Archive | Personal Branding for Sales

Jamie Oliver – a personal branding and business success case study

I find it a real inspiration to read about people like Jamie Oliver, who have become really successful. I also like to understand the journey they’ve been along, and learn something from their example and insight.

So when I received this infographic from the Dent organisation I felt compelled to share it, as much as an incentive to drill into the detail for my own benefit.

I hope you find this analysis of Jamie Oliver’s career inspiring too.

The secret ingredients to Jamie Oliver’s business success

I’ll let the infographic tell the story.

Dent | Jamie Oliver Infographic

Impressive isn’t it.

I’m sure Jamie had some lucky breaks along the way, but if it hadn’t have been these ones he would have had others I’m sure. There’s some truth in the expression “We make our own luck”, by being in the right place at the right time, and then responding in the right way.

Proven Value

His cookery skills probably developed at home and at school. So he may have been teased. He certainly would have made choices not to do other things in order to spend time practicing and perfecting his technique and knowledge.

Established Influence

What’s clear to me here is the effort and commitment Jamie Oliver has put in over the years, to the TV show and recording schedule, to writing books and articles, to promoting, to developing personally, professionally, and as a business with a team around him.

Oversubscribed

This to me is where he is campaigning and giving back in ways that are consistent with his purpose and principles. And he’s using his name and position of influence to make more of a difference that just donating money could do.

Formalised Assets

And the list of assets he’s developed is very impressive, and an example to us all of the importance of building value. Assets are not just financial, money in the bank, property, machinery and equipment, shares in other people’s businesses.

In the digital and service economy assets are things that can produce ongoing revenue if managed correctly and bought, sold, licensed or invested into if the right deals can be structured.

Jamie Oliver’s journey

The other take-away for me is the time it’s taken, in two ways

1. That it’s taken 20 years to become a success.

That’s over 7,000 days of living, breathing, working, planning, executing, and doing all the other things that someone starting, running and growing a business must do.
Along the way there must have been good days and bad days, good breaks and set-backs. But consistency, energy, professionalism etc. must run right through this period. That takes character.

2. That it’s only taken 20 years.

For an individual to rise from nothing to a £240m worth through work and activity (rather than through property and investment and borrowed money for example) is phenomenal. Compare that to traditional businesses that are worth far less even after several generations of toil.
Doing the maths the other way, £240m worth over 7,000 days means each day has added £35k value. That’s a good return for a bit of toil in my books.

Passion and Purpose

A lot is written about “Following your Passion” and “Finding your Purpose”. Here is an example of the value that flows when one person has discovered both, and has been able to turn them into a very successful business.

And as a result is in a strong position to help others, by giving back and representing those less fortunate, so they have one of the basic essentials, healthy food.

What next?

For many people our skills, passion and purpose are not as clear as it appears to have been for Jamie.

The good news is that there are tools available to help us. I’ve found the following self-assessment tests for profile and level are very useful.

Discover how best you can create value Discover which steps to take to develop your wealth

Personal Branding – making the most of the LinkedIn Personal Profile

Social Selling Matrix Personal Brand
The Internet and Social Media has changed our ability to find information, and also to publish information.

One significant area of this is our ability to publish information about ourselves, so that others can find, read and make decisions based on it.

This opens up the opportunity for personal branding for everyone – business leaders, sales leaders, business professionals.  

No longer is it just celebrities; politicians, sports personalities, film stars, pop stars and others who have access to vast audiences through media.

Whether your prime role is sales leader or business owner, there are several ways you can use LinkedIn to support your customer service and set up subsequent sales.

By investing a little time and thought we can all create and communicate a personal brand. For people in business this can be a huge benefit, in many many ways.

Quick start tips

LinkedIn is the principle place to publish the substance of our personal brands and establish our professional positioning.

  • Complete the background sections of your LinkedIn profile – your work history, education, qualifications, additional interests etc. as fully as possible
  • Create a Summary and Headline that is crafted for your audience and objectives and your specialisation and role
  • Add credentials through the company that you keep – your key connections, professional associations, groups and more
  • Share content that builds and enhances your positioning, to stay front-of-mind, start conversations and develop business relationships.

The mechanics of the LinkedIn Profile is about execution. The challenge for many is (re)defining our purpose, positioning and proposition for the brave new world of Social Selling.

LinkedIn Tips for a compelling Personal Profile

1. Getting the Profile basics right

A minimalist profile on LinkedIn is a missed opportunity, and could have negative consequences for your marketing, sales and customer relationships.

  • Follow the LinkedIn Prompts and complete the various section for education and previous work experience etc.
  • Check your profile settings so the ‘right’ things are visible and the sensitive things are hidden
  • Use the Skills section to find keywords relevant to your role and position, and add them to your profile and to the text sections of your profile so you show up higher in the search rankings.

Now is a good time to check out who is also in your space. Search within LinkedIn for your keywords and location, eg. LinkedIn Trainer Bristol for me.

2. Write a Summary and Headline appropriate to your role

LinkedIn is not just for CVs and Job-seekers, so set yourself apart by writing with the goal of being more successful in your current role rather than your next one.

  • If you’re a Business Leader outline the purpose of your business in a way that multiple audiences can identify with
  • If you’re a Sales Leader demonstrate your expertise in client areas by highlighting business issues/aspirations your current clients were facing/desiring that you’ve resolved/enabled
  • If you’re a fee earner or part of the delivery or support team outline your contribution to clients and support for your customer facing colleagues along with your subject matter expertise.

Find some of the thought leaders in your sector, particularly those in America, and see how they are describing what they do.

3. Now build in all the social proof you can

Spend a couple of hours adding layers of proof to your profile, to extend your reach and visibility and impact when people look at your profile

  • Invite customers, business partners and colleagues to provide testimonials about you, your expertise and your contribution
  • Join relevant groups, follow relevant influencers, connect with thought leaders in your market
  • Add media to various sections of your profile, from your company website, your hard drive, and from authority sources in your market

The power of LinkedIn lets us go beyond What we know, through Who we know, to Who knows us.  Kick-start that process as soon as you can, and build on it periodically.

Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.

