It’s a new day out there. For years we have been urging companies to brand themselves, to establish their own brand identity that will make them stand out from the rest of the pack. But now it’s time for individuals to brand themselves, especially salespeople.
Whether you are an independent sales representative working for yourself, or a direct salesperson working for a company, it’s time for you to brand yourself.
Our old friend and guru Tom Peters was way ahead of the game when he started preaching this sermon to us twenty years ago. But like all great minds with great ideas, he was ahead of his time. Or what I prefer to think is that it has taken us twenty years to catch up to Tom.
Regardless, in this time of Covid I have been working with salespeople, both direct and independent reps, trying to help them to sell while not being able to visit customers. And the one true solution I have found is that salespeople need to do their own individual marketing; they need to create what Mr. Peters called so many years ago “The Brand Called You” in his yes, twenty year old book from his Re-inventing work series. The Brand You 50: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself From An ‘Employee” Into A Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, And Passion.
One interesting side note, the book is dedicated to “MJ, Oprah, and Martha, inventors of the modern brand you” And yes, twenty years later all three of them are still going strong! That’s impressive.
So, let’s get to it. How do you create your own Brand Called You?
Although many of the ideas in the book are still valid, the times have changed drastically in terms of the tools now available to brand yourself. Honestly, it is much easier now than ever. With all of the social media options we have today we can really reach out and touch more people than ever.
The internet, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Zoom, Instagram, self-publication, and all other media have provided all of us with a great equalizer, where the small can seem large and vice versa. A salesperson living in Northern Minnesota can actually create a national, even international personna, and successfully brand herself globally.
With this in mind, let’s combine some of Tom Peter’s timeless advice of twenty years ago with all of the tools we currently have at our disposal and develop a list of ways today’s salespeople can brand themselves.
Here are ten ways to make the brand called “you” the best brand in your own market space.
- Create a strong portrait of exactly who you are: Create a strong profile of who you are. What are your credentials? What is your background and why you are fully qualified to do what you do.
- Make a clear and concise list of what you do…the services you provide: People need to know not only know who you are, but what it is exactly that you do. What are the services you provide that they need?
- What problems do you solve? You are a problem-solver, we are all in the end, problem solvers, so you have to define what problems it is that you solve. This is why people will come to you because you can solve their problems.
- For whom do you solve them/ Who needs you? Who are you selling to? What kind of people need your products, and services? You have to define your audience, your ideal customers, Before, you can help them solve their problems
- Why they should use you: This is where you start to differentiate yourself and make sure that you are compellingly different, read better, than your competition in all ways.
- Why are your services outstanding? Give examples of all of your services, and how you work to solve problems and why your services and products work. Talk about your success rates and why your results are better than other competitors.
- Produce valuable content. Write columns, white papers, blogs, give webinars, provide lunch and learns. The more valuable your content is, the more value you provide, the more valuable you will be for your customers, prospective customers and your marketplace as well.
- Who likes you and why do they like you? Tell some success stories: Success stories and testimonials are the most important part of any profile and the most engaging evidence of a great brand. People just like companies and organizations are known and remembered by what people say about them. Make sure you have plenty of great success stories and testimonials.
- What do they have to do to get in touch with you? With everything you do, on all of your social media, make sure people know how to get in touch with you. Make this as easy as possible at all times.
- Always be helping, not selling: People are looking for help, they need help and advice, they need someone to turn to in their times of need. Be that person. Be the person, the brand that is known for helping people. Give away solutions. Offer plans that people can use. Free plans, free books, free solutions to problems will in the end establish yours as the helpful brand, the brand people turn to first when they need something.
Remember, there has never been a better time to create the brand called you. Start doing that today to assure a successful and prosperous tomorrow. It’s only common sense.