Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Personal brand refers to the reputation and perception people have when thinking about you. For you to have a reputation you must be known for something. Your reputation is your PR and in this case, the phrase “All PR is good PR” doesn’t apply. You want to have a positive reputation and not a negative one as that will affect your career.
To claim your sales brand, here are 3 steps to get started.
1. Define Who You Are
Developing a personal brand requires you to be intentional in your efforts to build and establish a career.
To be intentional you need to raise your self-awareness levels. You want to be able to understand yourself well enough to be able to articulate your skills and knowledge in an influential manner.
Here are a few questions that will help develop your self-awareness
What is your backstory?
A personal brand requires you to be personal to the level that is most comfortable to you. Having a backstory helps you connect easier and better as people.
Everyone loves a good story. A good story highlights a want, an obstacle and a lesson learned. Look at movies you watch or even speeches like those in TEDTalks. They all follow the same script. The character has a want but that want is blocked due to an obstacle. Through a series of trial and error, they are finally able to overcome the obstacle and from that, they learn a lesson.
For example, our fictional character Alex is a salesperson, like most salespeople, a sales career was not Alex’s first choice. Alex has a background in procurement but after numerous job applications, a handful of job interviews, and zero offers, Alex decided to broaden his job search to other industries (obstacle). Upon discovering the Yusudi Sales Academy, Alex joined the academy with the main aim of securing a job (want). Through the academy, he closed sales deals which earned him a minimum stipend and commissions. After a year in the sales industry, he has now established his career and has built a network of like-minded peers. From this experience, he learned that you need to be open to opportunities even when you think you are not qualified for them (Lesson Learned).
With this formula can you create your own backstory that you can share with others?
What do you want to be known for?
When answering this question don’t pay attention to your job title as that will only limit your thinking. Instead, focus on the particular key operational functions of your job. For example, as a salesperson, you don’t want to know for selling only. That’s too broad and not specific. Instead, you might want to be known as a B2B SAAS salesperson who has experience and knowledge in using LinkedIn as a prospecting tool. This is specific as it establishes your reputation as a professional knowledgeable in the B2B SAAS industry and has the know-how skills of leveraging LinkedIn as a prospecting tool.
What skills and accomplishments do you have?
The skills and accomplishments you have will help in communicating with influence the value that you bring to the table.
Get comfortable and confident in advocating for yourself. In order to do this, you need to make a list of the skills you have and back them up by giving quantifiable achievements that are tied to those skills. For example, you can say you have a skill in virtual selling. Your quantifiable achievement is that you have been able to use Linkedin as a prospecting tool which has enabled you to book 3 meetings of which 1 closed with a value of Ksh 100,000.
2. Build an online presence
As a sales professional, having an online presence with the continued growth of virtual selling gives you a competitive advantage over your peers who are not present online.
The best way to build your online presence is to create and optimize your Linkedin profile. With an optimized profile, you are able to connect, engage and learn from your prospects. Let’s say for example you are selling employee management software. With LinkedIn, you can be able to prospect and find out how many employees work at Yusudi and what their roles are. Using this information, you can be able to identify who the decision-makers are which will influence your outreach efforts, and even opt to send personalized voicemails and videos instead of sending a cold email which boosts the response rate.
3. Create content
Now I know what you are thinking. Content is only for creative people or those in marketing. But let me reframe your thinking. In content, you can either actively be engaged in creating content (active content) or you can curate the content (passive content). For example, the book Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss is active content. The book talks about negotiation which is an important aspect of sales. When you read the book and write a summary drawing inspiration from your sales career then that becomes passive content.
If you enjoy creating things from the ground up then you should consider active content. However, if just like sharing information you find useful then you should consider passive content. Passive content takes far less effort and time than active content which is ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time to spare.
With content, you are able to show your value to potential buyers who are not yet ready to buy which makes it a creative way to nurture them for the long run as it is non-committal and effective for the buyer.
This is by far the hardest step but it has long-term rewards both personally and professionally.
Let us know what you are doing to claim your sales personal brand today.