Sales Leader LinkedIn Profile Rewrite

LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Sales Leader Image Mark Stonham WurlwindAs a Sales Leader, with a role such as Sales Director, Sales Manager, Business Development or New Business Sales,  you have a valuable opportunity to present yourself to your prospects as a specialist at solving customer problems and adding value, starting with what you say in your LinkedIn Profile.

Sales is about Leadership

Senior sales roles are about leadership.

  • Leading prospects into a business relationship with your company.
  • Leading customers into areas that improve their business performance.
  • Leading colleagues who are working with you as part of the sales and delivery team.

The likelihood is that you’re actually a pretty good leader, and people who work with you will recognise that. And that will be based on your knowledge and skills, backed up by your track record of performance against quota.

How to accelerate sales and improve sales effectiveness

The challenge today is to accelerate the journey with prospects through “know, like and trust” so that people who don’t know you that well will feel confident to meet and invest their time to develop a sales relationship with you.

Busy decision makers are checking out people on Linkedin to decide whether there will be a good return on their time, for a phone call, or a meeting. Their decision may be as simple as; Yes; No or Redirect to a colleague.

They may also look for common ground and shared interests, and you probably do too. They may also be checking to see if there’s a risk, personally, professionally or for their organisation, if they develop a commercial relationship with you.

What does a Sales Leader LinkedIn Profile rewrite do?

An important shift for many people in sales is to pivot the Linkedin profile from talking about themselves and their achievements in sales to talking about their customers and prospects, benefits delivered to them, and the trigger events that lead to a mutually beneficial initial conversation.

If you’re in a sales leadership, new business sales or business development role there are specific ways that your LinkedIn profile can support you to accelerate your sales achievements.

How does our Rewrite approach work?

Our proven approach will identify and communicate messages that will engage with your ideal clients. This may be when they are researching for new solutions and suppliers. More likely it’s when you have made the approach to them, through various channels, and they are checking you out prior to taking your call or agreeing to meet.

Our approach incorporates aspects of the Challenger Sales approach including Trigger Events, Reframing Requirements and Commercial Teaching. These are very applicable for people selling to key accounts.

When is a good time for a Sales Leader LinkedIn Profile Rewrite?

The ideal time to update or overhaul the profile is when preparing for a sales push, such as:

  • During the first 90 days at a new company – having decided on the way forward
  • Having taken on a new sale role in a company – perhaps as a result of promotion or territory change
  • Before you launch a new lead generation campaign – perhaps when tackling a new sector
  • When preparing for a trade-show, conference or lead generation event,
  • When going into a new year, half-year, or quarter, and reviewing and refining messaging
  • Or when hitting the phones for a cold-calling blitz – or using LinkedIn for a warm-calling campaign

The clarity gained from the rewrite process has been very valuable to people who have been through the process.

 The Profile Rewrite Process from Wurlwind

This process has been designed to deliver maximum value and optimise time on both sides.

  1. We ask you to complete a 1 page A4 background form to start the process
  2. We’ll then interview you by phone or skype for 45 minutes or so
  3. We’ll draft the key sections of Summary, current  role and more
  4. Then there’s a review process, by email or by phone, to agree the final copy
  5. We then post the changes on your behalf and update the settings etc of your LinkedIn Profile.

What’s included:

The deliverable outcome is an updated and rewritten LinkedIn Profile covering the following element:

  • Headline and Summary rewritten
  • Current Role rewritten
  • Previous roles commented on
  • Skills review and re-order
  • Groups review and suggestions
  • Contact Details and How to contact
  • Online support and a follow-up phone call is also included.

We know how to set these up in LinkedIn so clients find it beneficial if we post the changes to their profiles on their behalf.

The investment:

We aim to optimise both the financial outlay and the time you need to contribute.

  • The cost to you for the Sales Leader Profile Rewrite is just £295
  • The time you contribute is about 2 hours.

Why choose Mark Stonham and Wurlwind for your profile rewrite?

The hardest part of writing the LinkedIn Profile for Sales is switching from “About Me” to “About You” and focusing on starting conversations rather than pitching solutions. That’s where our skills and experience come to the fore.

We have a track record of capturing the essence of what helps sales leaders to positioning (or re-positioning) themselves on LinkedIn to make it easier to engage with senior decision makers.

Mark has a 30 year track record in sales and sales management, particularly in key account and new business sales. He also has marketing qualifications (Marketing Degree and CIM Diploma).

Above all, check out what previous clients have said in the testimonials and recommendations on this page.

Email me, Mark Stonham, if you’re interested in getting a much more powerful LinkedIn profile that will really support your sales efforts.

Business Professional LinkedIn Profile Rewrite

LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Business Professional Image Mark Stonham WurlwindHeads of Departments, Fee Earners, Sales Account Managers, Project Managers, Technical Specialists and many other people in a company deserve to have good LinkedIn profiles.

Customers and prospects may well look through the team profiles when checking out a business to decide whether they want to start or to develop a commercial relationship. LinkedIn is increasingly valuable for helping us and the companies we work for to be successful, not just for when people are looking for new positions.

A LinkedIn Profile for a Business Professional ought to go well beyond the 100% score that LinkedIn attributes when certain boxes are completed. As part of the management and delivery team of a business – especially a knowledge based business such as those in technology, agency, professional services or consultancy – it’s increasingly important to put the human faces and profiles for customers, colleagues and others to view.

The challenge of writing a LinkedIn Profile for a Business Professional

For many business professionals they don’t necessarily know what they know, or how to convey it through LinkedIn.

  • They may not have thought about it and broken it down into constituent parts
  • They may assume that their job title is sufficient for others to work out what they do
  • They may be too modest to be specific about their strengths and their contribution
  • They may not have time or knowledge about LinkedIn to write and to make the appropriate changes to their profile

And for companies, a random collection of profiles is not the best showcase for customers, prospects or recruits to see.

The benefits of a well-written LinkedIn Profile for a Business Professional

Our proven approach to LinkedIn Profile Rewrites for Business Professionals presents individuals and teams in a very positive way.

