factors you can’t control. – Dan Schawbel – Best-selling Author of ‘Promote Yourself’

Personal Branding for Sales – the foundation for Social Selling Success

What is the most significant investment we can make today?

What has the potential to multiply our income or turnover many times over throughout our future career or business life?

  • Knowledge and skills are good.
  • Who we know is pretty important.
  • Achievements and outcomes rate highly too.

But beyond these, Creating a Brand for ourselves is one of the key differentiators in the professional and business world.

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters – Business Author & Speaker

What do you want to be remembered for?

Who are the business people who you remember most clearly? Who would you choose as a role model?

Maybe you’ve had personal contact with them. Or perhaps you felt a personal connection with them for what they stood for.

  • maybe they helped you or gave you genuine advice at a critical time for you?
  • perhaps you gained insight and encouragement from something they wrote or said?
  • did they stand for a cause that you felt was something you’d like to support?

Deciding what it is that we want people to remember us for is the root to leave behind as a lasting memory when we meet or encounter people. Choosing what we want to be remembered for really comes down to something about us that is consistent and lasting.

The other important dimension from a sales and business perspective is to be remembered for something that has a value to the other person in a business or professional capacity.

Every career exists on three levels: WHAT you do, HOW you do it and WHY you do it. Very few can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. By WHY, I mean what’s your purpose, cause or belief? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And why should anyone care? – Simon Sinek – leadership speaker  

Challenges that our Personal Brand will need to stand up to

What we would like to be remembered for needs to be capable of being conveyed in many ways:

  • On a 1:1 basis when we’re in-front of a prospect or on the phone, we at least have the opportunity for a dialogue.
  • With a small group of people, for example at a networking meeting, there may not be much deep dialogue, but we and they have the benefit of body-language.
  • To people we are reaching out to over social media there may not be dialogue or body language, and there may well be a lot of passive observers, now and in future.

The other big challenge, as the volume goes up, is the danger of being drowned out by the noise. Finding an edge through insight and attitude is one way to offset this.

It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online matters, which in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level. – Gary Vaynerchuk – Entrepreneur, Author, Investor

How can we make it easy for people to remember us?

It’s one thing to be remembered by people who we’ve got to know well, and where they will contact usas and when they have a need.

It’s quite another to make the next step, to give people who know us the ability to identify the right people and situations to refer us to.

Our brand will build as we do more with it, as we live and breath it on a daily basis, and re-inforce it through the content we create and the contacts we make.

  • Substance – elements with a longer shelf-life, such as our LinkedIn profile, articles we write, LinkedIn Group Discussions we start, video we appear in, slideshare presentations etc.
  • Soundbites –  the incidental items such as – LinkedIn Status Updates, LinkedIn Articles we Like and Comment on, Tweets and ReTweets,

Through our online activity we can stay front of mind with people who know us. Give them insight and help them in areas that re-inforce our personal brand proposition.

Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.” – Sir Richard Branson – Entrepreneur (Link to his LinkedIn Pulse channel) 

Where will you create your Personal Brand online?

To be found online we need to have a plan to develop our presence online. There are multiple places that we can use to roll out our Personal Brand when we’ve decided what it is. For example:

  • LinkedIn for Substance – for professionals, especially those with knowledge and experience such as consultants, senior sales leaders and business owners the primary place is on LinkedIn – because of the reach, quality and engagement of an increasing number of business professionals and decision-makers.
  • Twitter for Soundbites – short messages on diverse topics risk diluting our personal branding on LinkedIn, so use Twitter for the community aspect around #hashtags and a broader range of topics and interactions.
  • Google+ for website traffic – functionally rich platform with powerful SEO value (for sign-posting visitors to your website) but doesn’t (yet) have the mainstream business users that LinkedIn has
  • Facebook for Family & Friends – excellent for the personal and consumer market but the wrong tone for professional branding
  • Also consider extending your personal brand presence into Slideshare, YouTube and Google Images as resources allow.

Having a presence on all is useful – however include a sign-post or call-to-action pointing to your primary Social Network and build your Personal Brand for Sales on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the primary social network within which to develop a Personal Brand for people who serve the business market. Mark Stonham – LinkedIn Trainer & Social Selling Consultant

How will you develop your Personal Brand for Sales?

Having defined, designed, and created our Personal Brand proposition, manifesto or blueprint we now need to develop this over time.

There are many things that we can do to make it easier to be consistent, starting with a master plan, for example:

  • Quarterly – review and update your LinkedIn Summary and Current Role description, adding in new talking points and achievements respectively
  • Monthly – write an article highlighting your perspective on one of the major challenges in one of the markets you serve, and post it into LinkedIn
  • Weekly – schedule time to spend in key LinkedIn Groups and Channels to add comments, start discussions and reach out to ‘qualifying’ individuals
  • Daily – share an on-topic article – from a trusted source, from your website, from LinkedIn Pulse (tip: pre-schedule the week using Hootsuite)

And as you do, take time to learn from people who do this well, such as those connections who are at the Top of your “Most viewed Connections” chart.

People are asking themselves “Is what I’m sharing a consistent extension of who I am professionally? – Jeff Weiner – CEO at LinkedIn
We only get one chance to make a great first impression! Find out how we help people just like you to stand out from the crowd.

 

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