In this article, Vinil Ramdev talks about the power of personal branding for sales professionals. He shares his story of how he initially attracted clients for his business.
Back in 2009, I exited my retail business and became a consultant. When I was in retail, I spent most of my time either selling or training salespeople.
After I exited retail, it was only natural for me to become a sales trainer. During the initial days, I advertised my services on Google AdWords and JustDial. Most of my leads came from these two sources. However, I had fewer conversions than I liked.
At the same time, I was helping some overseas clients. I came across something called a blog. I already had a blog, where I would blog about anything new that I learned. I made a few modifications to that blog and bought a custom domain. I was already familiar with online blogging and building websites, as I had an e-commerce business (read hobby business) in 2004.
The reason I started blogging was clear, to demonstrate my knowledge and attract new clients. One thing led to another, and before I realized, my blog had over 160 contributors.
During the time, most of my business came directly from my blog. Someone would read an article I wrote and contact me to avail my services. Several top entrepreneurs and decision makers have reached out to me directly rather than the other way around.
What does this mean for sales professionals?
I do workshops on Personal Branding. But I am not going to discuss that in detail here. Instead, I will cover one small aspect of personal branding which is demonstrating your knowledge. Every prospective client wants to know one thing – “Can you do the job or not?”
When you demonstrate your knowledge by writing articles, speaking at conferences, and sharing relevant content; prospects begin to respect and admire you. They start seeing you as an authority. It is perhaps the first step towards building a personal brand.
As the old saying in sales goes, “You sell yourself first, before selling any product.”
In short, that’s personal branding! Selling yourself.
It involves packaging, demonstrating value, building a strong image, and positioning yourself as an expert in your niche.
By reading so far, you may think that you need a blog as a starting point. The short answer to that is “No, you don’t necessarily need a blog.”
You can write articles on other people’s blogs.
I write more articles on other people’s blogs than my own. Why? Because I am looking for access to a new audience all the time.
Most bloggers allow guest posters on their blog because they are looking for new content. You benefit by getting access to their audience while they benefit by getting fresh content.
If you like more detailed information about guest posting, here is an article on how to score a guest post on authority blogs.
Action Step: If there is just one thing you are going to do today, contact bloggers and online publications, and ask if you can contribute an article. If you are not a great writer, start practicing, you’ll eventually get better.
Still not convinced personal branding is important, read these 18 statistics about personal branding.
About the Author
Vinil Ramdev is an entrepreneur, personal branding consultant, and a sales trainer. He’s been involved in starting and growing businesses since 2005. Readers may connect with him on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.