  • Directors and heads of departments will clearly represent the capability of their area, so prospects gain confidence
  • Fee earners will clearly convey their competence as domain specialists and subject matter experts
  • Delivery and support people, like account managers and project managers, will convey their ability to manage resources to achieve results for clients

When combined with well-written profiles for the Business Leader (the MD typically) and Sales Leaders (Sales Director, Business Development, New Business Sales) employed by the company, firm or organisation, this creates a really powerful message to customers and to prospects.

Next Steps:

Add an agenda item to your next Management Meeting to review the LinkedIn profiles of employees listed for your business. The likelihood is that there’s a rag-bag of profiles there that don’t show your business off to customers and prospects in a very positive light.

And if you’re a professional individual who wants to improve your own Linkedin profile and advance your career, congratulations for taking the initiative.

Email me, Mark Stonham, if you’d like to improve your profile, or those of your team or company.

The Process:

This process has been designed to deliver maximum value and optimise time on both sides:

  1. We ask you to complete a 1 page A4 background form and send us a copy of a fairly recent start the process
  2. We’ll then interview you by phone or skype for 15 minutes to understand your objectives
  3. We’ll draft the key sections of Summary and current roles and headline
  4. Then there’s a review process, conducted by email and tracked document changes
  5. We the post the changes on your behalf and update the settings etc of your LinkedIn Profile.

We know the process works when we post the changes to profiles on behalf of clients.

What’s included:

The deliverable outcome is an updated and rewritten LinkedIn Profile covering the following element:

  • Headline and Summary
  • Current Role
  • Skills section review
  • Contact Details update
  • Online support

The investment:

We aim to optimise both the financial outlay and the time you need to contribute.

  • The cost to you is £195
  • The time you contribute is about 2 hours.

Sometimes the hardest part of writing a Professional Linkedin Profile is actually gaining clarity about specialist skills and contribution to clients, and the way to articulate the. That’s where our skills and experience come to the fore.
We have a track record of capturing the essence of what makes professionals valuable to clients and positioning (or re-positioning) them on LinkedIn to make them and the team look more impressive.

 

LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Service for Management Teams

LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Management Team Image Mark Stonham WurlwindA LinkedIn profile rewrite for you and your management team can be a wise investment as part of your marketing and sales plan.

When we only have a matter of seconds to make a first impression don’t you owe it to yourself and to your business to maximise that opportunity?

Our LinkedIn Profiles are the foundation for our online presence, our digital footprint, our online personal brand and professional presence.

LinkedIn is not just a place for jobseekers and recruiters. However it’s surprising how many senior people still have a CV style profile, which people might take as a sign they are looking for a job.

Even more surprising are the number of skeleton profiles of business leaders. What impression does that give out? Would you turn up for a meeting without a jacket and tie, looking dishevelled.

Creating powerful LinkedIn Profiles for you and your team.

At Wurlwind, our founder, Mark Stonham has been delivering LinkedIn profiles rewrites for several years.

During this time he’s made a discovery that is overlooked by many. He’s identified that

People in different business roles deserve to have LinkedIn Profiles that say different things.

After all, the profiles have different objectives and serve different purposes.

Allow me to explain…

The LinkedIn prompts that get you to 100% cover the foundations. But we know that’s just the starting point for senior managers and for generating new business at least.

LinkedIn Profiles need to engage the prospects, customers and referrers in many ways.

Profiles of each company and the key people in management and sales need to present a credible and joined up story.

After all, your website, premises, exhibition attendance, marketing and lead generation campaigns and many other expenses could be let down by a poor impression on LinkedIn.

Would these LinkedIn Profiles impress you?

– A Business Leader (Chairman, CEO, MD, Business Owner) who has a clear vision and mission for their business, one that spoke to prospects and customers, staff and recruits, suppliers and sales channel partners, investors and the press etc. One that supported the efforts of the sales and marketing team, customer services, production and development and more. Maybe one that highlighted growth and partnering opportunities. And one that inspired confidence in the likelihood that it would deliver, based on a track record of success. If the journey that the business is on was clear, and aligned with your aspirations, wouldn’t you want to know more?

– A Sales Leader (Sales Director, Sales Manager, Business Development, New Business Sales) who is clearly customer focused, plugged into the customers’ market, connected with decision-maker peers, aware of market trends and issues, and with a track record of heading up value delivery to clients, not just making quota. Wouldn’t you want to find out how you, your department and your company could benefit, reassured by the value you’d expect to get from a conversation, and confident that you could probably refer them to colleagues or clients.

– A Business Professional (such as Heads of delivery departments, project managers, consultants, fee earners, sales account managers etc.) who was clearly aware of their role and contribution to value delivery to clients, had clear expertise in one or more areas, and evidence of skills development and progression. And more so, would you feel reassured to see a team of specialists who worked together, as part of considering whether to short-list a potential supplier, or recommend them to your colleagues, or your clients.

– And the LinkedIn Company Page is what represents the business and ties together the profiles of the key individuals and staff. A powerful image and well crafted description to engage with prospects and customers, recruits and other interested parties. It can also support staff endeavours online, as the company page can make a major contribution to the way businesses are perceived, and the actions that visitors take.

This is what the Wurlwind LinkedIn Profile Rewrite service delivers – profiles that create a very positive first impression. From a sales perspective, profiles get viewed on a name look-up basis, when prospects are searching in LinkedIn for potential suppliers, and profiles get looked at as a result of activity within LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Levels

Here is a summary of the three prime rewrite service packages we offer. Which one most closely matches your role, audience(s) and objectives?

Click the button at the bottom of each to find testimonials and links to profiles in each category which we’ve previously rewritten, along with more about each rewrite approach at each level.

