A guest blog by Daniel Bishop (Junior Editor for DesignRush)
Sales is the art of persuasion. Sure, having a good product is important, but it’s not the ultimate make-it-or-break-it factor which will get your prospects to say yes. If you want to succeed in this profession, you first have to learn how to sell yourself to your customers. And that requires a strong personal brand.
1. Why a personal brand matters
Customers have become increasingly picky and selective. Why shouldn’t they when they have an abundance of choice?
They won’t settle for mass marketing and bland, impersonal messages. That’s why it’s important to make them feel special, and treat them like human beings and not like sales numbers. Personal branding will help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and establish emotional connections.
92% of customers are more likely to trust recommendations from other people, even if they don’t personally know them, over branded messaging. This stat clearly indicates that loyalty and trust in brands have reached their lowest point ever.
No wonder when brands have become cold, faceless, and corporate. That’s where your carefully developed personal brand comes in to put a face to the name and humanize your company.
Here are a few steps you need to take to develop your personal brand.
2. Build and nurture your reputation
Your reputation always precedes you, especially nowadays when many people practically live on the internet. It’s enough to type your and your company’s name into the search box in Google and find out how the online community perceives you.
For example, people who visit your website will form an opinion about it within a mere 0.05 seconds, and make a decision whether to leave or explore it further. So, you have very little time to make a killer first impression.
Similarly, online reviews are particularly powerful in terms of their impact on your prospects’ perception of your company – 93% of people use reviews to determine whether a local business is trustworthy or not.
It’s clear that the more your prospects trust you, the more they will be likely to buy from you. When it comes to improving and polishing your image and reputation, you should remember that the devil is in the details.
So, make sure to:
- Optimize your social media channels, as well as to remove any inappropriate comments, pics, or posts which could show you in a bad light. Don’t forget that many reputations and careers have fallen victim to a single tweet.
- Build a personal website which will list your accomplishments, interests, jobs and other relevant information about you.
- Claim vanity URLs on social media channels. It’s great for SEO as well as for increasing your personal brand recognition. Besides that, it’s much better to have a unique, memorable URL, than a string of letters and numbers.
3. Establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche
People trust experts and thought leaders. As a salesperson, you probably soak up every word Jeffrey Gitomer, Mike Schultz, and Marc Wayshak say, and you’re ready to pay in order to hear them speak at a conference.
That’s why many commercials and adverts feature household names and distinguished professionals. So, one of the best ways to boost your sales is to become an authority in your niche.
- Provide valuable content
Yes, you’ve heard this a million times before, but it can’t be stressed enough how relevant content which addresses your target audience’s pain points and educates them, is important for getting your voice heard and standing out from that of your competition. To make sure that everything you publish on your blog, social media channels, and in your newsletter, is of superb quality, consider joining forces with respectable digital marketing agencies capable of producing expert content.
- Offer useful advice
Join different social media groups and forums, and participate in discussions by providing your perspective on things. This way you’ll catch the eye of your colleagues and potential customers, and showcase your expertise. Being helpful is crucial for sales, and you might even consider it a soft sell approach. People are more likely to give you referrals and even purchase from you once they realize that you genuinely want to help them.
- Engage with your audience
Establishing yourself as a thought leader doesn’t mean that you should talk your audience’s ear off; it’s important to actively listen to what they have to say and engage in two-way conversations. By leaving comments on other people’s posts or asking questions on your LinkedIn or Twitter, you spark discussions and build connections.
4. Be unique and authentic
“The customer is not a moron. She’s your wife.”, said the father of modern advertising, David Ogilvy.
And, boy, was he right! His words are relevant more than 50 years later. Your customers can tell whether you’re sincere or not. So, the trick is to be yourself. Otherwise, you’ll come off as a cardboard character without a unique personality.
Gary Vaynerchuk has set a great example of how not to come off as one.
He doesn’t refrain from swearing or using four-letter words and a pretty unorthodox narrative. And people like it because they realize that he’s just being his genuine self. It’s part of his charm and personality. He has found a way to connect with his audience by using language to which they can relate.
But, he’s an expert in sales and marketing, and that shows underneath his casual and down-to-earth approach.
5. Be consistent
Consistency is a secret ingredient when it comes to building a personal brand. This means that you should post your (and curated) content on a regular basis. If your approach is nonchalant and sporadic, you’ll disappear from your audience’s radar.
Out of sight, out of mind is the principle that applies here, especially if we bear in mind that every day more than 2 million pieces of content are published across the internet. This information overload will crush your irregular efforts like an avalanche, so make sure to stick to an established posting schedule.
However, consistency also refers to the tone of your voice. It’s bad for your personal brand and reputation to crack silly jokes on your social media if you’re trying to present yourself as a serious entrepreneur and sales leader.
Besides, if your tone isn’t consistent, your audience will be confused about the message you’re trying to communicate.
A well-thought-out and carefully nurtured personal brand can do wonders for your sales efforts. These simple tips can help you grow your loyal audience, build and maintain an impeccable reputation, and establish yourself as a credible professional. All that will allow you to close more deals and hit your quota.
Daniel Bishop started off as a content consultant for small SEO and web design companies. Eventually, he found his place as a junior editor for DesignRush, a B2B marketplace connecting brands with agencies. Always searching for new opportunities, he loves sharing ideas with other professionals in the digital community. Find him on Twitter: @DanielB78263381
We hope you liked this post. If you did, spread the word!
👉 Keep up with our Masterclasses, and learn about startups, growth marketing and sales: