The mantra that "you need a personal, professional brand" is no longer new. If you're like most sales professionals, you're open to the idea, but it can seem like such a major project. Let's look at three myths you need to move past to get started building a brand for yourself.
Myth 1: You Need to Build a Brand Just Like a Company.
A good analogy can help you understand a new concept, but this analogy makes the task seem too daunting. You do not need a brand like you were a company. You don't need a logo, you don't need your own website, you don't need to come up with a marketing slogan. You could, but you don't need to do all this to build a brand.
What you need is a place for potential clients to find out about "who you are" online. LinkedIn is the easiest and most common, Twitter, and Facebook can also be effective. Your own equivalent to logos, websites, and slogans is simply a description of what parts of your job you have a passion for and how you do business with your clients. It can be in your profile summary. And if all you do is write a good profile summary, you're still ahead of more than half your competitors.
Myth #2: You Need to Publish Lots of Content
Actually, you should post some things online, but not as much as you may think. If you are someone worth working with, you should be reading and following some blogs and industry trends. Share them. Get past the fear that you'll seem like you're posting what you had for dinner, and just share it. Most sites make it easy with social share buttons right by the article. If you want the bonus points, write one phrase about why you think others would find it of value too. But don't let that stop you—just share it. What you share builds your brand. And even once a week, will start to create an online presence.
Myth #3: You Needs Lots and Lots of Friends and Followers
There are many opinions on this, but you're reading my blog post, and here's mine. Quality is more important than quantity. Connect with the people that you trust and value. Build a network of the same type of people you would want to know offline. The more people you know who may know your prospects, the more help you will find. Ultimately the most important connections are the people you may want to do business with or those that could give you a referral or recommendation.
Start Busting the Branding Myths This Week:
1. Write a sentence or two on your LinkedIn profile describing what excites you about working with your clients. And adding how your clients benefit from that is even better.
2. Share something on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook if you use it for business. Don't overthink it. When you find an article you like, share it. Tell people why.
3. Connect with someone you trust and value. Ideally you should connect on LinkedIn with your clients and best prospects. When you meet someone you want to remember, ask to connect on LinkedIn.
Put some time on your calendar now and take these three simple steps to building your own brand. It's easier than you've been led to believe.