Before a customer pays an invoice, raises an order, signs off a retainer, shakes your hand or invites you to their office, there is quantifying and trust.
For a customer quantifying a potential supplier and building trust with them is a essential part of making a purchase. Whilst in the past this might have started over the phone or in a meeting, modern customers due diligence starts much earlier in the cycle.
A customer will inevitably look up your name and company in Google, either to find your service or to reference a referral. Within a few clicks they will likely review your company website, LinkedIn profile, using this information to inform a decision based on personality, reputation and integrity.
Successful personal online branding appeals to your customer, helps them make a decision and puts you in the frame to win the business.
1) A consistent message
Most experts will agree the first "must do" when building a personal brand is a consistent message.
What do you want to be known for. Articulating your unique offering and how it sets you apart from your competitors is vital in generating interest. A clear, impactful and enduring message will resonate with the type of customers you want.
2) Your website isnt yours, its your customers
Most companies like to believe their website is their own, unfortunately this narrow minded approach costs them business.
A potential customer looks at your website to learn about what you can do for them, they have little interest in pictures of CEOs, how clever and technical your products are or how they work. All they are interested in is how can you help me, how much more money can you make/save me and how can you cure this pain im having.
Similarly with LinkedIn profiles, while your prolific educational background, might be impressive to you and your piers. Prospects are unlikely to even get this far, unless they have a clear understanding of what you can do for them.
3) Social Proof
Once you have their interest the next thing a customer wants is trust. Can you do what you say you can do?
The right review/or LinkedIn recommendation/testimonial video goes a long way in building trust. You have said you can do this and all of these people agree.
Its highly likely you share contacts/connections, they may contact these to gather more information about your company. Which is a important reason to maintain the integrity of your social media networks.
Most importantly, when building your brand, be authentic, truthful and share a glimpse into who you are as a person.
“Branding has to have an authenticity in order for it be successful. It gives you the ability to share your experiences in a personal way,”
Imagine you were on the phone with a potential client, and during that time she Googled your name – what would you want her to read about you and your company? While it might feel like a daunting task to build and manage your personal brand, experts say that everyone – from an indie professional to the C-Suite executive – needs to spend part of their day managing their online reputation in order to build their business. People want to buy from people and businesses they trust. With the world moving towards more transparency, clients will try to get a sense of your personality, reputation and integrity through online search, your website or social media. “It’s human nature to quantify people and you can’t let others tell your story. This is communication in the modern age"