Personal branding as most of us know is a fuzzy concept which involves identifying our values, clarifying our purpose, social media cleanup and the need for us to show up in the best possible way wherever we go. In the survey I conducted recently, a good number of the participants felt that it is important but not critical right now. I believe there are two reasons for this. First, there is no clear understanding of what personal branding is, what does it involve? Second, almost every type of professional feels that personal branding is something to be considered only after they have achieved significantly more success than what they have achieved so far.
However, here I put forth a perspective which proves that it is the other way round. Having an awesome personal branding and more importantly, personal branding online is the strategy that will get you far more success than without it.
Where Are We Going Wrong?
In this crowded market, all of us are competing to win over our prospects.
As a professional, you want that perfect job and company
As a freelancer, you want those tailor-made clients
As a coach, you want those awesome customers
Whatever category of profession you might belong to, if you continue to do whatever everyone else does, then you cannot expect an easy run. You will have to fight tooth and nail for every small success. Not the best way, I know.
What is the problem? For one, you are turning up for your prospect at the same time as your competition – Just in time. As a customer, this feels great at first as there are so many choices for them to pick one while you lot are quibbling on a price race to the bottom. This is the worst situation for you to be in.
The problem is you are turning up for your prospect at the same time as your competition – Just in time.
Why? it doesn’t take much time to get overwhelmed as there is not much time to make a decision, the right decision. The ‘Choice to Choke’ shift in mindset that the customer enters into feels the need to get on with it. So, in this moment of frustration and vulnerability, the customer may end up going with the most shouting or glittering of a choice that they see. Worse, due to lack of time, they may resort to toss a coin and pick someone randomly. If you are new in the business or still scaling up the ladder, this is not a great place to be in.
What Should You Do?
If you want to beat this competition, you have to do things differently.
First, you must create an identity that instantly empowers you and inspires your prospect to choose you. This was not easy in the past but with digital tech and tools available, anyone can create an enviable persona of themselves online and showcase their personal brand.
Second, you must let your personal brand to do the talking. You must let your brand interact with the prospects in every opportunity so that it can make that perfect first impression and build on that. If this interaction happens much much before the need arises in your prospect’s mind or better be the reason for the need to arise. This leaves no chance for your competition. Your customer would be like a baby and you are the parent. They have no choice but to rely upon you, well almost.
You must let your personal brand interact with the prospects in every opportunity so that it can make that perfect first impression and build on that
What exactly you need to do here to make that first impression? Well, that is a topic for another day. But imagine the mindset your prospects will be in when they have already seen who you are, what you have got to say and what credibility and authority you bring to the table to make a difference to their lives.
If you do it right, your customer may well be sold on you as a business partner (all of us are doing business, professionals included) even before you meet them. This makes it easier for them to sign the dotted line when you meet them – over the phone, on zoom or in person. This power you have today to impress your prospects even before the interview (or say, your first virtual or real meeting) is unparalleled but unfortunately underused.
I am here to help you change that.
If we can position well, you should truly on the highway to success while your competition is fighting on an extremely crowded one-way.