Business Leader
LinkedIn Profile Rewrite
£395
For: Managing Directors, Business Owners, Independent Management Consultants, Executives in Career Transition, Portfolio Careers.
Profile Objectives: Primarily to build Business Credentials and support multiple goals
Target Readers: Multiple audiences - customers, prospects, staff, recruits, suppliers, channel partners, investors, press etc.
Highlighting: Business vision, Noble Cause, Higher Goal, Team, Leadership & Delivery Credentials
Rewrite: Headline, Summary, Current Role, Previous Role(s)
Update: Contact Details, Skills, Other Credentials,
And: Multimedia, groups and additional sections where appropriate.
Telephone Interview: - up to 90 minutes.
Changes Applied: With your permission
Access to recorded support for 90 days.
Review call after 30 days.
Sales Leader
LinkedIn Profile Rewrite
£295
For: Sales Directors, Sales Managers, Business Development Managers, New Business Sales People, Some Solo-preneurs, Armed Forces Resettlement.
Profile Objectives: Primarily to Start Sales Conversations to support lead generation and New Client Acquisition
Target Readers: Prospects and Introducers
Highlighting: Ideal customer, Buying Triggers, Discovery topics, Value of Talking
Rewrite: Headline, Summary and Current Role
Update: Contact Details, Education, Skills and Qualifications
And: Review and Comment on Previous Roles, Education, Multimedia, Groups, Additional Sections and more....
Telephone Interview: - 45 minutes
Changes Applied: With your permission
Access to recorded support for 60 days.
Review call after 30 days.
Business Professional LinkedIn Profile Rewrite
£195
For: Sales Account Managers, Senior Staff, Fee Earning Team Members, Project Managers, Technical Specialists
Profile Objectives: Primarily to enhance Fee Earning Credentials and Capability
Target Readers: Customers & Prospects
Highlighting: Domain expertise and credentials
Rewrite: Headline, Summary and Current Role
Update: Contact Details, Skills, Education, Qualifications
And: Review and Comment on Previous Roles, Groups, Additional Sections and more...
Telephone Interview: - 30 minutes
Changes Applied: With your permission
Access to recorded support for 30 days.
Review call after 30 days.

Take a look at example profiles by clicking on the buttons above that most closely match your role and responsibility.

LinkedIn Profile Rewrite for Management Teams – The Investment

For FOUR Profiles – typically the Managing Director, Sales Director, plus two others – (eg. a sales person, department head, company page) the cost is £995

Reasons why people make the decision to get their profile rewritten

There are a few identifiable Triggers that have lead to people getting their profile rewritten by us.

1. Many have been referred to us by someone who has already had their profile rewritten by us.

We’re delighted that this has been such a success and it is a testament to the service and relationships we’ve built up.

2. Some are undertaking a rebranding and need a LinkedIn Profile update – either before or after the rebrand

When spending time and cost on a new website it’s a good time to also update LinkedIn and some agencies refer clients to us ahead of a new website project.

3. For others the trigger is that they’re going to a conference, exhibition, launching a lead generation campaign or similar

When investing time and expense on a lead generation campaign some realise that for a little bit extra they could have a permanent upgrade of their LinkedIn profile.

4. And some of our clients have become aware that other people (their peers) have better profiles and feel they need to avoid being left behind

And this may be a conclusion they’ve come to themselves, or it’s been highlighted to them by a customer, a colleague, a prospect or some significant other.

Maybe one of these has triggered your research into getting your LinkedIn Profile rewritten. Do let us know.

Reasons why people delay rewriting their LinkedIn profile

What has stopping you from getting your profile rewritten up until now? Having read this far you may recognise one or more of the following reasons we encounter for delays.

1. They don’t know what to write:

It’s easy to be too close to something to see the wood for the trees, to be wrapped up with an internal view of things, to be excessively technical and similar. Or maybe the benefits and achievements are vague, unclear or not considered valuable enough to go public about. Or more fundamentally maybe there is a lack of clarity about the value proposition, target audience, differentiation and similar strategic messages.

Our value as a very experienced sales and marketing consultant is to unravel that with you, and to tease out and present a clear message, one that will start conversations with the right people about the right topics.

2. They don’t have time to write it:

This delay has two parts – the first being the time to write the words to go into the profile, and the second is the time to learn how to get into LinkedIn in order to apply the changes. And as a result a rewrite can be consigned to the ‘too hard’ pile and be ignored, or superseded by other more pressing, urgent tasks.

Our value is making effective use of your time, by gathering background information in a structured way, interviewing by phone to really understand and identify key messages. We do the writing, submit a draft for review, and then, once agreed, we can post it to the profile, while also checking and updating settings and contact details.

3. They’re not convinced it’s worth it:

Yes, it can be hard to quantify the upside benefit of a good LinkedIn Profile, or the cost of opportunities lost. To make it really simple though, for most B2B businesses the value of ONE new client will more than pay for the cost of a rewrite.

We have feedback from clients about the positive impact that their LinkedIn Profile rewrite has delivered, including one who had an inquiry for a £250k pa partnership within 6 weeks of the rewrite, that was specifically attributable to one of the sentences included in the profile.

4. They want to remain anonymous and be invisible online:

This is an understandable concern, but one which may be more of a myth than a reality. The Internet has made a huge amount of our lives publicly visible. There is also the fear of making mistakes in a very public way.

Business success increasingly depends on being visible. People are finding that with progressive visibility come progressive benefits. The innovators have grasped the potential of the Internet and LinkedIn very quickly, and are forging ahead in their respective markets. Our clients say they feel much more confident as a result of having a very professional, purposeful profile created for them. With our support they are dressed for success online.

If you have questions, or are still hesitant, do drop me (Mark Stonham) an email and I’ll do my best to provide answers, guidance and reassurance.

Mark.

The “Mix of SIX” LinkedIn Status Updates for Social Selling Success

Mix-of-Six-LinkedIn-Status-Updates-for-Social-Selling-SuccessIf you’re struggling to work out what Status Updates to post on LinkedIn this article is for you.

The “Mix of Six” LinkedIn Status Updates will help you to get much more from LinkedIn, whether you are an entrepreneur or business owner working on your own, whether you head up a business or a sales team, or if you are a sales person working for a company.

The Benefits of the “Mix of Six” LinkedIn Status Updates

If you follow this plan for 20 business days ie. a month, I’m confident that you will notice a big difference in the results you get from LinkedIn, in several ways:

  • More profile views and connection requests
  • More traffic to your website landing pages and blog articles
  • Better sales relationships with customers
  • More sales conversations with prospects.

