By Sima Dahl
In today’s hyper-networked, always-on global marketplace, we’re just two or three degrees of separation from one another. We left the Information Age long ago and entered what I call the Age of Referral, an age in which every ABA member can turn their network into an army of personal brand champions that help open doors, connect dots, and create more demand for their skills and expertise. If that sounds good to you, read on for important tips on how to start building a personal brand that means business.
Own your digital footprint. Run a Google search on your name. If your name is common, try adding the name of your employer to get more accurate results. How you show up online is often someone’s first impression of you. I personally don’t get on the phone with someone I haven’t already Googled! Owning your digital footprint means that you take steps to ensure that your online profile properly defines who you are, what you do, and what makes you special.
Mind your keywords. When I started my own business, my official title was president, and I often got inquiries from prospects asking if I would travel outside of Chicago to speak or train. I quickly changed my title to national speaker and the questions stopped. Every word in your story has weight—even your job title. People do not know what you don’t tell them. And they don't remember unless you keep reminding them, which takes me to my next point …
Stay visible in the social stream. The fastest way to stay top of mind is to stay visible within your online networks. During my presentation at the Women in Buses Council Meeting on Saturday, Jan. 27, I’m going to show you exactly how you can do that in less than five minutes a week.
Grow your network. Remember the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game? These days, the number is closer to three. Simply put, social media has shrunk the world! Platforms such as LinkedIn mean we can reach the people we want through the people we already know. Some of my best referrals come from people I know outside of work—from high school, from the gym, from my days as a high-tech marketer. Everyone—and I mean everyone—can be on your personal sales team if only they know what a lead or opportunity looks like for you.
Remember, you are the chief marketing officer of Brand You. Your prospects, potential employers, new hires, the media, strategic partners, and even investors are all eyeing you online. What story are you telling them?
Sima Dahl, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and coach. She is the founder of Sway Factor Inc., which helps business professionals build personal brands and sales teams profit with social selling. She will be a speaker at ABA’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Marketplace. Learn more at www.simadahl.com.