I was at Starbucks not long ago and heard a lady sitting next to me tell her friend how “personal branding was bull$%!#. At that point I couldn’t help but eavesdrop in on the conversation. I found out she was a consultant who was struggling to get new clients and that she tried “the personal branding thing” by creating s blog and then joining LinkedIn and how it was a total waste of time.
As I sat their and listened I contemplated my own experience. How in 2015, armed with nothing more than the personal brand I had built using my LinkedIn profile, I started generating over $10,000 a month in revenue from my LinkedIn and social selling consulting business. A stark contrast to my Starbucks encounter but why? I am sure there are lot of reasons but let me dig in on why you need to build a personal brand and the value of LinkedIn in helping you get there.
Yes “personal branding” is one of those trendy buzz terms a lot of influencers are using lately. For many of you it’s probably not a term you spend a lot time thinking about. Unfortunately for you, this could be a costly mistake. Personal branding is “buzzworthy” for a reason. This strategy has legs and entrepreneurs, consultants, authors and sales leaders are using it to connect with their target audience in a more personal way.Not using LinkedIn to build your personal brand is like running a marathon barefoot! Click To Tweet
You want results…right?
If so, the first thing you need to do is get out of the “online resume” mindset. If you read my blog regularly or have heard me talk on some popular podcasts, you should already be past this point. If this is your first visit to my blog “Welcome”…you’ve come to the right place. My goal is dramatically change the way you view and use LinkedIn to drive results for your business.
Here are 5 reasons why you MUST brand yourself and why LinkedIn is the perfect tool to help you get there.
1. You already have a personal brand. You may not realize it, but whether you’ve taken the time to actually define a personal brand or not, you already have one. You’re conveying it every day. It’s either helping or hindering your efforts. A conscious effort to control and build your brand on LinkedIn is essential to building a personal brand that gets results. (yes, I know I keep talking about getting results in this post, but that is your goal and it’s what you should be aiming for!).
2. People trust people more than corporations. Top corporations spend millions of dollars to build strong brands, but today’s buyers are savvier than ever. It’s getting harder to break through and make real connections “as” a corporate brand. The real connections are happening at the personal level. Your clients and customers are looking to make personal connections with you and YOUR personal brand. While you don’t need to invest the millions like Microsoft or Pepsi, shouldn’t you at least spend a few minutes on it? This is where business is happening!
3. Developing a personal brand helps you craft your message. Part of developing your personal brand includes recognizing and honing your unique value proposition (UVP). Going through that part of the process is extremely valuable, as it helps you craft a very targeted message that resonates with your target audience. Understanding how you can make an emotional connection with a prospect is invaluable. Your UVP should impact every element of your LinkedIn presence, from your profile image and headline to the content you write and share. If you’re working for a company right now, they likely provide you with collateral that explains their UVP. But as I just mentioned above, today’s prospects are smarter than ever. Most companies are, quite frankly, offering similar options so it can be hard for buyers to distinguish between them. That’s why the personal connections are so imperative. Your UVP from YOUR personal brand is what’s going to help you differentiate yourself from the competition. It’s a critical component. Solopreneurs, you’re not left out. You bypass the corporate element but establishing your UVP and crafting your message is still critical to connecting and engaging your target market.
Okay, so I’ve established why you need A personal brand. Here’s why you need to brand yourself on LinkedIn.
4. It’s working for you 24/7/365. As of Q2 2016, LinkedIn has 450 million users across the globe. Your profile and the content you share have the potential to reach all of them. Think about that for a second. Where else can you potential reach 450 million people? Of course you will never reach all of them nor would you have the time to call or meet with prospects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But your LinkedIn profile can and is doing just that. It is by far the most powerful B2B personal branding tool for that reason. People who haven’t heard of you will find you, and people who are researching you are probably finding you on LinkedIn first (even if they’re Googling you and your company, your LinkedIn profile is probably one of the first — if not the first — things they see).
5. It does the job of multiple personal branding tools — in one place. You’ve probably heard of some of the other important and common personal branding tools and understand their importance. Website, blog, online portfolio, video. These things are powerful branding tools that can definitely help you reach and sell to your prospects. These tools can take a LOT of time to maintain, constantly jumping from one to the next to stay up to date. It’s frustrating, so a lot of people don’t do it, which only hurts their sales and marketing efforts. With LinkedIn, you can do ALL of these things in the same place. There is no other tool that can possibly compare to the power of LinkedIn as a B2B personal branding tool. You can do the job of four tools in one place, it’s free (unless you choose to pay for a premium account, which only adds more tools to your arsenal), and oh, in case you missed it the last time, you have access to 450 million potential customers.
If you haven’t taken the time to define your personal brand on LinkedIn you should take a quick step back right now. Spend a few minutes and go ahead and define your brand >> it’s not as complicated as you might think.
Once you understand your UVP, you’re ready to start using LinkedIn as your personal branding tool, starting with your profile.
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“Stop the madness. There’s a better way!”
LinkedIn Marketing & Social Selling Consultant, Trainer, Speaker