If you want to stand out from the rest of the sellers in the market, you need a strong personal brand that reflects what you stand for.
Your brand tells potential buyers what they can expect from you. It tells them about your personality, your processes, and your working style. And, depending on how well you build your brand, it tells them how reliable you are as an authority in your industry.
The Importance Of Having A Personal Brand
At Sales for Life, we believe that a strong personal brand isn’t just nice to have as a seller, but a must-have.
In fact, one of the first things we teach in our flagship course, The ScalePipeline System, is the importance of building a strong personal brand. We have a whole module about it: Modern Branding Fundamentals, where we teach sales professionals how to build their professional reputations and increase conversations by strategically creating and sharing content on LinkedIn. This gradually builds you up as an authority in your industry, making prospects see you as someone they can trust.
Build your personal brand well, and you’ll have customers reaching out to you instead of the other way around. You’ll have the power to draw in leads in your sleep. And that’s why having a strong personal brand is the best inbound sales strategy.
So how can you get started building your personal brand?
3 things you need to know when building your personal brand
The first thing you need to know when building your personal brand is that there are three things that will ultimately determine the results of your efforts. Think of these three factors as levers that determine the effectiveness of your engagement efforts: Many times, when your sellers’ messages aren’t resonating, they’re probably not manipulating some of these levers.
- The stories you tell people: the stories have to offer value for your prospects: You should be able to make them money, save them money, or mitigate their risk.
- The mediums through which you tell stories: The medium by which you engage with your prospects informs your message. Whether it’s email, video, text, snail mail, or LinkedIn—creative sellers will consider a variety of different mediums, recognizing that they can’t predict which medium is going to land with the customer. It helps to use an omni-channel approach, testing different engagement strategies to socially surround that customer.
- The cadence and sequence: This pertains to the order and operation by which you tell your stories. Key account selling is not for two-week closes. It takes several weeks and months to close deals—and that’s why you need to engage with your audience regularly and repeatedly in order for your brand to stick in their minds.
If you isolate each one of these levers, you’ll be able to develop an engagement action plan. But first, you need to recognize that a one-time approach doesn’t work. Sending one message and hoping you get a response is not a strategy.
Always think about how you can manipulate these three levers to alter the results and outcomes that you’re trying to achieve. As a seller, you should always think five chess moves ahead. That’s why the best key account sellers have at least five sales plays in their pocket, being delivered over weeks and months. This way, they’re constantly engaging with and nurturing their customers.
LinkedIn: The Best Place To Start Building Your Personal Brand
One of the most optimal mediums to build your personal brand is LinkedIn. It’s the most conducive platform for building a professional presence that properly showcases your work to your network.
Below are the five basic things you can do to improve your LinkedIn profile—and, correspondingly, your personal brand.
- Add a professional profile photo: Pick an appropriate profile photo that corresponds with your role. It doesn’t have to be taken by a professional photographer, but it has to be clear with a non-distracting background and should showcase you in your best light.
- Write a distinctive headline: Your default headline is your current employment position, but you can write your own to demonstrate your expertise or your role. Think of your headline as your personal tagline—include the words and phrases that you’d like to be used to describe you.
- Change your LinkedIn background photo: You can upload a LinkedIn background photo to tell your network more about who you are and what you do. You can use it to echo your company’s brand, or to share your own hobbies and achievements.
- Optimize your summary and experience sections: Your LinkedIn profile and your resume should not show the same things. Your experience should list your major accomplishments and the key positions you’ve held, along with brief explanations of each role. Meanwhile, your summary is where you can dive deeper into your vision for your role or company. Back up your achievements with statistics, and use keywords to make your profile easier to find.
- Ask for recommendations: The most effective kinds of advertising are those done for you by other people—and that’s exactly what LinkedIn recommendations do. Recommendations from trusted contacts whom you work or have worked with will be visible to your network, giving your reputation an instant boost.
Building your personal brand is necessary to boost your professional reputation. It’s doubly important when you work in sales. A strong personal brand can turn you into a lead magnet, thus functioning as your inbound sales strategy.
Being active on LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to build your personal brand. Optimize your profile, network strategically, and publish content regularly. Keep in mind the three levers that will affect your engagement strategy: Your stories, mediums, and cadences. Adjust your sales plays constantly to get the results you want, and constantly engage your audience so your brand will leave a strong impression on their minds.