Social Media and personal branding are like peanut butter and jelly. Sure, you can have one without the other, but why would you…ever?
Whether you’re a CEO of a large company, an employee at a small local company or somewhere in between, you are representing yourself when you’re online. Everything you say and do speaks to your personal brand.
- How do you want to be perceived?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What is your unique selling proposition?
- What differentiates you from everyone else?
Don’t let what differentiates you turn out to be your worst nightmare.
Imagine this: you’re attending a conference or networking event. What would your perception be if someone walked up to you and brazenly started sharing their views on an incendiary topic like politics, sex or religion?
Even though it’s common knowledge that in social situations you should never visit incendiary topics, somehow that rule is getting lost when it comes to Social Media.
If you aren’t solid in your personal brand, Social Media can become a minefield both for you and the recipients of your content. You can end up being treated as though you have severe body odor. No one wants to be around you.
The Internet is forever.
My good friend Mark Schaefer does a wonderful job of engaging on Facebook. He’s solid in his personal brand and he’s one of the funniest guys I know. He speaks all over the world (including the Digital Dealer conference). He’s an adjunct professor at Rutgers University and he’s got a great podcast called “The Marketing Companion” with Tom Webster, VP of Strategy and Research for Edison Research. Mark also just published his 5th best-selling book, The Content Code.
Mark posted a Facebook update one morning not too long ago and I made it into a meme. It’s what most everyone who’s on Social Media can relate to:
Social Media and Personal Branding should be part of every salesperson’s acumen.
Your reputation is at stake with everything you choose to post.
This is how customers prefer to connect with you now. If you manage salespeople, Social Media and Personal Branding should be part of your overall training curriculum. This is at the heart of Social Selling. Develop and leverage your personal brand and turn Social Media into a referral engine.
I’m often astounded by some of the posts I see from salespeople in my network. I understand the need to tell everyone about the injustices you feel and how wrong some people’s thinking might be. I’m not saying you shouldn’t participate in advocacy.
What I am saying is get a grip! Before you hit send, ask yourself, “Would I follow this person based solely on this one post?”
The difference between the posts that make people shudder and the content that’s valuable, is personal branding. When you know exactly who you are at your core and approach social media knowing why you do what you do everyday, the content you share shifts. It becomes flavored with your authentic brand. You become more aware of how you’re seen by others and thereby enhance your value in social and sales relationships.
Personal branding tools note: to make your social media graphics stand out use Canva. (I use Canva nearly everyday – it’s my secret weapon!).
Don’t be a candidate for the Unfollow.
Just stop and think before you post. Don’t be that guy or gal who everyone wants to run from. If you’re in sales, it could be the gateway to your demise. With the way people are connected now, you really don’t have a choice.
Everything you post leaves an impression. Your own reputation as a well-informed, trusted resource is at stake here. Think carefully. Post responsibly. Allow your personal brand shine through.