Looking for products or solutions on the internet is quite popular because it is practical and convenient. B2B buyers in all industries are using the internet to make their purchasing decisions. They have access to reliable information such as reports, market reviews, comparison charts, valuable stats, vendors’ technical sheets, clients’ feedback, etc.
In Leads to Success we support sales reps to adopt a marketing mindset and be proactive in connecting with potential buyers. Do you know that potential buyers who are connected to a sales rep on social media are more likely to engage with the company’s content and more willing to re-share the marketing messages of the company?
Marketers must help B2B sales to build a strong presence on the internet. Unfortunately, many B2B small businesses don’t have a marketing department. In other cases, B2B sales are reluctant to build a personal brand because they cannot see the ROI or they simply don’t know how to do it.
Jeff Bezos said that your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. Do you have a personal brand? Probably you have already one and you don’t know it. Some people might have created it for you.
Have you ever tried to type your name on Google Search? Did you check the results of the search? These results will help you to monitor the situation of your personal brand.
The truth is that sales reps with a personal brand have a competitive edge. This article will show you the basics to build a strong personal brand on the internet.
5 personal branding tips for B2B sales to attract clients.
Let’s start with the first tip!
1. Know yourself
Before you build your personal brand, you need to know yourself. A personal brand must be authentic and unique. Try to answer the following questions:
– What do you want to achieve? Define your goals and motivations.
– Who is your target audience? Build your audience persona.
– How can you help your audience? Identify the problem you solve and your unique selling proposal.
– What are you good at? If you don’t know the answer, ask your peers, your boss, friends and clients.
– What would you like to do? Write a blog, launch a video blog, stream your own podcast, etc.
– What are you afraid of? Identify your fears and how to overcome them.
– What are your resources? Time, technical knowledge, writing skills, etc.
– When do you want to start? Set a timeline and milestones to achieve your goal.
– How will you measure your success? Define your KPIs: followers, likes, shares, comments, sales, etc.
This first step is the hardest part but it is very important if we want to build a strong personal brand.
Now, you are ready to define your strategy and write down your plan. You have many options to build your personal brand: blogs, video blogs, podcasts, social media accounts… all of them can help you to build your personal brand and they are free or very cheap.
But keep in mind that time is gold. If your time is limited try to focus on the most effective channels to reach your audience.
2. Niche down and focus on a chosen market segment.
Sales reps working at B2B small companies cannot compete against the major competitors. In these cases, we recommend adopting the long-tail approach.
The long-tail describes the part of the market that have very varied needs that don’t really fit into the mass market. In relationship to segmentation and strategy, long-tail customers might represent an opportunity as a group of underserved customers which could be addressed by a customized product.
Did you know that around the 50% of sales of Amazon come from small sales of many different products?
The advantages of the long tail approach are:
– It is much easier to become an expert in a niche market. There are no competitors in underserved markets, if you reach first, you will be the king.
– You can get more referrals. There won’t be any other competitors with the same level of knowledge as you
– You will find fewer competitors. You can focus your efforts on satisfying your audience’s needs rather than competing with your competitors.
3. Communicate a purpose not a business.
The idea of a purpose is to define a clear pursuit you can dedicate yourself to. Businesses are much more than making money. It is about building long-lasting relationships of trust and confidence with clients.
Why do you want to build your personal brand? Define your purpose and transmit it authentically.
Brands use emotions and feelings to connect with consumers and build a community around the brand. Emotions affect our decision making.
Some passions or hobbies that apparently doesn’t have any connection with your job may help to build your personal brand. Are you a beach cleanup volunteer, a marathon runner, or do you help homeless people in your community?
Everything you do define you. Cleaning beaches in your free time shows you are concerned about the environment, running marathons shows your perseverance, resistance and sacrifice, and helping homeless people means you care about others.
Why should you hide these non-professional activities? You are a real person and you must transmit credibility. People want to connect with real people.
4. Define your brand guidelines
You must define the tone of voice of your communications. The tone of voice must be authentic and reflect your personality. Your tone of voice makes you different and helps you connect with your audience.
You also need to understand your audience and adapt the tone of voice to them. You have to learn how to approach them and deliver relevant messages:
-Keep your language simple and easy to understand
The visuals you use are also important. Be careful with the pictures you use on your social accounts, your picture profile, your cover and the pictures you share. The pictures should reflect your values, your experience, skills and personality, try to get good ones. The first impression counts.
If you want to talk about your products get the best pictures of your products. Tell your boss that visuals are extremely important and can make a difference.
5. How to use social media to build your personal brand
As B2B buyers become more sophisticated in their online research, there is a strong desire for content that educates, rather than sells. Most of them want content that has less of a sales pitch.
Sharing is caring. Try to provide valuable content to your audience, not only text but also visuals, videos, audios, infographics, reports…
You can share your company information and use hashtags related to the content. You can also tag contacts if you think this content may help them. Think about potential clients, current clients, peers, influencers and journalists related to your industry that may be interested in your information.
In case you share other people’s content, you should add some valuable remarks that will provide some extra value to your contacts.
Social media is about listening and learning what people are saying about your brand or industry. Focused listening will tell you which social networks your audience is most actively using and the general sentiment about your brand, competitors and the market.
Follow social media groups, key opinion leaders and trade associations related to your industry. Join relevant conversations and provide valuable insights.
And don’t forget the following tips on building your personal brand:
-Before you share corporate content, get approval from your boss.
-Don’t overload your personal account with corporate information.
-Think before you reply. Are you authorized to reply to it? Do you have enough information to reply to the question? Remember that information posted on the internet could become viral and impossible to control.
-Don’t criticize competitors and avoid conflicts with other internet users.
-Be consistent with publishing content to be effective. One post on LinkedIn per day is okay, two on Twitter is also fine.
-Don’t abuse of retweets and hashtags and don’t use more than 3 per post.
-Don’t talk about polemic topics such as religion, politics, etc.
-Check your previous posts and timeline. If you posted polemic content previously, you should consider creating a new account.
– Don’t feed the trolls.
This article provided you some basics to create your own personal brand:
First, you have to define your goals and your motivation to create a personal brand.
Second, you need to identify a niche market and position yourself as an authority
Third, you are a real person and you must transmit your passion about what you do
Fourth, you need to set up your own personal brand guidelines
Fifth, always provide valuable content to your audience
If you follow these steps you will start to:
-Become an expert in your field
-Obtain better insights about your target audience and the market
-Generate business opportunities
-Improve your communication skills
-Build a community around you
Have you got other suggestions? Please, leave your comment below, it will help other readers.
P.S. Before you go, you may also be interested in the following articles:
POST WRITTEN BY
Jose Maria (Chema) Lopez
A Madrid Polytechnic University International MBA has worked as a global marketing director in B2B and B2C international leading companies implementing global marketing and communication strategies to ensure business objectives and to optimize brands’ reputation and visibility on a global level.
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