Once you get into the swing of this it should take you about 15 minutes a day to post these SIX updates.

The following sections cover the six elements in the graphics, with an explanation about WHY, WHAT and HOW to build them into a plan and into your daily and weekly LinkedIn activity.

Landing Page Links

While it’s great to have many connections on LinkedIn and be posting and sharing lots of great stuff it can feel very unrewarding unless there are specific results in terms of leads. From a sales perspective it’s important to identify who is moving forward in their buying process. Unless you put in place the mechanism to generate and capture leads it’s likely that your results will be disappointing.

Sure, there are other ways that people can express interest in what you do. But having an online lead capture mechanism in place is a solid foundation. It can also be a great sales productivity tool too, as you can send an email to people to download an information sheet, ebook or toolkit after you’ve had a phone call with them, for example.

Offering some ‘free’ information, such as a toolkit or report, in exchange for their email details is an effective way to capture their details. To achieve this you need suitable landing pages and ‘bait’ on your website, and ideally an email nurture sequence behind it to follow them up automatically.

Then you create Status Updates that you post in LinkedIn with an attractive message inviting them to access the tool/report. These Status Updates can be pre-scheduled in Hootsuite or other apps so you don’t need to remember to do them every day.

Tip: Think of what questions or problems your prospects have, and how you can create a valuable Checklist or Tool to help them. Then create the lead capture page. Then create a range of Status Updates, and Tweets as well, to bring visitors to the page.

Advanced Tip: Set up Google Analytics Goals against the Thank-you pages beyond the Sales pages to monitor results. Include Campaign codes in the URLs as you get more sophisticated.

Note: These Status Updates may well be shareable, if your Info offer or Toolkit is good. Show appreciation to those who do share them as this is hugely valuable to you.

Blog Article Links

Articles that are educational are the bedrock of content marketing and social selling. Articles of 600 words+, with a strong headline, images and maybe video, do take time to create (say 2-4 hours). Therefore, pick evergreen topics that have a long shelf-life, and which are very applicable to your prospects and your personal branding. They should be written so they are very shareable, so not too salesy and promotional.

Now that LinkedIn has introduced Pulse and opened it up to everyone this allows individuals to write long-form articles within LinkedIn. This is a powerful alternative to having to have a separate blog or a blog as part of a website.

Tip: If you’ve not written a post in LinkedIn yet, write one. Then write a second, then a third, perhaps a month apart. You can pre-schedule Status Updates to attract readers to them using Hootsuite or equivalent. Check regularly for who has Liked and Commented as these are prime opportunities to engage with them, thank them, connect with them and start a sales conversation. LinkedIn has also updated the analytics and stats on articles to make this even more powerful and easy to do.

Advanced Tip: Ask your colleagues, power group, advocates, key customers etc. to Like and Comment on them. Send them a request by Email within LinkedIn to a small distribution list is a good option. Be prepared to reciprocate – see later.

Industry News

As an expert in your subject you should be reading articles by respected industry sources. It may actually be worthwhile reviewing your sources and tracking down new ones. Having done that, pick an article a day, in your area of expertise, to share with your connections. Add some insight to it, highlighting an important element of the story, for example.

Tip: Email newsletters from trade associations, research bodies and similar authority sources are a great source of articles.

Advanced Tip: Install the Hootsuite Hootlet in your Browser and connect it to your various social media accounts. This is a very quick way to share a web page to LinkedIn, and to Twitter and other social media too.

Sector Leaders

Who are the people in your specialist area who have created a powerful presence for themselves on LinkedIn? Not only can you learn from them about the subject area you can also learn how they are using LinkedIn.

More importantly, by commenting on and sharing their material you are raising your profile with them, and also with the people who follow them. This has the potential to increase the number of people who visit your profile and accelerate your ability to reach out to others to connect.

Tip: Search for your keywords in LinkedIn Pulse and see who is writing articles about your area. Choose to follow a couple of specialist Channels within Linkedin Pulse. Take a few minutes to look at their LinkedIn Profile and Activity. Like and Comment on 2-3 of their Status Updates and Posts. Follow them and also send a personal invitation to connect with them.

Advanced Tip: Have a look at their Connections, and see which Connections you Share. This may indicate people in your network who are actively researching a topic on LinkedIn, and an opportunity to re-engage with them. Alternatively, it may indicate peers who could become part of your power group, where you can actively support each other on LinkedIn, by sharing on a reciprocal basis.

Super-Advanced Tip: Becoming an Industry Leader whose content is shared by many people is an aspiration that some people are able to turn into reality. It takes dedication and commitment to achieve, and infrastructure to monetize it as well. What is amazing is that LinkedIn provides the vehicle, for those who want to make this journey.

Customer Content

Sharing content created by your customers has many benefits. This includes maintaining your relationship with them for repeat business, as well as testimonials, referrals and other sales related pay-back.

The other side is that you are actively raising the profile of their business to your connections. The more successful your customers are the more likely they are to refer you and give you more business.

Tip: Take care to share quality material that is reasonably consistent with your personal brand and relationship. You may need to visit their website, LinkedIn Page or the profiles of senior executives to find suitable pieces. If you add the name of the author into the status update you create your contact will be alerted to the mention, giving you kudos.

Advanced Tip: Create a Tag Group within Contacts for your prime customer contacts – and ideally they will be 1st connections. Now set a reminder in LinkedIn in the Relationship Tab for each contact for 1 month and recurring. And check the ‘Keep in touch’ area regularly! You can also send an email within LinkedIn to this group, perhaps asking them to Like one of you articles.

Prospect Content

If your target list is senior executives, business owners, or other hard-to-reach people, you can improve your chances of getting through by sharing their content on LinkedIn. It helps if your target people are present and reasonably active on LinkedIn, otherwise you may need to look for alternative strategies.

Tip: Search the Internet for Press Releases by your prospect, case studies, senior people being quoted in the news, etc. When you find one, create a positive status update highlighting the ‘good news’ and giving the key person a name-check. If they see it, or pick up the email notification, then it could start a conversation. If they don’t see it there’s no harm done. Doing a “I found this article and thought you’d find it interesting…@mention  “ type of message could well be seen as intrusive, and doesn’t look good in your own Recent Activity stream either.

