I know a lot of people who respond to the word “personal brand” with a slow cringe, followed by a big roll of the eyes.
Perhaps you know baseball players and rappers who once were so tough and cool and real (before they had a personal brand) — who started selling their own line of underwear and cologne at Target, and just recently became a television host on ABC? It can feel like someone you once admired, got a ridiculous, sold-out overnight “personal brand” makeover by some Hollywood marketing agency, in an attempt to exchange your loyalty for profits.
It’s understandable why you might dread the word “personal brand”, particularly when you’re told, you too, need one. You don’t want to become a fake version of yourself. You like yourself just the way you are, thank you very much.
Personal Brand for Sale?
If you’re in sales and you’re being told you need to develop and share your personal brand on social networks, so your buyers can get to know you, and to demonstrate your expertise online, and you either:
b) Ignore them because it sounds ridiculous
c) Want to do it but have no idea what that means or how
Here’s some good news:
1. You already have a personal brand!
2. In business, all you have to do is think of your personal brand as your value proposition.
Now, if you feel a slight cringe coming on at the sound of the word “value proposition”, let me explain what makes up your value proposition aka personal brand:
1. What you do best
2. What you know best
3. What experience you’ve had under which circumstances at which companies
4. How you work best
5. Who you know
6. How people consistently describe you
7. The style of how you work
8. Who you help
9. How you help
10. What non-work related things you do or like that strongly define who you are
There’s no puffery around those things. But… here’s another over-used-word-we-occasionally-need-to-use-when-talking-about social selling: Authenticity.
You need to communicate these 10 things truthfully and authentically. Because if you don’t, people will find out. Just like you know that rapper is selling out his trumped up personal brand for cash, your buyers will know you’re being inauthentic too.
What you want to do is turn these 10 items into written words, audio, and video on your LinkedIn Profile and you will have started to share your personal brand, demonstrate your value proposition and authenticity.
Don’t get caught up on the PB, VP and A words. Just take the time to explain those 10 things in your LinkedIn profile, for starters, and and you’ll be on your way to selling more competitively in a digital, social and online business world.