Gone are the days when only corporations developed a brand and their representatives just used those nice slogans, shiny brochures and glossy business cards. Today all customer facing employees need to show their personal connection with the value they provide as an individual and as part of the organisation. A unique personal branding is a must to disrupt the information overflow in the age of the well-informed buyer.
How to differentiate a company brand from a personal brand? According to the Entrepreneur Small Business Encyclopedia, a company brand “creates a symbol that personifies and distinguishes a company's offerings”. That covers advertising via multi-channel marketing up to customer service. The brand needs to resonate with decision makers at potential clients. Beyond pure transactional order taking, people still do business with people in companies, not with the company. Therefore, business professionals must be visible and perceived as faces of the company.
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Personal Branding and Social Selling are two buzzwords at the moment which are somehow connected. A unique company brand is needed to differentiate the offering and communicate with potential customers, but creating a proper personal brand is also important in a small business. Social Selling comes from the enterprise world with their large sales departments. How does that apply to small businesses?
Let’s ask an active networker and LinkedIn expert who is using social media and digital tools to sell services to small and medium customers in Australia. Gunnar Habitz is a regular to Triple H being featured already talking about his cloud services.
Welcome to the show again, Gunnar.
People like to buy from people who they know, like and trust—especially on non-transactional services. The advent of professional social media sites opened the possibility to showcase what we can do for our clients using an authentic, genuine personal brand. How can we disrupt the information overflow in the age of the well-informed buyer?
According to Los Ellis, Personal Branding is “the process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others”. This is actually less about the individual, rather about the perception of prospects and customers.
Distilling the term further, “personal” stands for art and story of the professional while “brands” shows the packaging. As Nicolas Cole mentioned, “a long-lasting personal brand cannot exist without both parts: art and marketing, expression and distribution.”
Creating a personal brand for service professionals in smaller companies requires more detailed work and...