Warning: Do this in moderation, otherwise every other connection you have will be flooded with random status updates if you share say 50-100 items a day in an attempt to get noticed by prospects. On the 1:6 basis, be very strategic about choosing which prospect you are trying to get through to before sharing their content on LinkedIn. The alternative, for higher numbers of shares is Twitter, if they are active there.

Check your LinkedIn Settings so people can see your Updates

Before you start ramping up your activity in LinkedIn it’s worth check that people can see your Recent Activity and can Follow you.

Go Into Settings / Profile and Privacy Controls.

  • The Second Line is “Select who can see your activity feed” – I suggest you select Everyone or Your Network.
  • The Sixth line is “Choose who can follow your updates” – I suggest you select “Everyone”.

Ask a colleague to view your profile to double-check.

What not to share on LinkedIn:

LinkedIn is a professional network and a place to build a positive business brand for ourselves and for our companies, businesses and organisations. Therefore be very careful before Liking and Commenting or Creating content that has any of the following characteristics:

  • Confidential – an HR department or lawyers may be straight onto you
  • Commercially sensitive – competitors may well pick up on this
  • Critical – there are private ways to get things off our chests
  • Complaining – being negative in public can have unforeseen consequences
  • Condemning – personal attacks in public are not pretty
  • Cats and other whimsical content – belong on other networks
  • Mathematical challenges – even if you know the answer you risk looking a fool
  • Personal material, about you or others – belongs within a family & friends network

How long will all this take?

To be fair, planning, sourcing and developing some of these elements if you don’t already have them will take time. However consider it to be an investment as it will have a long term payback. Monitoring and following upon the sales conversations that this starts, through LinkedIn, by email, over the phone etc. is then part of regular sales activity.

I suggest, set yourself an activity based goal over a 20 day period, to research, set-up and run with this plan.

  • Set aside half a day to re-read this article and to work through the planning worksheet which you can get below.
  • Then set aside 30 minutes a day – and be focused about finding and posting suitable articles, and not wandering off on interesting thought lines, triggered by what you find during your activity.
  • Creating a Worksheet, like the one I have that you can download below, may take you an hour or so.
  • Writing articles takes longest, and is the most frequent activity, so prepare ahead. This article, and graphic, and the Linkedin Post to go with it has taken 6 hours. However, if it generates half a dozen inquiries and 3 sales, and saves me time repeating myself, and raises my profile, it’ll be time well spent.

Sales people working in small, medium or large businesses may well be able to use articles written by the business owner or other specialists in their business rather than writing their own articles, at least initially.

LinkedIn Status Update Planning Worksheet

To help you research and organise the websites and pages you need I’ve prepared a short worksheet. Work through the SIX sections, find and record website URLs on the sheet, so you have them all in one place, to use and to add to.

Then use the document to work through day by day to write and post status updates, and record your progress.

Until I get a Form set up you can request the Worksheet by emailing me: Mark Stonham here.

And Finally:

If you’ve found this useful please Like and Share this page.

Personal Branding for Sales

Social Selling Matrix Personal Brand

Quick check to see if you have a Professional LinkedIn Profile:

These tips, along with LinkedIn Tips to get to 100%, will give you a good profile, but it’s just the start:
1. Do you have a Photo that is recognisably you in a suitable professional setting, and do you look friendly and credible?

2. Does your Headline make an impact – is it customer benefits oriented including your key skills?

3. Are your contact details in your LinkedIn Profile complete and accurate?

Three Advanced Profiles for Three company roles:

Business Leader Profile

The Chairman, Chief Executive, Managing Director or Business Owner deserves a profile that speaks to multiple audiences which may well include Customers, Prospects, Staff, Recruits, Suppliers, Channel partners, Investors, Media and more.
We see this as opportunity to put forward the vision of the business, the ‘why’, the noble cause, and to outline a future oriented ambition, presented from the personal perspective of the leader.
There are several techniques we’ve developed to help leaders to define this, if they haven’t done so already.

Sales Leaders Profile

The Sales Director, New Business Sales people and business development and lead generation people benefit from a client oriented profile, not just one that talks to their sales skills and successes, that a traditional CV might.
Identifying with decision-makers, highlighting circumstances that are trigger events to move from the status quo to solution investigation are part of this.
Identifying ideal referrals is another aspect, where referrals might be within their organisation or as an introduction to someone in a different company.

Business Professional Profile

Senior and junior colleagues, such as heads of department, sales account managers, support staff and fee earners have expertise that benefits customers, prospects and the company, and it’s a loss when it’s not effectively displayed.
Even if the profile of the person is passive and not being actively added to through status updates etc. there are benefits to showing technical specialisations backed up by evidence of contribution to clients and to clear understanding of the value of the role in the team.

Explanation:

1. Your Picture makes an emotional connection, and is an anchor across multiple social networks and your website too. My recommendation is a Head & Shoulders portrait picture, business casual or dressed more smartly, and above all, look interested and interesting, which you can easily do with a smile.

2. Your Headline is the description about you that shows up in search listings, LinkedIn Group Member lists, Company Employee lists, when you visit peoples profiles, when you comment in discussions. The words in it also contribute to the keyword rankings that help you to get found in LinkedIn. There are 120 characters, so make the most of them!

3. Would you hand out a business card with key information missing or inaccurate? I’m shocked by the number of LinkedIn Profiles that are neither complete nor accurate. 10 minutes work will sort this out. There are 5 fields to focus on: Profile URL, Email address, Phone, Postal Address and Website Addresses.

The short video here explains and shows you how you update each of these fields.

Additional Personal Branding and Personal Profile Tips:

To be added

 

Further Resources

 

Personal Branding for Sales – ignore this at your peril

What do people know about you?  

Have you taken responsibility for this?Social Selling Matrix Personal Brand

As sales and business becomes faster paced, more global and communication is more digital and online it’s getting more competitive and challenging to be visible and memorable.

  • It’s no longer enough just to know stuff.
  • And it’s not enough to know lots of people.

The leverage now comes from:

  • who knows us,
  • and what they know us for
  • and who they are willing to talk to about us.

