I had the pleasure of delivering a Social Branding and Social Selling Webinar for Data.com Connect Agency clients a few weeks back which stemmed from an initial blog post I wrote for their Blog on the subject. You should familiarize yourself with the blog post as part of reviewing the recap of of the webinar below. If you are in a position where you need to brand yourself online to drive B2B sales this is for you.
In the webinar, I answered the following questions:
- How can an individual brand support the growth of an agency brand?
- What resources are critical to social branding and social selling?
- Where do we start in social branding?
- How does a social agency support developing authentic content?
- What are some examples of small or mid size B2B clients you and your agency have worked with? What were the needs and the results?
- How much time do I need to commit to social branding if I were to try it on my own? Do you have any programs or books to support DIY?
- How do you manage social branding as a 3rd party vendor?
A recap of the webinar content on Social Branding and Social Selling follows:
What is social branding?
This still confuses some people. Here’s the easiest way to look at it:
It’s essentially creating monetary value around a person, i.e. you, as opposed to a corporation, i.e. where you work. This is crucial in the modern business era. Automation — i.e. robots taking our jobs — might still be 30-50 years away, but the basic notion of ’employment’ is coming to an end. With the development of The Gig Economy, you are your brand. It’s not the company on your resume — because honestly, even if that company is great to you? All that could change in an instant. Companies aren’t set up and designed to protect people. They’re set up to protect their bottom line. As a result, your brand is crucial and you need to develop it.
Here’s another aspect people sometimes forget about social branding: let’s say you’re a small business entrepreneur. Unless you work in a handful of industries, you probably won’t make a ton of money from social media — at least not at first. Other channels will drive your revenue more. But you need to remember the ‘business card’ aspect of social media. Even if you’re not raking in money from it, people are using it to vet you. When you meet someone or someone hears about you, they are checking out your LinkedIn. If it doesn’t look professional, they will move on to the next contact. Your social branding is your business card for the entire world. It might not mean you have $200,000 coming in this quarter, but if you’re doing it in a sloppy or unprofessional way, you could be leaving $200,000 on the table.
How do you define your online brand?
Here are the hallmarks:
One thing I would strongly advise is the top one: authentic voice. Oftentimes, people are afraid to take stands on certain issues or voice things in a certain way — because they fear alienating potential business partners, etc. I understand that. But if you’re being inauthentic on social media, people will be able to tell. They won’t engage with you. So be yourself. You might screen out some people, yes — but think of it as their loss, not yours. You only want to be doing business with people who understand your brand and value anyway, in all honesty.
You don’t rush right into social selling and start asking where the money is. Social is about relationships, and relationships take time — so you need to invest that time, and then the money can come. If you think about why referral is such a popular marketing channel, it’s because referral aligns with getting information from someone you trust. You need to approach social selling in the same way — you’re trying to develop trust in yourself and your brand/value. Once that develops, people will want to do business with you or buy from you. But again, it doesn’t happen overnight — and on the path to successful social selling, you can have a few blogs or LinkedIn shares that seemingly no one reads. You might get frustrated. But it’s a long game, not an immediate hit.
Social Branding and Social Selling Webinar Freebie
For Salesforce Data.com Connect Agency clients, I gave away a Free download to my intro to social branding and social selling video as part 1 of my full Personal Branding Online Course. Hoping that you will share this post by using the Social Share Buttons floating in front of you, in return I am happy to provide you with this freebie as well! You can grab your free video on my Intro to Social Branding Giveaway Page but before you do, I want to also let you know about 2 upcoming Social Branding & Social Selling LIVE Workshops in NYC I have coming up in case you want to attend:
June 8, 2016 – Social Branding and Social Selling Round table Talk NYC
85 5th Ave, 4th Floor, New York, NY
Round table discussion for Marketing Directors on “Social Media and Social Selling”
June 15, 2016 6-8PM Social Branding Presentation and Networking LIC NYC
31-00 47th Avenue, Long Island City, NY
Social Branding for Entrepreneurs Workshop with Wine & Snacks