This morning I saw this graphic from Gartners (thanks, Tim Hughes). 'Buyers spend more time buying through digital channels than any other activity across the buying process.' - and it got me thinking about personal brand and how we appear online.
If you - like me - are in B2B sales that means usually a buyer is buying on a one-to-one basis. We are personally key to the process (if we are doing our jobs right). That means how we appear online is key. If all we do is sell, sell, sell then that is our personal brand - a stuck record telling our clients all about us and not talking with them about their challenges. We need to add proof to our claims of expertise and focus on our clients' needs.
So here are the 6 worst things to do if you are trying to build your personal brand. In summary, don't boast about how brilliant you are. Show it.
• Call yourself a guru, mogul, maven etc. If you have to state it you probably are not! Focus on proving your expertise
• Zombie branding - the dull, dusty corporate-and-institutional language most of us have learned at work (whether we wanted to or not)
• Trophies - We want to know about you, the person -- not the impressive trophies in your trophy case!
• Stating that you the best/the one/the only
• Making it all about 'My Tasks, My Skills' with no context or proof
• Claiming you are a disruptor, catalyst, change agent. See Guru advice above.
That's why it's included on our list of the six worst ways to brand yourself, below! The problem with "I'm the best!"-type personal branding is that it marks you as someone who lacks the confidence to simply say "I'm a Cost Accountant, and here's what I've done so far in my career." Praising yourself is beneath you. Let other people praise you. That's not your job!