I am often amazed at how little most sales people invest in the value of their own personal brand and lack understanding of what social selling is and how to apply it amongst their kit bag of tools.
Avoiding the puns from the late Stuart Baggs of the Apprentice about “I am the brand“, having an online brand is not about necessarily having your name in lights or being known or famous, it is the public view you give of yourself to others.
A prospective customer or employer, in knowing your name will inevitably at some point look you up online, as they will the company or product they may consider buying in their business lives or at home. Who of us hasn’t when thinking of going somewhere or buying a product or service done a quick search, looked at their web site, looked at shopping sites like Amazon and Ebay, read reviews, perhaps asked friends on Facebook or twitter their experience etc…
When I am going to meet a customer or am about to interview someone for a sales role I always check them out on Linkedin, look on twitter/facebook and a quick Google Search, allowing me to know a little context about them as a person and even to a degree a little of what personality type they are.
Today it is so incredibly easy to find a wealth of information on anything to enable a pragmatic, informed and safer decision and in the mobile world you can do it easily anytime, anyplace. So why expect that you as an individual will not be looked up at some point and pre-judged, especially if you are doing the same of others as I described above.
Like it or not, disagree with its fairness, it doesn’t matter. The buyer has more control than ever and that includes on finding out about you as a person as well as your proposition and company. You may have read previously on how the buyer dynamic has changed, often a customer having done 60-70% of their research before a sales person gets engaged. Expect this to also include on you when you do engage.
So firstly make sure your online profiles represent you well. It’s not difficult and your own profile is yours, it travels with you wherever you go and can begat you new opportunities you did not expect. Use a professional and friendly looking photo of yourself (not one partying or on holiday) and use a similar or same one across your profiles. Have a good summary BIO of yourself and again keep it consistent across profiles. Add links to awards you have won, articles mentioned in, content written etc, anything pertinent that showcases you as a person professionally. Make it a small project to polish your online presence, look at others profiles and plagiarise ideas you spot that would work for yourself. My main profiles for example can be seen at http://www.ianmoyse.co.uk & https://twitter.com/imoyse.