Defining what position your own professional brand should take is hard work. Which is why most salespeople and development officers are still talking mostly about their company, their products, and their causes on their LinkedIn profile.
It’s important to be proud of your company. If you are, you might even say you’re blessed, or damn lucky, depending on your point of view. But when someone is deciding whether or not they want to take time to meet with you, it’s about you.
Your brand should be about YOU.
- Not your company.
- Not your job title.
- Not your product.
The biggest question your brand should answer for people is “what should I expect from meeting with you?”
Talking about yourself is hard. We don’t want to sound like we’re bragging. We’ve been told to be humble, that pride goeth before the fall. So how do we share what we have to offer without sounding self-serving?
Share something your prospects want to know—the value you offer beyond the product, service, or cause you represent.
Let’s look to the word positioning, or position for some ideas.
1. An act of placing or arranging
The easiest way to place or arrange your brand in 2015 is online. Your brand will be placed in the minds of the people who see what you post online.
Start working on your LinkedIn profile. Start small, focusing first on just improving your Summary section. Write 2 or 3 short paragraphs about how you approach your work and why your best clients already value you.
2. A point of view held or adopted
Share your point of view. Share articles, quotes, and links related to:
- What you are passionate about that your prospects and clients might also be interested in.
- What trends you are following or are involved in.
- What’s important to you about your industry and the industries of your prospects.
3. A placement or standing
Where do you stand? Be willing to take a stand on something that is already of interest to you, which may form the connection needed with a prospect. Sure there’s risk, but authenticity will connect you with the right type of clients for who you are.
- Where is your place in your community?
- What professional organizations are you an active member of?
- What volunteer organizations do you support?
The Moment of Truth
You may be wondering how you can personally cut through all the clutter online to establish your own personal brand. Even if very few people see your online activity live, there will be a moment of truth, a moment when the prospect you’ve been approaching for a meeting makes one quick Google search on your name. What they find will often determine whether or not you are someone with whom they wish to invest their limited time.