Updated: Mar 16
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.
A personal brand will go beyond your resume and work history to deliver a compelling consistent story of who you are professionally with the goal of growing your career.
Before we get started on how we can improve our brand, let's address the elephant in the room.
Having a personal brand should not be considered as a self-serving way to cater to your ego. Having a personal brand is about being able to connect and share your ideas with people in a valuable manner.
Photo by: vectorjuice
With that out of the way, let's look at how salespeople can build their personal brand:
Be visible on LinkedIn
Launched in 2003, LinkedIn has become the main social media platform for professional sales. In Kenya alone, there are at least 2.5+ million users on LinkedIn.
Sales professionals are expected to have a LinkedIn profile that is optimized and updated as a way to establish credibility. Your buyers and prospects want to know who they are talking to. Therefore, it is likely that they will conduct an online search of who you are before they agree to a meeting.
To boost your chances of booking a meeting and establishing your credibility, let's look at a few ways in which you can optimize your LinkedIn profile:
Have a clear profile photo and background photo
Humans are very visual creatures therefore your profile picture and background will be among the first things that people notice about you. So to make a great first impression you need to have a clear professional headshot and well-designed background photo.
The background photo is there to provide more context to who you are. You can use this section as a free billboard to advertise your skill, qualification or what kind of product or service you provide to the market. To design your own background photo, you can use Canva. Canva provides you with ready-made templates that you can customize to your own needs.
Customize your headline
The number one mistake people make is having only the name of their company and position on their headline. Your headline is your brand’s tagline so make it count.
Your headline should be focused on communicating exactly what you do professionally by using keywords to establish your credibility.
These keywords should be focused on addressing a specific challenge that your product or service helps solve for the prospect.
To write a compelling headline here is an easy formula you can use:
X = Your expert position
Y = Your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
Z= Your ICP desired outcome
For example, I am a B2B sales professional who helps B2B companies train, recruit and continuously coach their sales team towards consistently meeting their sales quotas.
Your expert position here is a B2B sales professional. Your ICP s B2B companies and your ICP desired outcome is to have a sales team that consistently meets sales quotas.
Your summary section provides you with an excellent opportunity for you to tell your own story.
Focus on showing the relevance of your skills to the market and your achievements.
When writing your summary you want to focus on answering two main questions: What are you known for and How does your work help other people/organizations?
Educate your buyer
Salespeople have the advantage of talking to customers on a daily basis which gives them a competitive advantage as they are able to draw insights from customers more regularly than any other person in the company. With this information, salespeople can be able to leverage their expertise to be able to create content that speaks to their ideal customers.
Buyers prefer talking to a salesperson later during the buying cycle. So what are the buyers doing in the meantime? Buyers spend their time:
Identifying and refining their problem
Looking for different alternatives in the market
Researching customer reviews about your product/service
Looking at your content
Buyers will buy the salesperson before they consider buying the product/service. This is why salespeople who are able to educate and communicate with their ideal customers online are able to build trust and generate better, qualified leads.
Have an offer
The ultimate reason for having a personal brand is to be able to leverage it to create more opportunities.
So ask yourself what opportunity do you want? Do you want a new job offer as you are unemployed? Do you want to sell your employers’ products/services in a more effective way? Do you want to sell your own products or services?
The type of opportunity you want to create will determine the kind of offer you will make. For example, as an unemployed sales professional your offer will be around how you can use your experience and expertise to make sales and increase revenue for companies. On the other hand, an employed sales professional will be offering the specific product or services for their ICP as a solution to their problems.
Personal branding is here to stay. Those who intentionally build and craft their personal brand have a better competitive advantage over those who don’t.
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