This progression is what builds our reputation and leads to referrals and inbound enquiries and assists with conversion.

NB. The good news is that there are specific actions that improve results at each level.

What people know us for is the heart of our Personal Brand.

  • What do your customers know you for?    – Have you asked them?
  • What will your referral network say about you?     – Have you educated them?
  • If people search for what you do will the find you?      – Do you show up for your keywords?
  • If people search for your name what will they find?      – What shows up against your name?

The challenging part for us all is to distill our skills, experience and value into a short and memorable proposition!

Your personal brand serves as your best protection against business factors you can’t control. – Dan Schawbel – Best-selling Author of ‘Promote Yourself’

Personal Branding for Sales – the foundation for Social Selling Success

What is the most significant investment we can make today?

What has the potential to multiply our income or turnover many times over throughout our future career or business life?

  • Knowledge and skills are good.
  • Who we know is pretty important.
  • Achievements and outcomes rate highly too.

But beyond these, Creating a Brand for ourselves is one of the key differentiators in the professional and business world.

All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters – Business Author & Speaker

What do you want to be remembered for?

Who are the business people who you remember most clearly? Who would you choose as a role model?

Maybe you’ve had personal contact with them. Or perhaps you felt a personal connection with them for what they stood for.

  • maybe they helped you or gave you genuine advice at a critical time for you?
  • perhaps you gained insight and encouragement from something they wrote or said?
  • did they stand for a cause that you felt was something you’d like to support?

Deciding what it is that we want people to remember us for is the root to leave behind as a lasting memory when we meet or encounter people. Choosing what we want to be remembered for really comes down to something about us that is consistent and lasting.

The other important dimension from a sales and business perspective is to be remembered for something that has a value to the other person in a business or professional capacity.

Every career exists on three levels: WHAT you do, HOW you do it and WHY you do it. Very few can clearly articulate WHY they do what they do. By WHY, I mean what’s your purpose, cause or belief? Why did you get out of bed this morning? And why should anyone care? – Simon Sinek – leadership speaker (link to “Start with Why” on his YouTube channel 

Challenges that our Personal Brand will need to stand up to

What we would like to be remembered for needs to be capable of being conveyed in many ways:

  • On a 1:1 basis when we’re in-front of a prospect or on the phone, we at least have the opportunity for a dialogue.
  • With a small group of people, for example at a networking meeting, there may not be much deep dialogue, but we and they have the benefit of body-language.
  • To people we are reaching out to over social media there may not be dialogue or body language, and there may well be a lot of passive observers, now and in future.

The other big challenge, as the volume goes up, is the danger of being drowned out by the noise. Finding an edge through insight and attitude is one way to offset this.

It’s important to build a personal brand because it’s the only thing you’re going to have. Your reputation online matters, which in the new business world is pretty much the game, so you’ve got to be a good person. You can’t hide anything, and more importantly, you’ve got to be out there at some level. – Gary Vaynerchuk – Entrepreneur, Author, Investor

How can we make it easy for people to remember us?

It’s one thing to be remembered by people who we’ve got to know well, and where they will contact usas and when they have a need.

It’s quite another to make the next step, to give people who know us the ability to identify the right people and situations to refer us to.

Our brand will build as we do more with it, as we live and breath it on a daily basis, and re-inforce it through the content we create and the contacts we make.

  • Substance – elements with a longer shelf-life, such as our LinkedIn profile, articles we write, LinkedIn Group Discussions we start, video we appear in, slideshare presentations etc.
  • Soundbites –  the incidental items such as – LinkedIn Status Updates, LinkedIn Articles we Like and Comment on, Tweets and ReTweets,

Through our online activity we can stay front of mind with people who know us. Give them insight and help them in areas that re-inforce our personal brand proposition.

Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.” – Sir Richard Branson – Entrepreneur (Link to his LinkedIn Pulse channel) 

Where will you create your Personal Brand online?

To be found online we need to have a plan to develop our presence online. There are multiple places that we can use to roll out our Personal Brand when we’ve decided what it is. For example:

  • LinkedIn for Substance – for professionals, especially those with knowledge and experience such as consultants, senior sales leaders and business owners the primary place is on LinkedIn – because of the reach, quality and engagement of an increasing number of business professionals and decision-makers.
  • Twitter for Soundbites – short messages on diverse topics risk diluting our personal branding on LinkedIn, so use Twitter for the community aspect around #hashtags and a broader range of topics and interactions.
  • Google+ for website traffic – functionally rich platform with powerful SEO value (for sign-posting visitors to your website) but doesn’t (yet) have the mainstream business users that LinkedIn has
  • Facebook for Family & Friends – excellent for the personal and consumer market but the wrong tone for professional branding
  • Also consider extending your personal brand presence into Slideshare, YouTube and Google Images as resources allow.

Having a presence on all is useful – however include a sign-post or call-to-action pointing to your primary Social Network and build your Personal Brand for Sales on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is the primary social network within which to develop a Personal Brand for people who serve the business market. Mark Stonham – LinkedIn Trainer & Social Selling Consultant

How will you develop your Personal Brand for Sales?

Having defined, designed, and created our Personal Brand proposition, manifesto or blueprint we now need to develop this over time.

There are many things that we can do to make it easier to be consistent, starting with a master plan, for example:

  • Quarterly – review and update your LinkedIn Summary and Current Role description, adding in new talking points and achievements respectively
  • Monthly – write an article highlighting your perspective on one of the major challenges in one of the markets you serve, and post it into LinkedIn
  • Weekly – schedule time to spend in key LinkedIn Groups and Channels to add comments, start discussions and reach out to ‘qualifying’ individuals
  • Daily – share an on-topic article – from a trusted source, from your website, from LinkedIn Pulse (tip: pre-schedule the week using Hootsuite)

And as you do, take time to learn from people who do this well, such as those connections who are at the Top of your “Most viewed Connections” chart.

People are asking themselves “Is what I’m sharing a consistent extension of who I am professionally? – Jeff Weiner – CEO at LinkedIn

If you, or someone you know, would like to know more please send an email to me, Mark Stonham.

