I’m not calling YOU, “stupid.” I’m using that phrase to get your attention and get you to acknowledge that everything about us is interconnected today. But really…first question, what are you DOING on social media? Do you use it to read articles, talk trash about your home team, bash a politician (too easy) post pictures of your kids…or what you ate for dinner?
At one moment or another I have been caught doing all of the above! Sometimes I just can’t stop myself. LOL!
Do you think your social media platforms affect your brand?
I’m assuming that if you follow www.joebuzzello.com or www.thecapequation.com, or have attended a live event that I have spoken at, or know me professionally, or that you own a small business, or you sell stuff, or you hire people that sell stuff. And if that assumption is correct then I will also suggest that—to some degree—you are trying to broaden your center of influence and reach more people that could connect with your products or your personal brand.
Oops…I said personal, “BRAND.” But…do you really HAVE a personal brand? Do you really NEED a personal brand?
Please allow me to answer those questions for you…YES to both!
You HAVE a personal brand by default. If you own a business, or sell a product or service, you are putting yourself out there in the market place, which means you are creating impressions. Those impressions singularly (intentional or not) are all going to wind up being one of three things: positive, neutral or negative. So, if you are exposing yourself and your products/services to the market place, please be damn sure to understand that you absolutely 100% HAVE a brand.
Secondly, if you want to remove yourself (just a little bit) from some of the others (clutter) in your particular market place then you damn well NEED to have a brand—a brand that stands out from the others in some way.
By the way…don’t over-think this thing called, “personal brand.” Your personal brand is simply an up-to-the-minute term for reputation. And the point of this blog article is that in TODAY’s world your reputation is primarily affected by your online presence.
So I want you to first ask 2 really BIG questions…
WHERE do I want to go in my professional life?
HOW is my online presence helping me get there?
A great follow up question is:
WHAT changes do I need to make to my online presence to help me get to where I want to go?
By the way, have you ever stopped to think about all of the different types of people who may be looking at your online presence on all of the various forms of social media that you have a profile on?
If you are looking to become attached to a company as a W2 rep, then you can bet that the company’s HR department may be snooping around. If you are applying for a 1099 affiliation with an organization, their recruiter is probably checking your online presence before making a hiring decision or forwarding their recommendation to the person you will interview with. What about a potential prospect or client? Could they do a quick search before deciding to meet with you?
What are they ALL going to SEE?
Here’s a quick checklist of queries that you can ask (and answer) to get some clarity on your personal brand/reputation:
- What do your various profile photos say about you?
Are they dignified—professional looking, or are you ‘party’ guy or girl? Do you have different photos for each platform, or do you have one great iconic photo that unifies your personal brand across all of the platforms?
- Do your headlines tell people who you are and what you do?
(Or do people have to guess?) We’re all ADD. Make it easy for them to identify what you’re an expert in and why they should connect with you.
- Is there anything that can be interpreted as offensive on your profiles?
At a glance are you too MUCH of anything? Can somebody take one look at your profile and recent posts and determine that you are one of those ____s! (Fill in the blank) I’m not suggesting that you should not stand for something, I’m simply suggesting that you don’t have to jam all of your strong opinions in somebody’s face all at once and up front. (Especially if you are trying to broaden your appeal)
- Do you make it easy for people to contact you?
(Or are you in a federal witness protection program?)
So some of you are already thinking, Joe B., I don’t have the time for all of this! I get it, but your online presence and reach is really, really important. Generations Y and Z know this, and if you are Generation Next, or worse, an “old” Baby Boomer like me, you need to understand the importance also.
Would you agree that investing time (and money) in yourself is something you should ALWAYS be doing?
Spending just a little bit of time to analyze where your personal brand and reputation is at online (and tighten it up a little) may pay a great dividend. In addition, as you clean things up you can also work on broadening your reach and base of contacts. I will agree that many of us don’t have time to go to networking events, especially if we’re already really busy with our sales career, side-gig or small business.
But we can take a little time to network online after work.
If you still think you don’t have the time (it’s a BS excuse) simply EDIT your life and eliminate one thing that’s not bringing you a return on investment and replace it with investing in your career. (Think binging a series on Netflix!)
Instead, dedicate that time to making connections with influential people online who can help you.
A few thoughts on connections…
Don’t make the mistake of only networking with people from your past. Get out of your bubble and connect to people who are relevant to your current personal and professional interests. In many cases these are people you haven’t met yet and would likely never have the opportunity to meet anywhere but on a social media platform.
Let’s revisit the TIME excuse one last time…because I know you are going to bring it up in your head again?
I’d like you to consider revising the way you spend your time online. As a suggestion, cut the amount of time spent on “trash talk” over sports or politics. (I need to remember to do this! LOL) Use the additional time more strategically. Involve yourself in online activities that are beneficial to your career objectives.
Make sure you know what you are DOING online. Make sure your profiles across the various platforms best represent your talents and interests.
Most all of the branding experts I follow tell us that our online presence is now more important to us than our résumé.
…always know you have a personal brand/reputation that speaks volumes about you, whether it is intentionally nurtured by you or not. Be intentional about what you’re doing on all of the social media platforms. It’s your reputation, stupid!
Do some work on this and tell me about your results.
AND…please share this article will any and all salespeople, entrepreneurs and leaders you know, that are working on their brand.
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on the roles of direct selling, entrepreneurialism and leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, www.joebuzzello.com and The CAP Equation©.