Building Your Personal Brand for Better Social Selling
Editor’s Note: This video was created by LearnLoft (www.learnloft.com), an innovative elearning company focused on developing the leaders of tomorrow.
Let’s take a look at a key piece of your personal brand – who you are.
The measure of who you are as a professional has quickly become a search on social networks. The best part is that you get to decide what your social media presence says about who you are. You have complete control over what people see and what messages you communicate to the outside world. The popular term used for optimizing who you are and how you communicate online is known as “social selling.”
Social selling adheres to the same, time-tested principles of sales success: leveraging your professional brand to fill your pipeline with people, insights, and relationships. We have broken down social selling into three separate steps: optimizing your profile, social sharing, and social engagement.
The 3 Steps of Social Selling
The first step in getting started with social selling is profile optimization. One of the most basic steps in getting started in social selling is establishing your professional brand on social networks through your online profiles, specifically LinkedIn. Let’s take a look at what good profiles should look like.
- Number one is your picture. It’s the first thing people see, so make it a professional headshot of yourself. And, you alone. Avoid selfies or photos where you are clearly at a social event.
- Number two is your description. A great description should include your title, a description on how you help your clients, what value you provide, or buzzwords in your industry. Ask yourself, “What is more compelling – customer-centric B2B Software Sales Professional, or just Sales Executive?”
- Number three is your summary. Include a short summary of your professional experience and work history. The focus should be on what you’ve achieved for your company or your customers, not yourself.
The second step in social selling is sharing. Word to the wise: don’t be too “sales-y.” Remember – everyone loves to buy things, but no one likes to get sold to. The goal is to build relationships by offering advice and expertise, not product-centric messaging.
Try sharing about four times as much educational material than company-specific information. Statistics show that the best social sellers share between three and five pieces of valuable content to their networks a day. The easiest way to approach this is that if you write, read, or see a subject that you believe would be valuable to your network, share it.
The third and final step is engagement. Engage with your network about content that they share. Congratulate them about a work anniversary or big accomplishment. Activities such as these can keep you top of mind and show that you care about them.
Social selling is a give-and-take scenario. If your sole focus is a hard sale right out of the gate, don’t expect much engagement and long term success. Building your personal brand on social media is paramount. Your prospects will be looking for people who have answers. If you don’t have a social media presence, your competition certainly will.