Every sales professional knows the importance of investing time and effort in building their personal brand. But as we kick off 2017, these four health checks will ensure your time and efforts are focused on getting the best results from your brand.
In 2017 personal brands are like opinions – everybody’s got one. So it’s easy to forget that just a short couple of years ago, the concept was fairly new even within such an image-focused industry as sales and marketing. In 2015 I wrote a blog on how to build a personal brand when we were all still getting our heads around the idea. Nearly two years on, it’s time to take a four-point healthcheck of our brand building efforts:
- Is your content getting you closer to clients? If you’ve committed to producing quality content on a regular basis, you’re on your way to building an authoritative brand in your field. But now it’s time to take it a step further and ask how this content is getting you closer to clients. A good way to test this is to ask yourself how openly you can speak about your work with clients in your blogs. Can you articulate how you’ve helped them in a way that both adds value to your readers and builds more trusted relationships with clients?
- Is your authentic image resonating with contacts? Staying real online is critical in today’s transparent workforce. But it’s also a constant challenge, especially when under pressure to deliver more content while also engaging authentically with content shared by your connections. It’s great if your content is liked, retweeted or shared – but how often is this done by your clients or targets? Scrutinize exactly who is engaging with your content to see whether it’s hitting home with the audience that really matters. When a client shares your content, it indicates they support you and trust your subject knowledge.
- Are you collaborating in the right way? The ability to create larger circles of connections is perhaps the biggest advantage of a strong online brand. But it also demands a more nuanced approach to collaborating. Those who do it best connect offline and online, forming relationships with a variety of stakeholders, including competitors. It’s not about trying to steal business but acknowledging that today’s client needs a variety of services to meet their needs. Collaborating can mean working together with competitors to deliver tangible value to your client(s).
- How does your online presence help you offline? Big numbers of followers, connections or likes can be dazzling but how do they help you meet your sales goals in the real world? How many of those 1,000+ connections are clients or potential clients? How many of those would recommend you to colleagues? And how many would you actually want to work with? The ability to take your online connections into an offline environment is one of the biggest challenges of building a digital brand – though if you’ve paid attention to my first three points, you’ll stand a better chance of success.
As we start 2017, a strong personal brand should be part of every sales professional’s strategy for success. Drop me a line with your personal brand tips or to discuss how the right industry insights can help you build an authoritative online presence.