Personal Branding

10 Things to Improve Your Professional Branding for Beginners

At Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Business, we work with small business owners and professionals that own or work at small to mid-size companies. We have several clients that aren’t business owners but are in a professional job from various industries from accounting to sales. We help our individual clients with job searching, resume reviews, sales process improvement, and/or developing or improving a personal brand. We will leave the other topics to another blog, but for this blog post – we are focusing on the development of personal branding.

Personal branding is proven to help with sales and marketing. According to Entrepreneur,

  • • Leads developed through employees’ social media activities convert 7 times more frequently than other leads.
  • • Sales reps who use social media as part of their sales techniques outsell 78 percent of their peers.
  • Ninety-two percent of people trust recommendations from individuals (even if they don’t know them) over brands.
  • • Marketers, who prioritize blogging, are 13 times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is how you want others to perceive you. It is messaging - everything you say, write, post, or imply both intentionally and unintentionally to your professional and personal network. According to Wikipedia, “Personal branding is the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition. The process of personal branding involves finding your uniqueness, building a reputation on the things you want to be known for, and then allowing yourself to be known for them. Ultimately, the goal is to create something that conveys a message and that can be monetized.”

Every client is unique and has a different view of their professional image but let us say that you are a salesperson that sells locally in the area. Your business is built from referrals and referral sources, so perception of the services you sell is especially important. One would assume that you would like for your professional network to see you as an expert in your field, care about the community, can be trusted, and are credible.

Resharing the posts from the company, will help build confidence in the brand, but not always for the individual. Use company posts and use other content that proves you are the person the prospect should go to for the services you proffer.

Consistent content is key – as an example, you could post a blog about recent changes in the industry or a testimonial from a customer review, or even a comparison of a concept in your area of expertise. A combo of company and personalized content will help your posts be shown to more viewers and have a larger impact – if content is consistent and targeted properly.

The Top 10 Things to Improve Personal Branding for Beginners:

1. Identify and list what you want to be known for and what image you want to portray to your coworkers, network, customers, and prospects. Defining each audience, if there are variations by segment, will improve the impact of the messaging. What would help you with your networking activities, online presence, and just selling more in general?

Here are some questions to think about:

  • a. What is your audience?
  • b. What are your objectives for personal branding?
  • c. Research your competition
  • d. What makes you unique?
  • e. Why are you better?
  • f. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • g. What are your goals? How do you reach those?
  • h. What’s your purpose?
  • i. What is your elevator pitch?

2. Develop a plan to achieve what you identified above. The plan should detail posting schedule, content type, and when/where content should be posted.

3. Ensure a RECENT professional head shot is used on all social media. Make sure you are properly dressed for your field. Do not use a picture from the year 1999 or a pic of four people, not a company logo, but a photo of you - shoulders up or higher. People may perceive inaccurate information from a bad photo online, so make sure it is recent and represents you well (shows your personality).

4. Review your profiles and have someone else also review your online profiles to correct grammatical or spelling errors.

5. Do your posts on social media match your objective? If not, revise those - so they do. Posting how unhappy something made you or bad reviews on every company you encounter is not a good way to build trust with your network.

6. Stay away from taboo topics – those are topics that could cause heated debates. Keep your opinions to yourself – instead, focus on your areas of expertise, the good in the local community, local opportunities, and related.

7. Post meaningful content on each professional social media profile - 3 times a week or more on each one. Meaningful content means posts that relate to your network and meet the objectives of your personal branding strategy.

8. Show your personality and uniqueness through the content you post online. For example, if you are high energy, a video post may be better for you, so viewers can feel your energy.

9. Do post content about your accomplishments. Posting how you won a trip or award shows you are successful in your field – some clients have a hard time with this – since they see it as bragging. It’s not when its used in moderation and not over done – there is nothing wrong with being proud of what you have achieved!

10. Make sure to use hashtags to help more people find your post. Hashtags tie public conversations from multiple users into a single stream – using the hashtags that align with your target will have a positive impact on reach of the post, possible new connections or followers, and post virality.

Personal Branding Resources:

10 Golden Rules Of Personal Branding

Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand

Personal Branding: How to Go from Zero to Hero in No Time

What Is Personal Branding?

10 Tips for Building a Personal Brand & Boost Your Career

More Blogs to Read:

Lead Follow-up and Why It Is Important to Small Business

Marketing Your Small Business

Power of Observance in Sales

Small Business Marketing

Sales Resources and Opportunities

Please note: the resources listed above aren’t endorsements by us – they are provided only as information. We were not paid by or affiliated with any of the companies listed.

Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses works with small business owners and professionals to create and maintain a personal brand. If you need help with personal or professional branding, call a Small Business Consultant today at 479-935-2488. Comprehensive Consulting Solutions for Small Businesses is located in Fayetteville, AR, but serves customers across AR and surrounding states. We consult and coach businesses and individuals on a variety of solutions including marketing, branding, recruiting, retention, and more.