Branding – a word that has conventionally been associated with products and services has belonged to the function of marketing, for long. Individuals as ‘Brands’ was once a phenomenon reserved for high profile personalities such as celebrities, politicians, sports professionals etc. CEOs of major corporations too had their professional brands crafted by in-house teams and third-party firms. However, since the advent of social media, branding has moved from the celebrity to the breadth of society. It has glided from the luxury of the extraordinary to the mandate of the ordinary. To you and to me. Social Media has allowed each and every one of us the opportunity to become the CEO of Me Inc.
The moment we move from Incognito to Present on a Social Media Platform we need to start thinking about our Brand seriously. And professional social branding is one of those elements which are relatively inexpensive to initiate but have the potential to yield a significant return over time. Your Social Brand maintains its value and even increases as a soft asset, over time. It works for you. It does so 24×7. It is worth investing in. Your competitors cannot replicate it verbatim and if they do – they do so to their own detriment.
I speak with a lot of business leaders each week. Even today, B2B leaders in particular, pay little to no regard to branding. They think it is a prerogative of the Marketing function and it relates just to the organisational narrative. Fact is, Brand is now a prerogative of each and every one of us and we DO NOT need the marketing function to build our brands.
Why bother with investing in personal brand development? B2B buyers today are very selective and discerning when it comes to which vendors they work with. Track record, technical capability, quality of solution and testimonials are important but not enough to secure wins. Buyers work with vendors who they explicitly trust. Building this trust takes time and is based on numerous variables. One such variable is the presence of a strong professional brand. A well crafted and deliberately developed brand is not a nice to have in the age of social media – It is mandatory. A brand that shows you are an active participant. A brand that demonstrates that you a subject matter expert in your industry. A brand that is refined and buyer-centric. Effective brands lead to more inbound inquiries from prospects and more responses to your communication when you go outbound.
There are several elements to a refined online brand. In this blog, I would like to share with you some articles that I have found useful in my own development and as part of my social selling training delivery. Hope you find value in these:
How to Structure a Perfect LinkedIn Profile: Quicksprout
LinkedIn is indubitably the most powerful B2B social networking platform. Many B2B sales professionals state with resolve that LinkedIn is their favourite social network because, in comparison to other networks, LinkedIn drives more revenue. LinkedIn can drive significant top of funnel opportunities, each quarter. I have seen LinkedIn drive up to 75% of my sales funnel each year since 2007. Sales professionals I have led have confirmed similar stats. Clients I have trained have also attested similar outcomes. However, it all starts with how your brand appears on LinkedIn. If your LinkedIn profile is not optimised, you will find it tough to gain traction. So, how can you optimise your LinkedIn profile? Just follow the steps in this infographic (by Quicksprout)
How to Craft the Perfect LinkedIn Profile: Leisure Jobs
Your profile on LinkedIn is your personal digital shopfront, particularly so, if you are in B2B Sales. It is your digital showcase. You get the opportunity to showcase your professional brand, your achievements and skills, share content with other professionals, connect with colleagues, business partners, even potential employers. Important to note that people will arrive at your LinkedIn profile through several channels: might be a talent manager searching for employees, might be a customer who met you at a networking event or a potential client who has heard good things about you and wants to learn more about you. Regardless of the channel through which they arrive, your LinkedIn profile must be impressive enough to warrant further dialogue. So what makes a LinkedIn profile stand out? How do you secure recommendations? What features can help you enhance your profile? Again, what does an optimised LinkedIn profile actually look like? This Infographic by Leisure Jobs is a comprehensive, visual guide covering everything from the dos and don’ts of a LinkedIn profile to SEO tips to help your profile show up in search results
An Animated Guide to the Perfect LinkedIn Profile for Social Selling: Sales For Life
Your LinkedIn profile is now your digital business card. How you crushed quota or the fact that you are a Sales Hunter like no other is not ideal information for your LinkedIn profile. Your profile must be buyer-centric. It must be focused on the value you can offer to your prospects. Here is a fun animated GIFographic (by Sales For Life) to show you how it is done
How does an ideal LinkedIn Profile look?: HubSpot
Having a strong LinkedIn profile is pivotal to Social Selling activity. Our LinkedIn profile illustrates who we are professionally, what we do for a living and how we can help those in our network. Resume styled profiles don’t inspire buyers with confidence. It is important to have a buyer-centric profile that is not written in the past tense. What you are currently focused on, how you can add value and serve your network is of innate importance. This is a very insightful infographic (by HubSpot) on how to structure the perfect LinkedIn profile. Is your profile optimized for success? Will it attract your target audience? What should you change?
Establish your Twitter Presence: Twitter Business
Your social media profiles show the world who you are. First impressions count. Not just on LinkedIn but on any digital presence you have. LinkedIn without a doubt is the central pillar of B2B social networks, however, Twitter too plays a role and an important one at that. Your Twitter profile is a showcase to the outside world just as your LinkedIn profile is. Each element of the Twitter profile should showcase your best content and accurately reflect your message. Here is an overview of the five different parts of a Twitter profile (by Twitter) and some best practices to keep in mind.