LinkedIn Personal Profile – ten steps to optimise yours


Social Selling Matrix Personal Brand
It’s surprising how many people have a very superficial personal profile on LinkedIn. The lack of a photograph, sketchy information and a brief one-line work history is unlikely to impress customers, prospects or candidates if you’re recruiting.

On the other hand, a couple of hours spent updating your LinkedIn Personal Profile will pay dividends over the weeks and months, as it will make you more findable, more engaging and present you much more professionally. Having a smart profile, and dressing for success online in LinkedIn probably has the most impact on results you achieve. As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Here is a quick run through of the ten steps to move from a minimal profile to a LinkedIn Personal Profile that will pay dividend and support your network building and lead generation activity in LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Personal Profile Checklist

Optimise your profile in these 10 areas so it’s professional, engaging and has social proof.

  1. Photograph
  2. Upload an image that makes you look friendly and approachable. It doesn’t need to be formal and stuffy, but it should project you as professional. You can add logos to it if you wish. A crisp, clear professional photograph is impressive, but a well composed one taken on a decent smartphone will do the job very well.

  3. Headline
  4. This is a really good opportunity to make a strong first impression by highlighting your value to customers and prospects. This is what you leave as your calling card when you comment in discussion groups and like other people’s comments, It’s what shows up in searches as well as when people visit your profile. Highlight your expertise and the customer benefits you deliver. Add your job title and company at the end. Include keywords that you want to be found for. You have about 60 characters so make full use of them.

  5. Summary
  6. This is your opportunity to shine, especially in the first 80-200 characters, for mobile and the new user interface. If you are in a sales role don’t focus on sales achievements. Focus instead on demonstrating your ability to add value to client businesses, along with evidence of business benefits achieved if possible. If you are the business owner provide a mix of personal and company messages, and highlight customer value, along with your ambition for your business and ways others might be able to help you, for example specific introductions you would value. Including some trigger events that typically start conversations between prospects and you will really make you stand out. Add Specialisations at the end as a way to include keywords.

  7. Contact details
  8. It may sound obvious but assuming you want to be contacted by potential customers take a moment to fill out your phone number and address. Make sure it’s your business email address showing and update your LinkedIn profile URL to remove the default numbers. Add your Twitter name, and update the website addresses, choosing the ‘Other’ option so you can update the text descriptions. You could even include a link to your email newsletter subscription page, for example, or your Slideshare or YouTube channel.

  9. Current role
  10. This is very prominent in the new User Interface so maximise the message here. Highlight 3-4 major achievements in your current role, along with the areas you are responsible for, or expertise that you possess. As a sales person or sales director, make it clear that your focus is on delivering customer benefits, not just in achieving your sales targets. As a business owner, paint a picture of your value and uniqueness to clients, as well as your roles and responsibilities for running your company. Avoid the temptation to cut and past the ‘About us’ section from your website here. Include evidence and social proof as well, to increase your credibility. Make sure to include keywords in the copy, and a ‘Specialisations’ section at the end.

  11. Add video and slides
  12. You have the opportunity to add visual media at the end of each section of your profile. If you have video or slide presentations they can be easily added here, as can documents that are hosted on the web. For lead generation, consider creating a short – 6-8 slides – on a topic that your prospects are concerned about, which you can help them with. Avoid selling a solution, but outline the main areas and issues that they should be considering. You can also add slides and video from other sources, so you can enhance your credibility on the back of material from trade associations, research companies, supplier, partners and so on.

  13. Review and add skills around keywords
  14. Being at the top of the LinkedIn search for the main fee earning or client solution skills is a great way to generate inbound inquiries. Expanding your skills section to 30, 40 or even 50 skills, and then using them in the body copy and headlines of your profile is a solid strategy. Done well and you may also appear toward the top of Google and search engine rankings too. LinkedIn has had a very useful skills application that was a great prompt for discovering additional skills and keyword phrases. Keep an eye out to see if they re-introduce it. Endorsements for skills has a tarnished reputation, but there are several reasons why they are worth giving and receiving. The TOPIC area of LinkedIn is useful for research. Start with http://www/linkedin.com/topic/sales/ Change the last word for your major skill (use a hyphen if it’s 2 words eg /lead-generation/

  15. Join groups where your prospects are
  16. Some people are reluctant to join groups, and others belong to college or former employer groups, and professional and trade groups. Useful thought these are, the primary ones to focus on are those where your customers and prospects are more likely to be members.  Sharing news and updates with potential customers is far more worthwhile than reading and commenting on sales and marketing oriented groups, unless you’re looking to partner with them. Update the order of your groups within LinkedIn so the prospect oriented ones appear at the top of your Groups display list.

  17. Give and request testimonials
  18. The social proof value of customer endorsements can be very high. When they are given they are circulated around the contacts of both parties. Giving and receiving 10-20 testimonials will provide social proof that you are a generous giver and also that you have delivered value to clients too. For people in sales roles and business owners the value of testimonials from colleagues is limited. Giving testimonials for colleagues and suppliers is a positive move though.

  19. Grow your network to 500+ contacts.
  20. As a sales person, sales director or business owner there is much to be gained by getting through the 500 contacts level. This indicates that you take LinkedIn seriously,  and it gives you a good reach when you share content as Status Updates. If the growth is with customers and prospects rather than colleagues and people who you are very unlikely to do business with your network becomes a very valuable resource for you.

Fast-track your way to an optimised profile

It can be difficult to recognise our own strengths and find the right words and phrases to put them across. It’s rather too easy to put off the task of creating a professional, engaging and optimised LinkedIn Personal Profile.

One of the services that we offer is to interview sales people and business owners and write the major sections of their profile for them. I’ve written over 100 in the past few months, either for individuals or as part of working with company executives and their management and sales team. You can find more about our ‘Pimp your LinkedIn Profile Rewrite Service’ here.

Personal Branding – 7 steps to define and develop your personal brand

Many people I talk to have great difficulty defining their personal brand, and expressing the value they provide to others, and then building on that once they have. When working for a company it tends to be the company brand that matters and our position or job title within the company defines us. Some extrovert […]

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