Selling is a very personal activity. While it involves many forms of non direct communication, ultimately, it comes down in meeting in person, over the phone, or even e-mail and direct communication. However, like any relationship, the conceptions potential customers have before any personal contact can make the difference between converting a sale and another missed opportunity. Hence, personal branding is a very important component sales.
No matter how elegant of a corporate presence you have created, it is very important that your company has a face or a person who represents the company, allowing leads to better relate. This person, often a founder or executive, needs to create a public image which portrays an in-depth knowledge of the subject and respect within the industry, building trust with potential customers even before they make direct contact.
In this post, we will discuss a few ways to build trust for a central “face” of your company.
Conferences are a great way to establish trust for the “face of your company”. They are widely attended by industry professionals and are often (depending on the conference and the industry) a great place to network with potential leads. The ideal way to build a personal brand at a conference is through a speaking engagement. If you are able to give a presentation or participate in a panel, you will instantly be considered an authority figure in your industry. While speaking engagements can be tough to get, especially for up and coming companies, think about what makes your firm different and what your experience has taught you which no other speaker will be able to convey. In other words, what is your competitive advantage and point of differential from other speakers and why are your unique insights important. You will have a far better chance of being selected to speak if you can convey how you can provide some unique insight which no other speaker can,
Even if you cannot speak at a conference, it is still a good idea to attend and perhaps even set up a booth, to network with others in the industry.
A blog is the easiest way to build a personal brand online. We have spoken at lengths about the importance of blogging in building a corporate brand. However, in this section, I want to focus on giving your blog a face. If people are going to read your blog and take your advice, they want to know where it is coming from. While, they know the blog is coming from individuals within your company, who exactly is the content coming from? A good blog “About” page is crucial to building a personal brand for your company.
Whether you have one author for your blog or a team who contributes posts, each author should have an “About” page which is linked to from each post they write that provides some background information, insight into what makes them an expert, and contact information.
The last way to build a personal brand for your corporate image is through press coverage. It is important that in all stories published or printed on your company there is one central figure who is quoted or written about. Through repeated coverage on a singular individual at a company, this person’s reputation and public image will be positively reinforced. If different people are being cited from the company, none of them will build up the reputation that one individual being consistently featured can.
The combination of building a personal brand from in person at conferences, online through a blog, and in the media will allow you to give a trustworthy and knowledgeable “face” to your company, building up trust for your corporate image in the process and encouraging potential leads to make direct personal contact.
It is very important to choose an individual or a small group of individuals to be the face(s) of your company so that you can best direct your personal branding efforts to build up the public personas of a few select individuals so that it can help drive sales, opposed to non-directed personal brand building for many individuals so that none of them are regarded to as an especially insightful expert.