5 Ways to Incentivise your Team to Build a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand is like a double-edged sword. It carries significant weight in corporate advantage, whilst feeding off of an individual’s personal success. So, everybody wins.
The lightbulb idea of having a personal brand in the first instance isn’t really as new as it sounds. Although recent years have shone a light on this notion of building a brand for your career, we’ve been building our own brands for years – Via Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest… across all social media platforms. We’ve just not been doing it with our careers in mind.
But why should we change that?
What is a Personal Brand?
Putting it bluntly, it’s the impression of yourself that you allow people to see. It’s what comes up when your name is Googled, what employers find when they read between the lines of your application, and what old friends see when they check on how you’re doing.
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos
Fundamentally, everything that’s associated with you online, contributes to your personal brand. Which yes, does include your Instagram profile with that picture of you dancing on a bar, but that’s not automatically a bad thing. It’s 2023 and employers are looking at all of this stuff before they employ you, so unless you do something particularly bad that reflects on the company, they’ll appreciate that you have a hobby (but perhaps take that with a pinch of salt as every employer is different).
What helps you though, is the matter that your personal brand represents your interests, skills and the experiences that have made you who are today. Everything that makes you different from the person sitting next to you. As a seller, it’s what makes you not blend into the noise.
Why Would I Want My Team to be Actively Branding – Won’t they get Poached?
Short answer, yeah, sure. They might. But honestly, if your team are going to get poached it’s because they’re open to it and already have one foot out the door. So try to design a Culture in your Sales Team that thrives and drives your employee retention. There are lots of things you can do as an employer that make sure you’re offering competitive employment.
To see it as a positive, you may also need to look at the cost-to-value ratio, so you’re able to fully appreciate the potential benefits.
“Companies should encourage employees to build strong personal brands because it’s good business. When employees are allowed to represent their company at conferences or events, they are not only developing themselves but also providing the organization more exposure.” (source)
If you encourage your go-to-market teams to build their own personal brands, in time you’ll start to see each and every one of them climb high, reach their targets and truly support the success of your business. Specifically, you’ll see:
Increased visibility: You’re not the first choice solution if your brand isn’t top of mind.
Strengthened differentiation: Your business is marketed, but your sellers authorise your solution as the highest quality based on the trust they’re given across the market.
More opportunities enter the pipe: More eyes = more interest = more opportunities = more revenue.
Your business will stay relevant: Responding to current topics will support your business being seen as ‘hot off the press’ and the freshest solution.
Ears get influenced: Someone with a brand is talking about something. And it’s those ‘somethings’ that influence those people in the audience who perhaps wouldn’t have considered you in the past.
Your sellers get trusted: They’ll be seen as consistent, reliable and trustworthy experts, which helps to create ease in your Sales cycle.
You’ll get all of this when a brand is built and your audience’s perception of you is aligned with your message and your goals. So as an employer, your team’s personal brands should mean everything! – And you should support and vouch for your team who spend time on theirs.
Not everyone believes this is a benefit of their time, however. Reps want to book meetings and close deals, and unless they see a direct line between activity and their goal, it’s no surprise they’re not interested. It’s your job as their manager, to get them pumped!
5 Ways to Incentivise your Team
We’ve already covered it, but your Sales team may need a lot of direction when it comes to convincing them to spend time on something that won’t necessarily have an immediate return.
So what can you do?
Own your Internal Marketing
It’s crucial to have a balanced understanding of what the message and truth are. We see it all too often when the company account is saying one thing, and the employees who know the truth are saying the other. Work to ensure your internal messaging is hitting home, it’s believed and work to get your team bought in. You can’t just set a rule that X, Y, and Z can’t be mentioned on LinkedIn – It’s their account and not yours. Plus, the more they believe and support what they’re selling, the better their produced content is, the more trust they gain in the market, and as a result the stronger the personal brand. Don’t skip this step, and instead make sure everyone is in the inner circle together.
Empower your Team
The third most common reason for leaving a job is not feeling appreciated (source). Spend a little time highlighting your top brand performers, acknowledging the impact of the personal brand on the business and making your team feel safe. People who are happy at work are more likely to spread that message and feeling to everyone they come across each day.
You’re a Sales Leader so you know better than anyone that you don’t want to scroll down your LinkedIn and see only alternative types of Sales pitches. We don’t want that. What you do want, is to get to know the individuals in your network. What are their preferences, their experiences, drivers, commitments, views, and understandings? You do want to encourage them to bring it back to your product or business – it is a corporate platform after all – but you should also encourage the odd human and personal post. By doing that, they’re more likely to start new conversations, network further and maybe even start new clubs and initiatives that get even more attention.
Salespeople love competition. They just do. They are also phenomenal groups of people who really support and back their peers. So why not leverage that? Create little spiffs to help get them started. Anything to get their competitive spirit jumping!
Enable them to Learn
It’s fair enough that you might have a team member who is keen to get branding, but just doesn’t know where to start. Help to connect them with other LinkedIn personas like Daniel Disney, Holly Allen, and Morgan J Ingram so they can see first-hand and learn. Enrol them in courses to offer them a kickstart and equip them with the skills to hit all bases and come back with a home run.
They can be the leading social sellers of 2023 if you give them the tools to get there.
Across social channels, your employees represent your brand. We’ve known that for a while, so now it’s about time we enable them to do it well and to their benefit. They’ll thank you for it.
Interested in our social selling courses with Daniel Disney, but aren’t yet a member? We can help!